You’re getting tired of changing those diapers, aren’t you? It’s so great to be able to get your child out of diapers. But, when it comes to potty training, timing is everything. If you start when your child isn’t ready, it will just take longer. However, if you miss the right opportunity, your child may resist the process more when you try later on. So, just how do you know when to begin?
First of all – forget what your mom told you about having you potty trained by the time you were eighteen months old. She probably just had herself trained to sit you on the toilet at regular intervals, which is not the same as being fully potty trained. It’s really best not to even think about potty training until your child is two. But, for most children, the right time will hit sometime between the ages of two and three.
When your child is ready to begin potty training, he will show an interest. He will begin to want to observe your toilet habits and will ask questions. Explain that big people go to the potty instead of using a diaper. Even if it makes you uncomfortable, let your child go to the bathroom with you and watch. If you have a son, make sure Daddy is taking him to the bathroom with him, too. Daddy will probably resist this, though I’m not really sure why, since public restrooms make public urination a regular occurrence for the average male! There are several good story books on the market about potty training that you can start reading to him your child at this stage, to help encourage an interest in going potty. There are books geared specifically to boys and those geared to girls, which is helpful.
Another good sign that your child is ready for potty training is his ability to pull his pants up and down by himself. If your child has mastered this step of dressing, potty training will go much more smoothly.
Another important physical sign of potty training readiness is the frequency with which your child urinates. If he is still wetting his diaper every half and hour or so, he is not ready. But, if he’s going one to two hours between wet diapers, then he is able to hold his urine, which is critical to being truly potty trained, at any age.
If you think your child is ready for potty training, check out my article in “Mommy to Mommy – the Truth About Taking Care Of Baby”, where I outline some potty training strategies designed to make this developmental hurdle as painless as possible, for you and the little one.