Educational Article

Potty Training and Your Child


Toilet-training is about teaching your child to recognize their body signals for urinating and having a bowel movement. It is also about teaching them to use  a potty chair or toilet correctly and at the appropriate times. There is no "right age" to begin potty training your child. When the child starts to show signs that they are ready to use the potty this is when you should start the process. If you begin too early it can become a battle for both you and the child.  Some ways of knowing when your child is ready to use the toilet are: the child removing their own diaper, the child telling you that they need their diaper changed or that they are about to urinate or have a bowel movemen, the child showing interest in how the toilet is used, the child has dry diapers for long periods during the day or at naps and at night. Some children get the hang of it right away and others it takes alittle longer, this is okay, each child should move at a pace that is comfortable for them.

Sometimes parents get frustarted because they want their child to get the hang of it very quickly and they expect their child to not have accidents. Accidents are okay, you can use accidents as a learning tool. Make sure to tell the child that it is okay that they had an accident and that they can try again next time. Yelling at the child or making them feel bad that they had an accidnet will only embarrase them or hurt their feelings which may keep them from wanting to use the potty all together. Setting up a reward sytem works well for some children, make a sticker chart and keep it in the bathroom, each time your child goes on the potty give them a sticker, tell them that once they have so many stickers they get to go some where special, or pick a toy from the toy store. Things like this will get them excited to use the potty. Also remember to tell them that you are proud of them and very happy that they are using the potty like a big boy or big girl.

Some things to remember:

Not everychild is ready to go right into underwear, try pull-ups first, these are very good training tools. Although they are very good training tools, this is something that can also hinder the training process, some children see pull-ups as diapers, so sometimes it is better to go right into underwear, this is something you will have to decide on with your child. 

You may also want to keep a pull up or diaper on at naps and bedtimes for the first few weeks, then slowly take those out of the equation. When your child begins to wear underwear they will have accidents, most children don't like to be in their wet clothes. One way to help the child learn to not have accidents is to have them change their own clothes when they do. Have them take off pants and underwear. Then give them the clothes to change into, stay there with them to offer support and help if they need it, but have them try to do most of it on their own. This will help them learn that they lose time playing because they have to change their wet clothes, most children dont like this.


Here are a few links that also talk about potty training your child and give some helpful tips: