At What Age Does Potty Training Begin

Most parents ask themselves at what age does potty training begin. The answer differs from child to child. Read on to find out how you can read your child’s signals that let you know it is time for potty training to begin.

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The Right Time to Start Potty Training

If you can successfully figure out when the right time to start potty training is then you have half of the battle won already. It is a very delicate matter and care should be taken in choosing the right time to start.

Most children are ready to begin potty training somewhere between 18 months and 36 months. If you start too early the child will get confused as it will be unable to control its own body movements. Trying to learn how to use the potty and not physically being able to will not only frustrate the child and yourself but will also make the task much more difficult in the long run. On the other hand, starting too late will also be a problem making it much more difficult to achieve as bad habits will have set in and will be difficult to break.

Your child should be giving you tell tale signs that they are ready to begin using the potty. They should be holding liquids and staying dry for periods of up to two hours or so, they should be at a development stage where they can understand you and follow up to 2 commands given at once, they should start showing a natural interest in the toilet and may even try to imitate other family members. All of these signs normally become apparent at around the 18 month – 2 year mark but can vary greatly from child to child. Each child will have their own time for beginning the process and should be giving you clear signals when the time is right.

Once you have established that the time is nearing and your child is ready to start potty training then first of all you should do a bit of research into the various methods and approaches that exist, choose one and try to stick to it. It will be counterproductive to go switching tactics each time there is a slight hiccup in the progress. If you are certain that your method isn’t working once embarked upon and you find another method more suitable then by all means change but it is not advisable to change between on method and another and then back again simply so as to not confuse the child. The key to success in potty training is to teach your child a routine. The child is young and may take time to adapt to that routine but as with any learning the key is in the repetition. The same actions time after time will eventually lead to assimilation of the idea and soon your child will be using the potty and the toilet as if they had been doing so for ever.

Once you have chosen a method you will follow you should start getting ready for the potty training or ‘pre-potty training’.

You should show the potty to your child, show them how to use it. (Maybe practice with a doll). When getting dressed or undressed you should make a point of trying to get the child to pull up or down their own pants (with your hands guiding theirs if necessary). Read them potty story books and / or show them potty story videos.

After a few days of ‘getting them used to the idea’ you can start the actual potty training itself.

First of all you should dress your child in loose fitting pants so that they will be able to pull them up and down easily themselves without your help. You should make a commitment to not use diapers any more, use pull ups or training pants and don’t be tempted to go back to the diapers as this will confuse the child. You may however want to carry on using diapers at night until the daytime training is well under way.

Give your child plenty of liquids at first so that they will need to go a little more often than usual. After about half an hour of so you can then run them through the process,

Let them know what you are about to do, tell them the words you want them to use when they need to go the potty so they can let you know, e.g. ‘pee pee’ or ‘potty’ or whatever you chose.

Say your chosen words to them then walk them (with a certain urgency) to their potty, have them pull down their pants sit them on the potty and wait for them to do something. If they don’t do anything then spend a short while waiting, read a book or sing to them. If this doesn’t work then have them pull up their pants and wash their hands anyway and try again in another half an hour.

If they do go then make a big fuss of them, tell them they are big and gown up now and that you’re proud of them or other words of encouragement. The encouragement will motivate any child no end and will make them want to repeat the process to please you again.

In the event of an accident you should take the child back to the ‘scene’ of the accident and then walk them to the toilet or the potty, have them pull down their pants and sit in the potty, even if they don’t go any more just so they will associate the potty with the accident. Clean them up and have them pull up their pants and wash their hands. It is important not to be cross or punish the child when they have an accident, simply tell them to tell you and do it in the potty next time.

The whole process of potty training can be a long and slow one but with a bit of patience and a lot of repetition then there will be positive lasting results.

At htpp:// there is lots more information and other articles similar to this one. There is also the 5 day email course you can sign up for free of charge – Potty Training made easy.

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Additional Resources:

The Potty Trainer
I can highly recommend the Potty Trainer Ebook. Johanne Cesar has done such a great job in putting a tremendous amount of hands on potty training information and advice in this ebook. You will get a step by step guide to potty training your child.


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