Potty training your child shouldn’t require an instruction manual the size of a telephone book, nor should it require a class in toilet training techniques. However, you may be like many other parents who get the idea that this is a complicated, difficult undertaking, and can’t possibly be done with ease. I have good news. As a parent educator and four time veteran of the toilet training process, I know that potty training can be simple, pleasant, and yes, even fun. The first step is to know the facts.
- The perfect age to begin potty training is different for every child. Your child’s best starting age could be anywhere from eighteen to thirty-two months. Pre-potty training preparation can begin when a child is as young as ten months.
- You can begin training at any age, but your child’s biology, skills, and readiness will determine when he can take over his own toileting.
- Teaching your child how to use the toilet can, and should, be as natural as teaching him to build a block tower or use a spoon.
- No matter the age that toilet training begins, most children become physically capable of independent toileting between ages two and a half and four.
- It takes three to twelve months from the start of training to daytime toilet independence. The more readiness skills that a child possesses, the quicker the
process will be.
- The age that a child masters toileting has absolutely no correlation to future abilities or intelligence.
- There isn’t only one right way to potty train – any approach you use can work – if you are pleasant, positive and patient.
- Nighttime dryness is achieved only when a child’s physiology supports this–you can’t rush it.
- A parent’s readiness to train is just as important as a child’s readiness to learn.
- Potty training need not be expensive. A potty chair, a dozen pairs of training pants and a relaxed and pleasant attitude are all that you really need. Anything else is truly optional.
- Most toddlers urinate four to eight times each day, usually about every two hours or so.
- Most toddlers have one or two bowel movements each day, some have three, and others skip a day or two in between movements. In general, each child has a regular pattern.
- More than 80 percent of children experience setbacks in toilet training. This means that what we call “setbacks” are really just the usual path to mastery of toileting.
- Ninety-eight percent of children are completely daytime independent by age four.
When you approach toilet training with knowledge, respect, patience and a plan, it can be as normal and uncomplicated as teaching your child how to walk, talk or use a spoon. Toilet training can be a wonderful learning experience for your toddler and an easy task for you.
This article is an excerpt from The No-Cry Potty Training Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Child Say Good-Bye to Diapers by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2006)
Elizabeth Pantley is mother of four and the author of the now-classic baby sleep book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution, as well as The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution, The No-Cry Potty Training Solution and The No-Cry Discipline Solution along with seven other successful parenting books. Visit her at pantley.com