Pediatricians Confess Their Worst Parenting Mistakes

I Potty Trained My Son Late!

"I didn't fully toilet train my son until he was almost 4 because, frankly, it was easier to have him in diapers," says Dr. Shu. Not that she hadn't tried; Jack just wasn't interested in this milestone. "There were times when everyone else's kids were potty trained, and I thought, What is wrong with my son?"

The AAP's guidelines generally assume most children are starting to toilet train between 18 and 24 months and are fully trained by about age 3. But boys tend to take longer than girls, and every expert warns that if you try to push the process before a child is ready, you probably won't have much success.

Personal Rx

The Shus were getting ready to move from New Hampshire to Atlanta. Dr. Shu decided that she needed to let Jack, who was then just over 3, settle into a new place and schedule before attempting potty training again. Jack's temperament also played a big role. "He likes to do things at his own pace," Dr. Shu says. When Jack's older friends were all using the potty, he finally decided one day that he would too. "Being a pediatrician helped me relax about it because I had the scope of knowing what the range of 'normal' is, and that to me was reassuring."

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