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Potty Training Myths

Like all things surrounding pregnancy, birth and babies, the subject of potty training is also the source of many myths and old wives' tales, perhaps because toilet training is something that everyone experiences at some point in their lives, so everyone has an opinion about it.

If you are preparing to potty train your child and you are looking for the best method of doing so, be wary of suggestions from well-meaning friends and relatives. Some of the stories passed down from mother to daughter about potty training are just plain wrong. If you hear something that just doesn't seem right to you, based on your experience with your own child, then you should trust your instincts. If a particular method sounds like it might be a bit cruel, then it probably is and you should avoid it! Here are some commonly heard myths about potty training.


All children should be potty trained by the same age.

Children develop at different rates and will therefore potty train at different times. In fact, girls often potty train quicker than boys. Most children will have potty trained by the time they are three and a half years old but some do not. If your child is outside the "normal" zone, don't be influenced by the comments of other parents. If you are concerned, see a pediatrician.

Remember that other factors such as maturity and a child's position in the family will affect the beginning of potty training. For a contemporary and sympathetic guide to deciding if your child is ready to potty train, check out the easy guide to potty training e-book.

Potty training for number 1 and number 2, and for day and nighttime, should be done separately.

Many conventional potty training methods rely on long, drawn-out programs that teach separate training for number 1 and number 2, and for day and night. This often leads to added stress for parents and kids alike and can reduce a child's chances of success. This simply does not have to be the case.

Tough discipline is the key to making a child potty train faster.

Quite simply nothing could be further from the truth. Think about it, as an adult, do you find it easier or harder to concentrate or learn something new when you are stressed out and afraid? For children, this is exactly the same. Punishments such as spanking or washing a child in cold water if he or she fails to potty train, or has an accident, will get you nowhere. Worse still, you could be doing long-term psychological damage to the child. The best method for dealing with accidents is to encourage your child to use the potty more often.

Making a child wear wet or dirty underwear will encourage him or her not to have accidents.

This is untrue for the same reasons that harsh discipline does not work. Humiliating a child and giving him an uncomfortable rash is only going to harm him in the long and perhaps short-term and is likely to reduce his chances of successful potty training.

For an up-to-date and humane potty training method based on fact not fiction, and designed by an experienced mother, see the easy potty training guide. This method will help you to instill confidence in your child and ease your own stress, while avoiding these unhelpful myths.

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