For parents, raising children doesn’t come with an instruction manual and when we decide to tackle life skills like potty training with our little ones, we often need to seek the advice of others. While there may not be a little manual handed out at the hospital that will walk us step-by-step through the unique challenges of parenting, fortunately there are many great resources available to parents when it comes to potty training toddlers. I recently sat down to review several of the leading guides to potty training and was able to evaluate them based on firsthand knowledge of what the task involves. In this article, we’ll take a look at several of the best selling potty training guides.
Stress Free Potty Training
This book takes an interesting and useful approach to finding the right way to potty train children: personality types. In effect, each child has their own individual personality and as such, learns life skills in their own unique way. The book, written by Sara Au and Peter Savinoha and released in its current edition in 2008, explores several of the more common personality types in children and offers unique suggestions for potty training your child according to their individual needs. Overall, reviews have been very favorable as parents have found this approach to work fairly well. If you feel that an individual approach to potty training may be effective, have a detailed look at the content, reviews, and pricing.
Potty Train in Three Days
While I often discount many of the potty training methods that are expressly marketed based on teaching your child to potty train in a specific amount of time, Potty Training in Three Days by Lois Kleint offers a very realistic approach. In all honesty, I’m still somewhat skeptical of parents being lured into the promise of successfully potty training in three days. However, this book is not so much about completing the task in three days as it is setting aside the time to completely dedicate to potty training to start the process off right. As we’ve discussed before, this can be a very successful approach.
Ms. Kleint bases her approach to potty training on the concept of loving yet firm encouragement to help your toddler believe that they can be successful. One of the parent reviews on Amazon discusses the fact that many parents perhaps hold on too tightly and shelter their children, preventing them from developing the self-confidence required to learn life skills. We all have our own parenting philosophies, however, if you feel that encouraging your child to believe in their success is an attractive approach, you may want to learn more about this book.
The Potty Boot Camp
The Potty Boot Camp, written by Suzanne Riffel, is perhaps one of the most suitable potty training books for just “getting it done”. This method is very similar to the process which we used to potty train our children and most notably revolves around establishing a schedule for going to the potty on a regular and consistent basis and providing encouragement and praise at the right times during the process. While this method is best used during a “buckle down” period like a long weekend, it can be modified to suite various schedules. The book was actually very quick to read and established clear guidelines for setting up your child’s “potty boot camp” schedule. Some parents may struggle with the concept of expressing disapproval after accidents, however, the process for this is outlined in the book and it’s your decision as to whether or not you feel comfortable with this method. For those interested in a “no-nonsense” and time-efficient guide to potty training, check out further reviews and prices for Potty Boot Camp.
As a parent, potty training your child does not need to be a difficult or stressful process. If you make an attempt to keep it simple, the chances of your child succeeding at potty training quickly are increased greatly. In the spirit of simplicity, we’re going to present a few simple potty training facts to keep in mind. At the end of the day, these are all you need to focus on.
- The age at which your child starts potty training is unique to him or her. Don’t get caught up in exactly when your toddler’s friends or classmates are starting, but focus on your child’s unique developmental milestones and tune into when they are ready.
- Your readiness and preparation to undertake this task is as important, or more important, than when your child is ready. You need to decide when you are prepared to commit the time and energy. Your child will only be successful at potty training with your help and support.
- You don’t need to overwhelm yourself or your child with every potty training tool and book on the market. The more you complicate things, the more challenging it becomes. All you really need is a few “big kid” underpants, a good potty chair, and a little education prior to starting the process.
- Over 80% of toddlers experience some type of setback during potty training. The odds are good that it will happen to your child so when it does, be patient, loving, and supportive.
- No matter when you begin potty training, your child needs to be physically and developmentally capable of starting. They need to be able to walk themselves to the bathroom, or communicate to you when they’re ready to go.
- Additionally, the more readiness skills your child possesses, the quicker the process will go. Potty training can take anywhere from three months to a year and the more capable your child is, the less time it will take.
- And finally, keep in mind that 98% of children are daytime potty trained by the age of four. If your child starts potty training late, please don’t stress. It’s going to happen eventually.
And there you have it. Simple tips for simple potty training.
For many parents, the months seem to come and go while their toddler struggles with potty training and their peers’ or classmates’ parents keep announcing their successes. Having been in this situation, I can tell you it’s not fun. For starters, successful potty training is often the key to progressing to more advanced classrooms in many curriculum-focused child care centers. Not to mention, as parents we quickly tire of changing diapers and lugging supplies everywhere we go.
But what causes some toddlers to begin potty training later than others and what can you do about it? First off, don’t stress. All children become potty trained eventually and once your child picks it up, it’s likely to happen in a matter of a few days. And starting potty training late can actually have some advantages, such as increased verbal communication with your child during the process.
Causes of Late Potty Training
The factors that influence delayed toilet training are generally broken down into two categories: behavioral and biological.
For all biological causes, such as urinary tract infections, incontinence, and urethritis, it is important to consult with your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible to treat these conditions. Since these conditions are generally easy to remedy with proper medical care, treating them as soon as you recognize them is critical in preventing them from leading to behavioral issues. Many children who begin with a biological condition which is left untreated develop fear and discomfort with urinating and having bowel movements that make potty training much more difficult.
Behavioral factors that lead to delayed potty training can manifest in many different forms, however, are often the result of a single cause: power struggles between parent and child. Many toddlers develop resistance to a parent’s consistent urging to participate in the process of potty training. The best way to handle this as a parent is to take a few steps back, relieve the demands on your child, and create an environment that allows them to discover the process on their own and shift the responsibilities to them. Try leaving your toddler unclothed from the waist down and place their potty chair in an accessible area. In addition, you can gently introduce some potty training incentives to your child.
If your toddler is delayed in potty training, don’t worry. By visiting with your pediatrician to rule out any biological issues, and then moving on to addressing behavioral issues in a patient and consistent manner, your little one will be on the road to successful potty training.
For many parents, one of the most difficult aspects of potty training is dealing with the challenges which toddlers can face with regard to bowel movements. Once a potty training schedule is established, it is very common for children to reach success relatively quickly with urination, only to have an issue related to bowel movements derail the progress. If you’re in this situation, don’t fret. In this article, we’re going to explore a few potty training tips for facing these challenges and successfully helping your little one through them.
Help Your Toddler Recognize Cues
If your toddler happens to be experiencing problems successfully having bowel movements on the potty, one of the first steps is to ensure that he or she understands the physical sensations that indicate that it’s time to go. For many toddlers, the physical sensation associated with bowel movements is not quite as instinctive in terms of telling him or her what to do as those associated with the urge to urinate.
The first step is to recognize those cues that you can associate with the urge to have a bowel movement. For many toddlers, this means grimacing, quietly sneaking away for some private time alone, or having a far away look on their face. Once you are able to identify these cues, show your toddler to the toilet and let them begin to associate the sensation with the need to have a bowel movement.
Find a Schedule
Another helpful suggestion in getting your toddler comfortable with having bowel movements on the toilet during potty training is to establish a scheduled time each day. As is the case with adults, many toddlers will tend to have bowel movements at or around the same time each day. Try to discover when this happens over the course of a few days and set aside 10 minutes or so to sit with your child in the bathroom. Establishing a potty training schedule can create a routine which your toddler may begin to associate with the urge to have a bowel movement.
The Constipation Blues
Almost nothing can instill potty training anxiety in a toddler faster than having difficulty passing a bowel movement. It can very easily cause them to become anxious, scared, and upset, and in some cases can lead to potty training regression. If your child begins to have trouble, you need to find ways to make the process easier and eliminate these difficulties.
The first step is to evaluate your child’s diet. Many foods can increase the likelihood of constipation such as cheeses and large quantities of dairy. Ensure that your toddler is receiving an adequate amount of fiber in his or her diet through fruits, veggies, and whole grains. It’s also essential that they are consuming enough fluids while potty training, but avoid the empty calories in sugary drinks such as sodas that have no nutritional value.
If your child is having difficulty with bowel movements while potty training, try these three tips and you’re likely to be on your way to success in no time!
Let’s face it, potty training in itself is an adventure. However, nothing can make potty training toddlers more interesting than trying to stick with your potty training routine while traveling. After criss-crossing the country for holiday travel right in the middle of potty training our daughter, we came up with a few helpful hints to share in the even that you find yourself in the same situation with your child.
Always Be Alert for Signs That Your Child Needs to Go
When you’re on the road, the brisk pace of travel can often be distracting. When potty training your toddler at home, you’re probably going to be pretty well in tune with the subtle cues that alert you to when it’s time to whisk your little one off to the bathroom. This isn’t always the case when traveling. You need to be sure that you’re able to recognize these little hints, no matter how unusual they may be, and be aware of them when you’re on the go.
Scout Out Restrooms BEFORE You Need Them
So this is a tip that you may have to learn the hard way. When your toddler decides it’s time to go, well, it’s probably going to be time to go RIGHT NOW! Whether you’re sightseeing or at an airport, take a minute or two to find out when you get to a new place exactly where the closest restrooms are located. This can go a long way in preventing accidents while traveling.
Practice With a Potty Ring Before You Hit the Road
One of the greatest things about potty training toddlers on an adult toilet with a potty ring is that it can be taken anywhere. However, if your child isn’t used to using a potty ring in the comfort of their own home, there’s a good chance they aren’t going to be comfortable with it once you put it in place in your hotel or host’s home. Take a little time to let your child get used to using the potty ring at home. We used the BabyBjorn Toilet Trainer as it was very convenient to transport and easy to wipe clean. For reviews and pricing, you can take a look at it on Amazon.
Don’t Be Afraid to Travel With Pull-Ups
While many parents feel that resorting to pull-ups once potty training is underway is a step backwards, they can make your life a lot easier when you’re on the go. Imagine being on a plane when the captain turns on the “fasten seatbelt” sign for two hours due to turbulence and your child is stuck in the seat with a box of apple juice and big kid underpants. You can probably see where this is heading.
While traveling with a potty training toddler may be a panic-inducing thought, a little planning and preparation before-hand can make the experience a little easier on both you and your child.
Many toddlers will pick potty training right up with hardly any trouble at all. For most parents, however, we’ll likely face a few challenges introducing potty training to our little ones. This can very often come in the form of resistance on the part of your child to begin the process.
So what do you do if your child is not interested in, or perhaps rebels against potty training? Fortunately, as parents we are able to use subtle forms of bribery (alright so scientifically speaking it’s know as positive tangible reinforcement). For many toddlers, this can be just the right push they need to start getting excited about potty training.
One of the best tools to employ positive reinforcement in potty training toddlers is the use of a potty training chart and rewards system. This does not work for all children and in fact, in some cases it’s now always the best approach. However, if you follow a few simple tips for utilizing potty training charts, you’ll have a much better chance of successfully putting them into use.
- The first rule of thumb in using potty training charts is that you should really only employ a rewards if you feel that your child needs this encouragement. Ideally, we want children to enjoy the simple feeling of accomplishment they get from potty training. However, if you think your toddler needs a little push, you might want to start with the potty training chart.
- Once you decide to begin using a potty training chart, be sure to outline a clear plan and rules for its use and communicate these guidelines with your child as well as anyone else who will be involved in his or her potty training regimen. Decide what achievements you will use the stickers for and determine what the rewards will be along the way and at what intervals
- Locate a potty training chart that fits your timeline and rewards system. Weekly calendars are very common and accommodate enough days to reach specific potty training goals. However, one of our favorites is the Kenson Kids Reward and Responsibility System. It’s a daily chart with reusable stars which can be very effective during the first few days of potty training toddlers when you’re settled in for an entire weekend dedicated to the task. It’s currently available for $11.49 through Amazon. If you’re interested in product reviews you can find them there as well.
- Each step of the way, be sure to effectively communicate with your toddler. Ensure that they understand what they did correctly to receive the sticker and when the time comes, the reward. Positive reinforcement is based upon a clear understanding of goals and achievements and this is critical to successfully using this technique when potty training toddlers.
As with all potty training approaches, have patience and offer plenty of praise to your child. As we often discuss, this can be a stressful challenge for them, so you want to ensure that the process is light-hearted and fun. Follow these tips for effectively using potty training charts, and they can go a long way in encouraging your child to stay motivated throughout the process.
So perhaps it’s time for your toddler to move on to potty training at night. With our children, nighttime potty training was a task in and of itself. While many toddlers do very well with potty training during the day, tackling this task at night can present a few unique challenges. In this article, we’re going to explore a little helpful advice for helping your toddler through this transition.
First, decide if you will plan to introduce nighttime potty training at the same time as your toddler will be learning to go to the potty during the day. Typically, if your toddler is beginning the process relatively late, then you’ll want to try to introduce both at the same time. However, with younger toddlers (18 months to 24 months), it’s best to break these down into two separate tasks.
Listed here are a few nighttime potty training “to-do’s” to help you get started with the process.
- The biggest step to success with nighttime potty training is eliminating the need to go to the bathroom as much as possible. This means limiting your toddler’s fluid intake for the two hours preceding bedtime.
- Second, since it’s very likely that your toddler goes to bed 2 or 3 hours before you do, it’s wise to get into the habit of quietly taking them to the potty right before you go to sleep for the night. If you can do this 2 to 3 hours into your toddler’s sleep without interrupting them too much (avoid turning on lights and lift them gently out of bed), you’ll be that much closer to morning.
- When getting your child ready for bedtime, put them in pajamas that are easily managed at night. No child can learn nighttime potty training if they can’t get in and out of their clothing on their own.
- If you plan to transition through nighttime potty training with diapers, pile on the praise on the mornings your child wakes up with a dry diaper. Remember, the ultimate goal of potty training at night is to eventually get your toddler to the point that they can actually sleep through the night without having to get up to go to the potty.
- If your toddler is potty trained during the day and you’re using diapers at night, always make an effort to remove the diaper as soon as your child wakes up in the morning and put them into underpants. You don’t want the process of nighttime potty training and the use of diapers to turn into a dependence on diapers during the first part of the morning and lead to any potty training regression.
While potty training at night can lead to some unique challenges and potential loss of sleep for parents of a toddler, by following these suggestions you’ll be on your way to success in no time!
Potty training is a very big step in your child’s development. However, for parents, it can be a rather challenging time and a lesson in patience. Your child will have many ups and downs while potty training such as accidents and perhaps a little anxiety surrounding the process. Additionally, many toddlers simply resist major changes and potty training can induce temper tantrums and refusal to participate in the process. Let’s take a look at the two most important things to keep in mind when potty training toddlers. These two simple tips can go a long way in helping your toddler achieve success.
Never Pressure Your Child
We’ve all felt the pressure sales pitch before. You’re somewhere just trying to browse around looking at cars, a fitness club, or clothing, and you really don’t NEED any of these things. You’re just there out of curiosity to take a look around and get a feel for things. However, the salesperson is really putting the pressure on you. “You just have to try this out.” “This would just be perfect for you.” And on and on until you’re so uncomfortable that you just walk away saying “I’m just fine, thank you very much.”
You see where this is going, don’t you? The more you pressure your child and attempt to “sell” potty training to him or her, the more uncomfortable they can become. And in turn, they tend to back off and say “I’m just fine in my diapers, thank you very much.” You need to let your child develop their own natural curiosity about potty training. This will go much further, much faster than forcing them to try using the potty on their own when they aren’t naturally interested.
In our age of fast paced multi-tasking, it is far too easy to treat potty training as an added weekend activity to be checked off of the to-do list. However, potty training toddlers should be carried out with focused discipline. You need to commit your time, as well as the time of any other family members involved, to staying focused on the process of potty training. Try to set aside a 3-day weekend to begin the process and if you’re schedule permits, it’s even better to carry that momentum for an entire week.
You have to think of it like this: the more time you commit to this process up front, the less time it is going to take. If you treat potty training as a secondary activity, it could drag on for weeks or months.
So there you have the top two tips for potty training toddlers. They seem so simple, but the key is to apply these and all other potty training lessons with consistency. If you take the time to invest in your child’s potty training from the beginning, they’ll have a much better chance of accomplishing this milestone in a short period of time.
Achieving potty training success can be an exciting milestone for both toddlers and parents. However, sometimes potty training itself isn’t quite the end of the journey. This past weekend I was reminded of this when my daughter contracted a bladder infection from refusing to use the potty consistently. Watching her in pain was not at all a fun process, but by being aware of several potential post potty training pitfalls, you can be vigilant in helping your child address these issues before they become problems.
Often, changes in surrounding environments can induce stress on children that can lead to issues, and in some cases, potty training regression. Environmental changes can take on a variety of different forms but can include moving homes, a change in schools or day care providers, or even extended travel.
With environmental factors, you aren’t often able to change the cause, but you do have some control over the effect. They keys to avoiding issues in this area that can lead to potty training problems are 1.) consistency in potty training routines, habits, and behaviors and 2.) providing a sense of positive excitement about the change. If your child gathers anticipation and excitement about the upcoming changes, there is less chance that this will interfere with other areas of their development, such as potty training.
This is closely related to environmental changes, however, the arrival of a new sibling can cause stress for a toddler which can cause them to lose interest in potty training and even occasionally have “accidents” for parental attention, whether negative or positive. If you have a new sibling on the way or one who has just arrived, be sure to continue to lavish praise and attention on your toddler even though the demands of a newborn are time-consuming. And rather than split up and have mom with the newborn and dad with the toddler, your child really needs attention from both parents.
Also, show your toddler just how helpful they can really be during this transition. Make them feel as though they have a necessary role in the baby’s life. With respect to potty training (or any other skill which you want to reinforce with your older child), one technique we used commonly was “watch your sister”. If we wanted our oldest to be proud of potty training or dressing herself, we would hold the baby and say “Now, watch how your big sister is such a big girl and can do _____ on her own.” She was always very proud to show off her new skill!
Unfortunately, parental separation is not an uncommon occurrence and this can be a stressful time for children. This can lead to issues and regression in potty training along with many other areas. The keys here are love and consistency. During any type of family turmoil, you need to shower your child with love and affection. Additionally, keep your child’s routines consistent as much as possible. This extends beyond potty training into all areas of their day-to-day life.
Constipation and Illness
Physiological conditions such as constipation and bladder infections can actually scare toddlers away from the toilet. Painful sensations during urination or bowel movements can induce stress and your child doesn’t yet have the cognitive skills to recognize that going to the bathroom and the episode at hand are mutually exclusive events. If you suspect your child has constipation or a urinary infection, seek treatment as quickly as possible. For constipation, this could be as simple as an over-the-counter laxative, however, if you suspect a urinary infection you’ll need to visit your pediatrician as soon as possible for the appropriate treatment.
Again, by being aware of the potential post potty training complications, you can address them as soon as they come up and ensure that your child is back on track in no time!
Contrary to popular belief among parents, potty training toddlers does not have to be a difficult task. With proper preparation and knowledge, the process can actually go quite smoothly. The following are our top 5 tips for potty training toddlers.
Patience is Key
The first step to success in potty training toddlers is having patience. You need to know up front that this process can often take quite a bit of time. If you have patience with your child throughout the process, including during the setbacks, your child’s confidence with themselves will be boosted. Additionally, if you’re trying a particular method of potty training and it doesn’t work, don’t stress out. Move on and try something else.
Age is Important
As you’ve likely heard, the ideal age range for potty training toddlers is between 18 months and 3 years. If you decide to start potty training prior to 18 months, you may face more difficulty than is necessary as your child isn’t quite physically capable of controlling their bowel movements or bladder. Generally, the longer you wait, the better your chances of success with the process.
Watch Closely for Sign of Potty Training Readiness
There are a few clues to watch for you help you know when your toddler is ready to begin the potty training process. These can include:
- Consistency in times of urination or bowel movements
- The ability to maintain a dry diaper for two or three hours at a time
- The ability to follow basic verbal commands
- Discomfort with wet or dirty diapers
- The ability to sit still for 10 minutes or longer
Items Needed for Potty Training Toddlers
- Pull-ups or underpants
- Potty training chart
- Potty training chairs in any bathroom your child may choose to use
- Rewards for potty training successes
Potty Training Rewards
Whether or not your parenting style frequently includes praise and rewards for the achievement of milestones, the use of rewards or “treats” is incredibly effective for potty training toddlers. If you praise and reward your toddler after each and every small success, your child will maintain much more interest in the process and find that potty training is actually fun, as opposed to fearsome and confusing.
As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to potty training toddlers. However, if you take some time to plan in advance and gather the tools and rewards that will make this process enjoyable for your child, you’ll achieve success in potty training your toddler in no time.
Welcome to MommyPottyTraining.com, your trusted resource for information on potty training toddlers, potty training readiness, potty training regression, and a wealth of related information to assist you in successfully toilet training toddlers when they’re ready. This site has been created by parents, for parents. We’ve been through the process of potty training toddlers in our own home and hope to help you in successfully navigating the process with your child.
As most parents who have attempted are aware, potty training toddlers can be a frustrating experience for both the parent and the child if you don’t have a proper plan in place. This can lead to potty training regression once the process has begun and that’s no fun for anyone. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should have a plan in place ahead of time before engaging in potty training your child. Knowing where your child will go to the potty, how often, how you’ll reward them, and how long you’re planning to stick with it in the initial phase are all key factors to success in potty training toddlers.
Always remember, this is a lifelong skill that you child is learning. Don’t rush the process and don’t pressure your child. Potty training toddlers takes time and patience. With some time, some tender loving care, and a lot of encouragement, your child will be on the path to potty training readiness in no time.
Thank you for visiting MommyPottyTraining.com. We hope that this site provides you with valuable information to assist you in making the transition easier for you and your child. With proper planning and patience, you’ll find that potty training toddlers can be a fun experience for both parent and child.
“What are the signs of potty training readiness?”
While there are no formal guidelines for the age at which you should begin potty training toddlers, there are a few guidelines that will assist you in recognizing potty training readiness. As a parent, if you are receptive to these signs of potty training readiness, you may be able to seize an opportunity to introduce potty training to your toddler at a stage during which he or she will be the most interested in and open to the process.
The age at which to begin potty training toddlers can range from 18 months to 4 years of age. Your child will likely develop the necessary cognitive and physical skills for potty training readiness sometime during these ages. Listed below are some of the signs that we look for in assessing potty training readiness in toddlers. Your child may show a few or many of these indicators, but again, let your child’s interest in potty training guide the process.
Your toddler begins to develop some consistency in the times that they have bowel movements or urinate.
Is physically able to walk, lift the toilet seat, and lower and pull up his or her pants.
Is able to follow verbal commands and verbally communicate needs.
Shows interest in the process of mom or dad using the bathroom.
Is capable of sitting quietly for a short period of time (two or three minutes).
If your child is gaining a sense of independence and enjoying their accomplishments in other areas, that’s a good sign that they’ll be willing to try going potty by themselves. Again, when potty training toddlers, the most important aspect of assessing potty training readiness is determining when your toddler seems to be interested on learning to use the toilet.
“My child is experiencing potty training regression. What can we do?”
Perhaps more than any other aspect of potty training toddlers, potty training regression can be very confusing for both parents and toddlers. For many parents, potty training regression can cause emotional distress and confusion. After having worked with your toddler so hard to potty train, if your child takes a step backwards you may have many questions running through your head. Having experienced this first hand, I can tell you that it’s often challenging to get to the root of the problem when it comes to potty training regression in toddlers.
There are many emotional and environmental factors that can lead to potty training regression and in this article, we’ll explore a few of these and how you may be able to help your child overcome these hurdles. Potty training toddlers is far from an exact science and if your child is having difficulties, consider these potential causes and evaluate whether or not your toddler may have experienced them. If so, find a loving approach to helping your child get past these issues. You may be able to do it on your own, but if not, never be afraid to ask for help from your pediatrician. When it comes to potty training toddlers successfully and getting past potty training regression, it is occasionally beneficial to employ the services of a child psychologist briefly. Don’t be afraid to seek help from trained professionals. Your child deserves the best assistance he or she can get.
Listed here are a few steps to determine what might have lead to potty training regression. If you think your toddler may have been affected by one or more issues, try to find a workable solution.
*The first step is to try to determine what has lead to potty training regression. Can you find commonality in when or where it occurs?
*Try to offer your child rewards for getting back on track as you likely did during your initial potty training stages.
*Keep a close eye on your toddler throughout this stage. Be sure to take note of indications that your child is ready to go. When you notice these, encourage your toddler to use the potty.
*Keep a log of your child’s progress. If you are writing down any changes throughout the process, you’ll be more likely to notice any significant variances in your child’s behavior.
*Above all else, keep it fun. Work on getting your child to back to enjoying the process and rewards of using the potty again. Remember, this is likely more stressful for them than it is for you!
Again, when potty training toddlers there are no hard and fast rules that work for all children. If your child experiences potty training regression, be patient and work with your child to discover the issues that are leading to the problem.
“How do I know when my toddler is ready to potty train?”
As a parent, you may be wondering what the right time is to potty train toddlers. It’s a question that we hear quite often and unfortunately, there’s no “one size fits all” answer to when to potty train toddlers. The best you can do as the parent is to keep your eyes and ears open to signs that your child is ready to potty train.
*Your toddler begins to develop some consistency in the instances they have bowel motions or pee.
*Is normally physically confident enough to walk, pick up the toilet seat, and lower and pull-up their pants.
*Has the ability to adhere to verbal instructions and vocally communicate desires.
*Displays curiosity about the process of mom or daddy using the bathroom.
*Is usually proficient at sitting quietly for a short period of time (2-3 minutes).
Again, you child may show one or more of these signs that we look for when deciding when to potty train toddlers. As stated before in several posts, the most important factor for success with this process is supporting your child in a loving way so they aren’t stressed. We truly feel that to potty train toddlers most effectively, it’s always important to encourage them in a positive way as they explore this new life skill.
“I’m looking for ways to make potty training my toddler easier. Are there any products on the market that can help?”
When it comes to setting out on the path to potty train, you and your toddler need to ensure that you’re setting yourselves up for success. Deciding it’s time to start to potty train is a big step and you need to realize that you’re investing this time in helping your toddler learn a very critical life skill, not just something to check off the list of parenting “been there, done that” experiences. That being said, there are a few tools and products that you may want to employ during the process to potty train your toddler with success.
This is perhaps the most important item the list when it’s time to potty train. You can find small potty chairs in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Take your toddler to the store with you to pick one out if you’re planning to purchase one locally or show him pictures of the different potty chairs if you’re ordering online. It will be rewarding for your child to feel like he’s helping to direct the process.
These chairs typically are placed on the floor so that your child can have easy access to them while they’re learning to potty train. Place the chair in a private place, but in an area in which you’ll be spending a lot of time during the potty training process.
I recommend starting with a potty chair over a toilet trainer (which sits on top of your existing toilet lid). It’s a little too daunting to start out with the “big potty”. Our family used the BabyBjorn Potty Chair and both of our children did really well with it. We have a girl and a boy, so we chose a neutral color: green. It has received great reviews on Amazon and is currently available for $23.49 and qualifies for free shipping.
As your child transitions from diapers to underpants, you’ll probably want to introduce them to pull-ups. This will keep them from having messy accidents (trust me, you’ll have plenty) while at the same time letting them have the opportunity to try helping themselves to the potty chairs when they need to. If you choose to potty train your toddler while keeping them in diapers, you’re going to be stuck helping them get a diaper off each and every time which is cumbersome for you and takes away from their independence. We used the Huggies Training Pants in a 2T-3T size, which worked well.
These can be any that you choose to make the experience of learning to potty train fun for your child. There are many philosophies regarding the use of rewards with regards to behavioral training, but with potty training toddlers it is really an effective approach. Many parents use lollipops, candy, fruit, or other sweets. Just stick with something that you’re comfortable giving your child that they can get excited about. Give them a reward each and every time they sit on the potty chair at first and then gradually begin to reserve them for instances in which they actually “go”. You can phase them out after a few days of success. If you plan to use rewards, it’s a good idea to combine them with a potty training chart such as the Kenson Kids Reward and Responsibility System. This will provide your toddler with a visual guide that indicates what they have done to successfully work toward receiving a reward.
There are many others products out there than can assist you with your special situation. Do some homework and you’ll find that when you decide it’s time to potty train, there are many resources to help you and your child succeed!
“I’m wondering how long it’s going to take my toddler to potty train.”
One of the most common questions that parents ask prior to potty training toddlers is “How long will it take to potty train my child?” As with many issues surrounding the process of teaching your child to potty train, there is no one answer to this question. There are so many variables involved and every toddler will respond to the process of potty training differently.
Many pediatricians and parenting professionals claim to have methods to potty train which ensure a successful experience within one to three days, while some children may not consistently go to the potty on their own for three to six months. While there are a few things you can do to prepare your toddler to successfully potty train, be patient and understand that this is a dynamic process which requires some flexibility and openness from you as a parent and for your child as well.
Additionally, your child may learn to potty train during the day in a relatively short amount of time, but not learn to go at night for months after that. Again, this is part of the experience and you need to be sensitive to your child’s specific needs and progression.
In my experience, the major determining factors in the amount of time it takes to initially potty train toddlers are the process and environment that you adopt at the first stage of potty training. For one of my children, we locked ourselves in the house for a three day weekend with no other plans and nothing but a potty chair, lollipops, and a dozen pairs of Dora the Explorer underpants. We totally committed to it for the entire period, took her to the potty every 30 minutes all weekend long, and she was almost completely potty trained by the end of the third day. If you’re interested in this rapid method of potty training, there are several courses available for a minor investment, including the system that we advertise at the top of this page by Dr. Wayne Jensen.
For our second child, we let the process unfold much more slowly. We began to potty train on a Monday when he was going to day care and let the environment at school in which he saw many of his friends “going potty” do a lot of the teaching for us. This method of teaching him to potty train was equally as successful, but it took about two weeks to actually see any consistency in him using the potty on his own.
Some children may take a few months to potty train and this often includes several periods of potty training regression in which the child will experience “accidents” and very often refuse to go to the potty on his or her own. This is perfectly natural and you need to have patience with your child during these setbacks.
Remember, once you choose the process that you plan to use to potty train your toddler, have patience and stick with it. By working with your child to find the best method that works for them, you’ll successfully teach your child to potty train regardless of how long it takes.
I’ve heard you should wait until two years old to potty train. Is this true?
Many parents are now aware of the general recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics to wait until the age of 24 months before you begin to potty train your child. We’ve mentioned many times before on this site that potty training toddlers is far from an exact science, and while this guideline is appropriate for most children, you might be asking yourself if you need to wait until age two to potty train.
It’s helpful here to discuss some of the considerations which the AAP may have taken into account when introducing this recommendation so that you can make your own decision on when to potty train when the timing is right.
According to the AAP, beginning to potty train prior to age two (and even 18 months) is likely to have no long-term consequences for your toddler. However, they do recommend setting very realistic goals and expectations if you choose to potty train your toddler at such an early age. As you may be aware, in past decades and in some world culture today, potty training begins in infancy. Many cultures, even in European countries, begin to potty train at around one year of age.
However, the primary consideration you should keep in mind is that in the majority of cases, the longer you wait to potty train your toddler, the less time it will take and the more effective and successful the process will be. There are a few reasons behind this.
Primarily, you child needs to be physically capable of the demands associated with potty training toddlers. This includes being able to cognitively recognize the physical sensations which make them aware of a need to go to the bathroom.
Secondly, emotional readiness is a factor in the process. Is your child interested in potty training? Can they give you verbal feedback on when they need to go the potty? Will they be interested in the process and rewards of learning to potty train?
Lastly, potty training toddlers tends to be more successful when your child can control the process themselves. When learning to potty train, if your child is able to participate in the process by going to the potty on their own, pull up and down his or her trousers, and control their bladder and bowel movements they will tend to progress much more rapidly and many pitfalls can be eliminated.
By understanding the physical and emotional factors associated with potty training readiness, you and your child can make the experience of learning to potty train relatively painless and maybe even fun!
We’re having a pretty difficult time potty training our toddler. Any tips?
We often repeat this message here at Mommy Potty Training, but it’s a point that’s always worth repeating and in this article we’re going to explore it in more detail: the less stress that your child (and you as a parent) experiences when they learn to potty train, the more successful he or she will be. When you potty train your child, there are a few simple keys to keeping the process lighthearted and educational that will help ensure that the process is as rewarding as possible for your toddler.
This is perhaps the most important key to keeping the stress level at a minimum and it’s a simple one to follow: don’t start to potty train before your child is ready. If you’re child lacks the necessary physical and cognitive skills to potty train with consistency, it’s going to be a long, painful process. There are no parenting awards for having a potty trained one-year old. If your child is capable prior to two years of age, go for it. Otherwise, let the right time come along.
Pile on the Praise
This is probably the most fun part of potty training toddlers for both the child and the parent. Lavish the praise on your toddler when he or she accomplishes any little step in the process. If you make a big deal of small successes and perhaps employ a few treats of choice along the way, you’ll make the process of learning to potty train much more fun for your little one.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
When your toddler begins to potty train, mixed signals from mom, dad, aunts, uncles, and other caretakers can be very confusing. When potty training toddlers, it’s crucial to make sure that everyone who will spend a significant amount of time with your child throughout the day communicates the same messages regarding the process of potty training, positive words of encouragement, and what’s expected of your child.
Add Potty Books Into the Mix
Potty training books are a time-tested way of illustrating to your little one that this very private and strange activity that you’re working on is something that absolutely everyone in the world experiences. Show them they’re not alone by choosing a couple of potty training books that they can look at while using their potty.
Maintain Appropriate Expectation
Above all else, be sure not to expect the world in a day when you potty train your toddler. Be realistic. This is a lifelong skill that takes time to learn. Be patient and help your child through each step in the process without demanding anything of them.
Teaching your child to potty train isn’t always easy and can often be frustrating, but if you follow these simple tips you’ll find the process much more rewarding for both you and your child.
“I’ve looked everywhere for a Toy Story Potty Chart and can’t find one…help!”
We’ve received quite a few emails here at Mommy Potty Training over the last few weeks from parents who are trying to find a Toy Story Potty Chart to help potty train their toddler. A while back Huggies offered a set of Pull-Ups which came in a box that included a “Toy Story Potty Chart” which could track your toddler’s progress in a fun way. Unfortunately, these are becoming pretty hard to find. I did locate a vendor on eBay which offers a personalized Toy Story Potty Chart for about $4.00 plus shipping.
An even easier and more fun activity, however, might be to actually make one of these for your toddler on your computer using a word processing application, publishing program, or Photoshop if you have access. We can’t offer images to use in your project due to copyright issues, however, here’s what you need to do:
Making a Toy Story Potty Chart
1. Create a new 8 ½ x 11 inch document
2. Fill in a fun background color (blue seems to work well with all of the Toy Story characters)
3. Create a table in the lower half of the document with 7 columns (one for each day of the week) and 4 to 6 rows (depending on how many times per day your toddler “goes”)
4. At the top of the table, place a title which includes your child’s name (such as “Cole’s Potty Chart”)
5. At the top of each column, label the days of the week
6. Go to an image site such as Google Images or Flickr and find images of your child’s favorite characters, either from Toy Story or another theme
7. Right-click and save the images to your computer, then place them in the top half of the document. If you really want to have some fun, you can use “bubble quotes” and place words of encouragement in them straight from the mouths of Woody or Buzz!
8. Next, I would recommend saving the document and sending it to a printer to produce a full-color print. You’ll also want to have it laminated so that you can easily remove stickers and start over. FedEx Office, Office Max, Staples, and many other stores will allow you to log right into their website, upload the document, select your options, check out, and then pick up at your convenience.
9. Purchase similar themed stickers in your local department store’s toy department, making sure they’re small enough to fit in your “potty boxes” (about ½ x ½ inches).
10. Hang the chart by the potty and have some fun!
When teaching your toddler to potty train, these reward charts can be an incredibly fun way of getting your child excited about this big step. While the Toy Story Potty Chart may be hard to find, you can have a lot of fun using your creativity to design one specifically for your child!
“I think my child is ready to begin to potty train at night. Any tips?”
After your child has learned to potty train throughout the course of the day, you’ll want to start working to potty train your toddler at night.
Often, this can be a more challenging process than learning to potty train during the day as your child may not yet have enough bladder control to make it through the night yet. It is completely natural for this process to take some time. Often, working at nighttime potty training can lead to potty training regression. If this happens, please be patient.
Additionally, please be sure your child is quite comfortable with going to the potty during the day. If he or she hasn’t successfully learned to potty train throughout their day, they will most likely not make it through the night.
Listed below are a few some helpful hints to follow once you begin to potty train at night:
1. Be certain that your child goes to the potty right before they climb in bed.
2. To reduce the chances of an accident during the night, limit the amount of water, milk, or juice your toddler drinks for one to two hours before bedtime.
3. Leave the door cracked, a night light on, and put your child’s potty seat in the closest bathroom so that he or she can access it during the night. This likely won’t happen for some time, but with practice your child will get out of bed and use the potty when they need to.
4. In the early stages, you may want to consider getting your child out of bed once during the night to go to the bathroom. This can make the process of learning to potty train at night go more quickly.
5. Make use of pull-ups. By putting your child in pull-ups at night, they’ll have the protection of a diaper, but have the ability to go to the bathroom on their own once they are comfortable getting in and out of bed on their own.
6. Always provide your child with loads of encouragement. This goes for all steps of teaching your child to potty train, but be sure to offer your child heaps of encouragement and rewards. Make a big deal of small successes!
Above all else, nighttime potty training requires patience. By following the tips listed above, you will start to see progress. Every child learns to potty train at their own pace, so always remember to allow the process to unfold naturally without pressure or stress.
“I think my toddler is just now ready for potty training? Any tips before we get started?”
When potty training your toddler, you will likely face an array of challenges. In this article we’re going to take a look at 3 very common issues which parents may run up against when potty training toddlers. By being aware of these three issues, you can easily avoid them and make the process easier for your child. These are completely natural and common adversities, so there is no reason to feel shame as a parent or for your toddler if you experience any of these when potty training.
Beginning your potty training too early
A lot of parents are very excited and eager to get the diaper stage behind them and often for this reason they start potty training too early. Doing this can often carry difficult consequences, however, and may cause the process to become stressful for the toddler. This can naturally prolong the process.
Becoming frustrated with your toddler
It’s very difficult to go through the entire process of potty training without feeling frustration or stress at some stage. If your toddler senses stress or anxiety about potty training from you as the parent, they may become stressed as well. This can often lead to potty training regression. By remaining calm and understanding that accidents will happen, you will provide a nurturing environment for your child which will make the process of potty training safe and fun.
Beginning your potty training too late
Just as with potty training too early, beginning the process too late can lead to unique challenges. Diaper dependence can become an issue and once your child is too comfortable with wearing diapers, it may feel very unnatural and scary for them to try wearing underwear and using the potty on their own. It’s a fine balance between starting potty training too early and beginning too late. Always be aware of your child’s physical and behavioral cues that will indicate when to potty train your toddler. Let them lead the process of discovering the right time.
By following your own toddler’s cues and assessing the right time for them to start the process of potty training, you’ll be able to avoid these 3 common issues that can present challenges during the potty training process.
“I’ve always heard that potty training boys is more difficult. Is this true?”
If you have toddlers, you may have already heard chatter among other parents that potty training boys is more challenging that girls. Perhaps you’ve looked around at other toddlers in your child’s play group or day care setting and noticed that some of the girls are potty training months ahead of the boys. While many parents brush this question off as a matter of parenting folklore, there actually is a small body of scientific research which suggests that there is a strong correlation between a toddler’s gender and not only the age at which they begin potty training, but also the amount of time it takes to potty train.
These studies did find that both boys and girls show the initial signs of potty training readiness at roughly the same age. As we stated in a past article on potty training readiness, these include the physical ability to walk to and lift the toilet seat, consistency in times of urination or bowel movements, and the capacity to follow verbal commands.
So why do boys start potty training later and take longer to complete the process? There are several theories, of which none have been statistically proven. Girls do tend to progress through developmental milestones more quickly. Their language faculties and cognitive reasoning advances quicker than boys and that may have something to do with them potty training earlier than boys.
Additionally, some experts suggest that physiology plays a role in this phenomenon. Little girls are taught to urinate and have bowel movements sitting down. Boys are frequently taught to sit down for bowel movements and that to urinate, there are two positions; sitting and standing. Many experts now recommend teaching boys to go sitting down to cut down on unnecessary confusion.
Some experts and parents believe that frustration levels can lead to longer potty training with boys. Boys tend to become frustrated easier and often simply do not have the attention span and patience at an early age which girls do. This may lead to loss of interest in potty training on occasion, leading to starts and stops which can prolong the process.
Again, these are theories with no scientific basis. If potty training does become a long, challenging process for your little boy, rest assured that there are many factors that could lead to this and it is completely natural and common. While there is never a universal solution or approach to potty training for every child, have patience and let the process unfold and you will be successful.
When it comes to potty training toddlers, one of the most essential purchases you’ll likely need to make to get your child excited about the process is a potty training chair. As you’ve probably noticed, potty training chairs come in many different styles and finding one that works for your toddler is essential in giving your child a sense of excitement and accomplishment with this process.
Basic Wooden Potty Chair
First off, let’s take a look at the most basic potty training chair. Basic wooden models are likely identical to the old-fashioned versions on which many of us as parents learn to do number one and number two. They have a basic plastic removable basin and really not much more. There are often a couple of side pockets that can store potty training books, tissues or wipes, and perhaps a toy or two. For toddlers who may be a bit hesitant, this can be a terrific option as it looks just like a small chair and may help them to get more comfortable on their own potty seat. The Little Colorado is one of the best choices in this category. You can find product review and specs here.
If you’re seeking something simple and minimalistic, as well as something that can easily be transported between bathrooms or homes, a toilet trainer may be just what your child needs. They are very simple and sleek in design and are often padded to provide some extra comfort for your child. These types of seats fit on top of your existing toilet and are able to accommodate a variety of toilet shapes and sizes. Additionally, they have rubber fittings underneath so that they sit securely in place without any scary slipping around. Our favorite in this category is the BabyBjorn Toilet Trainer at its low price and great reputation.
Step Stool Style Seats
If you would prefer some versatility with your child’s potty training chair, then a step stool seat may be for you. These types of potties may be placed in a bathroom as your toddler’s primary potty training chair, however, they have an added benefit. The lid can be lowered down, creating a step stool for your child to slide around on the bathroom floor. The great thing about this feature is that once your child is tall enough, it can prepare them for another very important bathroom skill: washing their hands on their own. They typically come with rubber strips along the bottom of the plastic so that they don’t slide around while your child is sitting down. The Safety First 3 in 1 is the top product in this category and is very inexpensive at $16.99 through Amazon.
With many potty training chairs, there are separate styles for boys and girls. Boys’ potties tend to have a small cup at the front which can help prevent any unforeseen accidents. This isn’t completely necessary, but if you have carpet in your bathrooms, it may be something you want to especially consider. Spend some time shopping around with your toddler, and you’ll be sure to find a potty training chair that will help them get excited about going to the bathroom all by themselves.
Are you considering starting potty training early with your toddler? While there is quite a lot of debate surrounding early potty training for children, there often can be advantages. We discussed some of the drawbacks in an earlier article here at Mommy Potty Training, but in this post, we’ll explore a few of the pros and cons of starting early.
Quite a lot of parents in Western society choose to wait until after the age of two to begin potty training. This often comes from recommendations by pediatric experts in the field. This is actually a recent development over the last 20 years as up until then it was very common to begin potty training between the ages of 6 and 18 months. What’s interesting about this is the fact that the instinctive nature of children has obviously not changed at all in this time, simply our approach to potty training and parenting.
One of the primary reasons for not potty training children prior to the age of two in the Western world is that it’s very common for one or both parents to work at a full-time job. It’s very difficult to potty train a toddler prior to the age of two if it isn’t completely adopted as a goal by both parents at the same time. It requires much more hands-on focus as opposed to waiting until your toddler is more capable in a developmental sense. Additionally, due to the dual professional roles, many children spend their toddler years in a day care environment. In these settings, it is much more effective for a child care center to begin potty training at a common age among all of the kids at once. It would be nearly impossible for day care providers to accommodate children potty training at all different ages and stages of development.
Here are a few of the pros and cons relating to starting your child’s potty training at an early age.
- Let’s face it…diapers are expensive!
- Go green: fewer diapers go to the landfill
- If you begin potty training before your child is very mobile, they’ll be more likely to sit still on the potty with patience instead of getting fidgety
- Your toddler may develop and respond to verbal cues earlier as a result of this process
- Your child may develop less dependence on diapers and thus have fewer habits associated with them that he or she has to unlearn
- You really need to have flexibility in your schedule for both parents to be completely devoted to the process at a younger age
- Other care givers (such as day care providers) need to be on board
- You really have to work to learn to understand your child’s early non-verbal communication clues which indicate that they need to potty
- Odds are good that the potty training process will take longer
- It’s tough to find underpants for very small toddlers under age two
- You may experience criticism of your choice as early potty training is not common in Western culture
While this is a completely personal choice, there are some advantages to potty training your child early. By taking time to think through what the process will look like prior to making a decision, you’ll find a time for potty training that will be sure to work for you and your child.