Potty training is often considered your toddler’s last big step into the world of a preschooler! As parents, we are either saddened as we bid this last bit of our child’s babyhood farewell—or we are doing a no-more-diapers dance of joy! Whether you are in the former category or the latter, the time will come when you must decide if both you and your child are ready for the transition!
Is Your Child Ready?
Unless you have used methods of infant potty training, you are likely preparing for the potty training of a toddler (between the ages of 13 months and three years). Many experts believe that the most successful potty training attempts begin around age two but can be much earlier or later depending on the child. What should you consider as you wonder about readiness?
Is your child’s bladder ready for potty training? This may sound silly, but if your child’s bladder does not yet have the capacity to hold a larger quantity of urine, he or she may not be quite ready for the long waits between potty visits! If your child is going potty 8-10 times per day, you may want to wait until his bladder appears a little stronger.
Is your child physically ready for potty training? Aside from his bladder capacity, is your child’s physical development level ready to training? Can your child walk well? Have you taught him or her to dress and undress? The abilities to run to the potty and both unfasten and pull down the pants will be a vital ones to your success!
Is your child able to follow directions? Can your child understand, speak and follow directions well? If not, it may benefit both of you to wait until these skills improve! Potty training is a huge learning milestone. If a parent is also trying to teach a child to follow simple commands like pull down your pants or sit down, it only adds to the stress for both parent and child.
Does your child have any interest in going potty? Some kids, especially those without older siblings to mimic, just do not have an incentive to invest the effort into the potty scene until they are a little older. Until the child has the desire, or the parents provide proper incentive, the task can be fairly time-consuming and doomed to failure!
You’ve decided that your child is ready….but, are you ready?
Child readiness is only half the story! Are you ready to race to the restroom at every store, restaurant and park on a variety of false alarms? Are you ready to tackle the accidents and the haz mat style cleanup of favorite chairs, the floor—even the family dog? Quite honestly, diapers are convenient—and you’ve depended on them for quite a while!
Is it the right time for you?
Some parents swear that summer is the potty training season because the child is wearing fewer clothes—which creates easier potty visits and less clean up during accidents. Others claim winter is best because you are often home more and can be more consistent with training until a routine develops. Take a look at your schedule. Are you camping out at the soccer field, a five minute walk from the restroom, every night until November? Are you planning a family vacation or starting a new job? Will schedules be unpredictable? If you aren’t ready for the potty training commitment, take a few weeks to get yourself, your home and your lifestyle ready for the adventure!
Potty training is your last big step from baby to big kid! Ensuring that both parent and child are up to the challenge will greatly add to your rapid success! Be patient. Be consistent. Most importantly, be ready to say goodbye to your baby and hello to your big kid—if it’s the right time, of course.