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I just love potty training...said no one ever!!

Toilet training your toddler can be an exhaustive, stressful process. Every child can be different in how easy or hard it will be. Even though you might be driven to open up a few bottles of wine over tackling this step in your child's life, try to stay patient as much as possible. Some toddlers are ready and willing to comply right away, whereas others not so much, which can take months or even years to be fully ready. The average age a child is potty trained is 2.5-3.5 years of life. It's extremely important to find that right age or time that your child is ready. When it's a novelty to them, is ideally the best time to be attempting this, since they will be excited about it. But, if you wait too long, then they can know better and choose just NOT to go on it and it turns into a behavioral issue.

I hate hate hate the small potties that go on the floor. It'a royal pain to clean, it's so low to the ground where they can just keep going up and down all the time and you can lose them quickly this way. Most importantly, yes you might get your child potty trained this way, but I've encountered many kids that can regress once they go on the big boy or girl toilet. You are then, in essence, potty training them TWICE!! Have them pick out their favorite character (Elmo, Mickey Mouse, whatever) potty seat to put on top of your toilet. That's what they should be sitting on.

Ideally, you want to make the bathroom a cool, fun, non-threatening environment. You want to read books, listen to music, play games, go on the iPad.....whatever to make your child comfortable to stay on the toilet.

I do recommend pull ups to help with potty training. It's been controversial just because some people think it's just another step to undo. I like it because it's a good transition to underwear, where a toddler can get used to stepping into something that is similar to underwear and in addition, it's usually less absorbent to diapers, so that child might hate the way it feels in pull-ups when they go in it, whereas some kids could care less.

Once you feel your child is ready for potty training, whether it's when they tell you they have to go, or they might've went a few times and seem ready, I would then recommend the unwritten 3 to 7 day rule. That's when you get them on the potty on the hour, every hour. If they just went, you might only have them sit for a few minutes, and if they haven't went in hours, you might even have to sit them there for 20-30minutes. Obviously, make a big deal about it once they are successful each time, where they might receive a M&M or a sticker. Something that will want them to keep on trying to achieve that prize.

Keep realistic expectations. Your child will likely have their share of accidents. that's to be expected. Don't get mad. If it keeps on happening, then you can even let them sit in it for a brief time frame (maybe one is saying to be cruel and let them sit in it for hours). Lots of time, they don't like the way it feels, and might wobble across the room, so perhaps next time subconsciously they might think is it just easier to go on the potty instead of making all over oneself.

Very common is some children who will urinate but not stool in the toilet. For whatever reason, some kids are scared to poop on the toilet. Don't get caught in the trap of caving in and giving the pullup or diaper just to poop. That can lead to stool withholding patterns, which can transcend into the elementary school age of holding in their stool that can lead to chronic abdominal pain and staining of their underwear by sucking the stool back in which leads to a vicious cycle of constipation. If need be, you might need to give more fiber rich foods or prunes/pears or even a laxative, such as Miralax, to help your child go and not hold it in.

Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. No child has ever went to college, let alone kindergarten, still in diapers. Be patient. Some kids are just strong willed and will do it when they are ready. Happy flushing!!

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