Encourage the child who has noticed what they have done after the event. “Yes that’s Michael’s wee – he did it on the e floor. Maddie, are you telling me your nappy is uncomfortable? You did pooh. You want children to feel you welcome them telling you. If you make them feel bad or embarrassed they may avoid the signs that help them to develop control or have their self esteem damaged. Make the bathroom or potty area a bright and interesting place. Allow childfren to play with a clean potty or sit on it whenever they wish, An advantage of toilet training in child care is that they often wish to copy the other children.
Involving children in the parts of the toilet routine they can manage themselves ie pulling down their own pants, washing hands or flushing the toilet. Provide easily-removed clothes and encourage parents to do so as well. In warm weather, just wearing training pants is best. Being in pants helps toddlers become aware of being wet or soiled.
Once children have accomplished these tasks, they are able to care for their own toileting needs. There is usually no need for structures toileting routine or times when adults direct all children to go to the toilet. However, to support children’s independence, it is necessary to have have equipment that is easily accessible to the children and that allows them to act independently How?? Able to reach toilets, taps and towels, easy clothing,enough toilets to seat several children at once time.
Accidents are normal and need to be dealt with in a matter-of-fact way. Caregivers should try to help families tp see it this way. This is an issue that needs to be discussed with new families when they are being intorduced to the group setting.
In cultures where infants are carried close to an adult’s body, sleep with parents or if washing soiled clothing is a problem, people have developed other ways of handling elimination. A common practice is “holding out”. This refers to the practice of removing an infant’s clothing and holding him or her away from the caregiver’s body or over a potty at the appropriate time. This practice is only effective if caregivers are in close physical contact with the infant at the time i.e. cultures that carry infants on their backs. These caregivers b4ecome sensitive to the infant’s elimination pattern and the cues they use to indicate they are about to empty their bladder or bowel. In the Artic North America, traditional Inuit mothers do this as there is a real danger to infants if their urine freezes in their clothes This used to be common in many Australian , European and Asian families. “Holding out” does not assist the child to become independent. The caregiver becomes trained to watch and catch what the child produces and the child is mostly oblivious to the process The practice of “holding out” has strongly influenced many attitudes to toilet training. Beliefs about lack of control being dirty or bad, result in parents being faced with emotive and stressful situations. Parents who understand the developmental issues involved in the process may be pressured or criticised by grandparents or other people for seemingly lax attitudes to their responsibilities. Caregivers can help by supporting parents.
Provide Care for Children
CHC30712 Certificate 111 in
Care for Toddlers’ Toileting
To become independent in toileting, children
must be developmentally ready both physically
They can be ready any time from 18 months to
4 years and there is always at least one Mum
who will boast that her child was toilet trained
Signs of Independence
Recognise and communicate the need to go
Walk to toilet or potty
Undress to some extent and then manage
This is a HUGE task!
Process of control involves learning to
recognise the feeling of wanting to go
Also requires some control of muscles that
govern the opening and closing of the anus
and urethra (sphincters)
This is a maturational process and until
particular nerve pathways have developed,
control is not possible
Usually girls will learn control earlier than boys
This may be because girls have fewer muscles
involved in bladder and bowel control than boys
Some children are mature enough to achieve full
control by 2 years, some by 3 or beyond
Caregivers should expect uneven development as
maintenance of control is vulnerable to illness,
emotional disturbance and changes in routine.
Signs of Readiness for
Child indicates an understanding of wet and dry
Longer intervals between wet nappies – when you
change the nappy it is completely dry or suddenly
absolutely soaked through
Being regular with bowel motions i.e. after breakfast
Showing increased interest in passing urine or a
Wanting to copy other children
Toilet readiness cont’d
Can pull own pants up and down
Makes a physical demonstration when having
a bowel movement i.e. squatting down,
grunting, telling you
Has words for stool and urine
Can follow simple instructions
Toilet readiness cont’d
Understands the physical signals that mean he
has to go and can tell you
Demonstrates a desire for independence
Can walk and sit down
A realisation that he/she can have some
control over elimination
Assisting children with
QIAS documentation states
Toileting and nappy changing
are positive experiences.
There is a positive approach
to toddlers’ abilities in toileting
Assisting children with
Caregivers can ensure that it is a positive experience
for toddlers by:
– Following where possible, the toileting
learning practices that the child is familiar
with at home
– Giving recognition, positive responses and
– Use words parents use at home or correct
terms and describe what is happening.
Showing interest in what is happening
Never show disgust or treat what child is doing as
Encourage the child who has noticed what they have
done after the event
Make the bathroom or potty area a bright and
interesting place. Allow children to play with a clean
potty or sit on it whenever they wish
Involving children in the parts of the toilet
routine they can manage themselves ie pulling
down their own pants, washing hands or
flushing the toilet.
Provide easily-removed clothes and encourage
parents to do so as well. In warm weather, just
wearing training pants is best
Never hurry or put pressure on a child. Your
role is to help but it is the child who controls
Showing interest and recognisng the child’s
pride in what they produce. Discourage
handling faeces but accept that exploring is
natural and common. Do not over-react
Make sure that the potty, potty chair or toilet
seat is comfortable, stable and safe. Secure
steps or hand rails may be needed for adultsized toilets
Have regular toilet
times to remind
children they need to
go and to give
learners the role
model of other
children using the
Nurse with children – their toilet outine. UNRRA
Children's Center, Aglasterhausen, Germany, 1945
Accidents will happen..
In learning bladder and bowel control there can be setbacks. If
the child becomes stressed or ill, it may be possible, with the
parents’ permission to go back to nappies
Help the child to understand why he/she has lost control and
be very aware of maintaining his/her self-esteem.
Nappies should never be used as a threat or a punishment.
Even adults have accidents and some people with disabilities
never have control.
Older children who have accidents
will feel better about cleaning up after
themselves. Encourage their efforts.
Attitudes to toilet learning
Attitudes to elimination, body wastes and parts of the
body are complex, emotive and varied. In assisting
children develop awareness and competence in
managing their needs, it is important to be open and
honest when giving them information.
On the other hand, you should be sensitive and
aware of differing family and cultural beliefs about
Responding to toileting
By 3 years of age, many children will have
achieved independence in toileting and be
Verbalise toileting needs
Control both the bladder and bowels during the day
without many accidents
Pull pants and underpants up and down, but will still
need help with buttons and other fasteners
Wash hands but need supervision with drying
Some children may still need extra support with
Caregiver’s role is to provide encouragement and
sometimes gentle reminders
Avoid drawing attention to toileting accidents – can
make children embarrassed, pressured or ashamed.
Accidents are normal and need to be dealt with in a
sensitive and matter-of-fact way. Try to help families
Keep spare clothes handy and ask parents to send
extra clothes if necessary.
Most toileting accidents commonly occur during rest
Remaining dry while sleeping is a skill some children
may still be mastering
Quietly reassure child that accidents happen and that
it is all right.
Be sensitive to the fact that some children will not only
be disappointed with themselves, but ,ay be
concerned with others’ reactions.
Try to be discreet and provide child with privacy to
Families and cultural groups have differing beliefs and
expectations about how and when bowel and bladder control is
Some leave children to develop at their own pace, but
environmental conditions make this impractical some places.
In hot climates and for people who spend most of the time
outdoors, when and where children eliminate is usually not a
problem. Adults and children often relieve themselves in the
open, providing a role model for children to become aware and
Cultural Differences cont’d
“Holding out” does not assist the child to become independent.
The caregiver becomes trained to watch and catch what the
child produces and the child is mostly oblivious to the process
The practice of “holding out” has strongly influenced many
attitudes to toilet training.
Beliefs about lack of control being dirty or bad, result in
parents being faced with emotive and stressful situations
Caregivers can help by supporting parents
Find out as much as you can about different
approaches to toilet training. Talk to parents or
experienced caregivers or read about it online
or in books recommended for this unit.
See handout sheet with suggested websites