When to potty train depends more on the child’s readiness than a certain age. In fact, in some cultures toilet training is done much, much earlier than in the United States. But typically, children show signs of readiness as early as 18 months, but some may not be ready until 3 years old. On this week’s On Call for All Kids, Rachel Dawkins, M.D., gives her best potty training tips for boys and girls.
How do you know when to start potty training?
- tells you they are wet/dirty. Maybe they bring you a clean diaper
- can pull his or her pants off then back on
- stays dry for at least two hours at a time
- can communicate when he/she needs to go
- can follow basic instructions
What are tips for how to start toilet training?
There are many different approaches to toilet training and there is no one right way. Some of my favorites:
- Reward systems: One treat for a pee and two for a poop. Or use stars on a potty training chart. Families must be consistent and not offer that treat at other times.
- Naked weekend: Let the child be diaper free for 48 hours and look for their visual cues. This can work if you have the time and don’t mind a few accidents in the house!
- Set a timer: Set a timer and have your child sit on the toilet every 30 minutes. Eventually you can space out the time to every 45 minutes, then an hour. This especially works for older kids who are toilet trained but have accidents because they are too busy having fun to pay attention to their bladders.
- Let the day care do it! Some day cares are willing to take the lead on potty training. But make sure you are consistent at home and do the same things they do at school.
What if nothing’s working?
Take a break! Potty training takes patience. A stubborn toddler and a frustrated parent are not a good combination when it comes to potty training. So take a break and try again in a few weeks. And remember accidents can and will happen — so be prepared! Overall, be positive and encouraging of your child through this process. It will make life much easier. If you are running into problems, talk to your pediatrician, she or he can offer advice.
On Call for All Kids is a weekly series featuring Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital medical experts. Visit HopkinsAllChildrens.org/Stories each Monday for the latest report.
Posted on Nov 02, 2022 in General News
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases are on the rise nationally. Infectious diseases physician Juan Dumois, M.D., helps families understand how to prevent RSV, what the symptoms are, when to seek treatment and how milder cases of RSV can be treated at home.
Posted on Sep 26, 2022 in General News
Rachel Dawkins, M.D., shares some things parents should think about as they’re preparing for the season, and how to help kids stay calm if there is a hurricane.
Posted on Aug 16, 2022 in General News
The newborn period is a time like no other, and something that should be a celebration for you and your loved ones. Keeping your baby safe during this time is of utmost importance. Shannon Glenn-Otto, M.D., a general pediatrician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital shares some useful guidance for first-time parents when it comes to visitors.
Posted on May 31, 2023 in General News
A combination of food and environmental allergies mixed with common day care illnesses made the first few years of Erik’s life quite difficult. Specialists at Johns Hopkins All Children’s are helping his family find the answers they need so he can grow up safe and happy and keep doing the things he loves, like playing soccer.
Posted on May 30, 2023 in General News
Donna Sadural, LCSW, M.P.H., arrived in the United States with her family when she was 11 years old, and that journey later led Sadural to earn master’s degrees in social work and public health. She recently shared some thoughts on her work, her background and Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month.
Posted on May 25, 2023 in General News
Stephen Kennedy, M.D., shares about his life as a pediatric hospitalist and how his own family showed him anything is possible with a little hard work and dedication.