HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR CHILD IS READY?
* Between 2-3 years of age.
* The child is showing signs of being interested in watching you or older siblings go to the toilet.
* Their nappies are dry for more than 2 hours at a time.
* The child may show signs of disliking wearing a nappy. They may pull at it or take it off themselves.
* The child is aware of when they are using their bladder or bowel and is telling you.
* They can concentrate for a period of 5 minutes.
* Can pull his/her own pants up and down.
* Can follow simple instructions.
POTTY OR ADULT TOILET?
Whether yo use a potty or go straight to the toilet is up to you and a very individual choice.
* Some children are frightened of falling into the toilet. If this is the case you may be better off using a potty.
* You can take potties anywhere in the house and on trips.
* A child who uses only a potty may be too scared to use any toilet which can make going out stressful and difficult.
* If your child is using the toilet you will need to buy a step and toilet seat insert.
* Some parents choose to encourage their child to use both for convenience.
LET'S GET STARTED
* Choose a date to begin.
* Consider timing-it's easier to be at home, warmer weather, make sure you have a supply of pants, you will have lots of washing.
* Stop using nappies during the day. Only use them for day time sleeps and night time.
* Put training pants or underpants on your child.
* Dress your child in clothing that is easy for them to put on and off, such as pants with elastic waist. Don't use body suits, buttons and zips that are difficult for them to undo.
* Remind your child at regular intervals during the day to see if they need to go..
* 5 minutes is long enough for a child to sit on the toilet. If they haven't done anything then, they are probably not going to and you don't want them to think they are in trouble.
* When your child first starts toilet training you will need to wipe their bottom for them. It is important to remember to wipe from front to back.
* Teach your child to wash his hands after each use of the toilet or potty.
* If your child misses the toilet or potty or has an accident, just clean it up casually without making a fuss. It doesn't matter and your don't want your child to become disheartened.
* Remember to give your child lots of encouragement and praise for their success.
* If your child is ready they will get the hang of it quite quickly, however they may still have accidents, so don't lose heart.
* If they refuse too use the toilet or potty, don't force them. Leave it and try again in a few weeks.
* Toilet training may take days or months, it varies for each child.
* Remember that your child has been wearing nappies for their entire life. This is a new skill they are learning and it will take practice.
* Toddlers can't hold on for very long, so if they indicate that they need to use the toilet, they need it now!
* Even if your child doesn't make it to the toilet on time, still praise their efforts for telling you that they needed to go. It is important to continue encouraging them, to keep their spirits up.
* Your child may become disheartened by accidents, but remind them that it doesn't matter and that these things take time.
* Toilet training, like a child learning any new skill, can have its set backs. Your child isn't doing this to upset you, it's a part of life, so don't become annoyed with them and certainly don't punish them, just continue to encourage their efforts and success.
* Remember to stay calm and relaxed and this will assist your child to do the same.
* Your child needs to feel they have your support during this time.
* Some children and parents find it useful to try and make toilet training fun. While your child is sitting on the toilet you can sing songs or even read a story!