My 3 1 2 Year Old Refuses To Potty Train Potty Training Readiness Signs – Signals to Help You Decide When to Potty Train Your Child

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Potty Training Readiness Signs – Signals to Help You Decide When to Potty Train Your Child

More and more parents want to know when to potty train their child—especially when the economy is down and they’re looking for ways to cut unnecessary expenses like diapers. And frankly, along with the other benefits you and your family get, express shipping to a diaper-free household is a great way to save!

However, before you start potty training your child, you need to make sure you are physically and developmentally (mentally, emotionally, socially, etc.) ready, or you will likely frustrate yourself and your little one. So let’s start here…

First, there is no exact age when all toddlers are ready to be potty trained. However, most pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that normal, healthy children between the ages of 18 and 27 months are ready for potty training. And after three decades of potty training boys and girls, I agree – however, there are exceptions to this rule both ways. I have personally potty trained 15-month-old and 29-month-old children. If I had to draw a “safe” line in the sand, I’d say the vast majority of kids are more than ready by the time they’re two.

However, keep in mind that experts agree that developmental skills are a much better predictor of potty training readiness than chronological age. What are these signs? Fortunately, I’ve included some of the most common potty training readiness signals in the list below.

Your kids are probably at the right potty age if…

1. Has sufficient cognitive and/or language skills. If yes then…

o Understand simple explanations, commands and/or instructions and respond appropriately – either verbally or otherwise

o Understand non-pretentious words and phrases such as “pee”, “poop”, “pee”, etc.

o Show that they are aware of their body parts (especially their genitalia – theirs and others)

o Imitate mom, dad, siblings or friends

o Demonstrate a basic understanding of cause and effect (e.g. you must make the connection between urinating and potty)

Please remember that young children’s language skills – that is, how well they speak or how many words they say – are not the important factors, but how well they understand simple speech.

2. Have fully matured sphincters. If so, you might…

o Squatting, grunting, or showing other signs of awareness when having a bowel movement

o The diaper is pulled when urinating

o Urinate less often, but more at once

o More regular bowel movements

o Stay dry for hours – especially throughout the night (you may also notice that nighttime bowel movements are the first)

Please take into consideration: Parents can wake up to wet diapers even if their children are ready for potty training, if they have a habit of drinking right before bed or taking a cup or bottle to bed. In this case, I advise parents to try this experiment: Consume less fluid two to three hours before bedtime, and change your children just before they are put down for the night. (Yes, that means no bottles.) Do this for several nights and see what happens. This often makes it much easier for young children to stay dry through the night and allows parents to make a more accurate assessment. Oh, one more thing… if you try this, be sure to change your son or daughter’s diaper as soon as they wake up – otherwise, if their diaper is wet, you won’t know when they peed!

3. Development of mature motor skills. If so, maybe…

o Pull their pants up or down

o Get undressed or dressed

o Put on your shoes or socks – or at least try

4. Has developed emotional and social skills. If so, maybe…

o Get annoyed when things are not in their usual place. For example, you might hear something like, “No, Mommy, this cup belongs here!”

o Show that they are proud of their accomplishments. For example, they say, “Daddy, look what I did!”

o Insist on getting things done. For example, I was sure my granddaughter Sevy was ready for potty training when every other sentence she said was, “No, Grammie. Sevy can do it!” (He said it so often for a while that I thought his name was Sevy-Can-Do-It :>)

I hope these tips have been helpful in helping you decide when to potty train your toddler. As you might have guessed, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for every child, and while it’s never a good idea to push toddlers before they’re ready, you definitely don’t want to wait until your son or daughter asks to use the potty (if so, pull yourself away for the long haul , and stock up at Pampers), or put it off until the stubborn streak is gone (too). If that were true, a lot of us would still be waiting to potty train our 30-year-olds!

In the end, use these guidelines and your own instincts and you’ll be fine.

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