How To Potty Train A Child

Published Categorized as How To Potty Train A Child

Introduction to

Potty training is often a challenging season in the life of a child who has been accustomed to passing urine in the pampers. Parents often become harassed when the child does not appear to be catching on. In this article we will discuss with reference to modern techniques and research information.

What does it mean to potty train a child

Cambridge Dictionary says that “potty-trained children know how to use a potty or toilet and no longer need to wear nappies.” Potty training is the process of teaching a child to use a potty or toilet.

What age should a child be potty trained by?

There are two established approaches to potty training:

– one is to potty train very early.
– another is to wait until the child is older and showing signs of being ready. (abcnews, 2019).

Mayo Clinic (2019) recommends potty training between 18 to 24 months. However, they emphasized that parents and caregivers must understand that successful potty training depends on milestones that the child has already achieved.

Some of these milestones include the ability of the child to:

– walk to and sit on a toilet
– stay dry for up to two hours
– show interest in using the toilet
– understand and follow basic directions
– communicate when he or she needs to go
– show interest in wearing “big-kid” underwear
– pull down his or her pants and pull them up again

Research shows commencement of potty training is best between 15 to 24 months of age

Joinson, Heron, Von Gontard, Butler, Emond and Golding (2009) studied over 8000 British children aged 4.5 to 9 years. They wanted to know if there was a link between starting age of potty training and development of daytime bladder control. The researchers also wanted to know if commencement of potty training after 24 months was linked to increased daytime wetting.

The results showed that children experienced persistent daytime wetting if potty training began after 24 months.

The researchers concluded that waiting to being potty training after 24 months exposed the child much longer to factors that could prevent them from controlling the bladder.

How do you know if your child is ready to potty train gives the following 7 signs that a child is ready to potty train:

– The child shows interest in learning to use the potty and wanting to be more independent. One of these could include asking questing about family members’ bathroom visits.

– The child indicates that he or she needs to use the potty:

– “my diaper is dirty.”
– “I need to go pee pee.”
– “I need to go potty.”
– “my diaper is wet.”

– Your child knows that he or she must use the potty if there is an urge to empty the bladder (pee) or the bowels (poop).

– The child is able to follow simple instructions about using the potty.

– The child is able to remain for at least two hours without wetting the diaper.

– The child is able to sit, stay on it and get off when complete.

– The child is able to pull down clothing such as diapers or training pants.

What are the first steps to potty training?

1. Decide on the potty trainng words to use when speaking to your child. Negative words like dirty or stinky should not be used.

2. Prepare the equipment. This would include a potty, potty chair for the bathroom and steps if the bathroom is being used.

3. Provide cues to remind the child to use the potty. One of these cues could be to place the potty in an area where the child spends most of his or her time.

4. When starting out, assist the child to sit on the potty while fully clothed. The feet should be placed firmly on the floor or on a stool. Talk to the child about what they need to do by using simple and postive words.

5. Plan potty breaks.

– Potty breaks are done every two hours during the waking hours. They are very short and last only a few minutes at a time. During the time, the child is placed on the potty or toilet without a diaper.

– Potty breaks or training should also be done as soon as the child awakens on mornings and righ after the child awakens from a nap.

– Boys should be place to sit down initially since this helps them to master urination. Parents should remain with the child while doing something fun like reading a book or playing with a favorite toy.

– The child should not be forced to remain on the potty, but should be allowed to get up whenever they feel the urge to do so.

– Praise the child for trying even if nothing happens.

6. Respond quickly if the child shows signs of needing to use the potty.

The child might squirm, squat or hold the genital area if he or she needs to use the potty. The parent should respond quickly and take the child there.

To further help the child, teach him or her that these signals mean that the potty should be used. Also teach the child to stop what he or she is doing, and to go to the toilet.

7. Teach the child how to hygenically use the potty

Girls should be taught to spread their legs and to wipe carefully from front to back. This prevents germs from spreading from the anus to the vagina or bladder after defecating.

Boys and girls should be taught to wash hands after using the potty or toilet.

8. Pampers and training pants can be removed entirely if the child remains dry during the day. Celebrate with the child.


ABC News. (2019). Potty training best between ages 2 and 3. Retrieved from

Joinson C1.; Heron J.; Von Gontard A.; Butler U.; Emond A and Golding J. (2009). A prospective study of age at initiation of toilet training and subsequent daytime bladder control in school-age children. Retrieved from

Mayo Clinic. (2019). Potty training: How to get the job done. Retrieved from

Pampers. (2019). When to Start Potty Training: 7 Signs Your Child Is Ready. Retrieved from

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. (2010, January 11). Best time to toilet train children pinpointed through research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 13, 2019 from

By Baby Milestones

Baby Milestones is dedicated to sharing information about the month-by-month milestones of child development. We also teach about the development of the inner, human spirit; childhood diet; the importance of play; how to raise children to love God, and much more.

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