Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Potty Training

Question: My 22 month old daughter has begun telling me when she has "poo-poo" in her diaper. Is this an indication to me that it's time to start potty training? Where and when do I start? - Marie S.

Answer: Dear Marie,
Sounds like your daughter is telling you that she's ready to start potty training.

The fact that she is verbalizing her disinterest in being soiled is a major sign of emotional readiness. She is becoming aware that it feels better walking around in clean clothes rather than poop. She is at an age when potty training can be rewarding for both her and you as a parent.

If you haven't already done so, take her shopping and have her pick out her own potty. If you already have one, have her decorate it! Have her pick out "big girl panties." Emotionally, this age is one in which the child feels a need to be in control i.e.: "The world revolves around me!" Let her have as much control during this time as possible, with your guidance of course.

Positive reinforcement with stickers or some other form of showing praise will encourage her even more. Hugs and kisses work quite well. Punishment for accidents will only delay the process. Also, show her that you are confident during this time. She will look at your actions and reactions! One more thing. Make sure there are no new situations such as a new sibling or major change in the household. Potty training is a major event in her life where most of her energies are focused. Dealing with more than one major event for her at this time would be counterproductive.

Good luck with potty training!
Dr. Betti

Recommended Video
Let's Go Potty produced by BlueSuitMom's Pediatric expert Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler

Also see:

  • More about potty training
  • Are vaccines safe?
  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.