A majority of children start potty training between 18 months and three years of age. However, a child that is growing and developing well can start earlier if they are ready. Before you start potty training you should look for some of the signs of readiness.
Potty Training Signs of Readiness
- The child asks for a change of diaper.
- The child is uncomfortable in a dirty diaper.
- Having regular predictable bowel movements.
- The child can understand and follow simple instructions.
- The child can stay dry for two hours or more at a time often.
- If the child asks to wear regular underwear.
- If you notice they are having a bowel movement based on facial expressions.
Many parents think that three is the magic age to start potty training. While this is normally true, it’s important to understand that each child is different. Some children might not pick up perfect potty training until three and a half, or four years old.
Even if your child isn’t showing all of signs of potty training readiness, you can start to prepare for it early. If your child tells you he or she has a dirty diaper, give them praise for letting you know.
Then, encourage them to tell you in advanced the next time. If you notice your child is having a bowel movement based on facial expressions, ask them if they would like to use the potty, or bring them to the potty and explain how to use it.
Buy a Potty Training DVD
Even if your child isn’t 100% ready to start potty training you can go out and purchase underwear, stickers, and something to reward them with. I would also recommend a potty training dvd such as The Magic Bowl.
If your child watches The Magic Bowl they will naturally become excited about potty training. They will come to you for potty training help instead of you coming to them.
This is important because it appears to your child to come from within. It will feel like their own idea, instead of someone pushing them into it. You’ll find that you encounter much less resistance this way.
Get Your Child Involved
You can also let your child sit on the toilet fully clothed for a few minutes at time. This way you can get a feel for how they feel about it, and while they are on it explain to them how it works.
Until he starts using the toilet you can also empty his or her dirty diapers into the toilet, to show them what you’re asking them to do. Then, let them flush it to see the water carry it away, and make sure they know it’s nothing to be afraid of.
What to Avoid While Potty Training
You’ll want to avoid the potty training process during a stressful time in the family ( moving, death, new baby, etc…) Remember to go at a child’s pace. Pushing too hard will only set you back. There is absolutely no room for punishment in this process. Treat accidents without any emotion.