Potty training is a significant milestone in a child’s development. And it’s a topic that often raises many questions for parents. Among the most common inquiries is the burning one. When is the right time to start potty training? As a professional potty training coach, I’m here to guide you through the journey and provide insights into the optimal time to embark on this adventure with your little one. So, if you’ve been wondering “potty training when to start,” you’re in the right place!

There isn’t going to be just one factor that you’re going to be looking for to know when it’s a good time to begin potty training. In fact, there’s going to be a variety of factors that you’re going to be looking for when deciding when to start potty training including age, communication, physical abilities and more.

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Potty Training When to Start: Finding the Ideal Age

When it comes to potty training, the pivotal question remains, “What is the best age to start potty training?” While there’s no universal answer, the best time when to start potty training is generally between 22 and 30 months. This window aligns with a child’s developmental stag. And it offers an opportune time for both parents and toddlers to embark on this journey.

Between 22 to 30 months, most children have developed the physical capacity to control their bladder and bowel movements to some extent. Their muscles are becoming more coordinated. And they can often communicate their needs effectively. This makes the potty training process smoother.

Toddlers in this age range are experiencing significant cognitive growth. They can understand simple instructions and routines. And these are essential components of successful potty training. Their growing comprehension enables them to connect the act of using the potty with the desired outcome.

Around 22 to 30 months, children typically expand their vocabulary and communication skills. This is invaluable for expressing when they need to go. Or even when they have already gone. It makes potty training so much easier when your child is able to communicate when they are feeling the urge to need to go.

Emotional readiness plays a pivotal role in potty training success. Children in this age group are often more aware of their bodily functions. And that can lead to discomfort with dirty diapers. This discomfort with dirty diaper, coupled with their desire for independence, motivates them to use the potty.

Nonetheless, keep in mind that readiness for potty training varies from child to child. Thus, it’s crucial to be attuned to cues indicating your child’s readiness.

Early Potty Training

I speak with a lot of parents though who wonder when the earlier age is that they can begin potty training. For the many reasons listed above, I usually recommend waiting until at least 22 months to get started. However, earliest age to potty training may be as young as 18 months. Some children do exhibit signs of potty training readiness as early as 18 months.

But just keep in mind that that early potty training before 22 months may require more patience and flexibility. Younger children may progress at a different pace, and occasional setbacks should be anticipated.

It’s vital to understand that the readiness for potty training should guide your decision, rather than an arbitrary age. That’s why I created the Potty Training Readiness Quiz . So that you can determine whether or not it is the right time to begin potty training.

Signs of Potty Training Readiness

Recognizing signs of readiness in your child is the linchpin of a successful potty training journey. Each child is unique. Their readiness to transition from diapers to using the potty can vary. Here are some essential cues to watch for:

  • Interest in the Potty or Toilet. Look for your child showing curiosity about the potty or toilet. They may show interest in watching you or older siblings use it. This fascination can be a positive indicator that they’re beginning to grasp the concept of using the toilet.
  • Staying Dry for Extended Periods. Can your child can stay dry for longer stretches? If so, they’re gaining some control over their bladder. If you notice that their diaper remains dry for 2 or more hours at a time, this may be the right to when to start potty training.
How to transition from 2 naps to 1
  • Discomfort with Soiled Diapers. Many children start to express discomfort with dirty diapers as they become more aware of their bodily functions. They might tug at their diapers, wrinkle their nose, or even tell you when they’ve soiled themselves.
  • Clear Indications of Needing to Use the Potty. Some children may communicate their need to use the potty, either through words or non-verbal cues. They might say, “I need to go potty” or gesture toward the toilet. These signals demonstrate that your child is starting to recognize their body’s cues for using the toilet.
  • Growing Independence. You may notice them trying to pull down their pants. This desire for self-sufficiency in potty-related tasks is a positive sign. They may be ready to take on the challenge of using the potty.

Download Free Potty Training Readiness Quiz & Resources

Wondering if your child is ready for potty training but not sure where to start? Check out my FREE potty training resources and guides including my potty training readiness quiz, the 5 must dos before starting potty training, what you’ll need before starting potty training, and so much more!

Following Two  Step Directions

When a child can comprehend and execute a two-step instruction, such as “Pick up your toy and put it in the toy box,” it reflects a certain level of cognitive development and communication proficiency that is pivotal for a successful potty training journey. Here’s how this skill is intertwined with knowing when to start potty training:

Effective communication between you and your child is crucial during potty training. A child’s capacity to follow a two-step direction implies that they have reached a developmental stage where they can grasp and respond to verbal cues. This is essential for comprehending when it’s time to use the potty. You will need to tell your child step by step directions what to do. For example, “push down your pants and sit on the potty.”

Potty training entails a series of sequential steps. They need to recognize the urge to go to using the toilet and practicing proper hygiene afterward. The ability to follow a two-step direction indicates that the child is becoming proficient at sequencing and executing tasks in the correct order. This skill is vital for a successful transition from diapers to using the potty. And it helps you in deciding when to start potty training.

When a child can readily follow a two-step direction, it suggests their growing capability to comply with parental instructions. This cooperation is indispensable for ensuring a smooth initiation into potty training at the right time.

While the ability to follow two-step directions is a promising sign of readiness, keep in mind it’s not the only one. Remember that potty training readiness encompasses various factors, including the ones discussed above.

Night Toilet Training Aage

Nighttime potty training is a significant milestone in a child’s journey towards independence and dryness during the night. IBut nighttime potty training follows a different timeline compared to daytime training. Here’s a closer look at why nighttime training may come later. And why it’s entirely normal for a child to continue needing nighttime diapers for years.

One crucial factor in nighttime potty training is the physical development of a child’s bladder and nervous system. While daytime control over bladder and bowel movements can often be achieved by the age of three or four, nighttime dryness depends heavily on the maturity of a child’s body. The ability to hold urine for an extended period during sleep is a complex process. It can take several years to develop fully.

The biological aspect of nighttime dryness is influenced by genetics. And some children may naturally achieve it earlier than others. The body’s production of an antidiuretic hormone that reduces urine production at night also varies from child to child. And it may take time to regulate effectively.

It’s entirely normal for a child to continue wearing diapers or pull-ups at night until the age of 5, 6, or even 7. Bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis, is common among children. It isn’t considered a cause for concern until around after the age of seven.

You can support nighttime potty training by encouraging their child to use the toilet before bedtime. Also, limit fluid intake in the evening. You can even use a waterproof mattress protectors to minimize the inconvenience of accidents.

When to Start Potty Training

In summary, the path to successful potty training is a journey as individual as your child, and it is deeply intertwined with your family’s unique dynamics. The question of “potty training when to start” is multifaceted, encompassing a blend of physical, emotional, and developmental factors.

Understanding these diverse elements that contribute to readiness is the first step towards a successful potty training experience. It’s a journey that requires your unwavering support, boundless love, and an abundance of patience. Celebrate each small victory along the way, for they are stepping stones toward your child’s independence and confidence.

If you find yourself at the crossroads of potty training uncertainty, I’m here to help you navigate this important phase. I invite you to take the next step in your potty training journey by scheduling a free Discovery Call with me. During this call, we can discuss where your child stands in the potty training process, explore their unique readiness cues, and assess whether my gentle potty training program is the right fit for your family.

Rest assured that you don’t have to embark on this adventure alone. Together, we can create a personalized plan that aligns with your child’s needs and your family’s values. By working collaboratively, we can pave the way for a positive and successful potty training experience that will benefit both you and your child for years to come.

Don’t hesitate to take this proactive step towards potty training success. Your child’s journey towards independence and dryness is a rewarding one, and I’m here to provide the guidance and support you need every step of the way. Schedule your free Discovery Call today and let’s embark on this transformative adventure together.

About the Author

Hi there! I’m Kaley Medina, a professional Certified Potty Training Consultant and Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and the passionate force behind Live Love Sleep.

If you asked me about my most important job, it would undoubtedly be that of a proud mama to my two little cuties, Evalyn and Leo. But beyond the joys of motherhood, I’ve dedicated my professional career to help parents navigate the early years of parenthood. 

With over eight years of experience working closely with families, I’ve come to understand the uniqueness of every child and the absence of a one-size-fits-all approach to potty training. My personalized approach centers on understanding each child’s individual needs. I provide compassionate and non-judgmental support to parents throughout the process.

Professional Potty Training Consultant 

I firmly believe in the power of positive reinforcement and encourage parents to employ praise as a tool to reinforce their child’s progress. I place a significant emphasis on consistency as a crucial component of success and collaborate with parents to develop a consistent routine for their child, offering continuous guidance and unwavering support.

Setting myself apart as a potty training consultant, I’m committed to streamlining the process for busy parents. My proven methodology has efficiently helped countless families achieve potty training success in just a few days or weeks.

Recognizing the inherent stress of potty training, I am dedicated to alleviating this burden. I offer ongoing support and readily address any questions or concerns parents may have, ensuring a smoother transition.

My expertise and dedication have earned me recognition and features on prominent platforms, including NBC, CBS, Yahoo!, Forbes, Mind Body Green, TinyBeans, Homes & Gardens, Wonder Baby, Voyage, First Time Mum, and so much more! Armed with a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Texas A&M University, I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to my consultancy.

For parents ready to bid farewell to diapers and embark on a successful potty training journey, I extend a warm invitation to schedule a free discovery call with me. During this consultation, I tailor a plan to suit each child’s unique needs and challenges, guiding parents toward efficient and stress-free potty training.

To initiate your child’s potty training adventure, contact me today at (832) 640-5492 or via email at kaley@livelovesleep.com. Together, we’ll forge a path to successful potty training, making this milestone a positive and memorable experience for both you and your child.