Quick Facts About Potty Training

By Elizabeth Pantley

Author of The No-Cry Potty Training Solution

Potty training can be natural, easy and peaceful. The first step is to know the facts.

  • The perfect age to begin potty training is different for every child. Your child's best starting age could be anywhere from 18 to 32 months. Pre-potty training preparation can begin when a child is as young as 10 months.

  • You can begin training at any age, but your child's biology, skills and readiness will determine when he can take over his own toileting.

  • Teaching your child how to use the toilet can and should, be as natural as teaching him to build a block tower or use a spoon.

  • No matter the age that toilet training begins, most children become physically capable of independent toileting between ages 2-and-a-half and 4.

  • It takes three to 12 months from the start of training to daytime toilet independence. The more readiness skills that a child possesses, the quicker the process will be.

  • The age that a child masters toileting has absolutely no correlation to future abilities or intelligence.

  • There isn’t only one right way to potty train — any approach you use can work — if you are pleasant, positive and patient.

  • Nighttime dryness is achieved only when a child's physiology supports this — you can't rush it.

  • A parent's readiness to train is just as important as a child's readiness to learn.

  • Potty training need not be expensive. A potty chair, a dozen pairs of training pants and a relaxed and pleasant attitude are all that you really need. Anything else is truly optional.

  • Most toddlers urinate four to eight times each day, usually about every two hours or so.

  • Most toddlers have one or two bowel movements each day, some have three and others skip a day or two in between movements. In general, each child has a regular pattern.

  • More than 80 percent of children experience setbacks in toilet training. This means that what we call “setbacks” are really just the usual path to mastery of toileting.

  • Ninety-eight percent of children are completely daytime independent by age four.

This article is an excerpt from The No-Cry Potty Training Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Child Say Good-Bye to Diapers by Elizabeth Pantley (McGraw-Hill, 2006).

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