Potty Training Guide

Toilet training (herein referred to as "potty training") is an exciting time for parents and children, as the child takes the next step to becoming a "big" girl or boy. While parents usually start this adventure filled with the anticipation of being able to cross "diapers" off the shopping list, their toddlers can make them wonder if this will ever happen.

Successful potty training requires a positive attitude and tons of patience on the parent's part. More importantly, it requires cooperation and readiness on the part of the trainee. Attempting to train a child who is not physically or emotionally mature will not only be unproductive, it will cause unnecessary stress for both parent and toddler.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that between 18 and 24 months, children often begin to show signs of being ready to begin training. Some children may not be ready until 30 months or older. Since children under the age of 18 months have little to no control over their bladder or bowel movements, beginning before this time is not useful.

Some of the signs that indicate a child is ready to be trained are:

Your child shows interest in using the toilet.

Your child makes a face, changes her posture or tells you when she is about to urinate or have a bowel movement.

Your child wants to be changed soon after soiling his diaper.

Your child can speak well enough to communicate when she needs to use the potty.

How to Start

Once you feel your child is ready to begin potty training, the first step is to purchase a potty chair. A potty chair is smaller than the toilet and helps the child to feel more secure.

Have your child sit on the potty during times she is most likely to urinate or have a bowel movement, such as in the morning, before and after naps or after mealtimes. Reading a book, talking or singing songs will encourage your child to sit on the chair longer. Avoid trying to force your child to sit for long periods of time or against her will.

Don't be surprised if, after sitting on the potty without result, your child stands up and begins to urinate. This is often perceived as stubbornness. The fact is, your child may not have mastered the skill of relaxing his bladder muscles. If this happens frequently, it may be a sign that he is not yet ready.

Training Pants

When your child begins to successfully use the potty, you may want to consider purchasing training pants for daytime use. Disposable training pants are convenient for outings, but cotton training pants will allow your child to be more aware of when they are urinating, encouraging them to use the potty instead. Plastic diaper covers will help protect your home from accidents.

Nighttime

Some children simultaneously learn to stay dry during the day and at night. For others, it can take several months, even a few years. Allowing your child to wear a diaper at night until she begins to consistently wake up dry will prevent feelings of shame and failure.

Regression

A new baby, changes in routine, family crisis or putting too much pressure on your child, can cause him to regress in the potty department. Avoid making your child feel bad during this time and encourage him to keep trying.

Relax

Every child's body is different. Some catch on quickly,while others take much longer to recognize the signals their body is sending them. Lavish praise on your child when she is successful and reassurance when she has an accident.

Avoid comparing your child's potty training progress to that of an another child's. Mastering the use of the toilet is not an indication of a child's intelligence. It is dependent on their physical, physiological and emotional maturity. Have patience and eventually, your child will be a "big" boy or girl.

Karen Bianchi is a freelance writer and the editor of http://www.AwesomeMomsNetwork.com She is also the mother of 4 potty-trained kids. You can contact her at [email protected]

In The News:

When Can Babies Use Spoons and Forks? - Introducing Utensils  What To Expect When You're Expecting

Tips For a First-Time Mom

Having a baby can be one the most life-changing experiences... Read More

Wheres My Mother of The Year Award?

With orange juice spilled over the kitchen table, Playdough in... Read More

Should I Call The Doctor If My Baby Has A Fever

Sooner or later, your new baby will develop a fever.... Read More

Should You Get Baby Shower Game Ideas for Free?

There are quite a few baby shower game ideas for... Read More

Feng Shui Fertility: Six Ways to Create More Baby Chi

Today, feng shui is used for everything from arranging office... Read More

Baby Safety Checklist - Protecting Your Baby

When bringing home your new baby, there are so many... Read More

Guide to Choosing Toddler Toys

The play has many more functions for toddlers than for... Read More

Everything You Need To Know About Your Baby?s Teething Process

The teething process can be a difficult period for both... Read More

Advantages Of A Sheepskin Underlay For Babies

Sheepskin offers unique advantages as an underlay for babies. One... Read More

A Baby Shower Cake is the Highlight of the Baby Shower

When you're holding a baby shower one of the most... Read More

Prepare Your Child For Potty Training

When your child shows a majority of the signs of... Read More

Movement and Infants

Besides the fact that they were built to do so,... Read More

Bye-Bye Bottle

It's finally time. My child is old enough to be... Read More

How to Choose a Diaper Pail for Disposable Diapers

When you have already made the decision not to use... Read More

Childrens Backpack Safety and Comfort

One of the easiest and safest ways to carry your... Read More

Does Your Baby Necessarily Need Shoes?

When you came up with such question, what will be... Read More

Baby Dangers New Parents Need to Know About

This Spring many new parents will welcome new additions into... Read More

Favorite Cake Flavors for Baby and Bridal Showers

A cake is an excellent treat at any party, especially... Read More

Baby Shower Favors to Spice up Your Baby Shower

Baby Shower Favors should be at every baby shower for... Read More

How To Look For Baby Books

Look for Books! The books that you pick to read... Read More

Choose The Perfect Baby Shower Gift

The first thing you should do when trying to choose... Read More

13 Donts on Child Safety

For years, we have been taught that 13 is an... Read More

Freezing Homemade Baby Food

With our twin boys getting ready to start solid food,... Read More

7 Stages of Potty Training

There are seven stages of potty training. They begin with... Read More

Creative Potty Training

When I was potty training my two young boys, I... Read More