To Potty, Or Not To Potty

Young parents are eager to have their little one reach the milestones.  There’s smiling to do, vocalizations to try, rolling over, etc.  The milestone bucket list tends to get a little long, and we parents can easily get caught up in what week this should happen or what month should that happen.  It’s quite natural to believe that there may be something wrong if my child doesn’t smile by a certain month of his life, yet what we forget sometimes is the beautiful fact that we are all so different, especially siblings.

As your child walks and talks, and may even begin to tell you her ups and downs of the day, parents begin to think about losing the diapers.  After all, haven’t we changed enough diapers the last 2-3 years?  What experts tell us is that our child will show us when he/she is ready to use the potty, rather than basing that on their months of life.

First and foremost, watch for signs that your child is interested.  She may watch you in the bathroom and ask what you are doing.  Be honest and frank with her; try not to be embarrassed.  Your child may be starting to communicate to you that he went potty in his diaper.  The simple act of communicating this tells you that he is becoming more aware of his body, especially when being able to tell you the difference between peeing and pooping.

Also, be ready to take note of when your child may be going, “number one” or “number two”.  When she communicates this to you, take note of the time of day.  Her body will be developing a pattern of going potty now, and this can help you in the training process.

More than anything, remember that all children are different, especially when it comes to boys and girls.  Your boy may be less tuned in to his body.  A male toddler will be more active than his counterpart, and he will tend to be a little less concerned about going to the bathroom than finishing a game of hide and seek.  The boy’s physiology develops slower as well making the times in between much less than a female.

Take notice of the child and not the timeline.  There will be much less stress on you, and your toddler, when you hear your friend tell you her three year old is using the toilet while you are on your way to the restroom to change a diaper.  It’s what makes your child special to the world.  Be patient with the accidents and praise the accomplishments with hugs, kisses and sweet words (hold off on the treats).  Enjoy the journey so your child will, too.

“The oxen are slow, but the earth is patient” (From a wise man in the movie “High Road to China”)


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