Skip to main content

How to Potty Train & When to Start

August 30, 2022

Are you wondering when to potty train your child? Or maybe you're just getting started and could use a few potty training tips. Either way, you've come to the right place! In this post, we'll discuss some of the basics of potty training, including how to know when your child is ready and how to potty train a toddler. We'll also share some helpful hints to make the process easier for you. So read on for all you need to know about potty training!

When to Start Potty Training

The first step in potty training is figuring out when to start. There's no hard and fast rule for this, but most experts agree that children are typically ready to start potty training between the ages of 18 months and 3 years. However, every child is different, so it's important to pay attention to the signs that your child is ready to start potty training

Signs Your Child Is Ready to Potty Train

Here are some common signs that your child is ready for potty training:

  • Your child is interested in using the toilet. This may include trying to sit on the toilet, flushing the toilet, or asking questions about how it works.

  • Your child is aware of when he or she is urinating or having a bowel movement. This means that he or she can tell you before or during the act that he or she needs to use the toilet.

  • Your child has basic motor skills and can coordinate his or her muscles enough to be able to use the toilet effectively. For example, he or she should be able to pull down his or her pants and underwear without assistance.

  • Your child expresses a desire to use the toilet like everyone else. This may include wanting to wear big-kid underwear or using the toilet like a grown-up.

If you notice any of these signs in your child, it's a good indication that he or she is ready to start potty training. But even if your child isn't exhibiting all of these signs, it's still worth giving potty training a try. The worst that can happen is that it doesn't work out and you'll have to wait a few more months before trying again.

How to Potty Train Your Child

The process of potty training can seem daunting, but it's not as difficult as it seems. In fact, with a little patience and perseverance, you can have your toddler potty trained in no time.

Here are the basic steps to potty training:

1. Start by explaining what the toilet is and why people use it. Make sure your child understands that using the toilet is something everyone does because it's more convenient than using diapers. You may also want to show your child pictures or videos of people using the toilet so he or she can get a better idea of what happens.

2. Help your child practice sitting on the toilet (without actually putting anything in there yet!). This will help him or her get comfortable with the idea of using the toilet. You can do this by placing a small stool in front of the toilet for your child to stand on, having him or her sit on the toilet for a few minutes at a time, or even taking him or her to public restrooms to observe others using them.

3. Begin gradually transitioning your child from wearing diapers to underwear. For instance, start by having your child wear underwear during nap time and bedtime . As he or she gets more comfortable with them, you can begin having him or her wear them during the day as well.

4. Encourage your child to use the toilet whenever he or she feels the urge to go. This may mean setting a timer to remind your child to use the toilet every hour or so, taking him or her to the bathroom regularly throughout the day, or keeping a potty chair in close proximity at all times.

5. Reward your child for using the toilet . This can be something as simple as giving him or her a sticker each time he or she uses it successfully. You may also want to give bigger rewards , such as toys or treats , for milestones like going without an accident for a certain amount of time.

6. Be patient and keep at it . Potty training can be a trying process for both you and your child, so it's important to be patient and not get discouraged. If accidents happen, just clean them up and move on. With time and practice, your child will get the hang of it!

Potty Training Tips for Success

Here are a few more potty training tips to help you get started:

Create a routine.
Having a set time for going to the bathroom can help remind your child to use the toilet and make it into a habit. For example, you may take your child to the bathroom first thing in the morning, after naps, and before bedtime.

Start with small steps.
Don't expect your child to be fully potty trained overnight. It's important to start with small goals and work up from there. For example, you may start by having your child use the toilet every time he or she goes number one. Once that is mastered, you can move on to number two.

Be consistent.
Once you start potty training, it's important to be consistent with it. This means not going back and forth between diapers and underwear or allowing your child to wear diapers sometimes and not others. Doing so will only confuse and frustrate your child.

Use positive words.
When talking to your child about potty training, be sure to use positive words and phrases. For example, instead of saying "Don't forget to go potty," try "Let's remember to go potty before we leave the house." Likewise, you'll want to carefully choose the words you want to use when referring to your child's bodily fluids. Avoid using words like "dirty" or "stinky."

Encourage independence.
As your child becomes more comfortable with using the toilet, encourage him or her to do as much as possible independently. This includes going to the bathroom by himself or herself, wiping, and washing up afterwards.

Try different methods.
If one potty training method isn't working, don't be afraid to try something else. What works for one child may not work for another. Be open to trying different things until you find something that clicked with your little one.

Make it fun!
Try to turn potty training into a game or praise your child whenever he or she uses the toilet successfully. This will help make the process more enjoyable for your child and encourage him or her to keep trying.

When to Delay Potty Training

There are a few instances where you may want to wait to start potty training. For example, you may want to delay potty training if:

  • Your child isn't showing any interest in using the toilet.

  • Your child is going through a major life change , such as starting daycare or moving to a new house.

  • You have a new baby in the house.

  • You're planning a trip.

Potty training is a big step for both you and your child. By taking things slow and being patient, you can help make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Author Bio

Madelyn Harris

Hailing from Southern California, copywriter Madelyn Harris has lived and worked in a number of domestic and international locations. Her favorite spots include Hoi An, Vietnam and Napier, New Zealand. She’s a big fan of Jeopardy, hot yoga, and the Oxford comma.