Certain milestones require a specific age for children. Others involve time, patience and specific signs of readiness. Potty training is a milestone your child will reach, and most of the time it will take longer than a parent hopes to reach this stage. Being free of diapers is very appealing when you have been changing them for an extended amount of time.

The age that a child can potty-train is different and depends on different factors. However, there are some general signs that a child will show that indicate potty training can be done in the near future.

Signs Your Child Is Ready to Potty Train

As a child gets older, there will be certain things that occur, as far as when bodily functions occur, that will show the child is ready to learn how to use the toilet. Those physically prepared signs include the following:

  • developing a schedule for bowel movements, typically having them the same time daily
  • not having bowel movements overnight
  • keeping a diaper dry during a nap
  • exhibiting basic motor skills
  • able to climb, walk and remove clothing.

There are also emotional factors that will come into play when attempting to potty train. A child needs to be able to use the toilet and want to do so. It is also important that the student want to use the toilet, instead of being opposed to following direction. If your child lets you know when they are going to the bathroom and also if they have an issue with being in a wet or dirty diaper, these are signs they are ready to be trained to use the bathroom.

Training a child may take a few months. It also can take longer for boys than girls. It is important to remember that a child will need help wiping after a bowel movement for a period of time after they are able to use the toilet and say goodbye to diapers. It is also a good idea to assist children in bathrooms outside the home until age 5 or 6.

Certain events and situations may cause a delay in potty training for children. Moving to a new house, adding a new family member or if there is a separation or a divorce are all times that can cause a delay or can interfere with the success of potty training efforts.


Tips for Successful Potty Training

There are several tips that can help make sure your efforts to potty train your child are successful. Consider the best method for your child and then decide which of the following will be the biggest help in training your child:

  • Start teaching by example: It is particularly helpful for boys to be able to visit the bathroom with a male role model or an older sibling and learn the proper process for using the toilet. Girls can also benefit from going with a female role model or older sibling. This helps them understand the process.
  • A favorite toy can motivate your child: Taking a toy and having the toy go through the motions of using the potty can help your child want to use the bathroom and start making the effort to learn to be like his or her toy.
  • Determine the best equipment for your child: there are several types of potty seats that can be helpful for a young child trying to learn to go diaper-free. If a potty chair that is child-size is not working, a seat that fits on the toilet in the bathroom can be a good choice also.
  • Boys like a challenge: for a boy that is particularly reluctant to use the toilet, making it a challenge or a game is an option. Use cheerios tossed into the toilet for targets and challenge them to hit the targets.
  • Rewards help a lot: For both boys and girls, a reward for using the toilet can help increase toilet training success. Cool underwear he or she can wear and candy or stickers are great choices to motivate a child to learn to use the toilet.

As with timing, different motivation and different equipment can mean success for each child. You need to watch for signs and levels of success for your child. Then, it will be a matter of putting a plan into action and being consistent.

It is also important to not expect instant results. A child that is potty trained can still have accidents at night for up to a year after they are trained. Take these in stride and be positive about successes. This is the way to ensure complete success for your child’s toilet training.