When Should I Start Potty Training My Child?
I bet when you first set out on your parental journey you didn’t think about potty training! Potty training is a significant milestone for both parents and children. It is an essential part of a child’s development, as it marks the transition from wearing diapers to using the toilet independently. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to the question of when to start potty training, as every child is unique and may develop at their own pace.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children are typically ready for potty training between 18 and 24 months of age. However, some children may be ready earlier, while others may not be ready until later. The key is to look for signs of readiness and approach the process with patience and positive reinforcement.
Here are some signs that your child may be ready for potty training:
- Interest in the toilet: If your child shows an interest in the toilet, asks to use the bathroom, or imitates family members using the toilet, it may be a sign that they are ready to start potty training.
- Longer periods of dryness: If your child can stay dry for a few hours during the day, it may be a sign that they have developed the bladder control necessary for potty training.
- Regular bowel movements: If your child has regular bowel movements, it may be easier to establish a routine for potty training.
- Communication skills: If your child can communicate their needs and wants, it may be easier to teach them to use the potty.
Once you determine that your child is ready for potty training, it’s important to establish a routine and be consistent. Here are some tips to help make the process smoother:
- Choose the right equipment: Consider using a potty chair or a child-sized seat that fits over the toilet.
- Set a routine: Encourage your child to sit on the potty at regular intervals, such as after meals or naps.
- Use positive reinforcement: Praise your child for their efforts and successes, even if they have accidents.
- Be patient: Remember that potty training is a process, and accidents are normal.
- Consider your child’s personality: Some children respond better to gentle encouragement, while others may need a more structured approach.
There is no specific age or timeline for potty training. Instead, it’s important to look for signs of readiness and approach the process with patience and positive reinforcement. Remember, every child is unique and may develop at their own pace. With a little patience and perseverance, you and your child can successfully navigate this important milestone.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2019). Toilet Training. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/toilet-training/Pages/default.aspx
Klassen, T. P., & Kiddoo, D. (2011). Diagnosis and management of toilet training refusal in children: a review. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 183(11), 1283-1286. doi:10.1503/cmaj.092179
Severo, R. B., Pereira, P. C., & Ferreira, D. L. (2017). Factors associated with success in early toilet training. Jornal de Pediatria, 93(5), 456-462. doi:10.1016/j.jped.2016.10.003