When to start potty training

As parents, it’s natural to worry about potty training. While we look forward to our little ones ditching their diapers, we’re also aware that it’s not an easy task. Recognizing when your child is ready is crucial since it can make the process more efficient and less stressful.

The American Association of Pediatrics suggests that while not all indicators are necessary, displaying more of them increases the likelihood of success in potty training. These indicators include:

  • Child’s Age:  Most experts recommend starting potty training at 24 months.
  • Cognitive factors: Your child must be able to recognize the sensation of needing to go to the bathroom in order to master toilet training.
  • Language factors: To learn the steps involved in using the bathroom, your child must be able to understand and communicate vocabulary related to it through words or gestures, as well as follow simple, sequential directions.
  • Fine and gross motor factors: Your child needs to be able to walk to the bathroom, manage their clothes with some help, and sit up and stand up again.
  • Emotional factors: Potty training tends to be easier when children show a desire to do things independently. Additionally, it’s a big emotional accomplishment for your child to let go of something that they consider their own (yes, we’re talking about his pee and poop).
  • Lifestyle factors: Potty training requires time, energy, patience, and enthusiasm from both you and your child. It’s a good idea to start when you and your child are relaxed and not going through any major life changes, such as a new job or moving. It’s also important to avoid starting when your child is sick or uncomfortable.
  • Behavioral factors: If your child shows signs of discomfort when their diaper is wet or dirty and asks for a change, this is a good indicator that they are ready to start using the bathroom.
  • Social factors: Social imitation can be a powerful motivator for children. They may become curious and imitate the bathroom habits of older siblings, parents, or other people they observe.

Here are some helpful tips for potty training your child:

  • Use positive and encouraging language when talking to your child about using the bathroom.
  • Celebrate your child’s efforts and cooperation, no matter how small or big.
  • Stay calm and direct during the potty-training process.
  • Stick to a regular schedule for bathroom breaks at home and when you’re out.
  • Use consistent language when talking about going to the bathroom.
  • Communicate your potty-training plan with others who interact with your child and ask them to follow the same routine and use the same vocabulary.
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