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Family Matters: Potty Training


Sometime between birth and age 5, your child should be ready to potty train.

I say this tongue-in-cheek, as there’s such a huge variation in what age a child is ready to use the potty and how long it takes them to master the skill.

Even between my two boys, who are quite close in age, there was such a huge discrepancy in the age, manner and methodology of potty training.

First things first: your child has to be able to tell when they need to go. Don’t even bother trying to teach them this. If they can’t feel it, they won’t learn it.

When they’ve got that down, get them their own potty or get a potty insert for your larger toilet (and probably a stool). Pick out some fun underpants.

I was a cold-turkey mama myself. Once they were GOOD AND READY to use the potty, diapers just went away.  For our family, training diapers were not a practicality – but because they didn’t work for us doesn’t mean they won’t work for you. We just went straight into underwear and committed to staying home for three days (in Luke’s case) or as long as it took.

I’ve had friends who have had videos or books about using the potty. I’ve had friends float Cheerios in the toilet to help their boys learn aim. I’ve had friends put blue food coloring in the potty water so their little tinkler could turn the water green. Whatever it takes! Stickers, M&M’s, or a progress chart are also helpful incentives.

But, I’ve seen too many people try before their child is ready and everyone ends up frustrated. I know you want to get rid of those diapers, but waiting until your child is truly ready saves everyone a massive headache.


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