10 Montessori Potty Training Tips for Boys and Girls
Montessori potty training is a wonderful source to draw from in which the parent is actively involved in the process. It teaches toilet independence, so that your child learns responsibility for their bathroom routine.
Montessori believes that the sensitive period for toilet training begins around 12 to18-months-old.
You can take advantage of this time to start transitioning your toddler to potty independence so when they are ready to start, they are receptive and cooperative.
Montessori potty training teaches careful preparation of the environment which provides your child the freedom to do tasks independently. Toddlers love to learn new skills and want to do things for themselves.
Is Your Child Ready?
There are a few common signs your child may exhibit when they are ready to begin potty training but not all children are the same. Your child may only show a few of these signs, or your child may just be old enough but not interested in learning because it’s easier to have their diaper changed.
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If your child understands when they are eliminating or tells you when they need a diaper change, then they may be ready to start. If your child hides in different areas of the house or behind things to go poo, they are aware of their bodily functions and ready. Another sign is changing fewer diapers and them staying dry more often or for longer periods throughout the day.
Montessori says the sensitive period for potty training is around 12 and 18 months. This simply means that around that age your child will probably show an interest in the toilet and will begin to be aware of their own elimination.
How to Set up for Toilet Learning
You will want to set up a prepared environment for potty training before your child is ready to start learning to use the toilet on their own. This maybe at around 13-15 months This prepared environment should be child sized and set up in preparation of your child’s needs.
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Once you have your environment set up, you can start changing your child in the area in order to allow for more independence. This will help your child get a better understanding of pulling down their pants and putting them back up. You can set up a Montessori potty area in your bathroom and after every diaper change offer your child toilet time.
Potty Training Tips for Success
- Suggest your child uses the potty every time you change a diaper.
- When you set up the potty environment you can explain to your child what it's for, how to use it and allow them practice and explore when they want to. Be sure and show them where wet pants go and where the dry ones are kept.
- Start making using the potty a routine. Offer the potty before and after sleep times, before meals and outings you can ask them to use the potty. If your child refuses, don’t push and just explain you are there to help them when they are ready.
- Do not congratulate or offer a reward to your child if they use the potty successfully. This is a natural process, and they need to know this is what everyone does while learning to be independent. You can point out that they made peepee in the toilet and now its time to clean it up. You can teach your child to clean up after themselves once they start using the potty on a regular basis.
- Do not force your child to sit on the toilet, if they refuse. Potty training should be perceived as a pleasant experience for your child.
- Do not interrupt your child during play time, meals or when they are busy with an activity to use the potty. Wait for them to finish what they are doing before offering them a trip to the toilet.
- If you are able to be home a few days, have your child wear no underwear or pants. Having cloth on feels too much like a diaper to your child and may make it easy for them to just go in their pants.
- When your child is using the potty most of the time, they can begin to wear underpants again. These underpants should be easy to pull up and down. Some children may start going in their underpants, if they are not able to get them down.
- When your child masters the wearing of underpants it is time to start letting them wear regular pants and clothes. Again, these should be easy to pull up and down.
- If your child has an accident, you do not want to yell, scold or punish them for it. This is something you want to treat this nonchalantly by saying something like “I see that you are wet, and we need to change into dry clothes”. It is important to change into dry clothes as soon as possible so that your child gets used to the feeling of dryness, and is able to respond right away when wet.
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Montessori potty training should be a pleasant experience and it is important to remain calm, and patient during the process. These feelings will show your child you are supportive and will help them feel safe and comfortable during this transition. You've prepared the environment for their success and independence and its time to let them learn at their own pace.
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