There are so many things to consider when you're thinking about daytime toilet training and it can become quite overwhelming to decide when to start.
It's easy to feel pressured by people around you who make comments "Isn't he trained yet?" or "My child was trained at 18 months" ! (It’s tempting to ask how many children they have and whether that could just be a fluke!)
Life is full of pressures and the last thing you need is to launch into something that's going to increase your workload and feelings of frustration if things don't happen in an expected time frame. It's really important to relax and realise that your child WILL get there, and to keep any frustration as far from the training process as possible.
The average time it takes for a little one to train is around 3 months and in general children are usually 2-3 years of age before they are able to learn to control their bladder and bowel enough to daytime toilet train. This will vary widely and it's not uncommon for children who are in early school years to still have occasional accidents even though they have been wearing undies for a while. If you are concerned at any stage its worth having a chat to a medical professional for some reassurance.
With gaps of between 20 months and 2.5 years between our 5 children, we soon realised that trying to push training just before a big life change for the child wasn't ideal. (eg. arrival of a new baby or moving house) .We found that training actually happened faster and wasn’t as tedious if we waited until we saw a few of the cues first.
Here are some of the signs that you may see when children are ready to train. The more of these you see the easier your journey will be!
- Recognising when they ‘go’ in their nappy (they may seek privacy)
- Taking an interest when others use the toilet
- Having a dry nappy for a stretch of a few hours during the day
- They can take undies off and put them on by themselves
- They understand and can follow two part instructions
- They are wanting to switch nappies for underwear during the day
Toilet training is a developmental journey, not a race. Take time to smell the roses and enjoy them being little, knowing that they will get there!