Why do it?
- Sometime between 18 months and 4 years of age, a child will start showing signs they’re ready to learn to use a potty or toilet.
- Toilet learning will happen more easily if you wait until you see any of these readiness signs:
- being dry for an hour or two
- an interest in watching others go to the toilet
- talking about toileting
- knowing when they need to go
- knowing how to hold on.
- Connections between a young child’s brain, bladder and bowel need to be made before they can learn to use the toilet independently. Trying to hurry the process before the child is mature enough may be a waste of time.
How to do it
- Wait until the warmer weather. Summer clothes are easier to get on and off, and doing any extra laundry is easier in dry weather.
- Toilet learning is best tried when a family is settled and there are no big changes planned, or dramas going on in their lives.
- Let your child play ‘sitting on the potty’ with or without clothes on. Teddy and other toys can ‘practise’ too.
- Use the correct language. They will benefit from having the words they’ll need for naming their body parts and what they do.
- Watch your child for signs they need to go to the toilet.
- Praise efforts and achievements.
- Expect accidents.
- Stay relaxed and avoid shaming them as this can have a negative effect on the child’s learning and self-esteem.
Using more te reo Māori
|Te reo Māori||English|
|Wharepaku wharepaku Toilet, lavatory, convenience, latrine, loo, bog Maori | Noun||Toilet|
|Pae hamuti pae hamuti Toilet seat Maori |||Toilet seat|
|Mimi mimi Urine, pee, piss Maori | Noun||Wee|
|Tūtae tūtae Dung, excrement, shit, faeces, poo, droppings, stools. Maori | Noun||Poo|
|Whēru whēru Toilet paper Maori | Noun||Toilet paper|
|Pō mimi pō mimi Potty, chamber pot Maori | Noun||Potty|
|Kope kope Nappy, diaper, pad (traditionally made of soft mosses), sanitary pad Maori | Noun||Nappy|
|Tarau roto tarau roto Underpants, briefs, panties, knickers Maori | Noun||Undies|
|Tarau poto tarau poto Short trousers, shorts Maori | Noun||Shorts|
|Me haere koe ki te wharepaku||You'd better go to the toilet|
|Kia tika te noho, e te tau||Sit properly, my darling|
|E mimi||Have a wee|
|Haramai, e te tau||Come here, my darling|
|Kei te mākū koe?||Are you wet?|
|Kaua e tangi||Don’t cry|
|Kei te pai koe||You're okay|
|He aha tēnā haunga?||What’s that smell?|
|Kei hea ngā muku hei horoi i tō kumu?||
Where are the wet wipes to clean your bum?
|Kua mā katoa koe ināianei||You're all clean now|
|Tō kakara hoki!||You smell lovely|
|Ka pai koe||Well done you|
|Homai he kihi||Give me a kiss|
|Koia kei a koe!||You're awesome alright!|