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Tis the Season for Potty Training!

| Montessori Admin |

Seeks privacy when going in diaper Shows interest in using the toilet – may want to put paper in and flush (even if they haven’t been able to “go”) Shows curiosity at other people’s toilet habits Has decided he/she wants to use the toilet Not afraid of the toilet Wants to wear underpants and use the toilet

What is the best way to approach toilet training?

Be matter-of-fact

Avoid the power struggle

Overlook failures

Avoid pressure or punishment

Don’t lecture

Avoid constant reminders


Avoid extreme excitement or anger

How do and I start and when is the right time?

Start slow at child’s first interest

Allow child in the bathroom with you or siblings when you use the toilet

Start with simple things like:


Practicing flushing

Change diapers in the bathroom

Change diapers standing up (when possible)

Are there times I should avoid Toilet Learning?

Any major changes in the child’s life:

New sibling, new school, new house

Switching from crib to bed

Weaning of bottles or pacifiers

Major illnesses

Sleep deprived

Any other stressful situations

What should I do when my child has an accident?

Accidents WILL happen….but it’s okay, its a learning process.

The time line will be different with all children. For some it will happen quickly and for others it will take more time.

Some children wet the bed up until 8 years old, this is normal and no cause for concern.



Allow children to change their own clothing with minimal help when they have an accident.

What are the best diapers to use during the Toilet Learning process?

Once your child has begun the process of using the toilet and has been introduced to cloth underwear it is important that you don’t go back to disposable diapers except at bed time.  Pull-ups are a glorified diaper and because they look and feel to the child like a diaper they prevent a child from adjusting sensorially to underwear.

How should I reward my child when they are successful using the toilet?

If a child gets a reward for doing something that is a normal part of development, it can lead to a child expecting a reward for any accomplishment.  Sometimes, rewards put undo pressure on the child and cause anxiety.  It is beneficial for children to learn to follow their internal instincts, reach  milestones individually and at the appropriate and normal stage in their development, and learn early to appreciate the intrinsic value of accomplishments.

What if my child is afraid?

Fear is a normal reaction for children when it comes to Toilet Learning.  It is important to address fears before beginning Toilet Learning.

When you do decide its time to start the process its important to make sure that all of the child’s care givers are on the same page.  The routine should be consistent for the child no matter who is caring for them.  Send your child with a lot of extra clothing when they are with a care giver.  Also, be sure that your child is dressed in clothes that they can get on and off themselves.  (Avoid belts, too many layers, etc.)


BE PATIENT! BE CALM! FOLLOW THE CHILD! ALLOW THE PROCESS! RELAX!!!Thank you to Alia Boyle Hovius for gathering and sharing this information.