Potty Training FAQ's

Potty Training FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Potty Training Children

1. How do I know if my child is ready for potty training?

  • Look for signs of physical and emotional readiness, such as staying dry for longer periods, showing interest in using the toilet, and expressing discomfort with dirty diapers. (see 21 Potty Training Readiness Signs)

2. What's the best age to start potty training?

  • There's no one-size-fits-all answer. Most children are ready between 18 and 36 months, but readiness varies for each child. There has been research that indicates that 27 to 32 months is the sweet spot However, some experts insist that 22 months is the best time to potty train. Lora Jensen of Three- Day Potty Training recommends waiting to 22 months even if a child is ready sooner and she maintains that all children are ready by 22 months. However, other experts insist that a child can not control their bladder or bowels until after 24 months.
  • With the variability in the age recommended by experts, parents should not use age as a definitive target to start but the presence of readiness signs should guide a parent as to whether to start potty training as each child is unique and the age of readiness can vary greatly from one child to the next. The most important consideration is that a child shows these potty training readiness signs. If all experts and the research data is taken into consideration the age that comes closest to being ideal to start training is 27 months which ensures that children have complete control of their bladder and bowels and have mastered the earlier milestones required for successful training. 

    3. Should I use a child potty or a toilet seat reducer?

    • Both options are valid. Choose based on your child's comfort and your home setup. Some children prefer the familiarity of a child potty, while others may want to use the "big" toilet.

    4. What's the difference between training pants and regular underwear?

    • Training pants have extra absorbency and can help manage accidents during the learning phase. Regular underwear can offer a more direct transition to feeling wetness.

    5. How do I introduce reward charts and stickers?

    • Start by explaining the concept to your child. Offer a sticker each time they use the potty successfully and let them place it on the chart. Reward them after achieving a certain number of stickers.

    7. What should I do when accidents happen?

    • Stay calm and reassure your child that accidents are a normal part of learning. Help them clean up without making them feel ashamed.

    8. What if my child resists using the toilet or regresses after starting?

    • Be patient and understanding. Offer support, communicate, and gently encourage them to try again. Regression is common and usually temporary.

    9. How do I handle nighttime training?

    • Limit liquids before bedtime, encourage them to use the toilet before sleeping, and consider using nighttime training pants until they consistently wake up dry.

    10. Should I use rewards like treats for successful potty training?

    • While some parents use small treats as rewards, praise and positive reinforcement are often more effective and promote a healthier relationship with food.

    11. How long does potty training take on average?

    • Potty training duration varies. Some children catch on quickly, while others may take several months. Be patient and go at your child's pace.

      In a 1200-person survey madeformums.com in 2013, 21% of respondents indicated that the length of time to potty train was 2-3 weeks which was the most common answer. However, survey results are likely very optimistic reports from parents eager to report their child's success and often inaccurately report faster better results than reality. Also, it is a very ambiguous question for parents as it could refer to the length of time that they have no accidents or fewer accidents and may refer to daytime only training instead of night time and daytime because night training normally occurs 10 months after successful day training. If taking the 10 month difference into consideration, the length of time to complete potty training would be close to a year or more on average. 

    12. How can I help my child overcome fears of using public restrooms?

    • Visit public restrooms together and reassure them. Carry sanitizing wipes and covers for toilet seats if needed.

    13. What can I do if my child is influenced by older siblings or peers?

    • Leverage positive influence by involving them in the process and celebrating their achievements. Encourage camaraderie and teamwork.

    14. How do I transition from potties to regular toilets?

    • Gradually introduce using the regular toilet by using toilet seat reducers or child-friendly adapters. Make the process exciting and positive.

    15. How do I handle potty training outside of the home?

    • Plan ahead by bringing supplies like a portable potty seat or seat covers. Familiarize your child with public restrooms and offer reassurance.

    16. When should I transition from training pants to regular underwear?

    • Transition when your child consistently stays dry during the day. Be prepared for occasional accidents as they adjust.


    17. What is the Three-Day Potty Training Method?

    The three-day potty training method is a popular method and well-know book created by Lora Jensen, and is also known as the intensive or boot camp approach. It is a structured and focused strategy designed to help your child transition from diapers to using the toilet independently in just three days. Unlike traditional methods that take weeks or months, this method aims for quick results by immersing your child in a concentrated period of potty training. 

    For detailed information go to https:///3daypottytraining.com where you can learn more or purchase her book or PDF.

    18. What is the Three-Day Potty Training Rule?

    See #17 below the Three-Day Potty Training Rule is the same as the Three-Day Potty Training Method.

    19.What is the hardest day of potty training?

    Just like everything else in potty training, the answer is it varies, since no two children are the same so every potty training experience is different. For some the hardest day of the 3 day method is day one when the child is just getting used to this new vey intimidating process. For others, it is day two when the newness of it has worn off and the child is no longer focused on training and has a lot of accidents. Usually by day three they have everything down and it's easy sailing, but there are always children that will struggle days four, five and beyond. And of course there is the possibility of regression at some point days, weeks or months later that a child reverts back to having accidents frequently.

    20. What is the most successful age to potty train a child?

    It depends who you ask. Lora Jensen indicates 22 months is the age that a child is most likely to be successful. However, other experts insist that a child can not have full control of their bladder or bowels until after 24 months and the peer reviewed research indicates there is a sweet spot from 27 to 32 months as the age a child will most likely be successful.

    21. Is it normal for a 3 or 4 year old not to be potty trained?

    Each child is different and the potty training experience differs for each child. 3 years old is the average age children are potty trained so yes its normal for some 3 year olds and even some 4 year olds not to be potty trained. The age of potty training varies for each child and both 3 and 4 years or 36 months and 48 months there will be children not potty trained at those ages.


     22. What percentage of 3 year olds or 36 months  are completely potty trained?

    A YouGov study involving 1176 adults in the UK with at least one child 6 years old or younger, found that 95% of 3-year-olds or 36 months were completely potty trained according to the 2004 survey from YouGov now the number exceeds 4 years or 48 months.


    23. What percent of 4 year olds or 48 months are completely potty trained?

    The same YouGov study in the UK's most recent survey in 2021, concluded that 95% of children were potty trained by the age of 4. A total of 12 month increase in potty training age in 17 years.

      24. What percent of 24 month olds or 2 year olds are potty trained?

      According to a 2013 UK madeformums.com survey, 26% of 18 to 24 months parents reported their child was completely potty trained.


      25. How often do children urinate?

      Children urinate 4 to 8 times per day on average every 2 hours


      26. How often do children have BM's?

      Children have a regular pattern of BM's that is once, twice or three times per day and some children skip a day or two between BM's.


      27. How many children wet the bed at night?

      • 4.5 years old      30 %
      • 7 years old.        20%
      • 9.5 years old.     10%

      28. How long does it take for a child to be potty trained for the night time as well as daytime? 

      Children on average are night time potty trained 10 months after they are daytime trained. Since a child's ADH anti-diuretic hormone levels are ample for night time training 10 months after the levels are high enough for daytime training. Higher levels are required at night to stay dry as ADH regulates the flow of water in the body.

      Navigating the world of potty training can be a journey filled with questions and uncertainties. These FAQs provide comprehensive answers to some of the most common concerns caregivers may have while guiding their children through this significant developmental phase. Remember that every child is unique, and while these answers offer general guidance, it's important to tailor your approach to your child's individual needs and preferences.

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