Saying goodbye to diapers is one of the milestones that parents look forward to the most. Kids are also generally excited about wearing “big kid underwear,” as well. Typically, most children will show signs of readiness between 18 and 24 months—but it can differ from child to child.
How do I know When my Child is Ready?
It is important to understand when your child is ready to begin potty training. According to your pediatrician, your child may be ready for potty training if they:
- Knows words for urine, stool and toilet
- Is somewhat bothered by feeling wet or soiled
- Shows interest in using the potty
- Has an awareness of when they are about to urinate or have a bowel movement
Are You Ready?
While it is important to know when your child is ready, your pediatrician also explains that it is also important for you to be prepared, as well. Potty training is not easy, and it does take a lot of energy and patience. It requires countless bathroom visits, and even extra laundry and puddle cleaning. If you or your spouse are up for it, go for it, but it is important to be patient and ready to help your child each step of the way—don’t get discouraged.
Explore Different Strategies
When it comes to potty training, there are many strategies you can try. If you need help creating a proper strategy, talk to your pediatrician for suggestions. Here are a few commonly used by parents:
- The hugs-and-kisses approach – give your child praise every time they use the potty correctly.
- The cold-turkey underwear approach – let your child pick out several pairs of “fun” underwear to make them feel special and go from there.
- The get-with-the-program approach – dedicate time to promoting potty use for your child. Stay home and gently steer your toddler to the bathroom at predictable points throughout the day.
- The sticker-chart approach – this is a fun way to encourage your child to begin potty training. Each time they use the potty, they get a sticker.
Each child is different, so make sure you tailor your approach to best mean your child’s individual needs. While one approach may work for one child, another approach might be better for your other child. Talk to your pediatrician for more information on potty training and to learn more about other approaches you might want to tackle.