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Health Information For Parents
Many parents are unsure about when to start toilet training or “potty training.” Not all kids are ready at the same age, so it’s important to watch your child for signs of readiness, such as stopping an activity for a few seconds or clutching his or her diaper.
Instead of using age, look for signs that your child may be ready to start heading for the potty, such as being able to:
Most children begin to show these signs when they’re between 18 and 24 months old, though some may not be ready until later than that. And boys often start later and take longer to learn to use the potty than girls.
There are some times when you may want to put off starting toilet training, such as:
Teaching a toddler to use the potty isn’t an overnight task. It often takes between 3 and 6 months, but can take more or less time for some children. If you start too soon, the process tends to take longer. And it can take months to even years to master staying dry at night.
The two basic potty options are:
It’s usually best for boys to first learn to use the toilet sitting down before learning to pee standing up. For boys who feel awkward — or scared — about standing on a stool to pee in the toilet, a potty chair may be a better option.
You may want to get a training potty or seat for every bathroom in your house. You may even want to keep a potty in the trunk of your car for emergencies. When traveling long distances, be sure to take a potty seat with you and stop every 1 to 2 hours. Otherwise, it can take too long to find a restroom.
Disposable training pants are a helpful step between diapers and underwear. Because kids’ nighttime bladder and bowel control often lags behind their daytime control, some parents like using training pants at night. Others prefer that their child use training pants when they’re out and about. Once the training pants remain dry for a few days, kids can make the switch to wearing underwear.
But some people think that disposable training pants might make kids think it’s OK to use them like diapers, thus slowing the toilet-teaching process.
Ask your doctor if your child would benefit from using disposable training pants as a transitional step.
Even before your child is ready to try the potty, you can prepare your little one by teaching about the process:
If you’ve decided that your child is ready to start learning how to use the potty, these tips may help:
Many kids who’ve been using the potty have some trouble during times of stress. For example, a 2- or 3-year-old dealing with a new sibling may start having accidents.
But if your child was potty-trained and is regularly having problems, talk with your doctor.
Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about toilet training or your child is 4 years or older and is not yet potty trained.
Bedwetting is an issue that millions of families face every night. Most of the time it’s not a sign of any deeper medical or emotional issues and kids eventually grow out of it.
If your child has bowel movements in places other than the toilet, you know how frustrating it can be. Many kids who soil beyond the years of toilet teaching have a condition known as encopresis.
Enrolling your little one in preschool can be a time filled with many questions. Find out how to establish an open, clear channel of communication with your child’s preschool teacher.
Lots of kids wet the bed. Find out more in this article for kids.
Get tips and advice on helping your child make the switch from diapers to big-kid underwear â for good!
Learn how to encourage good behavior, handle tantrums, and keep your cool when parenting your toddler.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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