Tips to Help Potty Train Your Preschooler
Sometimes called toilet learning, this milestone is eagerly embraced by parents, albeit often too enthusiastically. As many preschools require that children be potty trained before enrolling, this often adds to parents' eagerness.
A child must demonstrate that they are indeed ready to tackle this huge milestone. The age of readiness varies, though the American Academy of Pediatrics says that it occurs generally between 18 to 30 months.
Folk wisdom says that girls train faster than boys -- and some recent research studies confirm this notion -- but there's no reason to hesitate with your son. All children are different.
Some signals that your child may be ready to begin potty training:
- They stay drier for longer periods of time during the day.
- They announce when they are eliminating.
- They are physically able to undress themselves.
It cannot be said enough that motivation plays a major role in potty training preschoolers. Your child has to want to potty train. This means that your child expresses a desire to wear big-kid underpants or wants to imitate the way grown-ups go potty. If this is the case, then by all means run out and buy underpants with your child's favorite superhero on the front.
Some children are especially motivated by a reward after they do the deed -- stickers or a Popsicle -- but the novelty can quickly wear off with these incentives.
Finally, though there are books that will promise you a potty-trained child in one weekend, it is best to follow your own instinct. If your child is resistant or has several accidents, take a break and try again in a few weeks. The most successful training occurs when it's your child's idea, not yours.