Crib Notes: The Rules of the Potty
Potty training has to be one of the most challenging parts of raising children. It’s messy, frustrating, and wildly different for each child. But even though every child is different, there are a few rules of thumb that can help you decide when to potty train your child, and determine how long it will take once you get started.
Remember, knowledge brings confidence and lord knows we need confidence when it comes to raising our little ones!
|When to start:||Potty training can begin as early as 10 months or as late as 4 years, but most find that the ideal age is somewhere between the ages of 1 ½ and 2 ½.|
|Signs that your child is ready:||Has a dry diaper for two-hour stretches during the day or after a nap; tells you that they are uncomfortable when their diaper is dirty; has a relatively predictable bowel movement schedule; can follow simple instructions; is interested in using the potty, or wearing underwear.|
|Signs that you should wait:||If your child is dealing with another big event, like a new school, a move or a new sibling, wait until things have quieted down to begin potty training.|
|How long will it take?||Daytime training usually takes between three and 12 months to really stick.|
|Night Training:||If your child has 5 consecutive mornings of dry diapers, you can try a diaper-free night (but don’t despair if you have an accident to address in the middle of the night!).|
|When should you worry:||98% of children are completely daytime potty trained by the age of 4. If you are still having considerable trouble, you may want to speak to your pediatrician for more involved tips and tricks.|
|How many potty trips should you expect?:||Most toddlers urinate 4 to 8 times each day, and have a bowel movement once or twice a day.|
|How often should you ask?:||When your child is first learning to recognize the potty cues, ask them every 15 to 30 minutes if they need to use the toilet. Even if they say “no”, take them to the potty if it’s been more than 45 minutes.|
|When should you punish accidents?||NEVER. The best approach to potty training is to keep it positive. Children are not soiling their pants to be naughty, and you should never scold an accident.|
|Warm up your vocal cords:||However you approach potty-training, remember to always celebrate successes in a special way. Silly songs, cheering and fabulous celebratory dances are a must to keep it fun for everyone!|