A Relaxed Approach
Babies and toddlers do not respond well to pressure, so if you are in a hurry, potty training efforts can backfire and the process can end up taking much longer than if you take a more relaxed approach. To guard against such an unhappy outcome, never try to hurry or pressure a baby. If you have a potty training deadline for your toddler, be sure she is mature enough to follow directions readily, can remain seated for at least five minutes at a stretch, enjoys tasks that make her more independent, persists when learning is hard, and can handle frustration and accidents without losing motivation.
Make sure your child isn't in the midst of dealing with other major issues, such as the arrival of a new baby, the loss of a favorite day care teacher, or a move to a new house. The rule of thumb is to allow at least a month for a youngster to adapt and settle in after a major life change. Since even minor events such as moving from a crib to a regular bed, teething, or having out-of-town guests can throw tots off balance for a few days or weeks, parents should wait until household routines are re-established and their youngster is up to par.
When children have just mastered walking, they are very active. Turmoil intensifies during toddler independence struggles. At both stages, children have a hard time following directions and sitting still. Choose a different time to begin potty training.
Even if all these criteria are met, toddlers are very sensitive to parental anxiety and tension, and react negatively to pressure. You may have to accept that potty training is something you can't rush. When you scale back your expectations, you may well speed learning.