Is it Time to Potty Train your Toddler?

Potty training is often considered your toddler’s last big step into the world of a preschooler!  As parents, we are either saddened as we bid this last bit of our child’s babyhood farewell—or we are doing a no-more-diapers dance of joy! Whether you are in the former category or the latter, the time will come when you must decide if both you and your child are ready for the transition!  For some of us, the decision is hastened along by the need for a child to be fully potty trained by 3 years old for admission to preschool!  If potty training has entered the back of your mind--it's time to at least decide if it's time to potty train your toddler!

Is Your Child Ready for Potty Training?
Unless you have used methods of infant potty training, you are likely preparing for the potty training of a toddler (between the ages of 13 months and three years).  Many experts believe that the most successful potty training attempts begin around age two but can be much earlier or later depending on the child.  What should you consider as you wonder about readiness?

Is your child’s bladder ready?  This may sound silly, but if your child’s bladder does not yet have the capacity to hold larger quantities of urine, he or she may not be quite ready for the long waits between potty visits!  If your child is still going potty 8-10 times per day, you may want to wait until his bladder appears a little stronger.  One of my daughters could manage well during the day at 2 1/2  years old--but, wasn't dry through the night for almost another year. 

Is your child physically ready?  Aside from his bladder capacity, is your child’s physical development level ready for potty training?  Can your child walk well?  Run?  Have you taught him or her to dress and undress?  Button and zip? The ability to run to the potty and pull down the pants will be a vital one to your success!  Also--most preschools have rules that prohibit their staff from buttoning or zipping a child's pants--so it's important to teach these skills along with potty training if need be! 

Is your child able to follow directions?    Can your child understand commands, speak and follow directions well?  If not, it may benefit both of you to wait until this skill improves!  Potty training is a huge learning milestone.  If a parent is also trying to teach a child to follow simple commands like pull down your pants or sit down, it only adds to the stress for both parent and child!

Does your child have any interest in going potty? Some kids, especially those without older siblings to mimic, just do not always have an incentive to invest the effort into the potty scene until they are a little older.  Until the child has the desire, or the parents provide proper incentive; the task can be fairly time-consuming and doomed to frustration or failure!

You’ve decided that your child is ready…but, are you ready for potty training?

Photo Credit
Child readiness is only half the story! Are you ready to race to the restroom at every store, restaurant and park on a variety of false alarms?  Are you ready to tackle the accidents and the haz mat style cleanup of favorite chairs, the floor—or even the family dog? Quite honestly, diapers are convenient—and you’ve depended on them for quite a while! Potty training is a big responsibility for parents as well! 

Is it the right time for you to potty train? Some parents swear that summer is the best potty training season because the child is wearing fewer clothes—which creates easier potty visits and less clean up for accidents.  Others claim winter is best because you are often home more in the winter months and can be more consistent with training until a routine develops.  Take a look at your schedule.  Are you camping out at the soccer field with a five minute walk to the restroom, every night until November?  Are you planning a family vacation or starting a new job in a week or so?  Will schedules be unpredictable? If you aren’t ready to devote a couple of weeks to a potty training commitment, take a few weeks to get yourself, your home and your lifestyle ready for the adventure! 

Potty training is one of your last big steps from baby to big kid!  Ensuring that both parent and child are up to the challenge will greatly add to your rapid success!  Be patient.  Be consistent.  Most importantly, be ready to say goodbye to your baby and hello to your big kid—if it’s the right time, of course.

Post a Comment



The ZOO banner 3