Learning how to go to the toilet or ‘potty-training’ a natural stage of your child’s emerging independence. The Montessori approach to toilet training your child is a three-step process that is grounded in respect and gentle guidance.
- Stage 1: Awareness of having toileted
- Stage 2: Awareness of toileting at that moment
- Stage 3: Awareness of the need for toilet
As a parent, bear in mind that every child will go through these stages at their own pace. The following tips will help you when it comes to toilet training your child:
From day one
- Keep use of nappies for your baby to a minimum.
- Change any soiled nappies immediately so that your baby develops a familiarity and preference for being clean and dry.
- Some families may choose to opt for cloth nappies to allow your child to experience the sensation of a wet nappy.
- Make the process of changing your baby’s clothes an interactive one. Share a live commentary of what you are doing or invite your toddler to fetch their own nappies from a low and accessible basket or shelf.
- Make it a routine to wipe or wash your baby’s hands clean after a nappy change.
- Let them observe your use of the toilet; children learn through imitation.
Preparing your child for training:
- Purchase a potty and keep it in the bathroom.
- Purchase sets of underwear for your child.
- Keep one bucket for soiled clothes and another tray containing clean clothes and wipes in the bathroom.
- Let your child learn and move at their own pace and do your best to be positive and patient throughout the process.
Commencement of actual training
- Establish a ‘potty time’ for your child and set a routine to use the toilet at that time.
- Communicate with your child’s educator, so that toileting routines are mirrored at home and at childcare.
- Stay organised while on-the-go by keeping spare clothes, wipes, and bags for soiled clothes on standby in a carry bag.
- Accidents may still happen and that’s okay. When openly discussing the accident, place emphasis on the feeling of being wet/dry so not to make your child feel ashamed.
- Make the transition from the potty to the toilet seat comfortable and accessible by providing a secure step stool.
- Maintain positive language throughout this process.