Toilet Training - Common Concerns
Pressure to toilet train your child
You may be
when to begin toilet training. This is not surprising, considering that most
people are bombarded with advice and expectations from relatives, friends, and
day care providers. You may also have personal reasons for wanting your child
toilet-trained, such as being pregnant and wanting to
avoid having two children in diapers at the same time. Balancing all of these
factors can be a challenge.
Your child's physical and emotional
readiness for toilet training is the most important aspect of the timing.
Although you can begin toilet training your child at an earlier-than-average
age, it usually takes longer. Also, both you and your child will likely become
frustrated if you try toilet training before he or she is physically and
Your child is not ready
to start toilet training if he or she shows any resistance. Typically, a child
- Standing next to the potty and then going on
- Screaming and crying when taken to the
- Seeming comfortable and even happy about sitting in a soiled
- Saying, "No potty!"
Accidental wetting or soiling
children may have some accidents up until school age. A child who has an
accident during the day is often in the middle of playing and simply holds it
too long. Nighttime accidents may occur frequently within the first 12 months
after children learn how to use the toilet during the day. Many 3-year-olds
wet the bed at night at least once a month.
Playing with stool
The focus on toilet training
sometimes inspires children to play with their stools. This is normal behavior.
Remind your child that stool is not a toy and that it belongs in the toilet.
Reinforce this idea by helping your child to flush it down the toilet. Help
your child satisfy a natural need to feel textures by offering playtime with
molding material, such as clay or Play-Doh, or finger paints.
Touching the genitals
Sometimes toilet training
sparks curiosity about where urine and stool come from, prompting some children
to feel and touch their genital area. This is a normal part of how children
learn about their bodies. Don't shame or punish your child for this behavior.
You can explain the function of the genitals and suggest that they are personal
body parts to be looked at and explored in private.