Potty Training

When’s the best time to start toilet training with my toddler? How do I know if he’s ready?

Call it potty training, toilet learning or elimination communication, it all means the same thing—no more late night runs to the drugstore to buy diapers. But when? And how?

Ignore the masses: Don’t worry about the ‘right age’ for toileting. If their communication skills are good enough to understand basic instructions give it a go. Don’t feel badly if you have to put it off for a while. Busy holiday seasons or the arrival of new siblings are reason enough to keep the diaper bag stocked for a bit longer. Even waiting until the summer where there are fewer layers of clothing to deal with is sometimes a good bet. There’s no magic window of opportunity.

Commit: You don’t necessarily have to wait for your child to show interest. If you have a particularly active child, sitting still on the potty may not be something he’ll voluntarily choose to do if there is nothing in it for him. Load up on rewards and goodies, give yourself permission to bribe shamelessly with chocolate, and set aside a few days at home to go cold turkey. If it’s not going as you hoped after the first day or two, try again in a few weeks.

Nanny Carrie’s Tip: Kids learn by example. And it is way more fun listening to other kids than listening to boring old mom. Hook up with some older friends who will be proud to show off their skills. Even better, when younger playmates are around, your child will have a chance to shine too. My little guy always had a built in cheerleading section at playgroups –nothing like a round of Smarties for the house to get all the other toddlers shouting ‘Go pee!!!’

Nanny Carrie needs some feedback! We’ve covered a lot of toddler issues. Do you have questions about your school aged kids or tweens? Post ‘em here!

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Author: Nanny Carrie

Nanny Carrie always knew she wanted a big family, so she made it her business to borrow everybody else's children until she had her own. You can find her embracing the organized chaos of life with five kids and loving (almost) every minute!

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