Read this article to learn more about how to tell when your child is ready to begin potty training, what to do to prepare your child and your family for the process, and what to do if you are worried about your child’s potty training progress.
While every child is different, about 22 percent of children are out of diapers by 2 1/2, and 88 percent of children are out of diapers by 3 1/2.
Many children begin potty training between 18 to 24 months of age; however, it's not uncommon for a child to still be in diapers at three years of age or older. Both you and your child must be ready to potty train. Start when you are ready to devote the time and energy to encourage your child on a daily basis for up to three months and when your child is showing signs of readiness.
This is an important stage in your child's development. Be sure to show kindness, love, support and respect as your child moves out of diapers. Praise your child when the job is done correctly! Potty training requires a great deal of patience and setbacks often happen. Remember, it’s only temporary. Most children are able to master the potty before they attend school.
Tips on starting potty training
- Let your child explore. Introduce your child to the bathroom and make his time there comfortable. Let him practice flushing the toilet and sitting on the potty.
- Help your child make the connection. Place your child on the potty chair whenever he signals the need to go to the bathroom so he'll associate the potty with the urge to go.
- Keep it positive. Never force your child to sit on the toilet. Stay with your child when he is on the toilet. Reading or talking to your child when he is sitting on the potty may help your child relax.
- Regularly go to the potty. In addition to watching for signals that your child needs to urinate or have a bowel movement, place your child on the potty at regular intervals. This may be as often as every 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
- Reinforce success. Praise your child when he goes to the bathroom in the potty chair, but do not express disappointment if your child does not urinate or have a bowel movement in the potty. Be patient with your child.