Potty training is a major milestone. Get the facts on timing, technique and handling accidents.
By Mayo Clinic StaffPotty training is a big step for kids and parents alike. The secret to success? Timing and patience.
Is it time?Potty training success hinges on physical, developmental and behavioral milestones, not age. Many children show signs of being ready for potty training between ages 18 and 24 months. However, others might not be ready until they're 3 years old. There's no rush. If you start too early, it might take longer to train your child.
Is your child ready? Ask yourself:
Your readiness is important, too. Let your child's motivation, instead of your eagerness, lead the process. Try not to equate potty training success or difficulty with your child's intelligence or stubbornness. Also, keep in mind that accidents are inevitable and punishment has no role in the process. Plan toilet training for when you or a caregiver can devote the time and energy to be consistent on a daily basis for a few months.
Ready, set, go!When it's time to begin potty training, follow these steps:
Nighttime trainingNap and nighttime training typically take longer to achieve. Most children can stay dry at night between ages 5 and 7. In the meantime, use disposable training pants and mattress covers when your child sleeps.
Accidents will happenTo handle accidents: