Get answers to common questions about toilet training, as well as tips from Ginsey Home Solutions and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
For both children and parents alike, toilet training represents a major milestone. But if you're like most new moms and dads, you'll have plenty of questions about the process—from determining when to start potty training to ensuring your child's safety in the bathroom. To help ease the process, check out these questions, answers, and helpful hints from Ginsey Home Solutions and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Although each child is different, according to experts at Ginsey Home Solutions the average age range is 18 to 24 months. However, as the AAP points out, some children may not be ready until 30 months or older. Keep in mind that boys typically start later than girls.
In some cases, a child may tell a parent when they're ready. But as Ginsey reports, it's more likely that you'll need to watch for certain signs. The most important indicators are when your child can follow simple instructions, understands words pertaining to the process, can regulate the muscles responsible for elimination, expresses a need to go, and does not like being wet.
You should begin talking to your child about potty training at roughly 9 months old. Although this is too early to actually begin potty training, talking about it will help your child become comfortable with the process. Be sure to describe the toileting process using real language, and let them experience the sound of a flushing toilet so they're not afraid of it. According to the AAP, you should talk about bowel movements and urination in a simple, matter-of-fact manner, using words that will not offend, confuse, or embarrass anyone.
According to Ginsey, your child must be able to undress on their own for potty training to be successful. You might want to dress your child in pull-up training pants for a portion of the day, which will help them to feel what's happening and cause them to want to use the potty.
One of the most important things you can do is establish a routine. Place your child on the potty after they've had lots of liquids or 20 minutes after mealtime. In addition, make sure that all of your child's caregivers are aware of this routine.
According to experts at Ginsey, you should praise your child's attempts to use the potty, even if nothing happens. Some of the ways in which you can praise your child include giving them stickers, singing songs, or clapping. As your child progresses, give him or her the opportunity to select their own "big kid" underwear.
Potty training seats are not toys, and your child should always be supervised in the bathroom. Never leave your child unattended, no matter what.
Most importantly, remember that every child is unique and will progress at his or her own pace. Resist the urge to compare your child with others or to put too much pressure on him or her. After all, when it comes to potty training, the number-one key to success is patience.