Although some children achieve the goal in a month or so, it is far more likely to take several months, and to be marked by odd behavior and frustrating setbacks. Do not be surprised, for instance, if your child develops a keen interest in what she has deposited in her potty. Letting her satisfy her quite natural curiosity with a close inspection, perhaps even a touch, usually takes care of the matter.
If your child resists using the toilet or has many accidents, do not mistake it for deliberate contrariness on her part. A fear of the big, noisy toilet underlies much toileting anxiety. Some toddlers withhold bowel movements to the point of becoming constipated, with resulting discomfort that causes even more anxiety. You may also witness unusual displays of fussiness or defiance during bath time, mealtime or dressing. Children often act this way when they are feeling angry over the pressure to use the toilet, or when they secretly fear that they cannot measure up to their parents’ expectations.
Anything that temporarily creates tension can result in backsliding in training: a family illness, a big trip, a new baby sitting arrangement. Whatever the causes of such setbacks never belittle or shame a child for having accidents: this can only lead to further anxiety and greater loss of control. With patience and persistence you will see your youngster through these minor difficulties and soon leave the diaper era behind for good. What are more you increased your child’s confidence in facing other challenges in the years to come.