It is no surprise that after years of wet diaper changes so many mothers are anxious to ditch the diapers and begin potty training their child. At the same time, so many parents can quickly become discouraged about how they will approach this stage, since many are forced to endure horror stories from well-intentioned friends and family. And with all the contradictory information out there, many parents simply feel confused as to when and how they should begin the process of toilet training their child.
When is a Good Time to Start?
Experts say children are generally ready to begin potty training between 18 and 24 months, assuming they fulfill certain readiness requirements. For example, your child should be steady on her feet and able to sit on the toilet.
To prepare your child for this, take the time to show her how to use the toilet. And since children learn best through imitation, try taking your child into the bathroom with you a few times. Take the time to explain to her the steps involved: from the act of peeing or pooping, to wiping, pulling up your underwear, flushing, and then washing your hands.
Also, show her the connection between pooping and the toilet. You might try showing her how to flush by using stool from a dirty diaper. Reading books about potty training to your child is another great way to get her used to the idea – and encourage a great habit!
Of course, for some parents it is more a question of their own personal readiness rather than that of their child. This not only includes being sure you have sufficient time and energy to dedicate to the task, but furthermore that you are ready to accept this turning point in the development of your baby.
How Long Will it Take?
This is the million-dollar question. For parents who have potty trained before, you will probably remember hearing quite a range of "normal" start and end dates. Some experts recommend parents be prepared to dedicate at least 3 months to the toilet training process. For parents who are also full-time workers (which includes most of us), 3 months will likely sound like a daunting timeline. If so, then you will be relieved to hear many parents are able to get their children fully toilet trained in less than a week.
The trick, of course, is employing the right techniques and doing so consistently. And with all the resources available to you right here, there is simply no reason not to have your child potty trained in only 3 days!