At about eighteen (18) to thirty-six (36) months age of a toddler, signs of readiness to
use the toilet are seen. Parents would know that their child is ready in a number of
manifestations. These include the child’s ability to follow simple instructions, staying
dry for at least two (2) hours interval, regular bowel movements, wanting to wear regular
underwear, showing preference to use the potty chair, and expressing discomfort with
dirty diapers. These signs of readiness should be highly encouraged for successful
Parents should have gotten hold of a potty chair by this time since no training can occur
without this equipment. They can start by emptying dirty diapers in the potty chair so
the child will understand what is expected to go in it. Once the child expresses the
desire to urinate or have a bowel movement, he/she can be encouraged to use the
potty. There is no need to insist if the child shows resistance. Let the child sit on the
chair even for a few minutes at a time, with our without results, since results would
It is not advisable to start potty training during a stressful time for the family such as
moving to a new neighborhood or having a new member of the family. Children tend
to thrive in praise and encouragement instead of threats and punishment during potty
training. They need varying lengths of time to be toilet-trained so there is no need to
panic if an elder child was trained within a month while a younger child seems to take
forever to train. Potty training is a big step for a child’s development and it is essential
to give it the proper time and attention.
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