Every parent wants potty training to come before it does. There’s always a level of nervous anticipation for the day when it does arrive. Don’t worry; your child will require potty training eventually. While changing diapers can seem like a hassle, potty training has its challenges. Each step of development should be enjoyed and cherished for exactly what it is. Don’t try to rush into things for the sake of it. Instead, allow potty training and everything else come to you when the time is ready.
These are some things you should know about when your child is the right age to be potty trained.
1. A child can’t control their bladder or bowels before 18 months of age
This number may be different for some children than others. Generally, before 18 months a baby can’t control their bladder or bowels. Attempting to potty train a baby younger than this age is an activity in futility. It won’t do anything other than frustrate you the entire time. Your baby may be able to control their bodily functions at this age, but you’re still a ways away from them being able to sit down and use the potty.
2. The average child is potty trained in the second year
There is no age at which children magically begin to start potty training. Your baby might begin potty training at 23 months, or it could be 2.5 years. There’s a window of time when it’s normal. You shouldn’t freak out if they don’t use the potty on their second birthday. You’ll know when the time is right. No two people are alike. Anyone who has more than one child knows that. While the exact age can vary, prepare to begin teaching your child how to go to the potty at around two years of age.
3. Potty training shouldn’t be hurried
Have you heard of potty training boot camp? This is where a child is taught how to use the potty in three days. Some people have very unreal expectations of their child. Why are these parents in such a hurry? The answer to that question could be the lifestyle they live or the fact they’ve never been around children.
Regardless of the reason, potty training isn’t something that can be hurried. You’re going to have to do it when the child is ready. Potty training is a lot like learning how to ride a bicycle in the fact that you can’t hurry the process of being ready. Allow nature to take its course and everything will be fine.
The developmental stages of childhood can often seem like they’re slow. People always compare their children with others. This is a bad practice in that it sets unrealistic expectations that at times can’t be met. Just because a child doesn’t begin potty training until they’re closer to three years old doesn’t mean they are underdeveloped. It could also be said that a child learning how to use the potty a month earlier than two years isn’t gifted. Children mature at different paces, and there’s nothing more to it than that.
4. Don’t punish your child for having accidents
They are going to have accidents. There is no way to prevent it from happening. A child may be playing and forget that they’re not wearing a diaper. It’s a colossal mistake to punish or belittle a child because they had an accident. Punishing them now will have very severe consequences later on down the road. So what if they had an accident in their pants? It’s not the end of the world. Even adults have accidents from time to time. Be honest; you’ve probably gone in your pants at some time in the past ten years. Did you ground yourself for it? No, you cleaned yourself up and went on with the day.
You must also understand that it’s entirely possible that you’re moving way too fast. They may not be ready to go without a diaper. It’s a touch and go thing, and there is no right answer as to when it’s possible to forget about the diaper entirely. Be prepared for accidents to happen. Just understand that they’ll become fewer and further in between. You achieve nothing at all positive by getting bent out of shape over an accident. The fact of the matter is, you’re probably setting your child further back in their development by making them feel uncomfortable.
5. No two children are the same
What age were you potty trained? When did your siblings have their chance to sit on the throne? The numbers probably vary between you and your siblings. No one can give you an exact age when a child is ready to be potty trained. A good number is around two years of age. That’s when you should begin to prepare yourself for the challenge of potty training. There is no need to hurry this process in the slightest. You’ve got plenty of work cut out ahead of you.
If your child is developmentally challenged, then they may begin potty training at a later date. When? You may expect to potty train them at three years of age or a little later. If you have a child that is developmentally challenged, then you’re probably aware that things happen at a much slower rate. There’s no need to be alarmed if your child isn’t ready to be potty trained around two years of age.
Let time take its course. Parents are always worried about something. If your child is potty training too soon or too late, then it’s not a reason to worry. Relax. Begin to prepare for potty training around the two year mark. Have all the supplies ready for the big day. You’ll know when it’s here. Don’t force it or worry if it’s happening a little later. Just go with the flow and allow your child to enjoy their childhood. These are beautiful times that shouldn’t be overcomplicated. Everyone matures and grows at a different pace. Leave some wiggle room for plenty of mistakes and delays. Child development has a way of making its own rules. As parents, we’re just here to shape and mold children when they’re ready.