Potty training abilities are contingent on a child’s emotional and physical readiness. Parents usually become interested in transitioning their children out of diapers when they are around 2 years old. This developmental skill requires the child’s interest in the task and the maturity of his/her neurological system. We’ve put together some tips to help your child master this important milestone.

7 Ways to Assess Your Childs Potty Training Readiness

  • Your child is able to stay dry for at least 2 hours—Nighttime or nap time bladder control does not count, only day time does.
  • Your child recognizes that a toilet is for voiding one’s bladder or bowels.
  • Your child shows and communicates an urge before urinating or having a bowel movement.
  • Your child complains when his/her diaper is wet or dirty.
  • Your child is able to pull up or down his own pants and underwear.
  • Your child shows or communicates an interest in the toilet and potty training
  • You child is able to sit on the toilet or potty for an extended period of time.

8 Ways You Can Help Your Child Potty Train?

  • Model the behavior. Provide a potty for your child to sit on while his siblings, or parents, use the toilet.
  • Make it a group activity. Read books, sing songs, count, recite the alphabet while he/she sits on the potty.
  • Make it a game. Put cheerios in the toilet or potty before your child uses it. Tell him/her to sink the little boats
  • (cheerios).
  • Make it a part of your child’s routine. Have your child use the potty upon waking up, mid morning, before lunch, before and after his nap, before dinner, before bath time, and before bedtime. It doesn’t matter if he is not productive, you’re helping him create habits.
  • Teach your child proper hygiene. Girls should wipe front to back. All children should wash their hands after using the bathroom.
  • If you’re home, let your child run around without a diaper. This can help with body and bodily function awareness.
  • If you are trying to train your child at night, don’t let him drink 1 to 1 1/2 hours before bedtime.
  • Lessen your expectations. Accept that your child will achieve this skill at his own pace. If your child wants to stop with the task, or is not making progress after a few weeks, respect where he is at, and try again in a month or two.
  • Praise the effort, not the results. Your child will get there eventually.

Here Are Some Little Known Facts About Potty Training:

  • If you start training your child before he is ready, the process will take longer.
  • Most children will master daytime potty training by the age of 3.
  • Many children will achieve potty training during the day, but will continue to need a diaper at night. Bladder control during sleep cycles takes longer to master and requires further brain maturity.
  • Children usually master bowel control before bladder control.
  • Children who are potty-trained can have accidents when they are distraught or distracted.
  • Emotional and physical issues can affect a child’s ability to control the bladder and bowel movements.
  • Bribing or rewards can backfire. A child who values the rewards, but cannot consistently control his bladder or bowels, will internalize his failure. Praise the effort, not the result.

Although, potty training difficulties can be a sign of underlining health issues, most children master this task eventually. It’s important to be patient and meet your child where he is at developmentally. Do not hesitate to speak to your child’s pediatrician and your CDI team if you have any concerns or questions.