Society Magazine - page 32

Is your child ready?
Believe it or not, your toilet training suc-
cess hinges on your little one being physi-
cally and emotionally ready for transition.
The time to toilet train is not age specific,
nor does it relate to howmuch ‘your child
can do’ at a certain age. Therefore if your
little one begins towalk early, this does
not necessarily equate to early toilet
training! However, when you are sure that
your little one ismentally and physically
prepared to take this big step, you can
be sure that toilet trainingwill bemuch
easier than you initially anticipated.
Howwill you know?
There are a number of signs you can
look out for to get an indication that your
little one is ready to toilet train. Some
good signs for toilet readiness are that
your little one has predictable bowel
movements, they can stay dry for a few
hours or they begin to use toilet language
e.g. pee-pee, wee-wee etc. If your little
one asks you to change awet or soiled
nappy or shows interest in the bathroom,
this can also be a sign that they’re ready
to take the big step. These signs can be
apparent anywhere as young as one and
a half years right up to three years of age
(or even slightly older).
What if they’re not ready by
the ‘correct age?’
If you’ve been reading from the start,
you’ll know that there really is no correct
age. Early years professionals aremoving
away fromcharts that determine the cor-
rect age for children to be toilet trained.
Why? No child is the same. To place every
child on standardised chart is a little ridic-
ulous. Know that your childwill achieve
everymilestonewhen they are ready.
Once you have that firmbelief implanted
in your child rearing ethos, lifewill feel a
whole lot stressful; not just for yourself
but for your child as well.
Don’t tackle two big changes
at once…or three!
If you’re expecting baby number two… or
three, or you’removing house, travel-
ling or enrolling your little one at a new
nursery, thesemay not be the best times
to start toilet training. Changes in your
child’s day-to-day routine can throwyour
child off balance and cause your little one
to regress in toilet training. This will in
turn be stressful for you and them. Ensure
no big changes are happening in the near
futurewhen you decide to start toilet
training. Toomany changes at once are
tough for our little ones to handle!
Patience is definitely
a virtue
Whenyoudobegin toilet training, be
patient. Research thevariouswaysyou
can trainbut remember that eachmethod
requires a lot of patience.Whether you
choose togocold turkeyand remove
nappies fromdayoneorwhether you take
slowbabysteps andvisit thebathroom
every30minutes inpull-ups, youwill need
tobepatient andpersistent. Patientwith
accidents, patientwith thecountless times
youwill need to run to thebathroomand
patientwithyour littleone showing signsof
fear or frustrationover the toilet.
Number two versus
number one
Number twos are oftenmuch scarier
than number ones so give your little one
time to feel confident with their bowel
motions in the toilet. In some cases, I have
heard of childrenwho take a full year
after learning towee-wee in the toilet to
master number two’s! Don’t necessarily
expect both to come together and avoid
pressuring your child to do so as there is a
high change theywill regress completely.
Unfamiliar toilets can be
When visiting public restrooms take note
that toilets often have an automatic flush
system. The gap under the door can seem
scary and so can the oversized toilet
paper roll. You can cover the sensor on
the toilet to prevent automatic flushing,
but until your little one is completely
confident, always carry a pull-up or two in
your handbag; and again, avoid pressur-
ing your little one to gowhen they feel
Toilet versus the potty
Every child is different, sowhether you
choose to sit your child on a potty or on
a big toilet (with a baby seat) will depend
entirely on howcomfortable your little
one is with either option. A toilet is con-
venient for busy parents as there is little
or no cleaning involved, however when
managing toddler toilet training and a
baby all at once, having a pottywithin
arms length can be a huge benefit. Toilets
can be scary for many little ones and thus
many parents opt for a potty, but if you
are a hygiene freak likeme, I try to avoid
potty’s if my little ones can handle it.
Night timewetting
versus day time
Night times work very differently to day
times. Know that bedwetting at night will
be something that your childwill grow
out of. It is not something that can always
be trained andmake take some years to
master. Using pull-ups and offering liquid
only up to a certain time of the evening
will help and sowill taking your little one
to the bathroom late at night. But don’t
get so caught up on night training that
you disturb their sleep. Significant brain
development occurs during sleep so it is
important that your little one is as undis-
turbed as possible.
Heap on the praise!
Pick a reward system that is consistent
with your parenting style. Sowhen you
do start toilet training, you can pile on the
praise every time your little one goes to
the toilet successfully! Whether it’s lots of
cuddles and positive reinforcement, spe-
cial underpants or stickers on a chart, be
consistent. Like any training that you give
your child, ensure consistency fromyour
side to ensure consistency from theirs.
Making a big deal about small steps of
progress is key. Life transitions are easier
faced as an adult than as a child. Sowhen
your little one tries hard tomake a change
in their ‘normal’ make a big deal
Originally fromAustralia, Homayra Billah is the
founder andmanaging partner of Kanga’s Pouch
Nursery inQatar. A teacher and busymumof
two, she is passionate about providing positive
nurturing environments for children to growand
develop. She began her Qatari adventure in 2008
having taught inAustralia for 5 years. Since being
in Doha, Homayra has taught at nursery level for
18months and awell-known British school for
almost 4 years before establishing Kanga’s Pouch.
Homayra Billah
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