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Toileting is one of the important skills in our life. As an Occupational Therapist, I had listened to many sharing from parents on their struggles in executing toilet training. One of the common questions that I received is "is my child is ready?". Well, that is a good question!

Before we could start the toilet training, it is important to check on our child's readiness.

Signs of toilet readiness:

  • When the child at age of 2 years old and above.

  • Able to aware of the difference between being wet and being dry.

  • The child remains dry for 1-2 Hours, indicating physical readiness.

  • Regular bowel and bladder control patterns.

  • Showed urge to go toilet with "pee dance".

  • Able to follow simple instructions.

  • Able to indicate discomfort and wants.

These signs of toilet readiness could provide us with much information about our child, especially their sensory processing and their pelvic muscles condition. However, we should understand that every child could have different challenges. Parents are recommended to communicate with the Occupational Therapist and physician for further assistance.

Besides our child's readiness, parents also should be prepared for the long term training. Let's see we are ready or not:

  • The time commitment in conducting toilet training.

  • Aware and be prepared for multiple accidents throughout the training.

  • No major transition is happening.

  • Communicate and collaborate with important people in the child’s life.

Now, when both are ready, it is time to START the training! There are many strategies that we could explore in helping our children to have successful toilet training.

  1. Prepare the child with the ideas of toileting by using different materials such as storybooks, apps, video songs and others.

  2. Set up the toilet environment to facilitate independence such as toilet paper, soap and hand towels are convenient to reach.

  3. Set up toilet routines (daily schedule) to help the child to practice the skills consistently and to help parents to understand the child's toileting patterns.

  4. Visual supports such as "first and then", toileting sequence in the form of pictures and others.

  5. Low-cost activity rewards such as playdough, slime, bubbles and others.

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