Your Potty Training Handbook: Expert Tips and Real-Parent Advice

Accidents Happen

Daytime Accidents

Yes, you've heard that your child won't be wearing diapers to college. But still, the training process seems to go on and on because 4-, 5-, and even 6-year-olds can have daytime accidents. Usually they happen when a child is so engrossed in an activity that he doesn't heed the need to go. The standard advice is to stay unfazed so your child doesn't feel ashamed, but it's okay to remind your child to tell an adult as soon as he needs to pee. Keep a spare pair of pants and underwear in your bag, keep a full change of clothing at school, and keep your chin up. This will all be over eventually, we promise!

Nighttime

According to research, it can be a full year or more before children who use the potty all day can also keep the bed dry at night. Talk to your pediatrician about it if you're concerned, but for the most part, patience and nighttime diapers will get you through this longer phase of the training.

Life Changes

A sibling, a move, a new school, or any other kind of upheaval can result in potty regression if your child decides she needs to be babied again. Try not to scold. Offer reassurance instead.

Originally published in the July 2008 issue of American Baby magazine.

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