Toilet Training Readiness
Everyone knows the time to begin toilet training is after your child is ready. But readiness doesn't just happen. You can help your child become ready, much as you have taught him other skills such as getting dressed or using a spoon.
The following signs indicate your child is becoming ready:
- First: Your child understands key words like pee, poop, clean, and messy. Teach these words by using them often.
- Second: Your child understands what the potty is for. Teach him the correct behavior by having him watch you use the toilet. Prevent confusion by having Dad and older brother sit down when they urinate. Another child who is trained is also a powerful motivator.
- Third: Your child can recognize the feelings of a full bladder or full rectum. When he paces, jumps up and down, or pulls at his pants, clarify for him that "the poop wants to come out" or "the pee wants to come out."
- Fourth: Your child likes to be changed. As soon as he can walk, teach him to come to you to be changed.
In summary, you can begin teaching all of these readiness skills soon after 12 months of age. Also, read your child some books on toilet learning---the funnier the better.
If you have any questions about toilet training, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.