Pointers for Easier Potty Training

Pointers for Easier Potty Training

Are you frustrated with the way your toddler's toilet training is going?

First, keep in mind that the average age for potty training is between 2 and 3 years old. While there's no link between how young toddlers master the toilet and their intelligence, they do need to be physically, emotionally and mentally ready.

Some cognitive developments -- such as memory, focus and even imagination -- may not begin until 2.5 years of age. Verbal skills, needed to communicate any potty problems to mom and dad, may not develop until age 3.

Here are some potty pointers:

  • Build on your child's desire for approval and the natural urge to imitate. The same-sex parent can show how to use the bathroom by example.
  • Be positive and praise for progress, but don't yell or punish for mishaps.
  • Be consistent with bathroom routines, including how to wipe and how to wash hands.
  • Adjust your role as needed. Be there to resolve problems, but you may need to be less controlling.
  • Stay low-key. Your child will pick up on any stress you feel.

Once in preschool, many kids will be motivated by peer pressure and the desire to wear regular underpants. Toilet training tends to become more self-directed, with less effort from you. So, experts suggest making it more your child's project and less your own as they get older.

Once your toddler is really ready, the actual learning process takes about six weeks, but expect accidents and even some steps backwards. It's also normal to take longer for kids to be able to stay dry through the night.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on toilet training, from readiness to overcoming challenges.


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