Potty Training Part 1: Advice from a Pediatrician

Thursday, Jul 30, 2009 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

pottychair.jpgPotty training. What a dirty job. My youngest daughter turned 2 in June and is showing signs of readiness. I dream of the day that I don’t have to change her poopy diapers. But if my first daughter is any indication, potty training won’t be easy.
This time, I called a professional. Dr. Anisha Khanna, from Khanna Pediatrics in Glen Ridge, offered the following advice:

There is no set age at which toilet training should begin. The right time depends on your child’s physical and psychological development. Between 18 and 24 months, children often start to show signs of being ready, but some children may not be ready until 30 months or older. Your child must also be emotionally ready. He needs to be willing, not fighting you or showing signs of fear. If your child resists strongly, it is best to wait for a while. It is important to be relaxed about toilet training and avoid becoming upset. Try to avoid a power struggle.
Below are signs that your child is ready:

  • Your child stays dry at least 2 hours at a time during the day or is dry after naps.
  • Bowel movements become regular and predictable.
  • Facial expressions, posture, or words reveal that your child is about to urinate or have a bowel movement.
  • Your child can follow simple instructions
  • Your child can walk to and from the bathroom and help undress.
  • Your child seems uncomfortable with soiled diapers and wants to be changed.
  • Your child asks to use the toilet or potty chair.
  • Your child asks to wear grown-up underwear.

Encourage your child with lots of hugs and praise when success occurs. The most important thing parents must keep in mind it that it may take weeks, even months, before toilet training is complete, so don’t get frustrated. Keep in mind, most children achieve bowel control and daytime urine control by 3 to 4 years of age. Even after your child is able to stay dry during the day, it may take months or years before he achieves the same success at night.

I wonder if Dr. Khanna makes house calls. Stay tuned for Potty Training: Part 2 tomorrow when local moms give us their best advice.
Are you a potty training pro or do you dread it like me?


  1. POSTED BY CariAnnV  |  July 30, 2009 @ 9:21 am

    Just this past week my 3 1/2 year old has FINALLY taken an active interest in peeing in the potty. Last Thursday she sat down on hers and decided to to and from that point she hasn’t stopped, so we appear to be getting somewhere. I never pushed her with it at all, and we’re using stickers on a wall chart for everytime she goes and she loves it.

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