When to Start Potty Training? | complete guide

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If you agree with the reasons of “why you should potty train your child immediately?” the next question in your mind must be “When to start potty training?” or “What is the appropriate age to start the process?”

This article is about the timing of the process. When to start? When not to start? How much time it will take? We will have a detailed discussion here.

At what age to potty train?     

If you are looking for a certain age to start off the procedure, then you are asking the wrong question because there is no certain age.

The success of potty training doesn’t depend upon the age but it depends upon the developmental and behavioral milestones.

We can say most children will show the signs that they are ready to be trained anywhere around 1.5-3 years old.

You have to look for those signs, we’ll be discussing them in a little while.

However, some people ask “Can we potty train a 6-month-old baby?”

Can you potty train your child at 6 months of age?

Yes, there are certain ways you can train your 6 months old baby but to be honest, you shouldn’t.

Potty training requires a lot of control over muscles. The child needs to control the bladder and hold on to the pee or poo for longer. A 6 mo is too little to have that much control over muscles and if you will force him to control, he might be able to do this. But this isn’t advised to let him put pressure on his little muscles.

This can lead to constipation, kidney damage, and UTIs in kids because they will stop their bowel movements longer than they should.

For the people asking this question! I would not even suggest starting the training until after 1 year of age.
(In different parts of the world, people potty train their children at different ages. Some may train earlier while some may wait for a little longer.)

You should look for some signs that your child is ready to be training for the toilet.

How to know that your child is ready for potty training?

After knowing when to start potty training, the next step is to look for the signs of readiness of your child. There are 2 types of signs you should look for: Developmental signs and behavioral signs:

Developmental signs:

Look for these signs to understand if your child has enough developmental skills to be potty trained.

  • Your child is able to walk to the toilet by herself/himself?
  • He/she can pull her pants down and up?
  • Is he/she able to sit or rise up from the toilet seat?
  • He/she is able to verbally express her feelings?
  • Is he/she able to communicate the problem?
  • If he/she able to follow instructions?
  • Is he/she having scheduled bowel movement? (This shows that they have some control over their muscles.)

Behavioral signs:

Look for these signs:

  • The child is showing the desire to be independent
  • He/she is showing interest in “not wearing” the diaper
  • The child likes being praised
  • The child tries to copy adults (parents or siblings)
  • His/her diaper stays dry for 2 hours or longer
  • Diaper stays dry after naps
  • The child has started disliking dirty diapers

So, these were the signs you should look for. If for most of the questions your answer is ‘yes’ then you should start the procedure.

How long it takes to potty train a child?

Again there is no specific answer. But there are methods available to train your child within 3 days.

Yes! There are some professionals who can guide you step by step to help you to train your child to use the toilet within 3 days.

On average, Potty training may take 3-6 months (day time only). While the time span varies from child to child.

Tip: “The earlier you start potty training, the more time the procedure will take.”

What you can do is to look for the signs first and let your child grow on her own.

At what age the child should be fully potty trained?

Being fully potty-trained means the child completely understands her needs to use the restroom and she can go there and do the deed on her own.
By the age of 4-5 years, your child should be completely potty trained, including the nighttime training too.
Again it may vary from child to child.

Potty training at night

You must be thinking that do you have to include the nighttime in your training but the answer is ‘no’.

Not in the beginning.

Why? Because, if you will remove her diaper at night-time. Then you are more likely to face an accident. This procedure should not disturb the sleep timing of the baby, otherwise, the baby will get irritated and tired and will not follow your instructions.

In the beginning, you should only focus on daytime training.

Girls vs. Boys

It is usual that boys may take a little more time to be potty trained than girls. With boys, you need to take care of a few more things, regarding their different body shapes of them. Besides these 2 differences, the rest of the things will remain the same.

When not to potty train?

Even if you see all the above signs of your child being ready for potty training, you still should not start the training in these circumstances:

  • When you have a plan to go out
  • If you need to go for groceries
  • When the weather is too cold
  • Any guests are coming on the weekend
  • When you are dealing with any stress
  • If you have some other chores to do
  • When the daddy is not home
  • When the child is not feeling well
  • When he/she is teething
  • When you are sleep training

More of your interest:

Read the Potty training series:

1- Why you should potty train your child immediately?

2- When to Start Potty Training? | Read in detail

3- Potty training Methods | Best method by age

4- Potty training tips | 30+ points to keep in mind

5- Potty Training Essentials | Must-Have Things

or find my latest blog posts here

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