There’s a book out there you’ve likely heard about: “Everyone Poops,” by Taro Gomi. The premise is that if you eat, you must poop.
It’s hardly a coffee-table book. But many over the years have used it as comic relief (pun intended) surrounding the emotionally charged topic of potty training.
Helping you and your child become at ease with the idea of potty training is as important as the process itself. And, as every parent knows — or will know — whatever works for you and your child …. GREAT. But what works for one parent/child team might not work for anybody else, or even on your next child.
There are as many potty training tips out there as there are tots. Here’s a quick-start guide to getting ready for the major milestone.
Before the official toilet training process begins, start the conversation. “Explain the bathroom routine in positive, child-friendly terms,” says Parents magazine contributor Ari Brown, M.D. “During a diaper change, you can say, ‘When we eat or drink, our body takes what it needs and then the rest gets turned into pee or poop. It’s like our body’s garbage.'”
Those very words to describe the process of elimination are, in fact, necessary to successfully potty training your child.
According to pottytime.com, a general rule of thumb is that children may begin potty training around 18 months of age. Others may not be ready until they are 3 or 4 years old. And a child with special needs could have an even more-varied window of readiness.
But it’s crucial to let your child set the pace on this one, according to whattoexpect.com. And children will exhibit an assortment of physical, behavioral and cognitive signs of readiness, including:
It’s your job to know and read up on these and other signs, then act accordingly.
Meantime, what seems to be a universal truth: If your child’s answer to most things these days is, “No!” the timing is not right for potty training your child.
There are “tried-and-true” techniques, testimonials, research papers and books to reference. But each child really is unique, and so will be their path to successful toilet training.
No matter if other areas of development seem advanced, your tot will ultimately be in control of his or her own schedule (not surprising!). That includes individualized time frames and durations of completion, which are at risk of being adjusted/reset due to a variety of factors, including changes in family dynamics, moving, etc.
No matter the technique you utilize, if you reward M&M’s or a sticker chart, the physician you consult with or the other mothers you share with, you will be traveling unchartered territory each time you potty train a child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents simply try to avoid setting unrealistic expectations for the process of potty training so they can ultimately enjoy this right of passage (again, pun intended) with their little ones.