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Guide to Preparing Your Child for Toilet Training

Toilet training is a significant milestone in a child’s development, and at Western Heights Montessori Academy, we understand its physical and psychological importance. As part of our commitment to fostering independence and holistic growth, we require children to be potty trained before they enter the Casa program. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you prepare your child for this exciting journey.

Understanding the Process

Toilet training is a journey of physical and psychological development for your child. Physically, their brain makes new connections, enabling them to control their sphincter muscles. Psychologically, they are learning to recognize sensations and understand what to do when using the toilet. 

How You Can Help:

  1. Confidence is Key: Believe in yourself and your child’s ability to learn this essential skill.
  2. Create a Plan: Break down the process into manageable steps to avoid being overwhelmed.
  3. Get the Right Supplies: Ensure you have all necessary items, including a potty seat or toilet seat, steps, and clothing.  See supplies section for more details.
  4. Prepare the Environment: Make sure your home environment is conducive to toilet learning.
  5. Choose Appropriate Clothing: Opt for machine-washable clothing and thin layers to make managing accidents easier.
  6. Patience and Consistency: Be patient and consistent in your approach. Consistency from adults helps children learn faster.
  7. Positive Reinforcement: Use calm, neutral tones and positive language to encourage your child.
  8. Acknowledge Efforts: Acknowledge your child’s attempts without resorting to rewards.
  9. Maintain Focus: Avoid entertaining your child on the toilet to help them concentrate.
  10. Keep It Clean: Clean the potty or toilet seat after each use to ensure it’s ready for next time.
  11. Stick with Cloth Underwear: Using cloth underwear to help children become aware of when they are wet or soiled, as disposable diapers can hinder this awareness.  Resist the temptation to revert to disposable diapers or pull-ups.
  12. Track Progress: Use a chart to record your child’s toilet visits and results, helping you understand their patterns better.

Sample Toilet Learning Schedule:

Offer toilet breaks consistently at home and school. Offer them at regular intervals, especially during key times like waking up, before and after meals, and before bedtime.  The most important of all is to stick to the schedule you established for at least a few days.  Try to avoid traveling outside of home during the weekend when you start potty training.  Avoid reverting back to diapers or pull-ups for car rides or evenings, as this may confuse the child during potty training.

Essential supplies:

Make sure you have all the necessary items to support your child’s toilet learning journey:

  • Bathroom Essentials: Potty seat or toilet seat, laundry basket, step stool, and a chair for changing clothes.
  • Home Supplies: Cleaning solution, waterproof covers for beds, and protection for non-washable surfaces.
  • Vehicle Kit: Travel potty, car seat protector, disposable wipes, extra clothing, and cleaning supplies.
  • School Requirements: Wet bags or plastic bags, indoor shoes, multiple sets of clothing (includes socks), and wipes.

Toilet training is a significant milestone that requires patience, consistency, and support from caregivers. By following these tips and maintaining a positive attitude, you can confidently help your child navigate this transition. Every child is unique, so be flexible and adapt your approach to suit their needs. At Western Heights Montessori Academy, we’re here to support you as your child reaches this critical developmental milestone.

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