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Potty Training – When is the Right Time?

on August 4, 2012

As parents we think that by the time our children are 18 months we have the schedule and routine of family life down pat. Gone are the days of stressing over how to breastfeed, introduce foods and sleep train. That is all easy now! Until… we realize that it is probably time to start potty training, or so our parents keep telling us.

Let’s examine why we think we should begin potty training.

1. You are expecting another child and do not want to deal with two children in diapers.

2. You are tired of spending hundreds of dollars on diapers – time to put that money to better use!

3. You feel pressured from your parents to start toilet training.

4. You hear from someone in your mommy group that they have successfully trained their child to use the toilet in just three days.

Whatever the reason for feeling pressured, the decision of when exactly to start potty training can be a stressful one. Some experts say that a child is not developmentally ready to be toilet trained until they are three years of age, however others say that by waiting, parents are just enforcing diaper dependence and will have to persuade their child even more forcefully because their child will feel secure and safe with their diaper.

The debate will continue, however the trend seems to be shifting back to times passed. Techniques to train your child in short periods of time are available and many parents are experiencing great success.

My opinion as a child expert is this. When a child is old enough to understand the vocabulary of poo, pee, and toilet they are at the early stages of being ready for training. If they can follow commands such as, “Please bring me your shoes” then they are most likely ready for training. And by in large, if they are 22 months old, most children are developmentally ready both physically and emotionally to be trained how to use the toilet.

The decision is still an individual choice, however your choice should be based on your beliefs and understanding of your child, not your parents’ beliefs, as well as research.
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