Toilet Time: Is Your Preschooler Progressing Normally?

toilet training

Most children will potty train between the ages of two and three. If your child is three or older and still not potty trained, it may be time to start pushing a little bit harder.

“If you have waited until now to toilet train in the hope that your child will initiate the process but have yet to see any interest on her part, there is no harm in nudging her along in positive ways,” says Without criticizing or teasing, point out other children your child looks up to who are using the potty on their own, and ask if she would like to do so as well. Once she is on board, create a plan and stick to it. It may take a few tries, but eventually, you will see some progress.

If your child is five or older and still consistently wetting the bed at night, discuss the problem with your pediatrician.

Accidents are a natural part of potty training; however, if your child still lacks control during the day at the age of three or four and you've consistently worked on potty training, you may want to discuss the problem with your pediatrician, according to

Staying dry through the night may be a skill that will take a little bit longer to master—sometimes until the age of five. If your child is five or older and still consistently wetting the bed at night, discuss the problem with your pediatrician.

{ MORE: Bedwetting }

By the age of three, children should be able to wash their hands without much assistance, though they may need help reaching the sink, according to the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL). For example, you may need to monitor your children and provide a stool for them to stand on. You can hand them a small hand towel when they finish or instruct them on where to get one. Eventually they will do this on their own, and by four or five may not need any assistance from you at all. Remember that just because they can wash their hands on their own, it doesn't mean they will. Be sure to ask them whether or not they washed their hands after every trip to the potty; and if the answer is “no,” have them return to the bathroom to wash up.

Learning how to wipe may take a little bit longer. You could try giving them a chance to do it themselves and then finish the job for them. This way, they’ll learn the skill and you can be sure it is being done correctly. Make sure you teach your girls to wipe from front to back to avoid urinary tract infections. As your child grows, wiping will get easier and they will no longer need your help.

If you have any further concerns with your child’s progress in toilet training, discuss them with your pediatrician. And remember that every child is different and may develop at different times. Your pediatrician can provide you a more accurate idea of whether or not your child is up to par – more so than any comparison to siblings, cousins, or friends.

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Toilet Time: Is Your Preschooler Progressing Normally?

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1 comment

  1. Lynette says:

    Any ideas on how to potty train while I have carpet in my apartment?


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