Toilet habits have always been a very emotive subject worldwide. When it's a life skill we all must learn, some may find it harder than others. We need to create positive language surrounding this subject, which will then reflect on our children and make it a positive experience.
Did you know? That 73% of parent's don't think there is enough advice when it comes to toilet training and feel there is not enough discussion around what are good and bad toilet habits.
Toilet habits for toddlers
It's so easy to make bathroom jokes and comment on what your toddler has done in the toilet. But jokes aside, this can intimidate them and make them feel embarrassed to ask for help if it’s needed. As parent's, we must remember that our children learn at different rates and some milestones may take a little longer than others. Every child is individual, and it can be too easy to make comparisons to others. Remember, you're not alone on this bathroom journey. It's like any life lesson.
We need to set a good example to our children and not shy away from talking about healthy toilet habits. Children are like little sponges and pick up on everything, even when you think they are not listening, and toilet habits are no exception!
Did you know? That 82% of parent's find it daunting when it comes to toilet training and they don't know where to begin.
Practising good toilet habits makes perfect
We all look at the bathroom as a private place. Let's face it, we do spend a lot of time using it in our lifetime, and to any adult this is just a daily task that we don't think twice about. To a child this can be a place where they feel insecure or worried, as it can be a lot for them to think about and can result in them being fearful of using the toilet independently.
Toilet visits should not be a race - we can all be guilty in our busy lives, asking our children to "hurry up and go for a wee!” But we need to try to encourage a relaxed approach as it could result in children not completing their business properly. Jumping off before they finish, not wiping clean or wiping incorrectly can cause unnecessary accidents and lead to poor hygiene.
We can make a change to this by taking a few simple steps to create a warm, fun, inviting and relaxed environment. Let's get talking about proper toilet habits and not make it such a taboo subject. This will help encourage our children, making it become a less embarrassing topic and make them feel safe. Let's try to see this through their eyes.
Let's face it, children have to stop playing or doing fun things to take time out for the toilet and it's not on their priority list, so let's make a few steps to make a difference and encourage them.
A few tips on developing healthy toilet habits
Sing a tune when they are using the toilet ..... Pull, Tear, Wipe Clean, Flush! All little ones love to sing, and this makes it fun, but most importantly, teaches them at the same time.
Use a trainer seat for those younger bottoms. This will help make them feel safe, sturdy and secure.
Make sure the toilet paper is within reach to keep them safe and encourage independent wiping.
Refrain from using strong chemicals in the bathroom; this can distract a child as they have great sense of smell.
Have a child friendly hand soap which will encourage hand washing, as hygiene is key.
Have a little distraction basket next to the toilet, to encourage a more relaxed environment and this will keep them on the toilet a little longer. Little books or even bubbles work a treat.