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Potty Training Mistakes

Potty Training Basics


Updated April 09, 2009

Potty training isn't always easy, but some parents make it a little more difficult than it needs to be by making some all too common mistakes, especially starting the whole potty training process before their child is ready.

Other common potty training mistakes include:

  • starting potty training during a stressful time in your child's life, such as a move or around the arrival of a new baby in the house
  • quickly moving your child to regular underwear as soon as you begin potty training, even before your child shows signs of staying dry for long periods of time or regularly using the potty
  • continuing to push potty training when your child obviously isn't interested
  • punishing your child for having accidents while you are potty training
  • expecting potty training to be a quick process and being able to finish in a few days or a weekend
  • expecting your child to complete all aspects of potty training at the same time, such as potty training in public, having bowel movements on the potty, or using the potty each and every time he has to go
  • relying on the same potty training method for each of your kids, which unfortunately, may not work if your kids have very different temperaments
  • not realizing that your child may continue to wet the bed at night, even after he has finished potty training, since bedwetting is not usually related to potty training
The root of most of these mistakes are parents who have unrealistic expectations about potty training, which usually include that they should start at a certain age or that they should be finished by a certain age. Although some people now talk about potty training their infants, most parents will find that their kids aren't ready to begin potty training until they are about 18 to 24 months or older and that the whole potty training process can take a good 6 months or more to complete.

Not surprisingly, the older your child is when he begins potty training, the quicker the training typically is. So while a 2 year old might take 6 or 9 months to finish potty training, a 3 year old might just take 3 or 4 weeks.

And keep in mind that 3 is not a magic age when all kids are potty trained. About 25 percent of kids finish potty training after they are 3 years old.

Related Video
Potty Training Preparedness

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