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In the Classroom: The Moonbeams

Toilet Learning When Ready

No matter what we might try, toilet learning only begins when a child is ready. But, how do we know when they are ready?
 
Children will let us know when they are ready by having a dry diaper longer, telling us they are wet or have had a bowel movement, and expressing a desire to use the toilet.
 
As important, is that children physically have muscle control. While pediatricians have indicated that the ideal window for teaching children to use the toilet is around 27 months, we know that each child is unique.
 
Observing your child is key.
Is your child interested in the toilet or using the potty? Does your child talk about the toilet? Does your child want to sit on the toilet? These may be an indication that it is time to talk about using the potty and a great time to start talking with your child's teachers.
 
When starting toilet training, parents and teachers have to be on the same page. It is important they work together so that learning at home will be supported at school, and what teachers see in the classroom is shared with families. Working together, parents and teachers can develop a strategy that will work for each child.
 
Loose fitting clothes, preferable pants with elastic waists are helpful for a child just learning to use the toilet. A child should be able to undress enough to sit on the toilet. But, we know that accidents will happen. They are treated as mistakes, without punishment or blame. 
 
The entire process should be a positive one, where teachers and parents take time to engage in individual conversation with the child. Children should be introduced to words or consistent gestures to indicate the need to go to the bathroom. Through discussion, children will begin to take control over their own needs, while feeling supported by a caring adult.
 
Remember, toilet learning can be a positive development experience with patience, understanding and communication.  
 
P.S. Let’s not forget hand washing!!
 
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