Mother and Baby

When's the best time to start potty training?

Section: Labour & Birth

It's very easy to drive yourself completely potty when it comes to potty-training.

How do you know when your toddler's ready to be potty trained? When should you start and when is too soon? We've got to the bottom (sorry) of when you should start potty-training your tot. 

When should I start potty training?

Generally speaking, children aren't ready to start using a potty until they are between 18 months and three years old, though everyone is different. Boys tend to take a little longer than girls to ditch the nappies. 

In the 1950's, the average child started potty training between 15 and 18 months, however, due to a wider availability of affordable nappies and parents working more hours, the average child is now three and a half before they're fully trained.

What's the optimum age to start potty training?

“The optimum age is around two to two and a half,” says potty training expert Amanda Jenner, director of the Potty Training Academy. “Children need to be able to understand verbal commands and also have bladder control i.e. not just muscle control but also the ability to recognize the signals that their bladder is full and they need to go to the toilet.”

Boys tend to be ever so slightly slower than girls and if your child has toilet-trained siblings they may be quicker.

When should I put off potty training my toddler?

If they're going through a big change at home, then it may be wise to put off potty training for a short while. “If you’ve recently moved house, a new sibling has arrived or they’ve started nursery, hold off on the potty training for a month or two until everything has settled down. They need a nice, stable home life to get started properly,” adds Amanda.


Now read:

The best travel potty for your toddler

How to potty train boys