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Potty training

Overview of Potty training

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Potty training can both be fun and irritating. When practiced in a proper way it paves the way for better toilet manners in the growing child. It also helps to build the confidence in the child about its ability to control the bowel movements. If not practiced in a proper way it can be quite irritating for the parent while it can lead to depression or aggression in the growing child.


Normal age of Potty training 

Most of the children are ready to be potty trained when they are between the ages 18 and 24 months. However, many children may not be trained even though they have attained the age of 3 years. There is nothing to worry about this as it is a common finding.

You can decide to meet the doctor if your child is not potty trained even after 3 years of age or if the previously potty trained child has problems with bladder or bowel control.

When is my child ready?

Now coming to the million dollar question, when is the child ready to be potty trained? The answer to this question depends on a number of factors. Age is one of the factors.

Other factors can include:

  • The ability of the child to understand your instructions (such as “sit here” or “wait for the candy”),
  • Your ability to predict the bowel movements of your child,
  • The child’s ability to walk to the bathroom,
  • The child’s understanding about soiling his diapers and the child asking for the potty chair.

As age advances the bowel movement in children become regular and quite predictable. The child can normally stay dry for about 2 hours continuously. As the understanding about the bowel process increases, the child may express his need to urinate or pass stools. These are some of the indications that your child is ready for toilet training. But, do not hurry.

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Steps in Potty training

The first step in potty training? Buying the potty trainer. A simple tip: buy a bright colored trainer or the kid’s favorite colored trainer. Once you have the equipment, the training can be begun.

The best way to start is to decide about the words used to describe stool and urine. Don’t use words that the child may feel embarrassed to use in front of guests or other people. Some of the commonly used words include “pee”, “potty” or “poop”.

Many authors suggest allowing the child to be with you while you go to the bathroom. This may suggest the child about going to the bathroom for passing stools or urinating.

Next step can be getting the child familiarized with the potty trainer. Make the child sit with the clothes on for a few times to make him feel comfortable with the chair. Next you can ask the child to let you know when the diaper is soiled; putting the soiled diaper into the potty chair and then transferring it into the toilet can be helpful for the child to understand about the concept of the toilet. Then, you need to identify the times when the child passes his stool usually and make him sit in the trainer without the pants. The child may not sit at once and you may need to convince him that it is safe.

You can also try telling some stories or showing some interesting things while the child is on the trainer for the first few times. Once the child passes the stool or urinates into the potty trainer remember to encourage him by saying that he has done a good job and you are happy about it. On the contrary, do not scold or say that he is a bad child if fails in the first few attempts.

Once the child is confident about using the potty trainer, then you can introduce him to the toilet. You may need to accompany the child for the first few times until he learns to do it by himself.


Points to remember during Potty training

  • Have patience
  • Try to notice when the child usually passes stool or urinates
  • Reward for using the potty
  • Do not punish for missed attempts and last but not the least, the learning curve varies

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: October 30, 2012