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When Should I Start To Potty Train my Child?

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As with any baby milestone, there is no universal time to begin potty training your child. Nor is there a standardized potty training how-to guide that will work for every child in every situation. However, there some important factors and tips to consider to ensure that you begin potty training under the most positive circumstances possible.

The first thing that parents need to consider when beginning the potty training process is figuring out the right time for your child to begin. It’s important to remember that forcing the pace of your child’s readiness can potentially prolong the process.

mom potty training her daughter

In fact, holding off until your child is a bit older may actually make the process easier. Waiting until your child is in tune enough with his body and is able to identify that he needs to go to the restroom can mark an ideal time to begin potty training. Other signs of readiness include:

  • Your child begins to tell you that she needs to go to bathroom

  • Wet diapers start to feel uncomfortable to him

  • There are longer stretches of dry diapers (indication of strengthening bladder muscles)

Additionally, beyond signs of physical readiness, it’s also important to stay in tune with your child’s emotional and behavioral needs as well. Never begin potty training during a time when your little one is going through a behaviorally difficult time. Changing her routine to include potty training will only offer the potential for a major battle of wills throughout the process.

Also, never begin during a time of change, transition or disruption for your child. When your family is taking a vacation, moving into a new house or getting a new sibling are not ideal times to begin potty training. Ultimately, getting your child to buy into and be excited about potty training can play a major role in overall success.

Five Additional Ways to Help Set You Up for Potty Training Success

Beyond timing, there are other ways to ensure a positive potty training experience. These include:

  • Purchasing a special potty just for your little one with his favorite characters or colors

  • Sitting on the potty as a part of every day’s routine

  • Encouraging your child to use the potty whenever she wants

  • Praising your child for successfully using the potty

  • Never getting angry when accidents happen

Of course, just because you start to have dry days doesn’t mean that you’re done with your training endeavors. Night-time can prove to be a particularly difficult challenge for many youngsters. During sleep cycles children may have a tough time identifying that they need to go to the bathroom. The result? Many kids still require diapers and pull-ups at night for several months after they’ve been trained to stay dry throughout the day. If you’ve noticed some dry nights for your little one, you may want to attempt a diaper-free night to see if she’s able to make it through without accidents. Additionally, sticking to smaller drinks before going to bed and encouraging her to ask for your help to go to the bathroom after bedtime can help expedite success.

 
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