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Parental guidance: Summer potty training

Q. Is it true or a myth that it's easier to potty train children during the summer? If I'm thinking of potty training in the next few months, should I do it sooner rather than later?

A. So many factors go into potty training -- age, whether it's the first attempt, other stress that might be happening in the child's world, such as the arrival of a new sibling -- that it's impossible to make a blanket statement that summer is easier than other times of year, says Dr. Fred Daum, chief of the division of pediatric gastroenterology at Winthrop University Hospital and director of the "All About the Toilet" training program.

What is true about summer is that some people may have more time to devote to toilet training because children aren't in preschool and parents may have some time off from work, Daum says. So if you are thinking about toilet training in the next few months, anyway, and the child is about 2, then for sure give it a shot now, Daum says.

"It's a good idea," he says. "If you are committed to it, you will get it done. In most of the world, youngsters are toilet trained by 20 to 24 months of age."

Success should take about two weeks, he says.

One perk of toilet training during the summer for Mom and Dad is that children are wearing less clothing -- less to wash when they have the inevitable accident.


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