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Time to Potty Train?
Laura Jana, MD posted:
If only toddlers could tell you when they were ready to potty train... Better yet, it would be great if they would just decide on their own to lose the diapers, sit on the toilet, and get the job done -- without parental intervention. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most parents (myself included). It's very important to know the signs of potty training readiness -- for both potty-specific skills, as well as more general, developmental skills.

Potty-specific skills include:
? Bladder control, which can be measured by a child's ability to stay dry for two or more hours at a time. Without this, kids have a tough time holding urine long enough to get to the potty.
? Predictable pooping. The most common time to poop is right after eating, thanks to a reliable reflex known as the gastro-colic reflex.
? Awareness. Your child stops whatever she's doing when she starts to pee or poop, hides while pooping, or is bothered by wet or dirty diapers and expresses her need to be changed.

More general, developmental skills that signal potty training readiness include:
? Ability to follow simple instructions. While adults tend to take the process of going to the bathroom for granted, it does require the ability to follow certain steps: Walking to the bathroom, pulling down your pants, sitting on a toilet, peeing and/or pooping, wiping yourself, flushing, and washing your hands. A child's ability to understand and perform these steps is, of course, imperative.
? Imitation. Children learn by watching others. An interest in imitating what they see is a great motivator for children to use the potty.
? Undressing independently. Diapers or underwear have to be removed before using the potty.

While these are some of the most common signs that a child is ready to start potty training, there is unfortunately no one ingredient list that guarantees swift success.

So, for parents looking forward to potty training, which skills do you see in your children right now? Which do they struggle with or lack?

For the parents who've made it to the other side, how did you know when your child was ready to use the potty?
mumz2oneboy responded:
hi my son when he was 2 in half yrs old when he woke up i tryed to put a diaper on him and he just kept screaming at me no i big boy and so i put a pair of undies on him and for first week he had accidents but it was good easy for peeing now pooping on the other hand took bout 2 in half months to get trained touse pottie it seems as though everythign is coming easy the bottle he refused at 13 months and the the paci fire at 18 months he woke up didnt want then threw away himself now walking how ever didnt happen til round 16 months we knew he might be lil slow talking didnt start til bout 26 months of age but hey he was a 33 week gestation child he is 4 in half now and still a lil slow in speech but hes healthy and very active so i cant be any happier
ilvea25 responded:
my son is almost 3 and he does have the potty-specific skills. The only problem is getting him to sit on the toilet or on his own potty. He screams and kicks. It's just a nightmare =(. i just don't know what to do. any help?
fcl replied to ilvea25's response:
You may not like what I'm going to say but ... the best thing you can do is let him be. Insisting will only make him more determined NOT to do it. Also, it isn't because he has the "skills" that he is mentally ready. Beathe, give him a bit of space, take the focus off potty-training and everything will sort itself out in good time. Try not to stress about it.
Indiaguerita responded:
All three of my kids told me when they were ready. The oldest woke up one morning and said (and I quote) "Mom....I don't want to wear a diaper anymore!"

He never had a single accident. After that...the other two kids followed shortly after that...of their own accord.

Momof2Cs responded:
My son is going to be 4 in July and still refuses to go on the bowl. I've tried everything. New undies the HE picked out, reward chart with stickers, offering special toys and treats. He just says "NO, I don't want to go." I think he's scared of the toilet. But....he will sit on the babysitters toilet when the other kids go....but he won't go, he just pretends. I don't know what else to do. I'm off from work in a few weeks and I told him that the Potty Fairy was coming soon to collect his pull-ups (diapers don't fit him anymore) and that he would have to wear his new underwear. He gets very upset at me wehn I tell him that. I thought that giving him a heads-up was a good idea. Other than that I leave him alone. I ask him when I see him hiding if he'd like to use the toilet and he just tells me to go awzy. Any advice would be great since I'm all out of ideas.
aabusch replied to ilvea25's response:

I am having the same problem with my son who will be three in three months. He pees in the potty but refuses to poop in any potty..

Any suggestions is appreciated.

Thank you
aabusch replied to fcl's response:
Sorry..i just saw this is helpful to know that other parents struggle with this issue and that my son will probably just need time.
jazzymami responded:
Well my son just turned 18 months yesterday and i wanted to start potty trainig early so he'd be ready to go on his own at the typical potty training age of two. My only concern with that is he needs a male figure to teach him being confortable with that sort of thing, but a roomate suggested that i just start out teaching him to potty sitting down and then worry about the aim later on when he's old enough to grasp that concept. my only question is when and how to start him on using the bathroom. I was thinking maybe first thing in the morning, before he goes to bed at night, and maybe the middle of the day during lunch and/ or dinner. are those good starting points? because i don't know where to begin.
Anon_475 replied to jazzymami's response:
18 months is a bit young - especially for a boy. Has he shown any interest in the potty? It's not because you start early that he'll be ready earlier - youi'll just be adding extra months of grief and anguish and stress to both of your lives ... Do you really want that? By all means try but be prepared to give up for a few months if there is absolutely no interest from him.

Good luck.
jazzymami replied to jazzymami's response:
lol thanks well he loves playing with his mini potty so i know for sure he's not afraid of it, however i'm really in need of an experts advice, not that i'm knocking the basic knowledge of others. but i just want to know if having a set time to try and encourage pottying makes it easier, or if there are some full proof techniques that i can use for training,
jazzymami replied to Anon_475's response:
I didn't mention he's also been able to flush the toilet for a few months now. I just got an idea maybe i can make potty training like a fun game for him some how. is there any way i can get an 18 month old to get excited about going to the potty hes already got the flushing part down packed.
Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff replied to jazzymami's response:
Hi jazzymami and Welcome!

Dr. Jana was our guest expert last year and posted a series about potty training. You can find her entire series here -
Potty Training Series with Dr. Jana

If you would like possible expert response please begin a new discussion for Dr. Benaroch possible response.

Also, please be sure to check out Dr. Jana's list of skills to see if your little guy is falling into the category of "ready".

Let me know if you have any questions. Best of luck on potty training!


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