The first step in determining if your child should begin potty training is making certain they are physically and emotionally ready. Beginning training before your toddler is ready can result in frustration and delay.
Most children show an interest in potty training between 18- 24 months; however, it is important to keep in mind that not all children are ready to begin training around this age. Some toddlers are ready to train earlier and others later. Paying attention to the following signs can serve as a better indicator than age:
- Dry periods (going without urinating) of at least two hours.
- Regular bowel movements at relatively predictable times.
- Telling you when their diaper is dirty and wanting to be changed.
- Understanding and using “potty” language such as “poo” or “pee”.
- Being able to sit down and get up from the potty.
- Having the ability to understand and follow basic directions.
- Being able to pull pants up and down.
- Being able to tell you that they need to go or have gone.
If you feel that your child is ready and you decide to begin training, you should prepare yourself for the journey ahead by keeping in mind; patience is the key to successful potty training. This process will take time so do not have unrealistic expectations and timeframes. Prepare your child by talking to them about potty training- reading them storybooks can also be helpful. Teaching them the names of their body parts and how they eliminate waste is essential. This will help your toddler to understand body function and pay attention to cues that signal it’s time to use the potty.
Speaking to your pediatrician about what to expect is a very important part of your preparation. Your child’s doctor can offer advice and helpful tips to ensure a positive experience for you and your toddler.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.