- When is my child ready to start toilet training?
- How long will it take to toilet train my child?
- Can you recommend any resources to help me understand my child better?
- Is it easier to toilet train a baby / infant (under 12 months) or a toddler?
- What are the benefits of having my child out of nappies earlier than later?
- Should I use a potty or toilet insert to toilet train my child?
- Do you recommend using nappies or pull-ups when toilet training?
COMMON TOILET TRAINING CHALLENGES
- My child only wees on the toilet, but refuses to poo. She only wants to poo in her nappy and often runs away and hides. What can I do?
- My child was fully toilet trained but is now wetting his pants again. Why is this happening?
- My child is refusing to go to the toilet, how can I encourage her to go?
- My child keeps stopping and starting. Sometimes he will go on the toilet and then he will have accidents or refuse to go. How can I keep him going consistently?
- How do I get my child to tell me she needs to go to the toilet before she has an accident?
- My child has been toilet trained during the day for a year now but is still wetting the bed at nights. What do you recommend for bedwetting?
- What age group do the Toilet Training Kits target and how do they work?
- What happens if my child finishes the chart but still isn’t toilet trained?
- What do I use for my child who is under 12 months?
- What is a Reward Chart and how is it used?
- What is pottytraining.com.au offering the community?
- Can I fundraise with your products?
- Do you offer any guarantees with your products?
- How can I place an order?
ABOUT TOILET TRAINING
1. When is my child ready to start toilet training?
This is a commonly asked question with the commonly answered response being “most children are not ready to control their poo and wee (bowels and bladder) until they are two years old and some not until they are three”. This coincides with the highly recommended, “wait until your child is ready” scenario. It is up to parents to find the full facts instead of just accepting these common answers. We need to seriously evaluate the consequences of keeping our children in nappies longer than what we have to. Whatever angle you look at, whether it be your child’s comfort, hygiene, finances or the environment, it just doesn’t make sense. And the seriousness of each of those scenarios is worth re-evaluating the “normal” recommendations.
Toilet Training like any skill is something that needs to be learned and practiced. And, like any skill, for some children it comes easy and they basically toilet train themselves, where others need a bit more assistance. Add to the bundle, the different personalities and emotional requirements of each individual child and you have a jigsaw of elements you need to piece together to form a larger picture. Just like finding the corner pieces first and then the straight edges of a jigsaw puzzle, toilet training can become a lot clearer for us as parents if we are going into it with a game plan and with the confidence that we are doing the right thing by our child.
IS MY CHILD READY?
"Is My Child Ready?" is a common question for most parents when it comes to toilet training, because we don’t want to force our child or cause any fear or negative association with using the toilet. Your confidence as a parent is reflected in your actions and words, and children pick up on this really well, and respond accordingly. Subsequently, a large part of teaching any skill to your child has a lot to do with you. If you are not in a place emotionally or mentally to help your child develop a new skill, then don’t. Teaching a new skill can be very trying, for both parties. It is far more advantageous to wait until you are ready to positively input into your child’s life where you can teach through encouragement and with patience.
BUT WHEN IS THE RIGHT AGE?
With this in mind, there can be certain signs that highlight that your child is ready to be toilet trained. In my personal experience, age has nothing to do toilet training readiness. Your child can start showing signs of readiness at nine months, fourteen months, two years, three years - it is totally individual. The problem with waiting for some children to show these signs of readiness though, is that you may be waiting a long time.
My neice Marley Rose showed signs of readiness at nine months and was completely toilet trained by twelve months. Likewise, my sister’s twin boys, Sebastian and Tristyn, identified annoyance at their dirty nappies at fourteen months and were completely toilet trained by eighteen months. On the other hand, my little girl Mya at two and half, was showing no signs, except for that of refusing to use the toilet. If I hadn’t actively done something to encourage the process, then we may still be waiting.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
The other factor to consider is that a skill when practiced correctly, will more likely result in better awareness and greater development in that area. Time is a big factor here. The more time you correctly practice something, the better you get. A child that is taught to ride a bike with training wheels from age two is more likely to have greater confidence to lose the training wheels by age five when compared with the five year old who has never ridden before and is just starting. This then highlights the question, "Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?" By starting your child earlier than later with toilet training, can you in fact develop these signs of readiness? By making your child aware of what needs to happen, they can then practice the desired skill earlier. If they don’t know that they don’t know, then they can’t grow in that area. If your child is taught from the beginning that you wee and poo in a nappy, then their body, skills, and knowledge are based on this. If instead they are taught to wee or poo on the potty or toilet, then they are aware of this method instead and develop and fine tune the different skills accordingly.
After starting my baby on the potty at four months, he developed bowel control from five months. He could identify the signs his body was telling him and wake from sleep to poo on the potty, rather than doing it his nappy. If I hadn’t started teaching and practicing this skill with him, then he of course couldn’t grow and develop in this area. Literally as I am writing this, Ky, now fourteen months, just cried out from his sleep to let me know he needed to go to the toilet. I put him on the potty, he did wees and poos, then went straight back to sleep.
Subsequently, Ky ended up showing the "readiness signs" to be toilet trained because he recognised and practiced the skills first. It is documented that a baby in the first few weeks of their life will show us that they are ready to wee or poo (just like they let us know they are hungry), but because we are unaware of these signals, we ignore them and they eventually stop letting us know.
THE TOILET READINESS CHECKLIST
Pottytraining.com.au has a "Toilet Training Checklist - Is My Child Ready?" you can download for free to help you decide if your child is ready to begin toilet training. There are twelve items on the checklist to consider.
Ky was doing four out of the twelve items on the Toilet Readiness Checklist at five months, after just one month of practice on the potty. Now at fourteen months, he is doing nine of them. As he developed and practiced, he has gotten better at the skills involved. I strongly believe that it would be a very different story if I hadn’t introduced him to the potty first. The skills he would developed instead, would be to wee and poo in his nappy. Hence, in this case, the correct skills were practiced first, before any signs of readiness were there.
Ky, Marley-Rose, Sebastian and Tristyn all highlight that children can indeed can control their poo and wee before they are two years old. And there are many more stories from parents I am hearing that also back this up. This emphasises our motto - Toilet Train Your Child No Matter What Their Age.
We recommend you download the free Readiness Checklist and assess the individual needs and capabilities of your child. In addition to this, seriously look at the following two factors:
1. Your readiness to Toilet Train your Child
2. Further research into Early Toilet Training - I highly recommend the book "Early-Start Potty Training" by Dr Linda Sonna.
If you can tick any of the items on the checklist, then it is probably time to start toilet training your child. If your child is displaying none of the signals, then you can either:
1. Wait until they show some of the signs, or
2. Use products that make it fun for your child and encourages them to use the toilet / potty eg. Toilet Training Kits, Weeman, Wee Target, etc.
2. How long will it take to toilet train my child?
Every child is different, with different personalities, capabilities, learning skills, emotional intelligence and so forth. We as parents can be a major factor in how quickly our child learns this new skill. Our attitude, methods used, consistency, ability to understand and know our child, plays a big part. This was highlighted with one parent with twins, where one child was toilet trained quite early and the other was not responding to any methods used. Same methods, two different personalites. One child the methods worked according to their personality, but clashed with the other with no results. As parents it is a great advantage to know how to work with each of children with all their differences. What works for one, may not work for another.
With all these variables there is no set time frame to go by, nor should you impose one on your child. Just because one child does it quicker than another doesn’t mean they are any more intelligent either. For toddlers we recommend 3-5 days (more if possible) to start the process with intensity where you can be a home with minimal distractions, to focus on forming the new habit. With the right methods some children can pick this up in a matter of days, where others might take months. You just need to have patience to keep teaching your child until the habit is formed.
3. Can you recommend any resources to help me understand my child better?
There are some great resources around to help parents understand their children more effectively. By understanding the different personality types, and your child’s specific emotional needs, it can totally change the dynamics and harmony of a household. Not only that, you are able to give your child what they need most, in order to develop security and self-confidence. Toilet training can be so much more effective if you can talk your child’s language and understand the specific learning methods that work best for them.
Two great must-haves for your bookshelf are:
- Personality Plus for Parents by Florence Littauer
- The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell
If you know the personality of your child then you know why they do the things they do and how to bring out the best in them. By knowing your child’s “Love language” you can achieve greater insight into the emotional needs of your child.
In Personality Plus it goes through four personality types:
- Choleric – Strong willed, born leader, opinionated, extrovert
- Sanuine – Life of the party, lots of fun, strong social need, extrovert
- Melancholy – Thinker, genius prone, perfectionist, introvert
- Phlegmatic - Laid back, easy going, very obliging, introvert
The Five Love Languages that are:
- Physical Touch
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
Your child will usually have one predominant love language that they respond to over and above any other. By knowing this, you will be able to touch your child’s heart and fill their emotional needs more effectively than anything else.
When it comes to toilet training, if you have a child that is a “Choleric” personality type, the strong-willed, extroverted child it is sooooooo important to know how to work with this child in order to reduce the amount of head-butting that can potentially happen. In saying this though, this is probably the easiest personality to toilet train as they are very independent and will pretty much toilet train themselves. They tend to work things out by themselves as they believe they are always right anyway. Give them lots of choices – your choices, eg apple or banana, or they will try and take over every time. You need to give the effect that they have some form of control and all will be fine.
A Sanguine child loves having loads of fun. So, if you want them to cooperate to their full potential make it exciting. Toilet training needs to be a grandeur event, needs to bright and colourful, needs to capture their attention and keep it, otherwise they will lose interest very quickly. They love attention, and love people, so involve as many people as possible in the toilet training process, to let them know how special they are. Make them centre of attention and they will love it!
With a Melancholy personality, they are usually the geniuses of the world, as they are constantly thinking. When toilet training this child you need to supply them with information – lots of it. You know you have a Melancholy child by the barrage of “Why?” questions constantly thrown at you. A Melancholy child is usually afraid of change and needs a lot of information before embarking on a new thing. You need to explain to them what is happening, why this is happening, how it happens and what the desired end result will be. They are very cautious, and don’t like to attempt things unless they believe they can do it and do it perfectly, but with the right lead up, they will respond accordingly.
Last of all is the Phlegmatic. The sweetest of all personality types, and the most laid back. To toilet train a Phlegmatic you need to constantly guide them. They need to be told what to do, or they more often than not, won’t. Often they just couldn’t be bothered because they want to take the easy road. They don’t like work, because it is work. They are a compliant child and are the best at taking orders, they just may not follow through without help. You can’t wait for this child to be “ready” for toilet training or you will be waiting a long time.
Consequently, if you have a Choleric and give them orders like you would a Phlegmatic, then you are in for lots of trouble. If you take an information approach with a Sanguine, don’t expect them to listen for very long, and if go over the top and colourful with a Melancholy, they will probably freak out and never try. Know how your child ticks and you can tailor your methods to suit them and you will get the best results.
4. Is it easier to toilet train a baby / infant (under 12 months) or a toddler?
Having experienced both scenarios I would 100% recommend toilet training a baby over a toddler. Starting Ky at 4 months has been a rewarding and exciting journey. I didn’t think it was possible myself in the beginning, so it has been a great thrill to see that my baby can actually go to the toilet. Starting your baby on the potty becomes such a natural, gradual process. The common documented challenges that parents can face when toilet training an older child is avoided because your baby just doesn’t know any different. There is no hidden agenda, there is no bad habits to break, there is no force required due to a battle of wills, there is just doing wees and poos on the potty instead of the nappy. You are teaching your baby the right way from the beginning. That therefore is all they know. Subsequently, bowel control happened quickly with Ky (one month) where starting later can take a lot longer with added complications created. “Investigations of how children fare when training starts before eighteen months suggest that many progress more rapidly than children who start later.”3.
There are a myriad of problems associated with toilet training at a later date. From talking with parents, every single one of the challenges listed below came up. They were all trying to toilet train children over 2.
Some common problems include:
- Hiding when pooing. “Some research has suggested that more than 50% of children do this at least a few times. They may poo behind a sofa, inside a cupboard, out side in the garden or anywhere that they fell safe.”4
- Unable to go due to the stress and pressure involved with doing something different. “It is common for toddlers to relax and ‘let go’ as soon as they stand to walk away from the potty.”5
- Parent / child conflict due to a battle of wills, with an opposing mindset to yours.
- Refusing to sit on the toilet, because of fear of something new and different, which involves change.
- Only wanting to poo or wee in their nappy, because this is what they have always done.
Toilet training my 2.5 year old Mya, only turned positive once I started using the toilet training kit. Before that it was a frustrating experience. The main issue I faced was a battle of wills, but that was enough to hit a brick wall with nowhere to go.
Toilet training Ky has been easy in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, there is still work to be done. It is a lot easier to not think about it and let your child go in their nappy. Especially in the beginning, it is hard to keep up with a baby if you want to keep them dry. Ky urinated every 25 minutes. As he has grown and developed, so has his ability to hold on and identify the need to go. No battle of wills though, no stress or fears on his part, no pressure required, just a case of developing a new skill and the right habit from the beginning. His response rate has been quicker than a lot of documented training times for children started after 2 years old. As mentioned, bowel control in one month, and only five months to begin having dry nights. It appears he will have the bedwetting eradicated before total daytime control, whereby full communication is required. “Kawauchi found that when parents waited to begin potty training until the late toddler years, their youngsters took about fourteen months to achieve night time dryness. As many as 20 percent continued to wet the bed until age five, and hefty percentages continued throughout elementary school.”6 “Often, children are between three and four years of age before they are fully dry at nights. Some children still wet the bed at six or seven, even older.”7
If you would like some more information, an excellent resource that I used to potty train Ky is the book “Early-Start Potty Training” by Dr Linda Sonna. Find out the full facts and then make your decision from there. It covers all aspects from toilet training a baby to a toddler, all in the one book so you can compare the different techniques and methods required with the different age groups.
5. What are the benefits of having my child out of nappies earlier than later?
Hygiene, bladder health, comfort, finances, environment, self-esteem & accomplishment, just to start with a few, and you can avoid some of the common problems associated with toilet training later!
My sister’s twin boys were out of nappies by 18 months, and they were so proud of themselves. Don’t underestimate the effect of accomplishment in your child’s life, even at this early age. The opposite effect can be far worse for the untrained child, especially starting something like kindergarten with other children. This can be very stressful, especially with the added pressure of needing to be finished toilet training by a particular time. This can really erode a child’s confidence, with key problems such as low self-esteem, social rejection and behavioural problems occurring.8
By giving your child the ability to wear big girl/boy pants, just like Mummy and Daddy, enhances their self-esteem. That is very rewarding knowing you are growing your child’s confidence and independence. The result is positive all round: proud children and proud parents.
Hygiene and comfort for your child should be another key consideration. If we put ourselves in our child’s shoes, it must be very uncomfortable, not to mention the tell tale signs of nappy rash, etc that indicates my body is not liking this. There is also the extra bulk between their legs while trying to walk, as well as the essence of what the nappy does – keeps their waste nice and close to their body.
Finances can be a big factor to consider as well. A box of nappies would not last much more than 1 week for the boys (twins) so the money saved was noticeable. This is similar for parents with the scenario of a toddler still in nappies with a baby.
DO THE MATHS
With my sisters twin boys toilet trained by 18 months, that’s 185 days short of 2 years or 550 days short of 3 years, the “recommended” time to start toilet training. Imagine if they had waited an extra 550 days. This equates to:
- 6,600 extra nappies they would have used between them and dumped into our environment (conservatively at only 6 nappies each a day),
- $3,800 extra dollars spent on disposable nappies over this time frame and
- 13,200 extra hours they would have had to wee and poo on themselves
Scary numbers when you start to do the math. This is what my sister has saved by toilet training her twin boys earlier. And because she started a good habit early, they responded accordingly.
6. Should I use a potty or toilet insert to toilet train my child?
This is a preference thing whether to use a potty or go straight to the toilet using an insert. There are pros and cons to both, and it is up to you and your child to decide what is best for you both. Age can be a determining factor. I started with a potty with my 4 month old and went straight to the toilet insert for my 2.5 year old.
Mya was big enough and old enough by that stage to be fairly independent using the toilet and I did not see the point in double handling a potty, both for convenience and hygiene. If your child is comfortable on the toilet from the beginning, then this eliminates one extra step in training your child first on the potty and then needing to make the transition to the toilet. This also helps when your child needs to go to the toilet outside the home. Becoming familiar with using a toilet from the beginning makes using a public toilet all that more easier.
If your child shows concern with using a toilet because of fear, height, comfort, etc, then of course use a potty. Your child must be comfortable with the method used or it could result in uncooperative behaviour.
If you find your child has problems with bowel movements, and may be constipated, then a potty may be necessary so they can adequately push with their feet to help with the bowel movement. A footrest is recommended if using a toilet to support your child’s legs and provide the support required for pushing.10
Another key factor is independence. You want your child to be as independent as possible with eliminating, so if it means they can comfortably take themselves to the potty but not the toilet, than this should sway your decision. Your child may actually tell you their preference either verbally or in their actions ie. Heading for the toilet to wee.
I recommend using a potty for babies due to their size. Ky definitely felt more comfortable and secure on the potty as opposed to being perched so high off the ground on a toilet. If we used a public toilet then I had to place him on backwards resting against my chest, as he seemed to feel more secure this way. If I tried to place him facing forwards he would object and push himself off the seat. He can sit without support on a potty as well, helping with his independence. Now that he is 10 months I have started introducing the toilet purely to make him familiar with it and to help with public outings if I can’t always take the potty. He is now very comfortable sitting on the toilet using a toilet insert, but my preference is still the potty at this age. Decide what works best for you and your child.
7. Do you recommend using nappies or pull-ups when toilet training?
If you are serious with toilet training your child and want to go as quickly and effectively as possible, you need to lose the nappy – at least during waking hours. “Disposable diapers are not a good choice for potty training because they eliminate the sensation of wetness, which slows learning.”11 And yes, I’m afraid pull-ups are nappies trying to disguise themselves as underpants, but they are still nappies after all, with the same effect. By all means, use the pull-ups for night time training in the beginning, until you are ready to tackle the night time challenge with just underpants. They do provide a sense of being a big girl or boy because they appear different to nappies, but children aren’t silly. They still have that bulky, nappy feel between their legs, and because they take away the wetness, they have a detrimental effect on the toilet training process. You want your child to be able to identify with this.
Take you child shopping for their big boy / girl underpants and don’t look back. Your attitude plays a big part in all of this with how excited you act and sound.
If you still aren’t ready to ditch the nappy altogether, at least use a cloth nappy so your child can still identify with the wet sensation. There are some great designs available today that are modern and pin free.
I put Ky in training pants during waking hours and a nappy when he sleeps. For babies where they urinate quite frequently, use pilchers (protective plastic layer to contain wetness) to help avoid too many messes.
Once your child starts waking up dry, then lose the nappy altogether.
COMMON TOILET TRAINING CHALLENGES
1. My child only wees on the toilet, but refuses to poo. She only wants to poo in her nappy and often runs away and hides. Why is this happening and what can I do?
“One of the most common and frustrating toilet training roadblocks is when a child willingly pees on the potty but demands a diaper, or uses his pants, for bowel movements. Some children will actually hold their bowel movements and create severe constipation, which further complicates the issue.”9
Although this is common problem for parents, you may feel like you are the only one going through it at the time. There are a variety of reasons that can cause this to happen, and can often be the result of the bad habit established from pooing in a nappy for two or more years. This can cause things like:
- Only comfortable with the habit of pooing in a nappy and having the sensation of the poo squashed against their skin
- Not use to sitting down to poo as they have always done it standing up
- Believing the poo is part of them and they don’t want it flushed away.
- Constipation and the pain caused from this
- A past incident on the toilet that caused fear eg. water splashing up on their skin.9
If constipation wasn’t initially the cause, it often becomes the end result as your child is holding on to their poo to avoid the toilet. Subsequently, the first step is to treat the constipation. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and fibre rich foods is important, along with copious amounts of filtered water. See your doctor for any constipation issues you may be worried about and they may recommend more immediate action with constipation medicine. Natural laxatives such as pear juice can be a great alternative.
Once the constipation is under control, then you can start addressing some techniques to help curb these bad habits. If your child demands a nappy on to poo, then you can start by encouraging them to sit on the potty with the nappy on, and when they reach that milestone, then you could try cutting a hole in the nappy and get them to sit on the toilet this way. The essence is to help your child relax so that the sphincter muscles can also relax so your child can go.
One technique a parent found worked for them was to initially let their child run around without any pants on. Originally he was wanting to poo only in his nappy / pants. When he was naked, he responded by then pooing on the toilet instead.
2. My child was fully toilet trained but is now wetting his pants again. Why is this happening and what can I do about it?
It is not uncommon for a child to revert back to wetting themselves after being dry for a while. Toilet training is more of a process rather than a one-off event. Once your child first started walking proficiently, I am sure you didn’t have the expectation that they would never fall down again. The same goes for toilet training, but there are usually some tell-tale reasons why this is happening. Major changes in your child’s life can often cause a reversal in toilet training. This could be things like:
- Starting a new childcare / school
- New Baby
- Moving House
- Moving State / Country
- Death in the Family
Also look at whether any events in your life might be changing the amount of time you are spending with your child or how you are currently responding to your child’s needs physically and emotionally . Eg. New job, longer hours. As mentioned earlier, by knowing your child’s personality and love language this will give greater insight as to what may be going on in their mind. For example, if your child’s love language is “Quality Time” and you are spending less time with them due to work, then this could have more of an adverse effect then say moving house. By knowing the source of the problem then you can begin to fix it.
It is amazing how something simple like TV can be a cause of toileting accidents. Your child can become too absorbed in watching their favourite show and simply forget or become lazy and not want to move away.
With any situation where your child reverts back to soiling their pants, the best thing to do is go back to the basics. Do what you did in the beginning when you started on your toilet training journey. Use what worked before and repeat it again. Start implementing stickers or rewards to emphasise successes. Be astute in knowing your child’s routine and make sure they go regularly.
3. My child is refusing to go to the toilet, how can I encourage her to go?
Often when you start toilet training your child, you need to first break the old habit of going in their nappy before you can even think about starting a new one. One challenge with your child going to the toilet in their nappy for 2 years or so of their life is the loss of wetness sensation that a disposable nappy creates. Subsequently, your child needs to first identify what muscles to use and the actual sensation created when you need to go to the toilet.
Subsequently, a child’s refusal to go to the toilet can be based on a number of factors:
- They just don’t know they need to go
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of change
- Too comfortable in the old habit
The essence of toilet training your child is to get them to the toilet before they have an accident, so they can practice the correct way. This needs to happen often enough until they can identify the sensation of needing to go themselves. What you are creating is the desired habit formed through the right repetition.
Children respond well to fun. You need to give them a reason to want to do this new activity. Every human being is the same; you need to answer the question for them “What’s in it for me?” In order to encourage your child to go, you can do things like:
- Set a timer and play a game of racing to the toilet to see who gets there first. Know your child’s routine and explain the game to child first to invite participation.
- Use a tool like our Toilet Training Kits to give you and your child something fun to focus on other than going to the toilet. The versatile product and system can then be changed to suit your child’s personality and needs.
- Products like the Weeman and the Jonny-Light again give your child something fun to focus on outside of just using the toilet. These types of products often encourage children to go as well due to their uniqueness. The Bullet-Proof Boy Pack works extremely well for toilet train boys and contains the Weeman, Toilet Training Kit and Reward Chart.
- Some pottys entice children to go by playing music if they wee into it.
- There are children’s books available to help explain the process to your child to reduce the fear involved and introduce your child to the new method you are trying to achieve. This product would work well in particular for the information focussed child.
4. My child keeps stopping and starting. Sometimes he will go on the toilet and then he will have accidents or refuse to go. How can I keep him going consistently?
Consistency is the key to creating the habit. Having a child stop and start can cause frustrations for both the child and the parent, and can delay the toilet training process for months. As a parent you need to have an overall game plan for tackling toilet training worked out before you start, so that the process flows as smoothly as possible.
The Toilet Training Kits help with this key challenge parents face, by providing a system that creates consistency with your child as they are focused on the stickers and prize box rather than the actual task of going to the toilet. Parents also have a system that provides a beginning, middle and end, so they know what they need to do in order to help their child develop the habit.
By applying similar techniques described in Question 3. this can help avoid or reduce inconsistency as well.
5. How do I get my child to tell me she needs to go to the toilet before she has an accident?
Often your child will not even know they need to go to the toilet due to years of going to the toilet in their nappy, which takes the sensation away. To teach your child to identify the sensation and the correct muscles required to go to the toilet, involves getting them to the toilet successfully, often enough, so they can start to realise their body’s signals. By taking your child to the toilet before they need to go, you are showing them the correct habit they need to learn. Through repetition, they will eventually be able to identify the necessary sensation required to take themselves to the toilet.
6. My child has been toilet trained during the day for a year now but is still wetting the bed at nights. What do you recommend for bedwetting?
“Potty training is about daytime toilet habits. Nighttime dryness is a totally separate subject.” 12 In her book, Elizabeth Pantley then follows with the quote “Toilet training is accomplished when a child uses a potty chair or toilet for bladder and bowel functions during waking hours.” Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. Contemporary Pediatrics, 2004
Bedwetting can be a real challenge for parents: broken sleep, extra washing, worried for their child and so forth. Because of this, it is so important to guard your reactions toward your child. Lack of sleep at 2am in the morning can bring about bad attitudes and it is vitally important that you don’t say what you are feeling at this point. You need to put yourself in your child’s shoes. Noone wants to be wet and cold with broken sleep. Your child doesn’t want it either, so punishing them for something out of their control is insensitive and cruel, and can create all sorts of psychological problems. You need to be sensitive to your child’s feelings so as not to add to the problem and create any further stress or anxiety for your child.
Bedwetting is a common challenge that most children grow out of eventually. “Because almost half of all three year olds and up to 40 percent of four year olds wet the bed several times a week, it is considered normal behaviour at these ages. Additionally, 20 to 25 percent of five year olds and 10 to 15 percent of six year olds don’t stay dry every night.”13
“Even after staying dry at night for six months, about 25 percent of children regress at some point and go through a phase of wetting the bed.”14
“Bedwetting is also hereditary, so if one or both parents were bed wetters, a child has about an 80 percent chance of doing the same.”15
Subsequently, I hope these facts can help parents going through the bedwetting phase know that their child is normal and there is an end in sight. In saying this, there are ways to help reduce the stress factor for yourself and your child, as well as, helping the situation if motivation is a key reason for the bedwetting.
Reduce the amount of liquid around bedtime and make sure your child goes to the toilet just before going to bed. Twice if possible, before books and after books for example to totally drain the bladder. A night light made the biggest difference for my child. Your child needs to feel safe getting up in the middle of the night if they need to. Let them know you are there for them if they want help. Sometimes waking your child in the middle of the night can help avoid a wet bed though this doesn’t solve the challenge of your child becoming aware themselves that they need to go. Certain personalities don’t respond well to be woken either. A Johnny-Light (light in the toilet bowl) can also help motivate your child to get up and go. Using a reward chart worked for my child, but if motivation isn’t the challenge, and there are reasons beyond the physical control of your child then don’t use this method. It isn’t fair for your child. Definitely reinforce a dry night though by rewarding your child when it happens.
What I found what actually worked for my child, was reminding Mya before she went to bed, that if she needed to wee during the night, that her bladder needed to tell her brain to wake up so she could go to the toilet. After a stream of nights of broken sleep of her waking to go the toilet, I then decided to change the statement by adding “…but if you don’t need to wee, then you can sleep through and go in the morning when you wake up.” Guess what happened that night? She slept through and had a dry night. We cannot fathom the power of the brain and what happens when we put the subconscious to work. But the information needs to go into the conscious first.
You can also use products such as Bed pads to help reduce the work load with washing sheets. This product goes on top of the sheets and draws moisture away from your child without wetting the sheets. If possible, when you are ready, use underpants versus a nappy or pull-ups. The quicker your child can detect the wetness, the quicker they can stop. If they are never aware they are even wetting themselves because the nappy is taking the sensation away, then it can take a lot longer to effect dryness.
If you are worried about your child, see a doctor. “According to the National Kidney foundation, you only need to talk to a doctor about bed-wetting if your child is six to seven years of age or older or if there are other symptoms of a sleep disorder (such as restless sleep or snoring).”16
1. What age group do the Toilet Training Kits target and how do they work?
We recommend the use of the Toilet Training Kits for children from 14 months. Every child is different and will respond accordingly, but we recommend not underestimating your child’s capabilities. A younger, less developed child around 14 months would be expected to take longer with toilet training compared to that of an older 2 year old due to communication skills, understanding, etc., but this will not always be the case. For example, my sister’s twin boys only took 4 months in total, for night time as well. The sooner you start, the further ahead you will be in the long run, rather than having waited 6-12 months.
The Toilet Training Kits help as a guideline for parents to use with their children to take the focus off the chore at hand, “learning to go to the toilet”. The kits create a routine for your children to follow. This makes it a fun teambuilding adventure, to help teach your children all the steps involved with learning to use the toilet using positive products that really work.
2. What happens my child finishes the chart but still isn’t toilet trained?
If you find the chart and stickers is working well for your child and you just need some more time to establish the habit, then you can contact us via email, phone or fax to order a Supplimentary Kit for $9.95 + $2 p&h. This includes just the chart and stickers. Proof of original purchase is required and the same theme will be supplied. Extra sticker sheets are available for purchase for $3.95.
3. What do I use for my child who is under 12 months?
For children under 12 months we recommend the book Early-Start Potty Training by Dr Linda Sonna. This is a fantastic resource for every parent and covers the methods used to potty train all age groups, from birth to toddlers. By implementing the system and methods explained in the book, I was able to successfully start my son Ky on the potty at 4 months old.
If your child is closer to 12 months and you think they would respond to stickers and reward system for toilet training, we have a Complete Pack that includes the book, a toilet training kit and a reward chart. By purchasing these products in the Pack you receive 10% off. Every single one of our products was first used on our own children with 100% success.
4. What is a Reward Chart and how is it used?
A reward chart can be used for absolutely anything to help your child grow and develop. We use ours for helping our kids to do the things that could be a little more “challenging” for them to accomplish throughout the week. For example, tidy room, brushing teeth, using manners, eating their vegetables etc. We set a weekly goal with a few smaller interim ones to achieve as well. When the goals are reached they are rewarded. This takes the focus off “doing the chore” while making it fun and rewarding at the same time, teaching children independence, delayed gratification and establishing positive routines. Every household should have one. They are a write on - wipe off, magnetised chart, so they can be reused over and over each week. Also included are 100 stickers and a marker.
Our Reward Charts are unique in that you can catch your child doing something good with our “Extra Points” section. This allows you to reinforce the good behaviour you want repeated.
5. Can I fundraise with your products?
Yes. Our Reward Charts and Toilet Training Kits are available for your community or organisation to use as positive fundraising tools. We offer great incentives, and with up to 20 percent commission our products can positively help your organisation as well as your children.
6. What is pottytraining.com.au offering the community?
Our business is all about helping parents. As parents ourselves this is strong motivation to provide positive products to other parents. (Every little bit helps) Our goal is to provide parents with the best tools to help raise clean bottomed, well behaved children, by supplying high quality information and products.
7. Do you have any guarantees with your products?
Our Toilet Training Kits and Reward Charts have been proven to make a difference for all age groups. Because we cannot control how the products are used or more importantly, misused, our guarantee is that we will help you via phone or email. You are not sold a product and then left to figure it out by yourself. We openly welcome your feedback and suggestions. We totally believe in our products and systems, and know that they will make a difference with your child when used correctly.
8. How can I place an order?
To order any of our products or to obtain any further information can be done through www.pottytraining.com.au, fax, email or telephone. Go to our Contact Us page for further information.
- www.cyh.com.au: Parenting and Child Health – Health Topics – Toilet Training.
- Sonna, Dr Linda, Early-Start Potty Training (Sydney: McGraw Hill, 2005), p.32.
- Sonna, Dr Linda, Early-Start Potty Training (Sydney: McGraw Hill, 2005), p.109.
- www.cyh.com.au: Parenting and Child Health – Health Topics – Toilet Training.
- www.cyh.com.au: Parenting and Child Health – Health Topics – Toilet Training.
- Sonna, Dr Linda, Early-Start Potty Training (Sydney: McGraw Hill, 2005), p.45.
- www.raisingchildren.net.au; Articles – Toilet Training.
- Sonna, Dr Linda, Early-Start Potty Training (Sydney: McGraw Hill, 2005), p.29.
- Pantley, Elizabeth, The No-Cry Potty Training Solution (Sydney: McGraw-Hill, 2007), p.112.
- Pantley, Elizabeth, The No-Cry Potty Training Solution (Sydney: McGraw-Hill, 2007), p.55.
- Sonna, Dr Linda, Early-Start Potty Training (Sydney: McGraw Hill, 2005), p.50.
- Pantley, Elizabeth, The No-Cry Potty Training Solution (Sydney: McGraw-Hill, 2007), p.97.
- Pantley, Elizabeth, The No-Cry Potty Training Solution (Sydney: McGraw-Hill, 2007), p.98.
- Sonna, Dr Linda, Early-Start Potty Training (Sydney: McGraw Hill, 2005), p.155.
- Pantley, Elizabeth, The No-Cry Potty Training Solution (Sydney: McGraw-Hill, 2007), p.99.
- Pantley, Elizabeth, The No-Cry Potty Training Solution (Sydney: McGraw-Hill, 2007), p.103.