Do you feel like you are getting nowhere with toilet training? After today’s post hopefully you’ll be inspired and take away some practical strategies to try…
Toilet training can be simple for some children, however for some it can be a complex and slow process. The key is to start early! Below is some of the common challenges in toilet training and what you can do next to overcome these hurdles.
Child doesn’t indicate or know when weeing…
Some children can take a longer time to develop awareness of the need to wee or poo. Others don’t have the communication skills to indicate awareness to those around them. Some strategies to try include describing explicitly what has happened to your child, “you have done a wee”, rather than “you are wet”. Also, just because your child has not yet developed awareness doesn’t mean you can’t start toilet training. Your child can be practicing and mastering other components such as sitting on the toilet, managing clothing, flushing and washing hands. If awareness continues to be a struggle you may wish to try timed toileting. In this approach you take your child to the toilet in intervals throughout the day. Talk to your OT to find out more.
Won’t indicate when nappy is dirty…
Some children are not bothered by dirty nappies, others dislike nappy changes and therefore don’t indicate they need a change to avoid the change. A strategy to try is using a reward chart to motivate the child to tell you when nappy is dirty, or better yet to try taking the nappy off and use the toilet instead
Doesn’t associate the toilet with toileting…
Lots of children learn through watching adults, however when it comes to toileting, we shut the door and don’t show our children, in the hope we can have a minute alone! Let your child watch you go to the toilet. Show them dolly or another beloved toy ‘going’ to the toilet. You may like to use social stories or videos. I like Tom’s Toilet Triumph, which is a cartoon video of toileting. https://service.sa.gov.au/health/1195-are-you-ready-an-animated-toilet-training-resource-dvd.html Visuals are another good idea, demonstrating the steps of toileting (Blog on visuals coming later in the year!).
Refuses to wear undies
Try the following ideas: buy some special undies (there are plenty of super heroes and fun characters adorning them these days!), trial a count down until the end of nappies, trial wearing nothing (if at home), trial undies under nappy (prevents absorption and increases feeling of wetness).
Won’t sit for poos
Encourage the child to sit for wees from start and then progress to standing, so boys aren’t scared of sitting. Encourage use of nappy in bathroom/toilet room, moving closer to toilet, sitting on toilet with nappy, then put holes in nappy/loosen nappy. As well as continuing to use rewards and visuals.
Won’t wipe their own bottom
Once again my tip for this is to start early. Even if it is wiping once after they are already clean. It’s important for children to learn this is something they should do and not you! Some children find wiping with wet ones easier than toilet paper, you can get flushable wet ones from the supermarket. Once again you need to motivate your child whether this is a reward or simply bragging rights of being a big kid. Start by getting them to wipe after you have and then increase the amount until they complete by themselves. Your child may need you to explicitly show them the steps such as how much paper, leaning to the side and wipe front to back. Also remember to practice looking at paper to see if you need to wipe again.