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A friend suggested to me a while back that an article on toilet training could come in handy.
I’ll admit I was a little uncertain about where to start as this was not an area I'd really had experience in, but, I was keen to learn more about it all the same.
So, I had a look into the research that was available and this is what I found…
Toilet training methods seem to have changed over the years (away from an approach where the parent determines when it should start based on convenience, to the modern approach where the parent looks for clues that the child has indicated they are interested in being toilet trained and goes from there).
Although toilet training is a practice all parents must go through at some stage, there doesn’t appear to be much research around about the best methods for toilet training children (other than for children who have physical or psychological disabilities).
Of the studies that are available, most were conducted before 1980!
In saying that, there do appear to many guidelines and recommendations around from various health centres and services, most of which seem to be reasonable and appropriate.
From the research that is available (note though, it could be a bit old school), there are some interesting findings based on the different methods available.
The most well-known methods include:
Azrin and Fox
A fairly rigid and intensive type approach. Possibly the most effective in achieving the fastest results, but not necessarily the kindest approach (click here for more info).
Otherwise known as using rewards and punishments for appropriate or inappropriate toileting behaviour.
One concern with this approach is that reprimands for accidents could lead to anxious or avoidant behaviours related to using the toilet (click here for more info).
This is probably the kindest approach, which begins when both the child and parent voluntarily enter in toilet training as a natural progression led by the child indicating they want to start using the toilet (click here for more info).
Assisted Infant Toilet Training
This method is worth mentioning just from the point of view that it is interesting (plus you may have seen a few video’s floating around facebook that mention it). This method starts from when the baby is a few weeks old and involves the parents needing to identify when the baby is going to the toilet, so that they can place them on the toilet and make a noise such as a grunt or whistle, that the child then begins to associate with toileting (click here for more info).
Regardless of the approach you choose to use, there are a few tips that may help make the transition from nappies to potty a little smoother:
A couple of strategies that may also help prepare your child (or help you deal with the process include):
Regardless of the method for toilet training and any supporting strategies you may choose to use, the most important thing to remember is to use which ever method you feel most comfortable with, and the one that works best for you and your child!
Which strategy worked for you? Let us know in the comments below!
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