When’s the best time to start potty training?
Every child is different so there are no hard and fast rules about when to start toilet training. Generally though, research suggests that most children are ready around the age of two.
The time it takes to potty train depends on the readiness of the child. Medical experts talk about there being a window of opportunity and if you recognize this and start training, the whole process can be far easier and quicker. Starting too early or putting it off can result in potty training taking longer and being more stressful for both the adults and children!
As children get older, they can become dependent on nappies because they find it more convenient to let a parent clear up the mess than have their play disrupted to go to the toilet. Wearing a nappy becomes a portable potty!
As parents we need to intervene at the right time to teach children the right way to go to the toilet. Potty training doesn’t happen by accident, it is a learned process, just like cleaning your teeth. Like anything we need to master, potty training takes time and practice. The is no particular talent for potty training, (despite what some parents tell you!), every child needs to learn it through practice.
Pointers to look out for:
- Good communication skills – being able to ask for drinks or tell you when something’s wrong.
- Confident physical skills – walking well and being able to manage the stairs.
- Being able to follow direction – following simple instructions such as understanding how they should wash their hands.
- Look for any patterns of wet nappies – this will help predict when you will need to prompt them to go to the toilet. Ideally, you want to see some dry nappies and longer periods between wees as this indicates that they are starting to gain some bladder control.