Potty Training Guide


Potty training (referred to in this document as “potty training”) is an exciting time for parents and children as the child takes the next step toward becoming a “big” girl or boy. While parents generally begin this adventure in anticipation of being able to check “diapers” off the shopping list, their young children may make them wonder if this will ever happen.

Successful potty training requires a positive attitude and a lot of patience on the part of parents. More importantly, it requires cooperation and preparation on the part of the learner. Trying to train a child who is not physically or
Emotionally mature will not only be unproductive, it will cause unnecessary stress for both the parents and the child.

The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions 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 younger than 18 months have little or no control over their bladder or bowel movements, starting earlier than this time is not helpful.

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

Your child shows interest in using the bathroom.

Your child makes a face, changes position, or tells you when he is about to urinate or have a bowel movement.

Your child wants to be changed shortly after soiling the diaper.

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

How to start

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

Have your child sit on the potty when he or she is most likely to urinate or defecate, such as in the morning, before and after naps, or after meals. Reading a book, talking, or singing songs will encourage your child to sit in the chair longer. Avoid trying to force your child to sit for long periods or against their will.

Don’t be surprised if, after sitting on the potty to no avail, your child stands up and starts urinating. This is often perceived as stubbornness. The fact is, your child may not have mastered the ability to relax his bladder muscles. If this happens frequently, it may be a sign that you are not ready yet.

Training pants

When your child starts using the potty successfully, you may want to consider purchasing training pants to wear during the day. Disposable training pants are convenient for outings, but cotton training pants will allow your child to be more aware of when he is urinating, encouraging him to use the potty instead. Plastic diaper covers will help protect your home from accidents.


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 he begins to wake up constantly dry will prevent feelings of shame and failure.


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.

take it easy

Every child’s body is different. Some pick up on this quickly, while others take much longer to recognize the signals your body sends to them. Praise your child when he is successful and reassure him when he has an accident.

Avoid comparing your child’s learning progress with that of another child. Mastering the use of the bathroom is not an indication of a child’s intelligence. It depends on your physical, physiological and emotional maturity. Be patient and eventually your child will be a “big” boy or girl.

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