When it comes to potty training, most parents are offered a lot of advice from their pediatrician and well-intentioned friends and family members. Many people suggest that toddlers are ready to start potty training as early as 18 months old, while others say that kids aren’t ready until they are closer to 2 years old or older. Whatever the case may be, parents should bear in mind that all children are unique and respond to this new adventure differently.
Unfortunately, toddlers cannot tell their parents when they are ready to start this new venture. However, there are clear signs that indicate a child’s readiness for potty training. WebMD says that there are physical signs that children show when they are receptive to potty training.
Some of the physical signs to look for are:
- Has consistent bladder and bowel control
- Diapers are usually dry for 2 hours or more as bladder becomes stronger to hold urine
- Has predictable bowel habits
- Able to urinate significant amount at one time
- Has stable walking gait and can climb on the toilet without assistance
There are other signs to look for concerning potty training readiness as well. The next set of signs are referred to behavioral signals and include:
- Shows facial expressions when having a bowel movement, such as grimacing or making a grunting noise
- Child tells parents that they need to go to the bathroom.
- Toddler exhibits independence
- Shows interest in and watches parent’s bathroom habits
- Can pull pants on and off (Although this is not necessary, it is helpful).
- Sits quietly in one position for approximately 2 – 5 minutes
- Child does not like the feeling of a wet or soiled diaper
- Does not resist using the toilet
- Child has a willingness to learn and cooperative spirit throughout this process
- Enjoys the praise and rewards of going potty like a big kid
Sometimes parents have alternative motives to start the potty training process earlier than usual because changes may be happening within the family. For example, maybe a new baby is arriving soon, and parents don’t want both children to be in diapers, or perhaps a parent is returning to work. If the little one attends a daycare program, many want the child to be potty trained. Whatever the reason, the decision is up to the parents.
Some children are potty trained within a couple of months, while other kids experience the potty training routine for a year or more. The most important thing to remember is that in most cases, parents who rush the potty training process usually experience adverse results which causes delay and frustration all around. Also, keep in mind that many children relapse during this process. This is normal, and it doesn’t last long. Eventually, kids will get back into the potty training process. So, take this new avenue with ease, and be patient. Relax, and make this experience as positive as possible and all will be well.