If you are reading this, you must be thinking about when to potty train your child. Your child is probably around the age of 18 months–2yrs and you are wondering when all the diaper changing will end? Maybe you’ve seen some signs of readiness in your child?
If your child is showing signs of readiness and you are ready to commit time to it, then the time to potty train is now.
Potty training timing—unique for each child
Just as learning to walk or talk is a unique developmental task for each child, so is learning to potty train. There is no one physiologically “correct” timetable for potty training (Brazelton, et. al., 1999). So don’t worry—you haven’t missed your chance! It’s important that potty training be done according to the needs of you and your child, not because of pressure from grandma or daycare.
Is it too early to potty train?
Whether your child is under 1 year, 12-24 months, or over age 2, there are pros and cons for each age for potty training. The widespread belief that early potty training causes psychological or behavioral problems is not supported by evidence. For example, a recent study (Blum, et. al., 2003) showed that earlier starters (18-24 months) were no more likely than late starters (>27 months) to experience potty training problems such as constipation and refusing to use a toilet. The real key to success is preparing your child for toilet training and you can begin this at any time.
Best times not to potty train
There are, however, several recommended times not to begin potty training no matter the age. For instance, if your child is going through a major transition such as joining a new daycare, adjusting to a new baby, moving into a new home, or if your child is ill, you should wait to start training until later. Also avoid times when your child is constipated.
The most important thing: provide a relaxed environment for learning
Keep in mind that deciding when to potty train is less important than preparing your child well and creating a relaxed, non-coercive atmosphere for learning. Our training toy, Potty Duck, can help you begin the process by creating a relaxed atmosphere, teaching the concepts you want your child to learn. Potty Duck can help with all of your potty training needs, no matter your child’s age.
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