Potty training is special time in both the child and parent’s lives.  The child transitions from using diapers to going about their business in the toilet like “grown-ups” do.  For the parents, there are many days and nights of frustration and encouragement.   Parents generally try to get their kids trained when they show more control over their bladders, but other than that there is no definite age to begin training.
Aside from particular cases, the idea of potty training is to have it completed before he or she starts preschool.  When the child is at day care, the teachers are expected to know how to change diapers, as they take care of young kids of all ages ranging from a few months old to three or four years.  From preschool and onwards, though, the focus shifts on learning, and basic functions like using the restroom are expected of the child by that time.
How do you know when your child is ready to take the plunge? Here are some signals.  It’ll vary from child to child.
Some physical signs may include longer “dry” periods, walking and running in a steadier manner, and a more routine bowel movement.  Changes in their behavior are also vital.  Look for signs like your child easily removing their diaper, pulling their pants up and down, them telling you they need to “go”, and an overall mood that shows they’re more likely to sit still for a few minutes and show a willingness to learn and take direction.  Additionally, they will show an interest in the bathroom and feel an overall discomfort when wearing a dirty diaper.  When you assess that you and your child are ready to begin potting training, then you can begin the process.
Children – or anyone for that matter – respond well to positive reinforcement.  Abstain from scolding or berating your child if they can’t get the hang of it as quickly as you’d like.  Treat it as something fun and encourage them to practice sitting up and down.
The process of toilet training may take some patience on both sides.  In the case for boys, have them learn sitting down first, and after they master it, have them practice standing up.  Be with him or her while they attempt to use the potty and offer them words of encouragement, even for trying.  Acknowledge and thank the child when they tell you they need to go.  Speed is also important – when you see the “bathroom dance” which includes wriggling, squirming, and other movement, inform your kid that it’s a sort of “signal” for them to go to the bathroom.  For ease and comfort, stick with clothing they can pull down quickly.
Rewards can make or break a training session.  Rather than reward with food and drink, try rewarding with stickers on a chart or verbal praise.  When they accumulate a certain amount, treat them to “big kid” clothing including new underwear.  Remember that it’s okay if your child doesn’t succeed at first: Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Accidents can and will happen if a child is distracted, upset, or asleep.  In these cases, it’s imperative to keep encouraging.  If he or she begins to resist the training, put it off for another month or two until they respond better to the idea of using the toilet.
By the time your child is of preschool age, their training should be completed, but accidents may still happen, especially at night.  It’s not uncommon for children up to the age of five or so to continue to wet the bed, for example.  However, if they frequently have accidents at school, there could be a deeper problem such as a urinary infection or even anxiety.  If it reaches that point, consult with your child’s pediatrician.