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When To Start Potty Training

Lori Ramsey


When To Start Potty Training

While each child is different, most children ready to begin potty training between the ages of two and two and a half years old. Some toddlers are ready to begin potty training as young as 18 months. However, some children may not be ready until he/she is three years old.

15 Signs of Potty Training Readiness

  • Your child is ready to start potty training when he or she:
  • Has bowel movements at about the same time every day
  • Can stay dry for a few hours or wakes up dry from sleep
  • Knows that he/she has to go to the bathroom
  • Understands the association between dry pants and using the potty
  • Can pull her pants up and down
  • Lets you know when he/she has soiled his/her diaper (likes to stay dry)
  • Can follow simple directions like, "lets go to the potty."
  • Understands potty terms (wet, dry, pee, poop, dirty and potty)
  • Can tell you he/she has to go to the bathroom
  • Imitates other family members
  • Shows interest and asks question while watching you
  • Wants to do things "by myself."
  • Enjoys washing his/her hands (like to be clean)
  • Gets upset if his/her belongings are not in their proper place
  • Wants to please you!

Tips for Potty Training Success

Potty training should be a fun and exciting experience for both you and your child. Remember, your child should feel in control of the process. Take a slow, casual, matter-of-fact approach, and make it fun! Books, videos and activities are available to help you and your child through this process.

Always encourage and praise your child. Reward systems used by parents during potty training can help the potty training process. A potty training chart can be used to reward your toddler for using the toilet successfully. Let your toddler be involved and let him help you make the chart. Visit the craft store and make a chart together using a theme or characters your toddler likes. Each time your toddler successfully uses the toilet, place a sticker on the chart for that day. At the end of each successful day, reward your child with a special reward. The reward does not have to be expensive. It can be something as simple as ice cream for dessert.

Do not begin training until your child shows signs that he/she is ready and when you can spend a lot of time together. In the beginning, your toddler will not be able to easily recognize when it's time to go use the potty so you may need to ask your child on a regular basis if he has to go potty.

Never pressure or punish your child for unsuccessful attempts at using the potty, or if he/she has an accident. If he is having a difficult time at first grasping the concept, understand that this is normal, and try again the next day beginning right when your toddler first wakes up.

Most of all, be patient. Your child will learn to use the potty when he or she is ready.

Related Articles

Potty Training: How to Know When Your Child is Ready?

Potty Training Methods That Work!

10 Steps to Successful Potty Training

Potty Training Boys Vs. Girls

Choosing Potty Training Books


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jennifer Mar 8, 2010 11:40:55 PM ET

I have a 3 year ols whop is autistic do they same potty training rules apply 2 autistic children or can u tell me them

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