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Potty training challenges solved

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Toddler toilet training tips

Potty training is both the hardest and most rewarding thing a parent can go through with their toddler. It's hard because the learning curve is so dramatic, but rewarding because the benefits are immense. We asked experts Devra Renner and Aviva Pflock, co-authors of, Mommy Guilt: Learn To Worry Less Focus On What Matters Most and Raise Happier Kids, to help us tackle some common challenges.

Waiting for readiness

Sure, it would be easier and more comfortable for your child to be potty trained. And think of all the money you'd save on diapers! But your child? Well, they aren't on the same page. "For me, the toughest part of potty training is having the patience to wait out your child. All kids want to please and know that going to the bathroom on the toilet is an expectation they must meet, you know it, they know it. However they just don't have the skills to get all the pieces down until they are older than 2, usually closer to 3," says mom Alethea.

So, what should you do? "The advantage in waiting it out is your child will be the one initiating the process. The disadvantage of battling it out is it's stressful and exhausting. But keep in mind no one was born an adult, and almost every person was taught to use the toilet," says Renner.

Another thing? It's okay to start the process ... even if it's not a smooth training. "Start the process by giving your child the tools he or she needs to be successful: A potty seat, brand new, totally cool underwear and a positive attitude. The rest is really up to the child. There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying it out, taking a break, and then trying it again later," says Pflock.

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