Unit 5.10 Toilet learning

Through CT scans, researchers know a lot more about brain development now than just a few years ago. Researchers can now identify areas in our brain which are activated for certain tasks. So it is with toileting. However researchers have also learned that it takes about 24 months before this area can be consciously controlled by the brain.

To push a toddler or shout at her or him for not doing the right thing or shaming the child for soiling himself or herself is inappropriate and abusive.

A toddler will have signs of readiness for toilet learning such as:

  • Is dry for 2 or 3 hours or after a nap
  • Dislikes having a messy diaper
  • Can follow simple instructions
  • Shows physical clues when having a bowel movement (grunts and or squats)
  • Can pull pants up and down
  • Is able to wash hands with help
  • Can identify urine and bowel movements (pee and poo)
  • Tells caregiver/parent when they have had a bowel movement in the diaper
  • Bowel movements are regular and predictable
  • Is at a stage where they want to please and is not in a period of negativism