It can be hard to know when and how to go about
toilet training. Although your child should show physical and emotional signs
that he or she is ready, such as letting you know when he or she has had a bowel
movement and wanting to wear underpants, there
usually is not a dramatic moment that clearly shows your child is
Mixed messages from doctors, parents, and friends and
past experiences with other children may all add to this confusion.
The timing varies by child. Try not to compare your child to others or
be concerned by stories about how early your parents or in-laws trained
Your best strategy is to closely watch your child and look for the
physical and emotional signs that he or she is ready. You can provide
a potty chair or attachment to a standard toilet and
talk with your child about the process and the good things about using the toilet. Consider your child's feelings and personality in your
approach. As you start to understand your child's
reactions, you will get a better sense of exactly when and how to gently
encourage your child, and when to back off. Be patient, keep trying, and respect your child's abilities.