Flush away your potty training worries: Answers to 5 common questions

Is your 4-year-old not yet potty trained? Does your toddler get upset when she has an accident? Potty training can be time-consuming, confusing and stressful, but you can ease your concerns by knowing what’s expected and recognizing when you may need to ask for help.

Dennis S. Peppas, M.D., and Eran Rosenberg, M.D., pediatric urologists with Norton Children’s Hospital Urology Specialists, weigh in on common potty training questions.

  1. What is the right age to begin potty training?

While the average kid is toilet trained by age 3, some children may take as long as age 6 or 7 to stay completely dry day and night.

  1. How do I know when to begin potty training?

When your little one is ready to potty train, he or she will let you know! There is no specific timeline to follow. Every kid is different and children will have the desire and motivation to be dry at different times. Most potty training occurs between ages 1 and 3, but don’t force your child to start training if he or she is not ready. Setting your expectations too high can sometimes cause a child to have urinary issues.

  1. How do I help my child learn to use the toilet?

Patience and persistence are vital to the process. If your child shows a desire to be dry, schedule times to urinate every two to three hours during the day. Also, select the time after the largest meal of the day and have your child sit on the potty for 30 minutes with a book or toy. This will likely stimulate a sense of bowel fullness and the need to have a bowel movement.

  1. When is it time to ask for help?

A child who is not toilet trained by age 6 should be examined by a pediatric urologist. A visit is also recommended for a child who was previously toilet trained but now has accidents, has problems with how often he or she urinates or is regularly experiencing an urgent need to urinate.

  1. What does a pediatric urologist do?

A pediatric urologist is a specialist who diagnoses and treats urination difficulties, called “voiding dysfunction.” It may take several months to improve or resolve voiding dysfunction.

Norton Children’s Hospital Urology Specialists offers children and adolescents consultations and specialized care for a variety of urological conditions. To learn more about its services or to schedule an appointment, call (502) 559-1670 or visit NortonChildrens.com.

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