Toilet training your child may seem like a daunting challenge, but with some time and diligence, it may be easier than your first thought.
At around 18-24 months, you may notice signs that your child is ready: signaling that his diaper is wet, interest in the potty or toilet, expressing the desire to go to the potty, expressing discomfort with a wet diaper, the ability to pull his pants up and down, being able to stay dry for 2 hours or longer, and the ability to understand and follow basic instructions.
When the time comes, follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way towards independence from changing diapers and a newly independent child:
- Allow your child to be in the bathroom with you to see how the process works. Allow him to flush the toilet and become comfortable in that environment.
- Place a potty in your child’s regular area and allow him to sit on it fully clothed as he pleases. Once comfortable, encourage your child to sit on the potty without a diaper on.
- Show your child how the potty works by placing stool from his diaper in the potty then showing him as you transfer it to the toilet. Allow him to flush.
- Once he’s comfortable, place your child on the potty whenever he signals that he has to go, as well as at regular intervals of 1 and a half to every two hours.
- Read to and entertain your child while he’s on the potty. Praise him for using it, but don’t express disappointment if he doesn’t.
- Once he understands using the potty, he can move on to the toilet with a special seat placed over it and a stool for reaching it.
Accidents will happen, but don’t punish your child. Just keep up with the training and, over time, it will stick. Training could take 3 to 6 months.
If you have questions about whether your child is ready for potty training, use the Vitals Doctor Finder to find a pediatrician you can trust.