Montessori Toilet Training

Toilet Training is considered to be among the most notable milestones for children and their parents alike.

While independently using the toilet seems to be an ordinary task for adults, for infants and toddlers independently using the toilet can be a huge step toward leading a self-reliant life.

But, effectively or correctly toilet training a child can be a daunting and perplexing task for most individuals.

The Montessori method of education provides children with a plethora of unique opportunities that allow them to become confident, independent, and self-reliant.

According to Dr. Maria Montessori children are highly receptive to the stimuli present in the surrounding environment and have an Absorbent Mind.

The Montessori Method of education takes into account the individual needs of different Planes of Development and provides children with age-appropriate Montessori Activities or Montessori Materials to promote optimum development.

The Montessori Method of education integrates several innovative methods that facilitate toilet training for infants and toddlers.

If you are a parent or an immediate caregiver who wants to adopt the Montessori way of toilet training, then look no further.

Here is everything you should know about Montessori Toilet Training to help your child to get one step closer to becoming self-reliant and independent.

What is the appropriate age for Toilet Training in Montessori?

According to Dr. Maria Montessori, children in the initial six years of their lives have an Absorbent Mind and pass through periods of prolonged focus or concentration called the Sensitive Periods.

Children during their First Plane of Development, enter their sensitive periods around 18 to 24 months.

It is important to recognize the child’s capability of rapidly grasping and comprehending concepts during this phase and introduce children to age-appropriate activities to promote optimum development.

Hence the best age to incorporate Montessori toilet training methods in your home environment is between 18 to 24 months.

While the ideal age range for introducing Montessori Toilet Training to your toddler is between 18 to 24 months, it is important to identify the following indications before featuring Montessori Toilet Training at home.

Here are some signs or indications that may provide parents with an insight into whether their child is ready for toilet training or not:

  • Patterns, cycles, or reception
  • The child is beginning to walk
  • The child is touching their genitals as an indication of bowel movements
  • The bowel patterns of the child are beginning to be scheduled during certain times of the day.

What to remember before Toilet Training your child in the Montessori Way?

As a parent, the task of initially introducing basic self-care and hygiene activities to the child can be quite intimidating as well as overwhelming, to say the least.

The Montessori method of education is a century-old pedagogical tool that allows children to independently and willing become seekers of knowledge as well as develop discipline from within.

While toilet training mostly revolves around the child’s willingness to become independent and establish their own footing, it also dominantly involves a parent’s patience as well as cooperation.

Here is a list of some important points to remember and recognize before toilet training your child the Montessori way:

1) It is a gradual process:

When it comes to Montessori toilet training, patience is definitely the key to success.

It is important to recognize that toilet training is a gradual as well as a natural process.

It is a parent’s responsibility to allow the child to develop an interest in toilet training at their own pace rather than introducing these activities on their own terms.

As a parent, it is important to introduce the child to toilet training from a very young age in order to develop their natural interest in toilet training.

2) Allow the child to become independent:

Once the child begins to indicate a natural interest in toilet training, it is important to allow the child to independently explore the process with minimal intervention.

Parents should always place the training potty seat in one designated area of the home to eliminate confusion and encourage the child to independently use the potty.

3) What you can do as the Adult:

One of the important Montessori Principles is the Principle of intrinsic learning and education.

While toilet training according to the Montessori Philosophy parents should neither reward the child nor punish the child.

  • Parents must set their children up for success by boosting their confidence
  • Language matters, instead of asking the child to use the potty, the parent should instruct and indicate that it’s now time for the child to use the potty.
  • The Parent should never force the child to use the potty
  • Using the potty should be a normal task for the child to perform, parents should not over-congratulate the child for using the toilet.
  • The parent should not interrupt the child while using the potty, the child should comprehend the process of using the potty on their own terms.

4) What to do when it’s too late:

It is important to keep in mind that accidents can happen and during such circumstances, parents must not overwhelm the child.

Do not make the child feel ashamed for the mishappening and reassure the child it is natural for such circumstances to occur.

The parent should always be prepared for such unintended accidents and immediately provide the child with dry clothes.

Some Montessori Toilet Training Tips and Tricks

What sets the Montessori toilet training approach from traditional toilet training approaches is that the Montessori educational approach allows children to naturally and gradually develop an interest in self-hygiene.

Here are some tips and tricks for parents to follow when incorporating Montessori Toilet Training methods in their home environment:

1) Prepared Environment:

In order to prepare an appropriate environment for the child’s toilet training process, parents must incorporate the following elements:

  • A small potty that is easy to access for the child
  • A basket
  • A collection of picture books
  • A child-sized sink for the child to independently wash their hands
  • Parents can use a faucet extender for easy water access

2) Observation:

While practicing Montessori Toilet Training methods it is important to have a keen eye on the child’s actions.

Here is a list of indications a parent should observe while establishing Montessori Toilet Training:

  • The child shows signs of independently walking
  • The diaper is left dry for prolonged periods of time
  • The child begins to comprehend that a diaper is a foreign object and begins to discard it
  • The child begins to seek privacy when their bowel movements begin to turn
  • The child becomes curious when other members in their environment are using the bathroom
  • The child verbalizes that they may have or want to pass bowel movements or urinate of their own will.

3) Appropriate Clothing:

As unconventional as it may sound, clothing plays a significant role in fostering the value of independence in children.

While your child is beginning to grasp the concept of using a bathroom or “potty” it is important to incorporate clothing that involves close to no adult assistance.

Here is a list of clothing that facilitates toilet training in accordance with Montessori Philosophy:

  • Elastic pants and pajamas allow children to effortlessly pull their pants down during times of emergency.

4) Consistent:

Once the child begins to indicate a willingness for the Montessori toilet Training procedure, parents must provide their child with a proper schedule.

When planning out a schedule for the child, there might be days when the children will be unwilling to follow through, during such circumstances, parents mustn’t force the child instead encourage them.

Remaining consistent and positive reinforcement can help children get back on track furthermore, succeed without any setbacks.

5) Setbacks, struggles, and preparation:

It is important to note that setbacks, struggles, and regression may happen while introducing or establishing any new activity.

The child may succeed and cooperate wholly one day but can throw tantrums or become agitated the other.

During these circumstances, parents must take the child’s emotional state into account and reciprocate with patience as well as positive reinforcement.

Accidents are bound to happen while toilet training, during such incidents parents must plan ahead and prepare a stache dry clothes, dry sheets, and cleaning wipes.

Parents must carry a portable potty seat while they go on road trips that will aid in times of emergency.