We are excited to help your child on their journey to independence and progress transitioning to toilet use! We have done an immense amount of researching and exploring The Montessori Method in regards to toilet training, and through our research and hands on bathroom experience the toilet training process outlined below is the way we choose to implement toileting in our school. It is important that both parents and their child are ready to begin this process, and understand that there are multiple important milestones throughout the process towards total independence within the restroom and consistent toilet use.
"Toilet training should be a journey in which we follow the child’s cues."
When teachers begin noticing multiple signs of toilet training readiness at school parents will be notified and expected to work with their child’s teachers to aid their child in success. If your child does not attend Little Sprouts Academy, don't fret, our toilet training signs of readiness are included below. Ideally children will be showing two or more signs before beginning the toilet training process. It is very important to remember that Toilet Training is a process. Children should be working on multiple skills throughout the process beyond using the toilet including dressing & undressing, sitting, coordination and washing their hands. Using the restroom should be a calm and un-rushed process as it provides a great opportunity for learning these skills and more. Children should not be rewarded or punished for toilet training.
WHEN TO BEGIN
1. You are ready and excited to start the toilet training process with your child.
2. Your child is excited and has shown interest in toilet training and signs of readiness. (see below)
3. You are dressing your child in clothing that will set them up for success. They cannot be dressed in onesies, rompers, overalls. etc. see the article on getting dressed to better understand why!
4. You are prepared to provide plenty of extra clothing, including shoes and socks.
5. You are willing to wash your child’s cot mat everyday.
6. You have read the guidelines below.
7. You are going to communicate with your child’s teacher on a daily basis about your child’s progress.
Signs that your child is ready to start the toilet training process may include:
1. Child is excited or showing interest in the toilet
2. Child is trying to rip off their diaper
3. Child tells you or indicates that they have to go “potty” either during or after the fact
4. Child is hiding when they are having a BM. Hiding shows that the child knows what they are doing.
5. Child’s diaper is dry for long periods of time.
ASK QUESTIONS- BUT SKIP THE "YES OR NO"
Children should have options but be weary of yes or no questions., because if you give them an option you have to follow through with their choice. For instance instead of saying ”Do you want to go to the bathroom.”say,” It is time to go to the bathroom.” Parents should only ask questions when giving their child choices to help them feel empowered, when they actually have a say. “Do you want to grab the wipes or diaper?” “ Do you want to hop or skip to the bathroom?”
PREPARING FOR TOILETING
1. STANDING UP DIAPER CHANGES
Standing up diaper changes start at school once children enter the Emergent Toddler Classroom, or when children are about 15 months old as it is when they are steady and can help to support their balance well. While the child is getting their diaper changed they should be holding on to something to stabilize themself such as your leg or a wall.
Once your child enters the Emergent Toddler Classroom they need to be dressed in clothing that they can successfully get on and off. They can no longer wear onesies, overalls, rompers, etc. and should be in tops and bottoms that can easily be pulled on and off with little to no teacher help.
3. PREPARED ENVIRONMENT
Just like with clothing it is importuning that the toileting environment allows for child independence. Children should have access to all items they may need such as underwear, wipes, the sink, soap, towels and of course the toilet. At Little Sprouts Academy we have child height toilets, and yes they are the cutest thing you have ever seen. At home children can use either a potty chair or a stool to access an adult sized toilet. In our home we use a child sized seat that is part of our regular potty for a clean aesthetic space saving option.
Starting as infants parents should be talking and explaining the entire process as it happens to their child. "I am going to take off your diaper now and wipe your privates because you pooped. The wipe is going to be cold but I will clean you up quickly so you can return to playing." There should be no negative language such as "wow its stinky in here" during diaper changes or in the bathroom as it can have a negative impact on a Child's feeling and progress in the toilet training process.
When your child is starting to toilet train they need to have the same routine every day. Instead of sending the child to the bathroom every 20/30 minutes they should be sent at the same times through out the day as much as possible. Example: before meals, after nap, before heading outside. At school as a general rule of thumb students go at those three times but you can check student reports or speak with their teachers to verify!
Children should be as involved as possible in the toileting process. They should be helping gather their needed supplies, undressing, wiping etc. The more involved they are the more successful they will be. Children want to feel involved and in control of the situation. Parents should be actively engaged in the process and help their child reach each toilet training milestone.
CONSISTENCY AT NAPTIME
Once your child starts wearing underwear there should be no diapers used, including during nap time. Using diapers and then underwear at different parts of the day is not consistent for the child and sends mixed signals. Once the child is awake have them go right away. This should be part of their consistent routine.
Nighttime is the exception to the rule. It takes children longer to be dry throughout the night. Typically children being dry 3/4 times in a week shows that they are ready to wear underwear at nighttime.
Once you have started putting your child in underwear you should avoid putting them back into diapers, even if they have little success at first. This is why it is very important to make sure they are ready when you begin the process. Most importantly don't get discouraged, and remember it is a process, not just a finish line you are working toward. You can always use your child’s teachers to help guide you through this new process.