Q: I have a 3 month old and an 18 month old. I believe my 18 month old daughter is ready to start potty training. She's always taking her diaper off when its dirty, she knows what "potty" means and where the bathroom is--in fact she has gone pee a handful of times in the tiolet already. What I'm not sure of, is how often I should be taking her potty and how I fit it in, or remember for that matter, with the demanding needs of a new born. Any help or tips would be great!
A: I think the word “parent” comes from the Latin word parentus meaning “I’m supposed to do how many things all at once?!!”
When it is time to potty train a child, a parent definitely has to make sure that a child is ready and able. But we forget that the parent herself also has to be ready and able. Sometimes, there is too much going on in a parent’s life for her to put forth the effort and consistency needed to potty-train a child, and if a child is young (I would say less than three years of age), a parent may choose to wait until life circumstances change to the point where the parent has more time, energy, and opportunity to do the job well.
With that said, if a child is ready but the mom can’t put forth a complete effort, she can still help the child move in the right direction. For example, a parent may want to give a child the opportunity to go potty when the child wants to and praise the effort when she does, but not put pressure on the child (or herself) for the child to do it. Or, the mom may want to just pick one convenient time of the day to work on potty training (for example, a time that the child tends to consistently need to poop or pee), and only focus on that time of day. When the child masters going potty at that time, the parent can then choose another time to do the same.