Potty training is a difficult time for both parents and children. Kids struggle with change, independence, and fear, so getting them to use the toilet requires a lot of time and patience. However, if you and your child are ready, you can potty train your toddler in no time at all. Just remember potty training is a big life step and it will take a lot of knowledge, patience, and a positive attitude.
The average family spends $75 a month on diapers. That’s almost $1000 a year. Couple this big expensive with the unpleasantness of changing diapers and potty training cannot come fast enough for most of us. However, potty training requires both emotional and physical readiness, so no matter how eager you are to get started, your child may not be ready.
So instead of forcing the issue, look for the signs that your child is ready to start potty training including:
- Complaining about wet or dirty diapers
- Interest in using the toilet
- Their diapers stay dry for two or more hours
- Your child can recognize when it is time to go to the toilet
- They can sit down and stand up from a potty chair
- They are capable of following basic directions
If you start noticing these signs, it’s probably time to get your child to start potty training. If they aren’t ready you can start working on gauging their interest. Talk about how brave using the potty is or how it must be sad to have a wet diaper. Eventually your child will start taking interest and will want to potty train.
What Is The Average Age A Child Starts Potty Training?
Since potty training depends on a child’s emotional and physical readiness, the age a child begins potty training varies between 18 months and 24 months. Typically, girls start potty training earlier than boys and they also tend to pick up the skill faster. Generally speaking though, a child should start training around 2 years old.
Keep Your Expectations Reasonable
Most children are potty trained around 2.9 years old after weeks or months of working with them. Parenting blogs, books, and even family members will offer you a whole range of tips and tricks to potty train your child overnight. However, there’s no magical way to potty train your kids. Potty training really boils down to routine, patience, and encouragement. So keep your expectations reasonable so you don’t get frustrated.
How To Potty Train
When it’s time to potty follow these steps to success:
- Buy a potty training toilet. It helps to pick a potty training toilet that is appealing to your child. Potty training toilets come in a variety of friendly designs from bright colors to animal shapes. Some even feature some of their favorite cartoon characters. You can even take your child with you to pick out the toilet themself, so they will be really excited to get started.
- Switch to pull-up diapers. Pull up diapers make potty training much easier for you and your toddler because they can just go without fussing with a diaper.
- Maintain a very positive attitude. Only talk positively about potty training and make sure that all the adults in their life do the same. Never get frustrated if your child makes a mistake or if the training isn’t going as quickly as you’d like.
- Demonstrate potty methods. Show them how they will pull down their underwear and sit on the toilet. Then show them how to use toilet paper, wiping from front to back. Then, show them how to wash their hands afterwards. You can even recruit their favorite doll to demonstrate.
- Schedule a routine. Have them sit on the potty for 15 minutes every hour. Make sure to make this time engaging though so they don’t get frustrated or bored. Sit the toilet in front of the TV or give our children a toy to play with so they stay on the toilet.
- Learn the signs. Notice the signs when your child needs to use the restroom like squatting or holding him or herself. The moment you notice a sign, rush them to the toilet. That way they can learn to recognize the signs themselves.
- Choose some incentives. When your child does go to the potty, come up with fun ways to positively reinforce their behavior. You can reward them with extra perks to encourage their behavior.
- Don’t be afraid to start over. If you start potty training and you realize your child is not ready, it’s okay. You can always take a break and try again in a few weeks or months.
Just remember every child is different. The average age children are potty trained is between 2-5 years of age. So don’t put too much pressure to meet some expectation of training.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Potty training can take weeks or months and your child may still have accidents. That doesn’t mean that you haven’t done a good job training them, it’s just all part of the process. In fact, 43% of children still wet the bed nightly at 4 years old, while other children may still experience bedwetting accidents until their early teen years. So though accidents may be very frustrating, don’t get discouraged. Just stay patient, prepared, and offer gentle reminders about using the restroom.
Potty training can be an exhausting experience and it is hard to know if you are doing it right. Just remember there is no one right way to potty train. Every child is different, so there are no standards when they should be trained by. So just follow these simple steps, stay patient and encouraging, and your child will be potty trained effectively.