The time to bid farewell to nappies is slowly approaching – but don’t force it.
How many nappies have you changed by now? A thousand? Fifteen hundred? And instead of getting easier, it’s more and more of a challenge. Depending on your child’s temperament, nappy changing can become a battleground. But before 12 months, it’s still too early to be thinking of potty training. Even if your child loves using a potty, any successes will be flukes. This is because they must first learn to control their bladder and sphincter muscles – something that is virtually impossible before their second year of life at the earliest.
Many children reach this stage at 12 to 18 months, but for most it’s a bit later. When the time comes, your child will let you know in their own way that they are no longer comfortable in a nappy. They might screw up their face, walk with their legs apart, cry or even tell you in words. It's all their way of saying: “I want to be clean and dry now”.
How quickly and effectively this is achieved depends largely on you. For what your child needs now is a lot of praise and role models to copy when they go to the toilet, who can help them pull their clothes up and down. There is no need for any special toilet training – letting your child take the initiative is what is important. All else will follow in time.