When to Start Potty Training Your Toddler

Potty training is a very big milestone in your child’s development. This can also mean you can stop the habit of having to buy diapers twice a week. This will also mean that you don’t have the change those diapers too. If that’s not exciting to a parent, then I don’t know what is. Sometimes your child can be fully potty trained in as little as three days, but most parents don’t realize how long it actually takes to be fully potty trained sometimes. Children can start potty training as early as 18 months old, but most parents start potty training at 2 and a half years of age.

First, you will want to make sure you and your child are both ready to take on the responsibilities of potty training. If not, then neither of you are probably ready to start yet. Some kids don’t become interested in potty training until they are over 3 years old! First things first, don’t pressure you child into doing something they aren’t interested in doing yet. Look at by Carol Cline what your child can do first. Can she walk and sit down on either the toilet or a potty chair? Can they take their own pants off and get them back up again? Children learn at their own pace. Firstborns may learn more slowly while the second may learn a little faster from watching their older sibling going on the big potty. Boys also tend to learn a little more slowly than girls do. Make sure things in your child’s life are stable before potty training. Things like a big move, new school, daycare, or even a new sibling may press the pause button on the potty training process.

Next, after assessing your child’s and your readiness of potty training, invest in a child size potty chair, or toilet seat adapter to make it the right size for your child. You want to make sure you figure out which one is better for your child. It helps if you have your child come with you to help pick out their potty chair or adapter. This will encourage them to use it more than they would if you just come home with one sometime after work.

Then get in the habit of a routine. Get them used to get to the potty fully clothed when they are most likely to use the restroom. This helps your child get used to getting to the bathroom or potty chair when they have to go. Once they are okay with sitting on the potty fully clothed, it is now time to get them used to sit on the potty bare bottomed. This will help them get used to the feel of the toilet. Some automatically know what to do and others take some time to learn what to do. You don’t want to force your child to sit on the toilet if they don’t want to, especially if they look scared. This could be a sign you need to set potty training off to the side for a week or two. If they are comfortable sitting there then you know your child is comfortable enough to continue.

Then you will want to demonstrate for your child on how the toilet works, and how going to the bathroom is natural in your life. Demonstrating may seem weird or awkward, but it essential in the potty training process for your child to learn. This helps them learn not only what they are doing it for, but how to do it the right way. You will also have to teach them how to wipe with toilet paper, as it is much different from the baby wipes they are used to.

Having your child sit on the toilet or potty chair whenever they feel the need to use the bathroom is encouraging to them. The more time your child is out of diapers, the faster they may learn to go to the potty when they feel the urge. Always let them know you will be there to help them when they want to try to use the potty. Letting your child run around without a diaper on to help them learn, may result in having to clean up a few more accidents.

It is better to get potty training pants, for potty training as they are easier to pull up and pull down to go to the bathroom faster and easier. This will also help your child learn to pull down and up their own pants making it easier for them to use the potty by themselves. There are also cloth training pants that are washable and reusable, and a lot of parents say that these work much better because their child can feel their accidents in them making them want to use the potty. Usually, start with a couple hours at a time until they are used to them. Pretty soon you may be able to introduce night training, but that’s a whole different ballpark.