Potty training typically starts with toddlers somewhere between the 24-30 month mark. While different cultures handle potty training differently (the average age for being potty-trained in Asia is around one and a half years old, for example), according to John Hopkins University most toddlers begin toilet training in the UnitedStates around 27 months. Don’t be overly concerned if your child is beyond this age range and still being potty-trained; every child develops differently, and many children complete toilet training at a later age. Your child just may not be ready for this portion of their developmental journey yet, and it’s completely normal. However, if you are worried that your child is having trouble with potty training, here are some tips to help offset your anxiety and guide you as your child begins to exhibit signs that they’re ready to be potty-trained. 

Signs Of Readiness For Potty-Training

It may be difficult to tell when your child is officially ready for potty training. Your child needs to mentally sense the urge to go in order to start their potty training journey. However, kids at that age may not have the words to communicate that they have the urge to use the bathroom yet. Here are some signs to watch out for:

  • Hiding to go potty
  • Pulling at a wet diaper
  • Imitating behavior of family members or following them into the bathroom
  • Staying dry for for longer periods of time than they normally do

If you or your childcare provider have noticed two or more of these signs, or your child is verbally communicating when they need to go potty, it’s probably time to start a potty training schedule with your child! There isn’t an exact time to start potty training, but you should wait until your child begins to display some of the above signs, since rushing the process may be frustrating for everyone involved and confuse the child. Even if your child does exhibit these signs, be patient- it’s a big step, and every child takes a different amount of time to be totally potty-trained. 

Having The Right Tools

Choosing the right potty is essential for helping your child on their potty-training journey. The two main potty types you’ll find are a toddler-sized seat and a standalone unit. A potty seat goes over the standard toilet seat in your bathroom but is sized specifically for toddlers, and a standalone potty chair is basically a separate kids toilet that can be emptied after use. Both can work and choosing which one depends on your specific situation, your child, and how your home is structured. If you are potty training a boy, you may consider a toddler urinal. 

Potty Training Tips

There isn’t a “right way” to teach your child how to use the potty, but here are some tips to consider:

  • Get the family involved- If your child has older siblings who are already using the toilet, let the child see you praise your older child for using the toilet
  • Set a schedule- Having a regular potty schedule will help them connect the dots and feel secure
  • Don’t punish- Your child WILL make mistakes, so be patient and do not add stress through castigation or punishment
  • Use training pants- Training pants can help avoid confusion after they start a potty training schedule and mitigate messes

Contact Us Today

However you choose to potty-train, keep it fun and give plenty of praise and rewards. If your child continues to have issues with potty training, you may want to consult with a pediatrician. Call Sunlife Pediatric Network to schedule an appointment today!