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 he must first learn to control his bladder and sphincter muscles – something that is virtually impossible before his second year of life at the earliest.
Many children (mainly girls) 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 his own way that he's no longer comfortable in a nappy. He might screw up his face, walk with his legs apart, cry or even tell you in words. It's all his 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 he goes to the toilet, who can help him pull his 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.