Potty training is a big step in your child’s life, so taking the time to consider when and how you’ll introduce this milestone is a good idea.
When it comes to tackling potty training, one of the first questions parents ask is how you know when your child is ready. There are so many different factors to consider before you dive into training – and one of the biggest is their age.
If you’re curious about what is the best potty training age, you may be surprised by the answer.
Best Potty Training Age
While there is no magic age at which kids are ready to start potty training, there is a basic age range you can use as a guideline.
Toddlers typically develop the necessary skills to successfully potty train between the ages of 18 to 24 months.
Should a 2 Year Old Be Potty Trained?
Although some children are able to start training at an early age, most parents don’t start potty training until their kids are over the age of two.
During this phase, your child will be able to begin developing their daytime bladder control. That means that if your two-year-old isn’t trained – or hasn’t even begun training – there’s no need to worry!
Is 3 Years Old too Late for Potty Training?
It’s technically never too late for potty training, but by the time your child is three years old, it’s a good idea to start introducing the idea of using the potty if you haven’t already.
While your toddler may still not be interested at this age, incorporating potty training concepts into their routine will help ease them into the process when they do begin to show interest.
Waiting until your child is three years old can have some benefits.
At this time, your toddler has probably begun to have better control of their bladder, which will help reduce the number of daily accidents. And they’re physical abilities are more developed, allowing them to tackle the steps of potty training on their own.
Can You Potty Train a 1 Year Old?
Potty training a one year old is possible.
But before you jump into the training process, it’s important to think about other factors that also play into your child’s readiness to train. Physical ability, bladder control, and verbal abilities are all important aspects that help your child become ready for potty training.
Even if your one year old isn’t physically ready to start training, toddlers between the ages of 12 to 24 months are ready to start preparing for using the potty.
To get children in this age range interested in the potty, try reading books about potty training, allowing your child to watch you use the potty, and discussing the process of going to the bathroom on a regular basis.
Although most children are ready to potty train between the ages of 18 and 24 months, gender does play a small factor in a child’s readiness.
Generally, girls complete potty training around three months earlier than boys. And one study found that girls may be able to master their bowel and bladder control more quickly than boys, which helps speed up the training process.
But while many believe that girls have the ability to start sooner and learn more quickly than boys, that fact isn’t always the case.
Instead of thinking only about gender when determining your child’s readiness, it’s a good idea to consider all the factors that go into a child’s readiness to start learning to use the bathroom.
Potty Training Signs
While age is one factor in determining whether or not your child is ready to start potty training, there are several other things to consider before you start the process.
Watch for these signs to know if your toddler is ready to start using the potty:
They start showing interest
The key to successful potty training is making sure your child is interested in the process. Kids will show interest in potty training in a variety of way, like watching you while you use the bathroom and asking questions about the potty.
To encourage this interest, try introducing books about potty training, watching educational videos, and talking openly about using the bathroom.
They start acting more independent
During this stage, most kids will realize that they can do things for themselves.
When your child starts asking to do things on their own, like getting dressed or feeding themselves, they may be ready to start potty training, too. Mimicking the independent actions of parents or older siblings is another way your toddler will begin to exhibit their own independence.
As they begin copying the actions of older role models, they’ll also become more curious about the act of using the bathroom.
They can undress on their own
As your child starts acting more independent, getting dressed and undressed is one simple way they can show their independence.
And since your toddler will need to know how to pull their pants up and down to use the toilet, this skill is another great sign that they’re ready to start the potty training process.
They know when they need to go
Although your child may not be aware that they’re in control of their bladder or bowel movements yet, they may start to show signs that they understand when they need to go.
Toddlers often display this factor in a few tell-tell ways, including:
- Leaving the room or hiding before they go pee or poop
- Pointing to or touching their diaper as they’re going
- Asking to be changed immediately after going
They keep their diaper dry for an extended period
Kids who are ready to start potty training begin to develop better bladder control.
So, if your child is able to keep their diaper dry for two or more hours while they’re awake, they may be ready to start training. Keeping their diaper dry during naptime and bedtime is also a great sign your toddler is ready to start training.
They can follow simple directions
While using the bathroom is second nature to us, toddlers need guidance and instruction to figure out the process.
Potty training involves several steps that are unfamiliar to your child, so having the ability to understand and follow instructions is essential.
They can communicate
Whether your child tells you with words or signals, they need to be able to let you know they need to use the bathroom.
This factor is key in successful potty training because they will need your help as they learn. If your child can’t communicate with you, it may be best to hold off on potty training until they develop their verbal skills.
Age for Bedtime Potty Training
Once you start potty training your toddler, you may be relieved. But the journey is only halfway over.
After your toddler masters daytime potty training, it’s time to start thinking about nighttime training.
Since daytime and nighttime training require different skills and physical abilities, the age that your child will be night trained is slightly higher than the age you begin to potty train during the day.
After your child is fully trained during the day, it may be months or years before they’re able to stay dry through the night. Some children don’t even begin bedtime potty training until between the ages of 4 and 5, but those kids may not be fully night trained until the age of 6.
Although age can play a role in potty training, it’s best to look at all the factors that contribute to potty training success as a whole to determine when to start.