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Stages in Potty Training Toddlers

on September 13, 2012

When it comes to potty training toddlers, close observation of your child’s elimination patterns is necessary for all parents and child caretakers. Children, nearing three years of age, are usually ready to begin this process. Sometime after two years old, some children begin to develop a new pattern of going to a certain part of the house when they are about to defecate – and it’s not always the bathroom! This behavior exhibits a toddler’s ability to recognize what their body is preparing to do, as well as control the action.

Rather than assume that your child is playing a game of hide-and-seek, your toddler may be non-verbally expressing the need for some amount of privacy while she releases her bowels or urinates. These three signs – feeling the need to eliminate, possessing the ability to hold it, and going to a place where he or she is comfortable enough to release their waste is critical in the development of toddlers.

Parents who have observed this pattern should then take it upon themselves to gently lead their toddler to the bathroom – away from the hiding place. With baby potty training, assurance is critical; a child should not be made to feel that he or she did something wrong by not going directly to the right place. It is best to have a potty already in place in the bathroom, so that your child is familiar with it, eliminating a new distraction, which she may assume is a toy.

The beginning stage of potty training girls does not mean that you must immediately remove your child’s diapers before allowing him or her to sit on it. Once the potty is no longer a novelty, then you might begin to prod your child towards the next step of urinating or defecating into it. By now, you are probably aware of your toddler’s elimination clock, which is usually within a half hour after a meal, or after drinking. Within that time frame is the perfect opportunity for you to lead your child to the potty, assist him or her with taking off their diapers, and allow them to calmly sit on the potty for 5 -10 minutes.

Potty training stages vary from baby to baby. What may be the “right” age or time for one child may not be the right time for another child. In fact, development training stages aren’t hard and fast, and some children pick up different stages in different orders.

While you may not always be successful in the initial timing, eventually your toddler will know when they are ready. Remember, potty training toddlers should feel comfortable and relaxed during this natural stage of learning and development. Criticizing, or behaving in a manner less than calm, will postpone success.
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