Stress Free Potty Training for Your Child

By Tiffany Windhurst

Potty training can be stressful for many families, but it certainly doesn't have to be. Parents usually have never dealt with potty issues until they have their first child. After changing diaper after diaper, the closer a child gets to potty training age, the more excited parents often get. However, if this excitement creates stress due to the desire to have their child potty trained now, or early, it can actually hinder success.

No two children will potty train at the same age or in the same way. Some children will have several accidents; some will have none at all. Some children actually seem to potty train themselves. The key is for parents to know their child, recognize when the child seems ready and introduce the potty slowly. Pushing a child to be potty trained before they are ready, physically or mentally, will only create a stressful household and make everyone miserable.

Young children often accompany their parents to the restroom. As much as a pain as it sometimes is to have constant companions, children are actually learning from these small events. Very little escapes the notice of young children, and the fact that their parents or older siblings pee and poop on toilet is not missed. Children are introduced to the potty through this way.

Most children are not ready to be potty trained until at least 2 years of age, and often 3 years of age. When your child comes to you with a clean diaper wanting his or hers dirty one changed, it's probably time to start thinking about potty training. You can purchase little potties for this purpose, or small seats for big toilets, or just steps to help a child reach the toilet. Whether you use children's potties is strictly a personal issue; they come in all shapes and colors.

When your child has an accident, refrain from showing your aggravation and frustration and instead give your child love and encouragement. If your child has more accidents than successes through the day, it is probably too early for potty training and wearing a pull-up or similar device is probably a good idea. You can try again in a few weeks or months. Another encouragement is a reward system, but the rewards must end at some definite point in time. Be patient, your child will be potty trained eventually, and whether he or she is 2 or 3 is not important, know your child and you'll pick the right time.

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