There are a lot of articles on how and when your child is ready for potty training; there are also multiple articles on how to go about potty training, but let’s take a step back and talk a little about how this “ready” phase is something that comes from the parent and not the child?

Toileting is something that even a newborn is capable of. Babies do have some control over their bladder and bowel movements from day one. The shift in this occurs when the child can express the need to use the bathroom a few minutes prior to the point. As with anything, this only happen with exposure and allowing the child some freedom of making mistakes. So instead of talking about signs your child will display, let’s look at signs parents should be giving to their child before starting the potty training process.

1. Take the babies into the bathroom once a day, if not more. With the convenience of diapers, babies have no clue about the bathroom being the place to eliminate their waste. When one does this from early on, the child is already accepting of the idea that the bathroom is to be used for toileting needs.

2. Allow your child diaper free times as much as you can. Using cloth diapers also works since it allows the child to associate pee-poop with discomfort, and therefore the child might be more willing to use the bathroom when time comes

3. When you are ready, please make sure you are prepared for several months of hard work. Even if your child has mastered the art of using the restroom, there will be plenty of accidents, especially when they are engrossed in playing, or the weather suddenly changes, etc. Only if you are ready for that, start active process of potty training. Children who have been on cloth diapers and have been exposed to EC also will have phases of accidents. Get support systems in place for yourself to keep your sanity.

4. Remember no matter when, any “training” needs time, consistency and opportunity to make mistakes. Allow the child to participate in cleaning up after accidents as well, no matter how small the child is. It makes them feel responsible and therefore they take active interest in using the restroom

5. Many parents who have waited too long to begin (in our opinion best time is 12-18 months) will also encounter additional resistance that is a natural aspect of social-emotional-communication development at this age. Please be prepared for extra tantrums. Again remember, success will come from how consistent you are with the idea of potty training. If you have decided to stop using diapers, then no matter what do not go back to them as it will only confuse your child.

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Prepping your Toddler for the arrival of a Younger Sibling

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