No Pressure Potty Training Guide

Jan 18, 2023 | 2 Minutes Read

How can I potty train my child without the pressure? When is the best time to start potty training? These are some of the biggest questions of parenting a toddler. Perhaps your child is starting preschool and they require potty training to be complete before enrollment. Or maybe all the kids in your child’s playgroup have begun, so you think it’s time for your toddler too.

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Potty training isn’t something that should be determined by outside pressure, but rather by your own child’s development. Children may begin to show signs of potty training readiness anywhere from 18 months to 2 years old. What's most important to keep in mind is that every child is different, so they'll be ready at their own pace. The real secret of successful potty training is waiting until your child shows signs of readiness that suggest interest in toilet training, no pressure required.

Like so many skills your child will gain, potty training requires developmental readiness, and it cannot be held to an arbitrary deadline. Though it may be tempting to set a certain time to start training or a time limit to complete potty training, resist if your child hasn't yet shown signs of being ready. Research shows that waiting a little longer can actually increase your chance of long-term success during potty training.

Here are some things your toddler may do to signify they are ready to start potty training, or take this Potty Training Readiness Quiz:

  • Pulling at a wet or dirty diaper
  • Hiding to pee or poop
  • Interest in other people using the potty
  • Having a dry diaper for a longer-than-usual time
  • Awakening dry from a nap or bedtime
  • Telling you that they have to go or that they have just gone
After your child begins demonstrating a few of these behaviors, it may be time to start thinking about beginning your potty training adventure. However, as their guardian, you’ll know best whether your child is truly ready.

Once you begin potty training, there’s also no pressure to use any certain style or approach. To minimize the amount of pressure put on your child, we recommend a few tips to help keep your process adaptive to your toddler’s pace and style:

  • Don’t push it. Listen and watch your child’s progress and responses to various steps closely, and consider letting them set the pace.
  • Use positive reinforcement for successful behavior changes, and avoid punishing negative behavior.
  • Test out different incentives and forms of praise. Children will respond differently, and some forms of celebration may be more meaningful than others.
  • Find ways to have fun during the process, and try not to focus on the destination so much as the journey of growth that you and your Big Kid are embarking on together.
Regardless of what family and friends are doing or what preschool or daycare applications tell you, there is no right time or age to start the process. There is no one right way to potty train. There should be no pressure in potty training! Always remember that every child will progress in their potty training journey differently based on their own development. Keeping that in mind will make the experience easier for you and your Big Kid.


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