Toilet training your toddler is one of the most bittersweet moments of parenthood. On the one hand you relish their newfound independence and getting rid of the expensive and wasteful disposable nappies, but on the other hand, it can be a long and difficult journey that requires the patience of a saint to get through. However worrying the thought might be that your little one is growing up and becoming more self-sufficient as the months go on, it’s still a huge milestone that should be celebrated.
The discussion about toilet training is always a topic of contention among parents, with lots of myths being thrown around that can turn even the most self-assured mum away from giving it a try. We’ve uncovered some of the most popular myths surrounding this newfound toilet time, and what the real truth is, so you can feel more confident about starting the training process.
Myth #1: You Have to Begin Toilet Training By Age Two
No matter what age you decide to start toilet training your child, be prepared to hear a few unwanted opinions. People will think you started too late and made things hard, or started too early before your child was ready. Although many people subscribe to the thinking that age two is suitable for when toilet training should start, the truth is that every child is different.
The “age two” milestone might be exactly when your child is ready, with some showing signs that they’re ready earlier and others not being quite confident enough. However, keep in mind that by the age of three, only 40 – 60% of toddlers are actually toilet trained so you shouldn’t feel left behind if you’re not there yet.
Myth #2: Boys are Harder to Train than Girls
It’s generally believed that teaching little boys to use the toilet is a tougher feat than girls; however, some experts say the opposite is true. Regardless of your child’s gender, you are still going to have to commit hours to the cause and work with them at their own pace to achieve this amazing milestone.
One thing has been proven, though, and that is little boys respond better to direct instructions whereas girls use social cues such as facial expressions and talking when learning to use the toilet. You might need to adjust your approach for each child, but eventually, you’ll find something that works.
Myth #3: Training Pants Will Help
They’re one of the most mass marketed products for toddlers, and they’ve fooled many parents into thinking they’re a necessity for toilet training time. While it may make it easier to pull them down for the toilet rather than undoing a disposable nappy, they don’t actually have any benefits to the learning process.
When a child is old enough to tell you they need to go to the toilet and thus pull off their training pants, they’re usually old enough to wear underwear. So you can skip the expensive training pants if you wish and put your faith in undies.
Myth #4: Daycare Can Teach them to Use the Toilet
While it’s true that our children learn invaluable lessons and get great support at daycare, this doesn’t mean the carers should be teaching our child everything they need to know. Daycares are excellent for helping children with toilet training, but the training needs to continue at home for it to ever be effective.
Some daycares will have policies in place about toilet training and at what level your child will need to be. Others have scheduled toilet breaks which don’t always work for an individual child. For this reason, toilet training should be done at home where your child feels most comfortable and then supplemented by whatever is taught at daycare.
Be Dedicated to the Journey
As a mother, you already know that most parts of this parenting gig don’t come easy, and sadly toilet training your child is one of those. You need to be prepared to put in the hard yards and remain consistent with your methods to get results. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, so you should find what works for you and your toddler and stick with it.
Most parents are learning as they go, so don’t expect that toilet training is one of those things you’ll perfect at from the first try. For more advice from pregnancy and right through to early childhood years, click here to read the rest of the Peachymama blog. You may find a new way of looking at things which can be beneficial to your family, and learn tips and tricks to help along the way.