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Potty Training

Potty training tips and advice

While it would be ideal if children could be potty trained straight from the womb, children are not born into the world ready to use the toilet. Little ones must be emotionally as well as physically prepared for the task of potty training. The majority of children, both boys and girls, reach this level of maturity sometime around 22 to 30 months old. However, every child is different, and some are ready well before this time, while others need a little extra time in their diapers. If you try to begin training before your child is ready, it will turn into a physically and emotionally exhausting trial for the both of you, marring this learning experience completely.

Potty Training Tips

  1. DO NOT begin potty training until your child is ready. If you begin the process and are met with a lot of resistance, abandon your efforts for a period of time until your child is more mature.
  2. Watch for signs that your child may be ready to begin potty training. Some evidence that they are able to control their bladder and sphincter muscles is a routine potty schedule. If you can time your child's dirty diapers by a clock or have noticed dry diapers after naps or for periods of time greater than two hours, then your child may have adequate control.
  3. Children must have control of the rest of their body, as well. In order to complete all of the tasks associated with bathroom visits, your child must be able to get to the bathroom, remove clothing, climb onto the toilet and perform other basic motor skills that will allow them to wipe and wash afterward.
  4. Just because your child has all of the aforementioned physical skills does not mean that he or she will be emotionally ready for the potty training task. Encourage your child by buying cool underwear for your boy or pretty little princess panties for your girl. Remind them that only "big boys" and "big girls" get to wear such cool underpants. This may move them more quickly towards being emotionally ready to toilet train.
  5. Potty training takes time. 3 year old potty training is not uncommon; the typical child is not fully trained until after this age.
  6. Potty training boys may take a bit more time than potty training girls. Studies have proven that boys are potty trained on average two months after girls. Potty training boys can be encouraged by putting "targets" in the toilet for the boy to "shoot" with his "water pistol." Cereal O's are good targets and won't harm your sewage system.

If your child is resisting potty training, you can make use of some pretty nifty bathroom rewards like the potty training chart. Simply use a color printer to make a weekly chart with space for stickers. Each time your boy or girl makes a successful trip to the bathroom, give them a fun sticker to fix on the chart to show that they've accomplished something!

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