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