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When To Start Potty Training Your Child

A little girl in a bathroom, using a personalized wooden step stool with safety handles for in front of a full size toilet.

Dealing with Potty Training Pressure

Of the many social burdens placed on parents, one of the greatest (and dumbest!) is the pressure to potty train toddlers “early.”

Potty Training Readiness: Getting Real

This is just plain silly, because there is no single ideal potty training age. It isn’t something you can accelerate. Until your child is physically and emotionally ready, toilet training simply isn’t developmentally possible.

“Readiness” has little to do with biological age. According to  the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) most kids achieve daytime toilet training success by age 3 to 4. Staying dry at night can take quite a bit longer.

“You Want Me to WHAT?”

When you think about it, the whole toilet training process is an awful lot to ask of a toddler. After all:

  • Kids must be biologically able to control their bladder and bowel movements.
  • They must be able to recognize the need to go in advance and be willing to break away from whatever fun thing they’re doing to go to the bathroom.
  • Then, they must able to “hold it” until they can get there and can pull down their clothing, which isn’t always easy, either. Whew!

So, how do you know when your boy or girl is ready for toilet training? According to experts, look for these signs:

8 Signs That Your Toddler is Ready for Potty Training

  1. Your child stays dry for at least two hours at a time.
  2. Your child moves his or her bowels at regular, predictable intervals.
  3. Your child tells you when he or she is about to go or indicates it through facial expressions or actions.
  4. Your child can follow instructions.
  5. Your child can walk to the bathroom and help get undressed.
  6. Your child dislikes the sensation of dirty diapers and asks to be changed.
  7. Your child expresses interest in “big kid” underwear.
  8. Your child wants to use the toilet.

Once your child is ready, it’s time to get a great few great tools, including:

Easy-to-use potty seat

Disappearing Potty Seat

Training pants that signal wetness

Smarter Training Pants

Motivating potty training rewards kit

Potty Training Reward Kit

Related Article(s):


7 Potty Training Tips That Make Life Easier

Help Your Child Stop Bed Wetting

Potty Training Tips For Boys

Potty Training Myths and Facts

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