Despite all the articles on toilet training in popular media, very few scientific studies have addressed the issue of how best to potty train a child. But then again let’s be realistic here: for some children it might only take two to three days to potty train a child while for others, two or three months! There’s no direct method that works for each and every child and I’m sure every parent on this planet can tell you this (except for your mother-in-law. I’m sure she knows best because she potty trained your spouse right before he even learned how to walk).
And as frustrating as potty training may sometimes feel, there’s no reason to give up on it or start all over. As a parent, you are your child’s biggest cheerleader. With my first born, I too, remember thinking that it was something that would never happen and that we would end up going to Kindergarten in our diapers. But with plenty of persistence, motivation and several handfuls of M&M’s we did it. And the feeling of accomplishment was just as exciting for me as it was for her.
Here are 9 things other parents forget to tell you about potty training!
1. Don’t Start to Late… or Too Early
Healthy children aren’t physically and emotionally ready to start using a potty until they are between 18 months and three years old. Boys tend to be ready a few months later than girls. Most parents start the training when their children are between two years and three years old.
2. But Hold Off a Little On Boys
Your child must be both physically and emotionally ready for toilet training and trust me when I say there’s a huge difference between a girl’s readiness and a boy’s readiness. Most children are ready to start when they are between 22 and 30 months of age, but every child is different.
A lot of parents I’ve spoken to in the past say they usually hold off on potty training boys more than girls. Toilet training usually becomes a long and frustrating process if you try to start it before your child is ready.
3. Look for the Signs
Ask yourself if your child is pulling at a wet or dirty diaper, hiding to pee or poop or even interested in others’ use of the potty, or copying their behavior. If so, it’s time to potty train.
What’s more, having a dry diaper for a longer-than-usual time, awakening dry from a nap and telling you that they’re about to go, are going or have just gone in their diaper are a few signs that he or she is ready.