Toilet Mastery

Toilet mastery can be a frustrating time for parents and seem to go on for a long time. Do not despair. Some children take longer than others to use the potty. At birth it is the unconscious mind of a child that is working, absorbing information from their environment. As they approach three their conscious mind is awakening as they move from subconscious thought to conscious thought. If you begin trying to introduce the potty too soon before your toddler is physically ready, you will be asking something impossible of them and this will add to everyone’s anxiety. You cannot force a child to use the potty effectively and doing so will only add to a child’s defiance.

The phrase “POTTY TRAINING” is a misnomer. It isn’t really a matter of training; of making the child do something for you, or to obey you, but a matter of helping her do something for herself and therefore encouraging her independence. The end result will be that she will take autonomous charge of her own toileting: recognising her own full bladder or bowel and doing something socially acceptable about it, such as telling an adult or going to the toilet or to find her potty.

However early you start, your child is unlikely to be entirely reliable, even in the daytime, before the third year when conscious thought is well established. However late she seems to be acquiring control, rest assured that she will not set off for big school in nappies unless some neuro-physiological or emotional problem puts that beyond ordinary reach.

A child, who knows when she has performed even without yet knowing what is going to happen in advance, is not ready to use a potty but may be ready to meet one.

Here are some tips from us that might just help you during that phase of development in a child’s life:


Please feel free to discuss issues of toilet mastery with us at any time.