In the video below, Ms. Johanna, Lead Toddler Directress, explains how you can support your toddler for a successful toileting experience. Her guidance can be summed in three simple steps.
- Remove all obstacles -In the beginning, when your child is still working on making it to the bathroom on time, fewer clothes are preferable. Just a t-shirt and underwear is ideal. If your child needs to wear more clothes than that, stick with pants that have elastic waist bands. When we look at clothes, we want to make sure they are big enough for the child to quickly remove them when they have to go to the bathroom, and pull them up when they are done. Buttons, zippers, and snaps get in the way and can be learned later.
- Prepare the environment – The environment designed for the child’s independence is child size.
- Create routines – Routines will help you get around opposition. Children of this age are all about order. They want to know what to expect. So establishing a potty routine helps them feel secure in mastering this new skill. Many children wake up dry. Going to the bathroom right after waking up, increases your child’s chance to go on the potty. Other logical routines to build in are: Right before taking a bath, right before going to bed, before we go outside (or leave the house). It helps when you write down for a while what time of day your child urinates or has a bowel movements. This way you can easily detect patterns, and build a routine that is in congruent with your child’s elimination times. It is important to see the schedule as an aid to your child, to be matter of fact about these routines, and neutral about the outcome. Your job is to remove obstacles. The child’s work (of self formation) is to piece it all together!
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