Potty Training Without Tears

Potty training is one of those things that every parent looks forward to with a combination of fear and elation. Yeah, no more diapers! Wait! Can I do this? Isn’t potty training supposed to be hard? With a combination of proper timing and good technique, you can help your child master this new skill quickly and without tears.

The first thing is to pick the right time. Start too soon and potty training could take years. Start too late, and it will be hard to change ingrained habits. So, how do you know when to potty-train? Look for the signs.

One of the first signs that a child could be nearing time to potty train is staying dry for longer periods of time. You may notice that their diapers are dry for an hour or longer before they wet. This indicates that they have the physical ability to hold urine and to learn to control it.

A toddler or preschooler may also show signs of readiness for potty-learning by showing interest in the potty. It is a good idea to buy a potty chair or training seat for the big toilet far some time before you intend to begin potty-training. Let your child’s natural curiosity take over. They may completely ignore it – but more likely they will practice sitting on the potty, examining it and generally getting familiar with it. In the beginning they will not be likely to actually use it (although some kids will!). Instead, at this time they are just becoming aware of how it works and losing any potential fear of the unknown.

Finally, it is important to choose a time when your child is in an agreeable mood and not going through a phase where they are particularly obstinate. There are three things you can’t control as a parent – when they sleep, how much they eat, and when they eliminate. Trying to force them onto your timetable will backfire. Likewise, don’t choose to potty train just before or after a major illness, a move, or the arrival of a new baby.