Getting Ready for Toilet Training

Parents often want to know just when they should start toilet training toddlers. 25 years ago, the vast majority of children were potty trained by the time they were 30 months. Today, while many children are toilet trained by the time they're two-and-a-half, many others are three and sometimes even four-years-old before they are trained. The reason for the age lag is a simple shift in societal attitudes towards toddler potty training.

Nowadays, most experts recommend waiting until your toddler actually shows an interest in toilet training before you start trying to get them out of diapers. Although you don't have to wait until your toddler is ready, it can make the training sessions much easier and the training period much shorter. If your toddler shows that he is ready to sit on the toilet, he will be more eager to train, which means fewer potty training problems and less stress for you.

Show Me A Sign!
So how can you tell if your toddler is ready to start potty training? Here are some tips that it's time to start toilet training:

  • He can walk well and is able to pull down her pants
  • Displays a willingness to be independent and tries to do things for herself
  • Has started doing other "adult" habits like using cutlery, brushing his teeth or dressing himself
  • Is able to go at least two hours without wetting herself
  • Stops what he is doing to urinate or have a bowel movement. May also make faces or grunt when having a bowel movement
  • Actually tells you that her diaper needs to be changed
  • Is able to follow simple directions and can sit still for at least three minutes
  • Shows a general interest in people's toilet habits (i.e. watching others use the toilet, using toilet terms like "pee-pee", interested in wearing underwear)

And don't forget you need to be ready too. Find out if you're really ready to commit to potty training your child at this informative potty training site.

What to Buy
For parents looking for some potty training help, there are many different products on the market these days that can make toilet training children much easier. Many of the products also come with handy potty training tips for parents to aid you in your quest for a diaper free child. One of the most popular items these days is a potty training doll.

Potty training dolls can help your toddler see what is actually going to happen when she sits on the toilet and can help make her feel more comfortable with the whole process. They usually also come with underpants that your toddler can practice pulling up and down. Some dolls are basically stuffed toys while other models look like little babies. The Corolle Potty Training Doll is anatomically correct and actually "pees" when you or your toddler feed the doll water from its bottle.

Many parents like to employ a toilet training chart when teaching their toddler to go potty. Potty training charts are very simple to use and can help motivate your toddler to use the toilet. The way a potty training chart works is quite simple: every time your toddler uses the toilet or his potty seat, he gets to put another sticker on the chart. There are many free printable potty training sticker charts to be found online. These charts provide encouragement to toddlers and prompt them to use the toilet more often.

Another favorite with parents is a potty training video or a potty training DVD. These use song and dance to help teach toddlers about using a toilet. They also often include lessons on flushing the toilet and washing your hands afterwards.

Toilet training seats have been topping parents "Tips on Potty Training" lists for years. Some suggest sticking one in every room so that your toddler can have one nearby just in case she needs it. Experts recommend having a toilet training potty around even before your child is ready to start training just so she can familiarize herself with it. When she is finally ready to start potty training, she will already be comfortable with the idea of using the toilet seat.

Once your toddler is starting to use the toilet, you might want to use some potty training pants. These underpants work like a diaper but come on and off like underwear. They help toddlers feel like a "big kid" when they can pull up or down their own underpants. But the training pants also help you out by containing things when your toddler has an accident. However, other parents swear by going without any underwear at all. Your toddler may just want to think twice about letting things go if there's nothing there to protect him from making a mess.