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Potty Training: Is it time?

Children Younger than 12 months of age aren’t yet able to control their bladder or bowels voluntarily yet. Typically, potty training occurs between 2 ½ – 3 years of age.  The signs below will act as your guide. If your child is beginning to demonstrate any of the signs below, or is demonstrating a general trend towards independence, then it is perfectly acceptable to start the potty training process.

It is important to remember that potty training takes time and occurs across a range of ages. Use the information below as guidelines, and try not to put pressure on yourself or your little one to start before she is ready.  If you have any questions or concerns, reach out and speak to a therapist today.

Physical signs:

  • Is coordinated enough to walk, and even run, steadily.
  • Urinates a fair amount at one time.
  • Has regular, well-formed bowel movements at relatively predictable times.
  • Has “dry” periods of at least two hours or during naps, which shows that his bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine.

Behavioral signs:

  • Can sit down quietly in one position for two to five minutes.
  • Can pull his pants up and down.
  • Dislikes the feeling of wearing a wet or dirty diaper.
  • Shows interest in others’ bathroom habits (wants to watch you go to the bathroom or wear underwear).
  • Gives a physical or verbal sign when he’s having a bowel movement such as grunting, squatting, or telling you.
  • Demonstrates a desire for independence.
  • Takes pride in his accomplishments.
  • Isn’t resistant to learning to use the toilet.
  • Is in a generally cooperative stage, not a negative or contrary one.

Cognitive signs:

  • Understands the physical signals that mean he has to go and can tell you before it happens or even hold it until he has time to get to the potty.
  • Can follow simple instructions, such as “go get the toy.”
  • Understands the value of putting things where they belong.

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