You hear stories of people potty training their children by age 9, 10, 11 or 12 months. Really? At those tender ages, I suspect it not the child who is potty trained, but rather the parents.
A potty trained parent is a parent who has learned to notice their child’s body language and run to put a potty under them and ‘catch a pee’. I don’t see the point of that, myself. My definition of a potty trained child is a child who has the ability to recognize when they need to ‘go’, the sphincter strength and control to ‘hold’ until they can get to the toilet, the manual dexterity to unzip, unbuckle, strip down and actually ‘go’ independently; and then to wipe up, wash hands, and return to what they were doing. Amazing right?
So there are a lot of skills, physical maturation and psychological readiness required. It will take some time. On average, most children start training somewhere in the beginning of their second year and finish sometime by the end of the third year. Girls usually train before boys, and the order tends to be day dryness, day BM’s, night BM’s and finally night dryness which may not be accomplished until the child is age 6, 7 or 8. (Heredity is a factor here.)
So with that in mind, rather than trying to get your 18 month-old to use the potty to make a pee and getting into a fight, which will invite resistance and slow your efforts down, let me suggest the things we can be doing to help set the ground work for later successful training. To reduce confusion, let’s not call it ‘Potty Training’. Instead, let’s say we’re helping establish ‘Potty Readiness’. Sound good?
From about 18 months, you can work on this list of activities with your child;
Stay positive! Stay light hearted.