When should you toilet train your child

When and how to start it

Around 2 1/2 years of age is a good time to start teaching a child how to use the toilet. At this age many youngsters are keen to do things the grownup way and have enough control of their bodily functions to be able to use a potty consistently.

First decide on certain words to use for bowel movements and urine; use them when changing diapers. As your child learns to recognize bowel movements, he or she may start telling you immediately after one. If he does, or if he shows any interest in the toilet, put a potty or training seat in the bathroom. Explain what it’s for; invite him to sit down, clothes and all. Next suggest taking off the diaper and letting the child sit down to see how it feels.

If possible, wait until your child indicates he wants to use the potty. If he shows little interest but gives other signs of readiness for toilet training, such as tugging at his diapers or indicating that he dislikes wearing a soiled diaper, try putting him on the potty at times when bowel movements usually occur.

It may take days or weeks of sitting on the potty for short periods before a child succeeds in eliminating into it. Praise any success warmly. Be patient. (Some children learn quickly, then relapse for a few months. ) If your child becomes unhappy with this routine, drop the matter for a few days or even weeks until he is willing to try again.

Late development in toilet training is perfectly normal. The best thing a parent can do for a late developer is to be patient and understanding.

Once a child makes a strong effort to succeed, put him in training pants during the day. Staying dry at night usually takes longer to develop.