Whenever new parents ask me about potty training for their child, I never get tired of telling them that early potty training really is better. I know. I’ve been there. Four times!
When is the right time?
Your child’s first two years are a great opportunity for you to start to familiarize them with using the potty and the bathroom in general. Towards the end of this period children also begin to listen and grasp instructions–this is the key. As soon as you notice that you can get your child’s prolonged attention, it is a sign that they are ready. Be observant!
At this stage kids in their development (i.e. around two), the little darlings are also eager to receive your praise and attention because they start looking up to you as their mom or dad. This is a very desirable development and will make training much easier than with older children, who start to go through a stage where they push back on parental requests at around 30 months (i.e. the terrible twos, which should really be the terrible-two-and-a-halfs). Long story short, is that it’s much better to start early than to wait and encounter a kid who wants to push back.
Why start early?
I personally recommend starting potty training right at around 24 months. As mentioned above, it’s a great time because it’s easier to have them listen to and follow what you are saying at this age for developmental reasons.
Moreover, if you manage to successfully potty train your child early, you will find yourself reaping these advantages:
- Free from the effort of changing diapers.
- No more diaper rashes and infections to deal with.
- No more polluting and expensive diapers to buy.
- For working moms, this means going back to the office earlier than expected.
What a relief!
Any drawbacks to early training?
Starting early does have some drawbacks: the younger the child, the more time and effort will be needed from parents at the start of training. The motor skills of younger children may also not be fully developed, which will require additional parental patience.
That said, potty training always requires parental attention, energy, understanding, and patience, so these are major drawbacks.
What if you start late?
Some parents are perfectly fine starting potty training later. I actually have a friend who purposely acts on it at a later stage because she thinks her kids aren’t up to potty training until around three.
This is her personal preference, however, I believe the advantages of starting early make it worth the try. You’ll never know if he or she can really do it until you’ve given it a go!
As the saying goes, strike while the iron is hot! Potty training is no different! There are truly a number of benefits to early potty training, so why not take advantage of them. Besides, successful potty training will be one of your child’s first major accomplishments: giving them the self-esteem and self-confidence boost that comes from learning a new skill at a young age can translate into other areas. You’ve gotta do it anyways, so why not get it out of the way early!