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Toilet Training Cheat Sheet by

What is Toilet Training?

Toilet training is the prepar­ation and education of using the toilet.
A child is toilet trained when they can walk to the toilet, pull down their pants, void or pass stool, and pull up their pants without any cueing.

Key Markers of Toilet Training Readiness

1. Child is dry for more than 2 hours.
2. Wakes up from a nap dry.
3. Being aware of the urge to void or stool.
4. Can commun­icate they need to go.

Mental Readiness

Recognizes urge
Can commun­icate the need to go
Can imitate desired behavior

Motor Skills for TT

Hand–finger coordi­nation
Turns doorknobs
Able to undress and redress self

Psycho­logic Readiness

Wants to please parent.
Able to sit for 5 to 8 minutes.
Curious about adults toilet habits.

Parental Readiness

Can recognize child's readiness.
Has time to teach child.
Family stressors are absent.


Child who was once toilet trained goes back to not using the toilet.
Disease Process
Pushed too fast
New Sibling
New caregiver

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Cater to individual needs. (Stimulus, language, cognitive ability)
May start TT later.
Don't ask. Tell.
Make a visual schedule.
6 potty trips a day.
Reward for desired behavior.

Practice Question

A mother complains to the clinic nurse that her 2 ½-year-old son is not yet toilet trained. She is partic­ularly concerned that, although he reliably uses the potty seat for bowel movements, he isn’t able to hold his urine for long periods. Which of the following statements by the nurse is correct?
A. The child should have been trained by age 2 and may have a psycho­logical problem that is respon­sible for his “accid­ents.”

B. Bladder control is usually achieved before bowel control. and the child should be required to sit on the potty seat until he passes urine.
C. Bowel control is usually achieved before bladder control. and the average age for completion of toilet training varies widely from 24 to 36 months.
D. The child should be told “no” each time he wets so that he learns the behavior is unacce­ptable.

Potty Chair

18 months Stages in TT

Begin teaching words related to toilet training. (Pee, poop, potty, etc.)
Explain that everyone poops!
Do not negatively reinforce voids and bowel movement by saying “yucky” or “gross”
Teach them to come to you when wet or soiled and keep there diaper dry so that it becomes preferred to them.

21 months Stages in TT

Teach what the potty is for.
Portray using the toilet as a privilege.
Introduce the potty chair. Allow them to do fun activities like snacks and games on the chair.
Bring them to the bathroom with you.

24 Months Stages in TT

Incorp­orate videos and books related to toilet training.
Introduce a doll or stuffed animal that the child can teach how to use the potty.
Introduce underwear instead of diapers.

Cultural Consid­eration

In China, children are diapered during infancy. Once they are walking, they wear loose pants with a long slit between the legs, and they eliminate on the ground.
This practice may continue until the child is 5 years old.

Practice Question

A clinic nurse provides inform­ation to the mother of a toddler regarding toilet training. Which statement by the mother indicates a need for further inform­ation regarding toilet training?
A. "­Bladder control usually is achieved before bowel contro­l."
B. "The child should not be force to sit on the potty for long period­s."
C. "The ability of the child to remove clothing is a sign of physical readin­ess."
D. "The child will not be ready to toilet train until the age of 18 to 24 months."


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