Understanding When to Start Potty Training
Search on when to start potty training is one of the commonest searches on the search engines among nursing mothers. Indeed, it is good to start potty training your child at the right time. This is because at the early stage, children are not able to control their bladder and bowel movement. If you start potty training your child earlier, you may not achieve the desired result. You may even end up getting frustrated. Given this, as a nursing mother, you should know when to start potty training your child.
Why you should not start early
Potty training according to some experts is a natural process. This means that even if you don’t potty train your child, he or she will learn to use the toilet by himself or herself as he or she grows. As a child grows up, he or she will imitate people around him and copy their toilet habit. The child will start using the toilet like every other member of the family. Given this, there is no stipulated time or age to start potty training your child. If you don’t want to potty train your child, all you have to do is to instruct the child on what to do in order to use the toilet. Definitely, the child will be able to copy others when he or she has become able to control the body function.
There are some parents that start potty training very early, when their babies are about 4 to 5 months old. Early potty training has been discouraged by health professional. Children who started potty training early according to some of these experts may have problem later in life. They are much more likely to pass through stressful situations and may have problems making use of the school toilets. Thus, it is advisable that you start potty training your child when the child is ready to undergo the training.
The key to success in potty training is watching for the child’s readiness and interest. As the rate of development differs from child to child, some children are ready to be trained early and they start showing signs for their readiness before their peers. However, most children manifest signs for readiness and interest in potty training when they are 2 to 3 years old. By this time, the muscles that control their bowel movement and bladder as well as other body function are mature. In other words, you should not start potty training until your baby is physically and emotionally ready to be potty trained.
Signs of readiness for potty training
As regards when to start potty training, you can determine that from your child’s behaviour. When children are ready to be potty trained, they show some signs to indicate their readiness. Here are some children’s behaviours that indicate when to start potty training.
Signs of physical readiness
Defecating around the same time every day
As it has been said above, children cannot make use of the toilets until the muscles controlling their bowel movement and bladder are mature. When these muscles become mature, your child’s defecation frequency and pattern will change. The child will begin to have bowel movement almost at the same time on daily basis. So, if you want to know when to start potty training, watch out for this sign. You should start introducing the potty when your child begins to have bowel movements about the same time every day.
Not defecating during the night time
During the early stage of a child’s development, he or she lacks the ability to control any of body’s functions including the rectum and bladder. So, the child normally has bowel movement at night during sleep. You will be changing diaper every morning. However, when the muscles controlling the bowel movement are mature, the rate at which the child defecate or urinate will reduce. During this time, most children will stop defecating at night when they are sleeping. If you want to know when to start potty training and you notice that your child does not have bowel movement at nights any longer or the rate has reduced, then you have to start potty training. It is a sign that the child is ready to start using the toilet because the muscles controlling the rectum and bladder are now mature.
Having a dry diaper at least for two hours or after a nap
Virtually, every baby defecates and urinates frequently and when taking naps as a result of the reasons already mentioned above. However, as they mature, the frequency of their bowel movements and urination will reduce. You will notice that their diaper will remain dry even after two hours or after taking a nap. If you don’t know when to start potty training, this is the right time to begin. The rectum and bladder muscles are now mature. Your baby can control bowel movement for some time.
Mastering the basic motor skills
Babies at early stage are not able to use most parts of their body. They cannot walk, talk or make use of their hands. Starting potty training when they child has not mastered any motor skills can be very frustrating and in fact will amount to exercise in futility. You should not start potty training until your child masters basic motor skills. Your child must be able to sit down properly, do basic undressing, toddle or walk and master some other motor skills before you can start to potty train him or her. The mastering of the basic motor skills indicates physical readiness.
Changing less diaper
As it has been said above, children urinate very often during their early stage. During this period, you will be changing wet diapers very often. However, when the child is becoming able to control the bladder and rectum, he or she will urinate and defecate less frequently. This means that the child will wet fewer numbers of diapers on daily basis. You may or may not be counting the number of diapers your child wet every day. But if you are observant, you will definitely notice when you start changing fewer wet diapers every day. If you don’t know when to start potty training, this is the right time to start because the baby is getting tired of diapers.
As it is said above, a child must be physically ready before potty training should start. So, if you want to know when to start potty training, you have to watch out for these signs of physical readiness. Here are some signs indicating emotional readiness of a child for potty training.
Signs of physical readiness alone are not enough to determine when to start potty training. Your child must be emotionally ready as well before you can start potty training. A child may be physically ready for potty training but not emotionally ready. This is one fact that you should always have at the back of your mind if you are searching for information on when to start potty training.
If you want to know when to start potty training, you should also watch out for signs of emotional readiness. Here are some signs indicating emotional readiness of a baby to start using the potty.
Despising dirty diapers
Normally, babies have no sense of distinction. They cannot distinguish dirty diapers and neat ones. They can put their hands in their faeces or take wet diapers with their hands. However, when they are emotionally ready for potty training, most children will begin to avoid dirty diapers. They will start to avoid their personal mess. If accidently, your child matches or touches his or her personal faeces, he or she will show you and will want to watch it off. When your child begins to have aversion for dirty diapers, it is a sign that he or she is emotionally ready to start toilet training. So, you have to start immediately with the training.
Following you to the toilet
Normally, children are very inquisitive by nature. They want to know about things that interest them. They ask many questions about anything that they have interest on. So, when they begin to have interest in the toilet, they will show that in their own way. Your child may start following you to the loo. It is normal for the child to start crying if you don’t allow him or her to follow you to the loo. When your baby starts following you to the loo, it is a sign of emotional readiness to start potty training. If you don’t know when to start potty training or when your child is emotionally ready for toilet training, this is the right time to start.
Your child will see himself or herself as a big boy or girl
If you have nursed a child before, your child would have said to you before “mum I am a big boy or I am a big girl” as the case may be. The child does no longer consider himself or herself as a baby because he or she wants to start using the toilet like every other person. Sometimes, if you want to dress your child and you want to bring the diaper, the child will start crying. He or she will prefer to wear under pant. This is a sign indicating emotional readiness to start using the toilet.