Hardly heralded as a crowning achievement for a proud parent is when your toddler makes his or her first “legal” splash or drop at the toilet. Moments like these are not often on the family camera, and are hardly ever posted on Facebook. Being what it is though, it deserves more accolades than it receives, as proper toilet training is quite the milestone - not so much in Filipino culture, as we tend to favor constant care over early independence - but the new generation of parents are more keen on self-reliant attitudes developing in early childhood.
Just as most key signs of progress manifest, there are some indicators for potty readiness in children as young as 18 months, although this can extend up to a child’s third birthday. If you notice his or her diapers are less full, it’s high time to observe. Can your child stay dry for two hours? If such is the case, observe your child’s behavioral patterns. Pivotal ones include:
1.Curiosity about underwear. Questions while strolling through a department store are typical. “Kuya has Spiderman briefs, can I try Sponge Bob briefs?”
2.Predictable bowel movements. Not on the dot, but you may notice good patterns and regularities.
3.Curiosity about the toilet. Watching you use it and asking questions or pointing at things.
But take note that these signs are not exact science. A child, ever inquisitive, may just be on the verge of exploring a new thing, and then move on to another chapter of miscellany. It also may be a phase. Ask yourself the following:
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1.Can my child communicate his needs effectively? This is especially useful when teaching a child when to say he or she wants to use the toilet.
2.Can your child understand, follow and commit to instruction?
3.Can your child pull his or her pants/diapers down and pull them up again?
4.Are you urging your child to begin toilet training without the signs listed above? Unless your young child is four and still unwilling, it’s time to set some serious measures, or consult help. There could be an underlying issue.