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The ABCs of toilet training

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The ABCs of toilet training

You are about to experience a milestone in your little one’s life. While there is a chance that everything will be fine, still expect some surprises on the potty trail!

Our mothers often boasted that their babies were fit in one year! While theoretically possible – after all, they did – it is undesirable to force a child to get clean before their time. There are steps and general rules to follow – but they are not a guarantee of success since there are always exceptions to the government – to improve your chances.

8 out of 10 children get clean spontaneously. Girls tend to achieve this a bit younger than boys.

How old?

There is no concrete answer to such a question because there are so many variables that must be considered. First, it is only in their second year that children acquire the physical and psychological maturity to control their sphincters, between 16 and 24 months, on average. But it’s often between the ages of two and four that toddlers will begin this process, which takes three to six months.


Bladder control does not always coincide with bowel control, and while a child may be clean at night and day, he or she may also wet the bed for months and even years. When one of the parents himself has suffered from enuresis, the child is enuretic in 44% of cases. The risk climbs to 77% when both parents have had the same problem.

Even if you are uncomfortable with the situation, there is no need to worry until the child turns four. At this age, a doctor can tell you if a problem or illness such as diabetes prevents the child from being clean.

Primary enuresis – when the child has never achieved full bladder control – is more common in boys. It affects 10 to 15% of five-year-olds, 6 to 8% of eight-year-olds, and 1 to 2% of 15-year-olds.

How do you know it's time?

A child’s age shouldn’t dictate the readiness to get clean. It’s not up to you alone to decide that this is the time to get clean! Certain developmental milestones that your child must have passed before they are ready to move on to this critical phase. We must take into account his motor, language, and social skills and the behavior and the relationship of the child with his parents.

our child is probably ready if he

  • can stay dry in their diaper for several hours at a time;
  • can let you know when he needs to use the potty;
  • can follow one or two simple guidelines;
  • can walk to the potty (or suitable seat);
  • is stable and balanced when seated on the potty;
  • wants to please you;
    wants to be independent.
  • Make sure you have the time and patience to help your child every day and that you can give them all the attention they need

Potty training does not happen in a flash and depends a lot on a child’s confidence level.

How to do?

It is recommended to use the potty rather than the large toilet during the first stages because the child feels more secure and stable there. The potty also allows the child to adopt the best posture, which helps his sense of security and gives him confidence.

  • If a regular toilet is used, have a suitable seat and a wide, stable footstool for your feet.
  • Make sure the pot and the location you choose are easily accessible.
  • Don’t be shy and let the child watch you do it when you go to the bathroom since he learns a lot by imitation.
  • Encourage the child to sit fully clothed on the potty. Then he can sit on the potty after the wet diaper is removed. It may be helpful to place the soiled diaper in the jar to clearly show him the jar’s function.
  • Take him to the potty several times a day and invite him to sit there for a few minutes without a diaper.
  • Have him sit on the potty at set times during the day, such as when he wakes up, after meals or snacks, and before naps and bedtime to establish a routine. With this method, children can learn to control their bladder and bowels in a matter of weeks, mainly if you stick to their elimination rate.
  • Learn to recognize the signs that he is about to urinate or defecate. This will help you guide him to the pot before he escapes into his diaper.
  • Encourage the child to let you know when he needs relief. Praise him even if he warns you too late.
  • Don’t expect immediate results and be prepared for accidents by staying calm and avoiding threats, punishment, and, of course, yelling.
  • Take every opportunity to congratulate him since positive reinforcement remains the most effective technique.
  • Do not quibble with the child who experiences setbacks, and above all, do not humiliate him by treating him as a baby Lala He risks regressing even more in his progress.
  • Notify the childcare service or any other person taking care of the child of the process so that everyone is in tune.
  • After a week of repeated success, you can switch to Pull-Ups / Easy Upstyle training pants by marking the event in a unique way.
  • A child who has been through a series of accidents should be able to resume wearing a diaper if he is a toddler or training pants if he is older, without shame and punishment. The experiment will be repeated in a few weeks or a few months when the child is better disposed of.
  • Remind the child not to drink for two to three hours before bedtime.
  • Remind her every night to empty her bladder well before going to bed.
  • Explain the importance of getting up during the night as soon as he feels the need to urinate.

What if he refuses?

The physical causes of toilet training failure are infrequent. The most plausible explanation is that the child is not ready. In this case, the parents’ attempts to make it clean will be futile.

The worst position to take is to embark on the “war” on cleanliness. Not only will the child not react well to this attitude, but also other behavioral problems can be added to that of cleanliness. If the child is well established in his “no phase”, you will only succeed in pitting yourself against each other and creating an atmosphere of challenge that no one wins. Not to mention the child’s self-esteem for his cold if we are repeatedly disappointed with him.

  • If the first attempt at toilet training doesn’t work, it’s usually because your child isn’t ready.
  • Some children find it difficult to stop playing and come to the potty. Workaround this problem by allowing him to play or look at a book while sitting on the potty.
  • Some children are reluctant to defecate in the potty or the toilet if they do not have good foot support. It is therefore recommended to make sure that the child is comfortable.
  • Your child may be afraid of the adult toilet. Sometimes they fear falling into it, and this anxiety is reinforced by the sound of the water bubbling up by the hunting and sucking of everything in it. The “disappearance” of excrement in the toilets would sometimes be a significant psychological trauma for the child, having to “separate from a part of himself.” Learning can, therefore, be made more comfortable with the purchase of a pot adapted to its size.
  • If a child refuses to clean, it is best to stop the process for one to three months. After forgetting a bit about the first attempt’s failure, most children are then ready to begin potty training.

Constipation can make a child’s receptivity to toilet training more difficult. The child may associate the stool with the pain and try to avoid the experience as much as possible. Dietary changes are the first step in alleviating the problem, and a doctor may also consider the use of laxatives or stool softeners.


Allowing him to have a bowel movement in a diaper is essential to prevent constipation and the resulting stomach aches, ultimately delaying toilet training.

Your child may be emotionally retarded or “refuse to grow up.” Realizing that this stage of cleanliness projects him into the world of adults, the child may feel anxious and “decide” to stay small … Any significant change and stress can prevent the child from becoming clean: the birth of another child, moving, family difficulties, parental divorce, change of daycare, etc.


The motivation for older children

As the child ages and still wets his bed or still uses Pull Up / Easy Up panties, the use of reward-based motivation may be useful. On a calendar, the parent or child affix a sticker or draw a symbol for each dry night. When he has completed a table, you offer him a small reward by congratulating him on his efforts and progress.

We also suggest that you print this motivation chart.

Suitable alarm device

This type of alarm reacts to a few drops of urine by waking the child as soon as he begins to wet his bed. It works with miniature batteries and is inserted into a special pad worn on the body. According to the Community Pediatrics Committee of the Canadian Pediatric Society, this approach should represent the first line of treatment for primary enuresis. Opting for this device requires motivation on the part of the child and the parents. At least as long as the child gets used to it and wakes up on its own to the sound of the alarm.

Easy to use, alarm devices have a long term success rate of 70% and can be used for three or four months. It may take a month or two for bladder control to improve. This treatment works best with children who are at least seven or eight years old.

70% of children with enuresis are boys.

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