Potty Trainingpotty training

I will not start potty training a child until he or she is at least 2½ years old (30 months).

Many children show an interest in controlling their bladder and bowel movements by age 2½ or three, some sooner and some later. The transition from diapers, to training pants, to complete control is a natural part of maturation. If you allow yourself to get caught up in the external pressures to have your child potty trained by a certain age, you’re only creating an anxiety-filled situation for yourself and your child. Children gain control of their bladders and bowels at different times. There are some definite signs to watch for that indicate your child’s interest is moving away from diapers to underpants. Some of the signs may be (1) showing an interest in watching you or an older sibling go to the bathroom, (2) waking up dry from a nap or bedtime, (3) telling you a bowel movement has occurred, (4) discussing potty issues, and (5) wetting heavily two or three times during the day rather than dampening the diaper throughout the day. When some of these signs begin to appear, your child may be starting the transition from diapers to underpants.

When your child is ready you can make this process easier for him or her by buying a plastic seat that fits over the toilet and placing a small step stool in front of the toilet for easier access. Remember, never force your child to stay on the toilet against his will. Offer reassurance that he can try again another day. Some children (in my experience, more often boys) will insist on completely undressing before sitting on the toilet; this behavior can persist as long as age three. Other children may be frightened by the sound of the flushing toilet. If this is a problem, simply allow your child to leave the room before flushing. Time will solve this problem. Remember that this should be unpressured time for you and your toddler. It isn’t a good idea to attempt toilet training when the family is experiencing stress, such as the birth of another child. When accidents do happen, just clean them up right away and reassure him that you know how hard he is trying. Telling him he is a bad boy for wetting his pants only generates negative feelings about himself. This is a time to relax and give positive comments to your child and to notice the good things that s/he does. All too soon s/he’ll be one of the big kids on the block!