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What is Toilet Learning and how to start

Toileting is a normal thing we do. Nothing to be overly concerned with, or over-congratulatory about. Remember - your child is wired to learn toileting norms from you from birth.

While disposable diapers are common, they don’t help our children stay in tune with their toileting needs, and can have lasting effects on their body and mind. What we as parents gain in convenience, our babies loose in skills and awareness, and it’s up to us to make a conscious effort to gradually build these skills as early as we can before transitioning to a potty.

Montessori called this process toilet learning, because that’s what our children do during this time. From birth they learn what to pay attention to and what doesn’t matter. The sooner we give attention to self-care and hygiene practices including toileting, the more readily we’ll see our little ones go from mimicking us to mastering their own toileting needs.

When it comes to preparing your child to use the potty it’s important to know that by 12 months your child’s ability to control their bladder and bowels matures. It’s not all at once, but this, combined with the brains sensitive period for independence makes 12-24 months a window when potty training is faster and easier.

Before 12 months, there are many skills that we can help our little ones build that will make their potty journey even smoother.

After 24 months, it takes a little more creativity and patience, but progress can happen fast, so if you're there, stick with it! 


Want to start toileting learning with your baby or toddler?

Here's the great news - just like language learning, feeding, and sleep, it's never too early to help your child tune into their toileting needs and build skills to support their independence. The most important part of starting is preparing yourself. 

There are a lot of different toileting programs and books out there. While many of them follow the science of toileting, many are designed to help parents who have waited until after the sensitive period for toileting independence to start. 


We can help! 

If you love digging into the science and subtleties of Montessori parenting techniques, you'll love our self-paced Toilet Learning Parenting Course, The P Word, available inside Bueno Market's Emmi parenting app. 

Want to join a group of families learning and progressing together? Inside the app you'll be invited to our next monthly Hello Potty Challenge where we spend 6 days learning about and planning your child's toilet learning journey. 


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