Children accomplish many milestones during their first five years. One important milestone is toilet learning, also known as potty training. It has been estimated that a baby will go through 2,200 diapers in their first year. Expense is one reason why parents are eager to begin toilet training as soon as possible. Summertime can be a wonderful time to introduce and work on toilet training because children are wearing clothing that is easier to put on and remove.
There are many decisions and questions around toilet learning; however, when to begin will depend on your child’s readiness. Some children are emotionally ready to toilet train at 18 months, while others may be ready at age 3. Children also need to have the physical ability to control their bowel and bladder. This ability occurs for most children after 18 months. Below are additional signs of toilet training readiness:
- Your child is interested in using the potty chair or toilet.
- Your child imitates a parent’s toileting behavior.
- Your child stays dry for two hours at a time or is dry after naps.
- Your child has the physical skills to pull clothing up and down.
- Your child can get on or off the potty with minimal assistance.
- Your child can follow simple directions.
- Your child recognizes when they are urinating or having a bowel movement.
Avoid beginning toilet training when there are changes occurring in your child’s life. This can include, but is certainly not limited to, when your family is experiencing a stressful situation like a move; beginning or changing child care providers; changing from a crib to a bed; arrival of a new baby; or when there is a major illness, death or other family crisis.
Consider using books as a fun way to introduce toilet learning to your child. Check out a list of 15 potty training books from the Parents' website by
For more information on toilet training and toilet training steps, visit the What to Expect website by
. Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy Children website for a variety of articles on toilet training by