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Disposable diapers are indeed an expense, and as parents we are often anxious to get our toddler on their merry way to train to use the toilet. But how do you know when your child is ready? And what techniques work best when it comes to using the potty?

Toilet training is no doubt a developmental milestone. Generally children show signs of readiness between the ages of 17 to 24 months of age. Your job as a parent is to look for the following signs.

· Your child has awareness of what a bowl movement is or may signal you that his or her diaper is wet.
· Your child can be independent at times. For instance, your toddler may be able to dress and or undress without your help.
· Does your child ever show motivation?
· Does your child like to show achievement?

If you have answered yes to one or more of these questions, then your child is most likely ready to begin toilet training. At times, training may be frustrating. If you and your toddler are having difficultly, then it’s time to give the potty a break and try again a few weeks later.

Below are some techniques that can encourage and teach your child how to use the potty.
· Give your child his/her own potty. So your son or daughter is comfortable with the idea, make up a silly name for the potty.
· Be a role model for your child. Bring your child into the bathroom when you have to use the toilet. After going through this process a few times, ask your child if he/she is ready to sit on the potty while you are in the bathroom.
· Walk your child to the potty at regular intervals throughout the day to encourage consistency.
· Offer a reward system if your child uses the potty. Some parents use stickers as a means of encouragement and motivation. Others use candy.
· If your child is making progress, use training pants instead of diapers.
· There are times when a child can regress from the learning process. They include the birth of a sibling, moving to a new home, parents fighting, or divorce.
· If your child is successfully potty trained during the day, it may take many more months to be trained overnight. For that reason, many parents place a diaper on their toddler only during nighttime hours.