10 steps to potty-training success

Ditching diapers is a rite of passage for all toddlers, so here’s a great way to potty-train your tot.

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1. PICK YOUR MOMENT
You may miss the window of “readiness” if you wait too long. “Your toddler may become more headstrong and be unwilling to try,” says Diane Titterton, who co-wrote How To Potty Train. The average age to potty train is usually between 18 months and 3 years. Read on to learn how to spot your toddler’s “ready” signs.

2. DO THE TWO -HOUR SPOT- CHECK
Look out for at least three of the following signs of readiness. Psychologist and potty-training expert Emma Kenny says, “If your child stays dry for two hours or more at a time, indicates that her wet diaper is uncomfortable, can follow and understand simple instructions, asks to use the potty or underwear, or can remove clothing unaided, she could be ready.”

3. ARE YOU BOTH READY?
Yes, your toddler needs to be ready, but if you’re feeling unsettled for any reason, that could affect your focus and your toddler may well pick up on the signs and feel unsettled herself. “That means holding off if you’re about to have a new baby, are moving house or going through any kind of emotional upheaval like a divorce,” Titterton says. And don’t feel unduly pressured by others, even if your mother-in-law is adamant her children were potty trained by 2. Every child — and situation — is different.

Don’t feel unduly pressured by others, even if your mother-in- law is adamant her children were potty trained by 2.

4. GET THEM EXCITED
“Let your toddler pick out the potty she wants to use and the underpants she’ll wear,” says Jayne Miller from Eric, a UK-based continence charity. “Anything that hands a bit of control back to your child will help with training.” And a potty that’s shaped like a car, or plastered with princess stickers is always going to get them more interested.

5. DON’T EXPECT A QUICK FIX
While some US-based experts claim to be able to train a toddler in two days, Titterton recommends caution on such promises. “They might be able to teach her how to sit on a potty, but learning the cues of when she needs to go can take longer and shouldn’t be forced.” The only way she can learn is through trial and (plenty of) error(s) and that takes time — sometimes, up to three months.

Photo: INGimage

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