A sensible guide to helping toddlers graduate from diapers
We seemed to be on the brink of something big — potty training! My daughter had turned two and we were going to the cottage for a stretch of leisurely days. There would be time for many trips to the bathroom, we’d be outside a lot, and clothes would be extremely casual — if there were misses, cleanup would be easy. My daughter was eager to wear underpants and impressed with the potty. She loaded it into the car herself, sat beside it and proudly carried it along the big dock to the boat.
But that summer — despite what I interpreted as my toddler’s interest — the potty turned out to be just an elaborate carryall for pine cones and pretty stones. Potty training came much later.
There’s no milestone chart to exactly pinpoint when to start moving your child from diapers to potty. According to Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Potty Training Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Child Say Good-Bye to Diapers, “The timing is so important, but the perfect age for every child is different.” Most children are ready sometime between two and three years.
Angela Perkins,* of Woodstock, Ont. knew that good timing would be key. “We waited until Robbie?was ready and it was the best thing we could have done. We didn’t want to push it because we’d just had another baby. He knew when he had to pee and poop, but he’s a stubborn little guy and doesn’t like change. We decided we would ease him into the training thing very gradually, so we bought a potty and put it out when Robbie was around two; he was 2½ when he started actually using it.”
Your child will let you know — in subtle and not so subtle ways — when he’s ready.
Read on for the signs to look for.
* Names changed by request.