The process of toilet training may be considered the most challenging process that parents encounter with their child during the early stages of his or life. Toilet training can be described as an individualized developmental process that all children will progress at their own developmental pace and temperament, not the child’s chronological age. Toilet training should be a natural result of the child’s developmental readiness.
Therefore the primary goal can only be achieved when the child is ready and willing. Just like any learning process for a child, including toilet training, it effects the development of the whole child and it is important that the child has the necessary physical, social, emotional, and cognitive skills to begin. The signs of readiness are crucial during toilet training because in order for the training to be most successful a child should gain a sense of independence and self-confidence. There are common signs of readiness that will allow parents to become aware when their child is ready to begin toilet training. These include that the child can:
- Imitate his or her parents’ behavior
- Put things where they belong
- Demonstrate independence by saying “no”
- Express interest in toilet training
- Walk and is ready to sit still for multiple minutes at a time
- Communicate his or her need to eliminate (urinate/defecate) and
- Pull clothes up and down by his or her self (Pediatrics 1999).
All of these signals are just the beginning to recognizing that a child may be prepared for using the toilet. There are additional, more complex signs of development that help support the process of toilet training as well. The first, early step is physiological readiness meaning that the child is aware of the need .
- Fleisher MD, David R. “Understanding Toilet Training Difficulties.” Pedatrics (2004). Web. 24 June 2011.
- Kinservik, Margo A., and Margaret M. Friedhoff. “Control Issues In Toilet Training.” Pediatric Nursing 26.3 (2000): 267. Web. 24 June 2011.
- “Toilet Training Guidelines: Clinicians- The Role of the Clinician in Toilet Training.” Pedatrics 103.6 (1999). Web. 24 June 2011.
- “Toilet Training Guidelines: Day Care Providers- The Role of the Day Care Provider in Toilet Training.” Pedatrics 103.6 (1999). Web. 24 June 2011.
- Wolraich, Mark, and Sherill Tippins. American Academy of Pediatrics Guide to Toilet Training. New York: Bantam, 2003.
- Zweiback, Meg. Keys to Toilet Training. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, 2009.