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Potty Training

When Should I Start Potty Training My Child?

Most children are ready to be potty trained between their second and third birthdays.

Signs a Child Is Ready for Potty Training

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You will know that your child has reached a stage in his or her development where potty training can be introduced when you notice the following behaviors:

  • The child has regular bowel movements that come at particular times of the day.
  • The child is able to pull his or her pants up and down without assistance.
  • The child is staying dry for longer periods of time.
  • The child asks to use the potty, or toilet paper.
  • The child asks to wear “big boy” or “big girl” pants or underwear.
  • The child comes to tell you when he or she has wet or soiled.
  • The child shows physical signs of urinating or having a bowel movement. This can include hiding behind furniture, grimacing or straining.

How to Introduce a Potty

When you are ready to begin potty training, take the child with you to purchase the potty seat. The potty seat should first be placed in the child’s playroom or bedroom. This will allow the child to get comfortable with the potty seat’s appearance.

The child should be encouraged to sit down on the potty seat fully clothed. Once the child has become accustomed to sitting on the potty seat, tell him or her that they can sit on the potty seat when he or she does not have any clothes on. This can be done prior to baths, or while changing clothes. A child may sit long enough to actually use the potty seat. If this does happen, encouragement and praise should be given.

When a child is sitting on his or her potty seat, he or she can look through picture books or play with a toy. This will help to pass the time, and it also keeps the child from getting tense or nervous.

If you are traveling, or visiting for an extended amount of time, take the child’s potty seat along. This will encourage your child and not impede the potty training process.

How Long Does Potty Training Take?

Potty training can be done in a few weeks, or it may take up to a year or more. Girls seem to potty train quicker than boys. Changes in the family routine, or family dynamics, may hinder or slow down the potty training process.

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