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Potty training, how hard can it be to know the right time to start?

Every child will approach and conquer milestones at various times throughout their tiny life. The same concept applies when you are discussing potty training your toddler. Contrary to belief there is not one specific age that all children will magically begin to potty train. There is an average age of 22 months, but anywhere from 22 – 30 months is an age when potty training may start to be introduced or a child may take an interest. Some children may be ready before or after this age, but again this is the average range.

What should I look for to see if my child may be ready to potty train?

  • Taking a great deal of interest in a parent or sibling when they are going to the bathroom.

  • Has the ability to control his bladder and has more predictable bowel movements.

  • Not having a bowel movement during the night and waking dry from a nap or going for at least two hours with a dry diaper.

  • Children need to be as much emotionally ready to potty train as they are physically.

  • Able to consistently sit for 2 – 5 minutes.

  • Gives simple cues that he needs to pee or poop.

  • Can understand the difference between bathroom words “pee pee” or “poop”.

  • Pulling down and pulling up their own pants.

  • Able to walk, sit and stand up easily on their own.

Signs your child may not be ready to tackle potty training.

  • Unable to understand the difference between bathroom lingo.

  • Cannot follow simple instructions or task.

  • Has difficulty pulling their own pants up or down.

  • Does not take interest in the potty or does not understand what the potty is or anything related to the potty.

Just say no to peer pressure.

  • Do not pressure a child to potty train, this can cause more difficulty and back tracking along the potty training road. 

  • A first child may take longer to potty train then a second or third child. There are also times your first three children potty trained like a champ and your fourth child has zero interest.

  • If the child has a lot going on in their life it is not a good time to start potty training. For instance, starting a new preschool, the addition of a new sibling or a parent taking a new job.

  • Do not constantly talk or over analyze potty training with your toddler. This can sometimes cause frustration for everyone and set your child into a regression.

  • Your best friend, sister in law or neighbor's child potty trained three months ago and they are now on to writing their own name and speaking Spanish. Give them a pat on the back and say a job well done, but do not think any more about it. Each child is an individual and will be potty trained at their own pace and time. 

18 Potty Training Tips by Parents:

Looking for some of the best tips by parents who have gone through this journey. Click HERE to find an in-depth article by Katie Holmes on the top 18 Potty Training Tips.

In this resource guide you will find some of the below helpful topics parents have brought up when going through potty training their child.

  • Look out for the early signs, and consider training backward (#2 first, then #1)

  • Be consistent by creating a routine

  • Wait to do potty training for when your toddler actually needs to go

  • Watch for signs that your toddler is ready

  • Consider going on a backpacking or camping trip


Kids Health is a fantastic and simple resource to address many of your potty training questions. Click Here if you are ready to see if your child is ready to begin the potty training process.

Here is a really good and easy read for potty training. It will give you a good insight to when, how, why and when is the right opportunity to potty train. Click Here

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