Many parents have questions about potty training. Surveys indicate that the average child in the United States is potty trained somewhere between two and three years old. It is generally suggested that potty training begin as early as eighteen months to two years. Parents can look for signs such as the child stays dry for several hours (3-5) at a time, has regular bowel movements, can pull pants up and down, and seems to have an overall desire for more independence.
When a parent has decided it's time to try, the best advice is to go slow and not try to push things along. For example, if you have been trying for 2 or 3 months and things are not progressing, it's best to stop and wait a month or two before trying again. Parents can start the process by creating a routine involving sitting on the potty once per day at a certain time. At first just sit the child on the potty with clothes on for a few minutes at a time when he or she is likely to need to use the potty. This will help the child become more comfortable with the general process.
After you have developed a once a day routine of sitting on the potty chair, it's time to move ahead. Encourage your child as much as possible to use the potty any time he or she needs to. Be patient and praise and encourage him or her often. And be sure to stay calm and not let accidents upset you. The more pressure the child has, the less likely he or she will be successful. Above all, just let things happen naturally and don't get uptight about potty training. If things just aren't working as fast as you think they should, back off and try again a few months later. At this age, a few months of development can make a big difference.