Toilet training boys and girls can be tough, if your toddler
seems to be a late starter when it comes to potty training, you may be
reassured to know that the age a child is potty trained is not linked to
intellect. Nor does it correlate with other stages of development. For example
if a child was an early talker, it doesn't necessarily mean they'll be potty
trained earlier. Also bear in mind that girls are often ready for the potty
sooner than boys. If other children seem to be out of nappies but your child
isn't yet, don't worry and don't feel pressured into starting too soon - 15 per
cent of children are not potty trained at three and four per cent are still not
trained at the age of four.
Make sure everyone involved in your child's care uses the
same consistent approach to potty training. A good first step is to buy a potty;
put it in the bathroom or somewhere easily accessible and tell your child what
it is for. Suggest your child sits on it to see what it's like. Be prepared to
demonstrate this yourself! Then make sitting on the potty a part of your
child's daily routine, perhaps when dressing in the morning and before the
evening bath. Don't expect your child to sit there for long; at first your
child may only stay there for a very short time - you are simply getting your
child used to the potty.
Start encouraging your child to let you know when they are
passing urine or having a bowel motion - and give lots of praise when your
child tells you what they are doing.
Awareness that a wee or poo has happened is important, and comes before
awareness of the need to go. You may
choose to potty train in the summer when your child can run around without
nappies. If your child has a regular
time for opening their bowels; perhaps after breakfast, try to ‘catch it' by
sitting your child on the potty at that time. If and when you do ‘catch'
something show your pleasure and approval. Let your child know what you want,
but above all be consistent, be positive and provide lots of praise and make
you child feel clever and special.