As your sweet baby grows into a toddler, you will likely be wondering when he or she will be ready to start potty training! Every parent is anxious to get their child out of diapers, and I am no exception.
My fourth child is quickly entering the first stages of potty training. He will be turning 2 next month. You will find that some toddlers even as young as a year old are interested in using the potty. Does this mean they are ready for rigorous potty training?
Probably not. But interest in going in the potty is the first sign your child is ready to start potty training.
Potty training is not a fast easy process for most. There are exceptions. Some children, when they are ready, potty train themselves. That does occasionally happen, but for many children it is the beginning of a long, drawn out battle with mom.
Patience is Key
The first key is to wait until your child is ready. That’s right, the ball is in their court. I know, you will meet moms that claim they trained their children in a week by their rules and according to their schedule. This might work for a few, but it wouldn’t have worked for any of my stubborn children.
Your child will let you know when he or she is ready, and it will mostly likely be between the ages of 2 1/2 and 3 1/2. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t encourage them to use the potty before then, it just means that they might not be fully potty trained until between 3 and 4 years of age.
The Secret You May Not Want to Hear
Moms don’t want to hear that it can take that long for their children to be potty trained, but the alternative is to wage an all out war with your child when you try to have it your way. Going to the bathroom is one of the few things a child has total control over.
The terrible two’s are hard enough as it is, if you start fighting with your child about going to the potty too, you are setting yourself up for a very hard year.
There is hope, though! I started introducing my twin boys to the potty around their 2nd birthday. By age 2 1/2, one was going in the potty regularly and could go several hours without going to the bathroom.
He was the easy one. His twin brother had a lot of accidents and had to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes. And some things never change. At 6 years old, he is potty trained, but he still has to go every 10 minutes! If you have a child that has to go to the bathroom a lot, that child is going to be a lot harder to train.
Tell Tale Signs Your Child is Ready
Our youngest who is almost 2 is very interested in what his brothers are doing in the bathroom. I’m hoping that will help give him incentive to want to potty train. The interest is there, so only time will tell.
Another sign that will help you determine if your child is really ready to start potty training is if he wakes up dry from his afternoon nap. For one of my twins this happened around 2 1/2, which was one of the ways I knew we were making progress.
Are Girls Easier to Potty Train than Boys?
Some people say girls train earlier than boys and are easier to train. That has not been true, in my experience. My daughter had no interest in potty training and it took her a very long time to be completely potty trained. One of my sons almost potty trained himself with very little coaxing from me.
Buying your child his first potty chair might help spark an interest. We have an Elmo potty chair!
Once your child is really ready, there are lots of tips out there about how to reward and encourage them along the way. Check out the related articles on this page for more helpful ideas.
Written by Rachel Paxton.
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