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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Potty training is a big deal. Here's what you need to know about timing, technique and handling the inevitable accidents.

"I've gotta go!" If you're looking forward to ditching your child's diapers for good, these words may be music to your ears.

Potty training is a big deal for parents and kids alike. The secret to success? Patience. Perhaps more patience than you ever imagined.
Is it time?

Potty training success hinges on physical and emotional readiness, not a specific age. Many kids show interest in potty training by age 2, but others may not be ready until age 2 1/2 or even older. And there's no rush. If you start potty training too early, it may only take longer.

So is your child ready? Ask yourself these questions:

* Does your child seem interested in the potty chair or toilet, or in wearing underwear?
* Can your child understand and follow basic directions?
* Can your child ask simple questions?
* Does your child stay dry for periods of two hours or longer during the day? Does he or she wake from naps dry?
* Does your child have fairly predictable bowel movements?
* Does your child tell you when he or she needs to potty or poop?
* Is your child uncomfortable in wet or dirty diapers?
* Can your child pull down his or her pants and pull them up again?

If you answered mostly yes, your child may be ready for potty training. If you answered mostly no, you may want to wait awhile — especially if your child is about to face a major change, such as a move or the arrival of a new sibling. A toddler who opposes potty training today may be open to the idea in a few months.


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