First-time parents wondering how to potty train they're child

Potty Training Guide for the First-Time Mom

You’ve mastered a one handed diaper change, but now it's time to conquer the next parenting gauntlet, potty training. It can be difficult for any first time mom to determine when it’s time to start potty training, and how to go about it. Here are some tips to get you started and decide if it’s time to start potty training your little one.

Watch for Signs of Readiness

Most health care professionals will say that children can not be potty trained unless they are ready. There is no magic age to begin potty training. Some children develop the skills needed between 18-24 months, others aren’t ready till two or three years old. Physically your child should be able to walk and run with coordination. Your child should be urinating a fair amount at one time with dry periods in between. You should also be seeing well formed bowel movements at fairly predictable times. 

Behavior and Cognitive Signs

Emotionally and cognitively your child should be giving some sort of sign that they are going to the bathroom, like grunting or squatting. Showing independence and enjoying doing things by themselves is another good sign they are almost ready to potty train. It is also important for your child to sit down quietly for two to five minutes at a time. It’s recommended that you wait till your child in a cooperative stage so they aren’t fighting against you. Cognitively, your child should be able to follow simple one step directions, and recognize the feeling that they need to go and can even hold it for short periods of time.

What to Buy

There are a few things that you need to buy to help the potty training process. The most important thing is a small potty. You can set this by the big potty so they will get used to seeing it. It is recommended to get a small potty that sits on the ground compared to a child seat on a regular toilet. Children are able to go better if they can place their feet firmly on the floor. Something else you might want to stock up on are training pants and regular underwear.

Be Patient

Even if your child is showing all the signs of readiness it may not be time yet. If both you and your child are stressed and dreading the process, it might be beneficial to wait a few weeks or months before trying to potty train.

Last Updated: June 16, 2017