What’s the right age for potty training?
A major question that crosses every parents mind at some point is “when should I potty train my child?” No two children are the same, so each child’s potty training experience will be different. Some children toilet train earlier and faster than others, while others may start later and take a few months longer. Remaining patient and focusing on the journey that works best for you and your child is key.
According to a new study, from 27 to 32 months of age is the perfect time to work on getting your child out of diapers. Evidence shows children who were toilet trained after 32 months were more prone to daytime wetting and bed-wetting between ages 4 and 12.
Researchers also discovered that potty training children before 27 months usually doesn't work either. Trying to toilet train children too soon (before they are 27 months old) simply lengthens the process.
Aside from age, the following indicators might suggest your child is ready to start potty training:
- follows basic instructions
- verbally says s/he needs to go to the bathroom
- recognizes words regarding the toilet training process
- can keep his/her diaper dry for 2 hours or more
- can get to the toilet, sit on it, and then get off the toilet
- can control his/her muscles to stop a bowel movements
- can pull down his/her own diapers or disposable training pants
- is wanting to use the potty or wear underwear rather than diapers
The gender factor
Typically, boys show less interest in potty training than do girls. As a general rule, girls are toilet trained three months quicker than boys.
How long does it take to potty train?
Teaching your toddler to potty train will not be a quick process; however, with patience it can be simple. The average potty training process takes between 3-6 months, but as previously stated, your child may need more or less time.
Preparation is key to successful toilet training. Your child will have the best chance for success if she or he is equipped with the necessary vocabulary and motor skills to make it to a restroom when he or she realizes the urge to go. If your child is in daycare or is younger than six, communicate with your child’s teacher about the program’s potty policy. Bring your child’s teacher on board with the toilet training process – most teachers have gone through toilet training before and may have helpful tips for you to use at home. Your child will appreciate having continuity of training between his home and his child care program.
Tips for potty training:
- Use and teach your child to use words to explain the act of using the restroom (pee, poop, potty or toilet)
- Ask your child “Are you going to poop? Do you need to pee?”
- Request that your child notify you when his diaper is wet or soiled
- Have a practice chair for your child to use so she can get comfortable with the idea of using a toilet
- Make time for the potty training process
- Model for your child how to sit on the toilet. Let her know what you’re doing so she will be clear on what is taking place.
- Create a routine. Taking him to the restroom when he first wakes and 40 minutes after drinking.
- When you remove the bowel movement from your child’s diaper, take it to the toilet and let your child know that poop goes in the toilet.
- Make sure that all of your child’s caregivers follow the same routine and use the same terms for body parts and restroom usage as you. Try to keep everyone on the same page so your child won’t be confused.
If your child is over the age of four and is potty trained during the day but having accidents during the night (3-5 accidents a week), you may want to talk to your child’s pediatrician. Nocturnal enuresis, also known as “bedwetting,” is a common problem that your pediatrician most likely will be able to help with.
Remain patient and persistent when toilet training your toddler. Using positive reinforcement methods and clear communication will help ensure your toddler’s potty training success.
Visit abcquality.org to learn more about child care and development, search for a child care provider and learn about the state’s voluntary quality rating system. ABC Quality is administered by the SC Department of Social Services’ Division of Early Care and Education.
By ABC Quality Team at 28 Aug 2018, 11:00 AM