How to Start Potty Training

Many parents wonder when is the best time to begin potty training toddlers and how exactly to go about it. The reality is that there’s no universal age that’s perfect to start potty training—it really depends on the child. That said, your child may exhibit signs that they’re ready for potty training that you should be on the lookout for.

Here’s a closer look at our leading potty training tips to help you out.

Look for the signs

If your toddler is doing all of the following, they’re likely ready to begin potty training:

  • Able to consistently follow instructions
  • Able to talk and express simple ideas about using the potty
  • Able to understand the connection between having to go pee or poop and going to the potty
  • Able to reach the potty and sit still for long enough to go to the bathroom
  • Able to pull down their diapers or training pants
  • Showing an interest in wearing underwear or using the potty

While there isn’t any set age, most children will be ready to begin potty training around 18 to 24 months. Typically, boys take longer than girls when potty training toddlers.

It’s best to begin potty training during a time of stasis. If your child is going through another major transition (such as the birth of a recent sibling or moving to a new house), you’ll want to put potty training off for a little while. The same goes for if you’re traveling or the child is sick.

Potty training tips

You can prepare your child for using the potty by discussing it with them. You want to encourage two-way communication, so ask your child to tell you when they’ve soiled or wet their diaper.

You’ll also want to buy a potty chair for your child to practice with. Get ready—you’ll likely spend several months bringing this potty around with you everywhere you go. Whenever it looks like your kid is about to go (like when they do a “pee dance”), encourage them to get on the potty.

You’ll likely encounter some resistance along the way. Your child is not going to want to stop playing to go to the bathroom. In these instances, don’t force your child to go. Over time, they’ll get the hang of it.

Of course, some incentives can be a great help. Whether it’s giving the child stickers every time they make it to the potty or simply praising them for putting in effort, offering some rewards will help smooth the transition.

When you’re looking for child care for your toddler, trust My Second Home Early Learning Center. We’re a Paths to QUALITY™ Level-3 provider of preschool and day care. As members of your community, we’re invested in the happiness and the success of each child who comes through our doors. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help your child—we’d love to schedule a visit so you can see our facility and meet our staff!