Making the switcheroo from diapers to
the toilet is a big, albeit sometimes messy,
milestone for children and parents
alike. For toddlers, learning to use a
toilet is about being ready, controlling
muscles and getting acquainted with an
enormous porcelain artifact that makes
loud and unpredictable gurgling noises.
The toilet can appear to children as a
Helping your child,
but letting them lead
WRITTEN BY DOUG N. HORNER
powerful, portal-like device—many fear
getting flushed into oblivion.
As toddlers are learning to exercise
control, parents wrestle with a lack
of control. Petra Debow, a parent
educator with the Family Centre in
Lethbridge, suggests that patience sets
the foundation for a potty-positive
“Most children learn to use the toilet
between the ages of two and three,” says
Debow, adding that every child learns at
their own pace. Wait for your child to be
curious about the toilet and to be aware
they’re peeing or pooping.
Catherine Young—a nurse and mother
expecting her third child in February—
says her first two children’s education
It can take some time for many young children to get into the routine of using a toilet.