Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Toilet Training: Knowing When Your Child Is Ready
It can be hard to know when and how to go about
toilet training. Although your child should show physical and emotional signs
that he or she is ready, such as letting you know when he or she has had a bowel
movement and wanting to wear underpants, there
usually is not a dramatic moment that clearly shows your child is
Mixed messages from doctors, parents, and friends and
past experiences with other children may all add to this confusion.
The timing varies by child. Try not to compare your child to others or
be concerned by stories about how early your parents or in-laws trained
Your best strategy is to closely watch your child and look for the
physical and emotional signs that he or she is ready. You can provide
a potty chair or attachment to a standard toilet and
talk with your child about the process and the good things about using the toilet. Consider your child's feelings and personality in your
approach. As you start to understand your child's
reactions, you will get a better sense of exactly when and how to gently
encourage your child, and when to back off. Be patient, keep trying, and respect your child's abilities.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsSpecialist Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Current as ofNovember 20, 2015
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.