Setting up the toileting environment for success

Is your child ready to start toilet training? Firstly, it is important to consider whether your child is physiologically, psychologically and emotionally ready to start toilet training. Our blog post “Toilet Training- Are You Both Ready?” may help you answer this question.

If you feel that you and your child are ready to take the next step, here are some ideas to help you set up the toilet environment so that it is a calm, relaxing and structured environment in order to encourage success.

Encourage independence

Ensure everything is set up in order to encourage independence within the room. Can your child reach the toilet paper? Can they push the button to flush? Can they reach the sink/tap to wash their hands? If they can’t reach, then using steps or moving items closer will encourage this independence and increase your child’s intrinsic motivation during toilet training.

Toilet stools and seat inserts

When toilet training your child, toilet stools and steps are essential. We strongly encourage having your child’s feet raised and hips flexed at or slightly above 90 degrees in order to naturally open their bowels and prevent your child’s need for straining during toilet time.

In addition to this, many children are afraid of being flushed down the toilet. By using a toilet seat insert it allows your child to sit comfortably and relaxed on the toilet without the fear of falling in.

Teaching boys to aim

When deciding whether to teach a boy to sit or stand when urinating it is important to consider whether they can distinguish between when they want to wee or poo? Do they have the coordination, focus and control to aim correctly?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to either of the questions than they are able to be taught standing up. Using ‘wee targets’ can help increase motivation and give the boys a visual to focus on when aiming.

Other strategies to reduce anxiety

For some children the idea of water splashing back up at them can be enough to increase their anxiety. However, by placing some toilet paper into the toilet bowl before your child goes can prevent the water from splashing back at them.

Also, ensuring the room is warm and visually appealing can help your child to relax and reduce some anxiety associated with toileting. You may also like to have 1-2 toys that are motivating for your child which remain in the toilet and can be used only during toileting.


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