Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TODDLER TUESDAY! Facts About Potty Training

Sienna getting used to the potty....

Reading a potty book...

Are you embarking on the potty training phase or in the midst of it? Me too!  Well, if you are like me you would like to do this at the right time (and be done with diapers!) but you are slightly overwhelmed.  Maybe you aren't sure if your child is ready or when is the right time to bite the bullet and "get er done"!  Maybe you are hearing hearing different kinds of advice from your mother in law, friends, and the 50 million online resources and books that are out there!  Perhaps knowing the facts will help guide us in the right direction!  Here are some facts that I've found and also ideas from some of the most respected doctors/experts on the subject.

1.  Potty training is not easy for a child.  First of all, they need lots of practice and determination to develop the fine motor skills neccessary to master the skill.  In addition, a child need to be at the right stage of development when they can recognize what their body needs and be able to to learn what they need to do and how quickly.  Although some children seem to catch onto using the potty overnight, most kids take an average of 7 months to be completely trained.

2.  The average age for a child to be completely done with diapers in the United States is 39 months for boys and 35 months for girls (that's almost 3 years if you are counting on your fingers!!) Remember, that's the AVERAGE! So, if you're freaking out-stop!

3.  Bed wetting is common, even in older children. 10% of kids are still wetting the bed at night by age 7.  Nighttime dryness is achieved only when a child's physiology supports this--you can't rush it.

4.  Children need to show emotional/developmental signs of readiness before being successful with potty training.  This includes being able to pull their pants up and down and showing some interest in using the potty (or interest in wearing "big kid pants").  Also, if their diaper is often dry after a nap then their starting to show developmental signs of readiness.

5.  Power struggles with your toddler will make potty training impossible! Punishments and consequences will make potty training a negative experience.  Set yourself up for success by having enough support and preparing for accidents.

6.  Potty training takes an average of eight months but will vary from child to child. One child can take one month; another might take up to a year or more.

7.  Children respond to positive motivation during this process.  Using motivational tools such as clapping/cheers, stickers or special underwear can be a great motivation for toddlers. Also, special books can make the process fun.

8.  Make the potty accessible and easy. Many experts will say children should be naked during the first 3 days or week of potty training and all experts agree that pulling pants/underwear on or off can be a difficult challenge for a toddler in the beginning.  Plan to stay home for the first few days. If your bathroom is close to where you and your toddler spend most of your time, think about buying a portable potty.  The portable potty can also be helpful when traveling.

9.  Potty Training does not have to be difficult.  Just like teaching a child to walk, getting rid of the bottle, or getting children to eat their dinner...potty training can be easy with a little patience and some preparation!

Well, I've spent over 10 hours gathering information about this topic! I hope it helps you in your mission!  From what I have gathered, potty training is not as complex or difficult as we make it out to be!  In fact, I don't think that buying a "how to" book for potty training is necessary!  Authors and doctors all seem to agree that it is a natural process that parents have done for years and years and something that we will look back and laugh about when our child is older. 

Chances are, your child will not look like this at 35..

Teaching our teens to drive...well, that will be another story!  So for now...relax and enjoy the ride!


  1. ahh, potty training, not looking forward to it.

  2. So glad I don't have to figure it out alone;-)