Why Parents Procrastinate When Potty Training
by Catherine Cheshire
Catherine Cheshire is a busy working mother of four with over 20 years experience in consumer health products and a massive amount of both research and “hands-on” experience in potty training.
The short answer….because we can.
Before the creation of disposable diapers parents were highly motivated to get their little ones out of diapers and stop the constant cycle of change, purge, launder repeat. At the first sign of any interest parents seized the moment and led their child down the path of potty independence! Usually those signs started to surface around 15 -18 months. Even earlier if the child had older siblings. So why now are children not potty training successfully until 30 – 40 months. Again, because they can. Parents assume their child isn’t old enough when they start showing signs at 18 months and ignore the natural progression. I can’t tell you how many parents of 3 year olds preparing for nursery school tell me that “he was so interested a year ago and now that it is time he won’t even look at the potty.”
There are two factors delaying potty training. Disposable diapers are convenient and don’t require the vicious laundry cycle eliminating parent’s motivation and we’ve be programmed to think children “Have to be potty trained to go to nursery school. Both of those things are true but don’t mean that you should wait to immediately before nursery school to get it done. In fact, any preschool teacher will tell you that they are constantly interrupted by potty accidents for children who are barely trained when they head off to nursery school.
How can a child or even their classmates succeed at the fundamentals of learning and socialization when there are frequent disruptions due to potty accidents? To quote our friend Happy, the Help-A-Potty-Mess “The world is a Potty Mess!” but it doesn’t have to be. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends safe and supportive potty training as early as 18 months. Just think of all the positive benefits: a well-trained preschooler, hundreds of dollars in monthly savings and the time to snuggle with your little one that doesn’t involve poop!