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How should I start potty training my child?

How should I start potty training my child?
Submitted by Parents.com Team

With lots of patience and a schedule. Most kids need to poop or pee an hour or so after a meal. Have your child sit on the potty soon after she's finished breakfast and again after dinner. Make "going potty" fun -- read a story together, play a game, or sing to her. If she's successful, make a big deal out of it: Say something like, "I'm so proud of you." If nothing happens after 10 minutes or she gets fidgety and wants to get up, put her diaper back on, praise her for trying, and leave the bathroom together. The idea is to get her used to a potty regimen. Before long -- if you stick to the schedule every day -- she'll get the hang of it. --Nancy Mattia

Copyright 2004. Updated 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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Make it a regular thing that happens every 2 hours. (Trying, that is!) I have worked with kids for 15+ years and the biggest mistake I see parents make is being inconsistent or lazy. If your child is developmentally ready but resists going to the potty (as most toddlers do), offer the option to go now or in one minute -- then stick to it. Reading potty books and watching potty DVDs are great, but they can't replace physical practice and repetition.
Submitted by gretayoung1