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When to start potty training?

Unpopular opinion; Start when you and your child are ready.

Hear me out.

Potty training is not all about your baby, you need to be ready and onboard as much as they do.

Potty training like other milestones and developmental changes, I believe need the parent and child to both be ready for it to successfully happen. I remember with my first, I had all that I thought I’d need to start potty training her, I was so excited to get her started, I had stickers and colorful potty books and all that, however, she was not ready and I got frustrated and a week later I decided to stop with a plan to restart later.

I believe there’s no magical age for potty training.

According to an article on News24, thinking about when to start toilet training has shifted since the early 20th century. In the 1920s, for instance, 12 months was considered suitable. By the 1960s, the advice was later than 18 months. Researchers suggest changes may be due to parents’ work schedules, convenient disposables, and a more liberal approach to parenting. Over the last 80 years, Western families have been increasing the age at which they toilet train, from less than 18 months 40 years ago, to between 21 and 36 months today.

Children with special needs may take longer learning to use the toilet.

How do I know if my child is ready to start potty training?

Here are signs that you can look out for

Remember that your child does not have to show all of these signs to indicate that they are ready. You can also take the initiative and teach your child some of the skills listed above.

When to start potty training?

1 Your child is aware of their body.

They can feel when pee or poop is coming. They may often use body language like, hiding behind a couch or waiting till they’re along to do a bowel movement or grunting or squatting

2 They can sit, stand, and walk, as well as follow simple commands and communicate a little.

Starting potty training when your child has reached these milestones will position you both for long-term success.

3 Your child can handle their clothing; they can push down and pull up pants.

4 They can stay dry for longer hours (2 or more hours).

5 Some kids may not like a wet or dirty nappy, they might want to be changed frequently.

6 Your child’s bowel movements are predictable.

He/She has a regular pattern, for example, he/she has a bowel movement in the morning, after meals, or immediately before night. Being able to predict this can help you anticipate when to get the potty and so increase your chances of success.

How to prepare for potty training as a parent.

1 A parent’s first step in potty training their child is to make sure you’re ready for it when the child is. When it’s time to start, a parent should start buying products to prepare them.

I have a potty training checklist that can help give you a head start on this journey, click here to download.

2. Educate yourself, read books, listen to podcasts, attend webinars on potty training. Be equipped for the new journey that you and your child will be embarking on.

3. Decide on a method you are going to use to potty train your child.

4. Give your child and yourself grace. Potty training can be messy, I remember with my first, the was a day where I was just cleaning poop and wiping pee all over the house. I did more washing on that day than any other day; there were so many accidents I lost count however we didn’t stay in the messy season for long. Not long after, my daughter and I were winning in potty training. Your child is not perfect, neither are you, remember that.

Remember every child is different, so is their potty training experience so do not compare your child’s journey to another.  

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