The Right Age For Potty Training

One of the most frequently asked questions by first time parents is “what is the right age for potty training?” The short answer to that is There isn’t one.

Regardless of what you may hear from well-meaning friends and relatives, the right age to potty train your child is when your child is ready. Attempting to potty train a child who has not shown any signs of readiness will frustrate both you and the child and very possibly make him resistant to potty training in the future.

Helping Your Child Get Ready

You can help your child get ready for potty training by encouraging his natural curiosity. Let him follow you into the bathroom and explain that you’re going potty. Let him learn how the toilet works. If his natural curiosity leads him to start happily flushing everything in sight, a simple toilet lid lock from the hardware store will save your sanity and your pocketbook.

You can also help him recognize that he goes potty. Ask him if his diaper is wet. When he starts to tell you on his own that he needs to be changed, he’s getting close to being ready for potty training. Switching to cloth diapers at this point will also help since the cloth diapers don’t wick the moisture away from his skin, he will be more able to feel wet.

Be Ready Yourself

Prepare for potty training by having the things you’ll need on hand. If you decide to use a potty seat or potty chair, have it ready. Your child will need training pants or underwear which you can let him choose. He may decide to give it a try if it means he gets to wear his special new Superman underwear.

Get Your Team Ready

Anyone who interacts with your child needs to be prepared to support your potty training efforts and methods. Daycare providers, relatives, friends or anyone who may need to help him needs to know what words he’ll use to tell them he needs to go potty and what do to help him.

He will become frustrated with the process if he tries to tell someone he needs to use the bathroom, and they don’t understand what he means or what routine he’s expecting. If you are using a sticker chart or other reinforcement/reward system, he will be very put out if he uses the potty and doesn’t get a sticker from grandma.

The only one who can tell you when your child is ready for potty training is your child. By being ready yourself, you’ll be able to act quickly and take advantage of the window of opportunity when it presents itself

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