Most parents start potty training between 24 & 30 months. Experts say that potty training takes about 6-10 months to complete. “Complete” means reliable and consistent daytime dryness.
Most children are ready and willing to potty learn at about 34 – 39 months. Potty learning is completed in 0-2 days.
This article is Part 2 of a series of 3 articles.
Around the age of 18 – 24 months most children show an increased interest in using the potty chair or toilet. They may take their diaper off. They may sit on the potty chair or toilet and they may even urinate in it. They are curious. They want to imitate their parents, siblings and/or peers. Often, parents see this as a sign of being ready to potty train. They may “schedule & catch” as many as 2 or 3 urinations per day in the potty/toilet. They decide to start the “potty training” process.
Unfortunately, this new curiosity is short-lived and almost always lasts for only a month (if that). Usually, the child loses his or her curiosity, willingness and cooperation. What follows is a constant struggle and a lot of wet training pants for the next 6 – 10 months. They were curious but not ready.
WebMD, The Academy of Pediatrics, Kimberly Clark/Pull-Ups, The Medical College of Wisconsin (after a 2-year study) and many other sources say that whether you start potty training your child at 2, 2 ½ or later your child will complete potty training at about 34 – 36 months if a girl and at about 37.5-39 months if a boy. Starting early means 6-10 months of accidents, frustration for both child and parent, time-consuming “training” efforts, clean-up and laundry for parents and caregivers, tension between child and parent/caregiver and low self-esteem for the child after months of “failing”. Read about what theses experts have to say.
Potty Training Readiness
- Do not start before you and your child are ready. Start when you are able to devote the time and energy necessary to encourage your child on a daily basis.
- Your child understands and follows basic instructions.
- Your child remains dry for at least 2 hour periods during the day.
- Your child has regular and predictable bowel movements.
- Your child walks to and from the bathroom and can pull his or her pants down and back up again.
- Your child feels uncomfortable if his or her diaper is wet or soiled and communicates this and/or that he or she needs to be changed.
- Your child seems interested in the potty chair or toilet.
- Your child says that he or she would like to go to the potty.
- Your child wakes up from naps with a dry diaper.
- Your child has asked to wear underwear.
Potty Learning Readiness
- Start when your child is ready. There isn’t anything for YOU to be ready for and nothing for you to devote time to.
- When a child with normal development is approaching his or her 3rd birthday following basic instructions is not a concern.
- At this age, your child is no doubt remaining dry for 2 hours.
- At this age, your child is no doubt having regular bowel movements.
- At this age your child should be independent enough that he or she is dressing and undressing him or herself. Pulling pants down and up and changing pants should not be a concern.
- Your child feels uncomfortable if his or her diaper is wet or soiled and communicates this and asks to be changed.
- Your child has asked to wear grown-up underwear or has agreed to the suggestion.
- During the past 12-18 months, your child has had exposure to the potty chair and/or toilet, has seen parents, siblings and/or peers use the potty chair/toilet, and has been involved in casual conversations about using the potty chair/toilet.
- Your child almost always wakes up from naps with a dry diaper.
- Your child (over the age of 2 ½ years) has asked to or agreed that he or she will start wearing cloth training pants (“big girl/boy panties/underwear”) and will start using the potty chair toilet (even if mildly hesitant).
I previously owned and operated Awesome Beginnings Childcare for 18 years. I have 4 children of my own and have potty trained, and later potty learned, MANY, MANY children. I have done it both ways. I’ve learned that the process of a child accomplishing reliable and consistent daytime dryness doesn’t have to be a long, negative battle. If you can pass through (but support) the initial phase (when your child is about 24 months) and wait until the child is truly ready, the process literally starts and is complete in usually ZERO days. Ninety percent of children are accident free on the first day. It is a quick, simple and positive experience. It is truly “magical”!
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