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The Right Reasons to Toilet Train

If you are thinking of starting toilet training now, take a moment to consider your reasons for this decision.

Do you feel that your child is prepared to start—and succeed at—this challenging process? Has she expressed an interest? Do you need to move her out of diapers soon due to child-care requirements or financial pressure? Or are you simply feeling uneasy because other children her age or younger have already been toilet-trained, because your older child was already trained by this age, or because relatives or friends are beginning to ask you when you’re going to start?

These last few motivators can be quite powerful, but they are best ignored. Your child’s needs have little to do with those of her peers or siblings. Even twins frequently become ready for toilet training at very different times. Other children’s training schedules should therefore not be a consideration, nor should the understandable but counterproductive desire to demonstrate your parenting skills or your child’s advanced intelligence.

Rest assured: Many brilliant children, even those with wonderful, loving parents, do not become fully trained until preschool or even later.

Last Updated
Guide to Toilet Training (Copyright © 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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