Slideshows Images Quizzes
font size

Potty Training (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

How long will it take to toilet train my child?

Presuming both the child and parents are ready (see above regarding these areas), most children will be daytime toilet trained after a few weeks of effort. Many parents will say that the major challenge the child must overcome is discovering the connection between the sensation of impending urination or passage of stool and "relaxing" to allow the evacuation. "Pushing" (especially with urination) may be counterproductive.

The attainment of nighttime toilet training is indicative of a neurological maturation milestone and as such is beyond parental control. Girls generally achieve nighttime dryness before their male counterparts. At 4 years of age, approximately 25% of boys wear a nighttime diaper while approximately 12% of girls need a nighttime diaper. By 6 years of age, these percentages have reduced to 5% and 2%, respectively.

Is there anything I can do to prevent accidents from happening?

Most parents quickly discover that a large gulf may exist between the biological capability of being toilet trained and the emotional and psychological readiness to anticipate the impending need to use the bathroom. Children will often need reminders of need for a "potty break" during periods of play and before setting out on any duration of car ride, bath, or pool event. Wise parents also discover that commanding the child to "pee and poo right now because we are late" often is met with resistance or refusal and thus more parental frustration. A better approach involves the child merely sitting on the toilet with no expressed or implied need to perform. In the majority of times, once the pressure is off, the child will successfully comply with the parental goals. Punishment of the child rarely accomplishes anything. Remember: Toilet training is probably the biggest accomplishment your child can remember. This obvious evidence of maturity is a much more tangible goal than color and/or number recognition. The child wants to succeed and please him/herself and the parents.


Parenting and Pregnancy

Get tips for baby and you.

Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors