When To Start Potty Training?

Lexi - posted on 01/02/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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My son will be 18 months in a couple weeks. Is it too early to start potty training? Have any of you started potty training with your july babies? I've had a lot of people tell me that you don't start potty training until they are dry through the night. Torsten is not dry through the night yet, but he takes off his diaper when he's wet or poopy and sometimes even brings us a clean one to help him put it on. He is aware of when he poops and 60% of the time he goes to his little reading chair to poop and then comes to us for a diaper change when he's done. We got him a potty chair for christmas and he loves to sit in it. What's the best way to go about starting potty training? I was thinking of just doing an hourly schedule of putting him on the potty for a couple minutes to try going. And of course when I see him looking like he's going or about to go, rush him to the potty chair. I figure we'll just work on during the day training for now till he starts holding it longer at night. Am I being premature on this whole thing or should we go for it? I know there are a lot of different potty training methods out there and I am not looking for a debate on which is best. I'm open to friendly information about your method of choice, but I'm more curious about timing/age than anything else. =)

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Suzie - posted on 01/15/2011

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hi Lexi,
i have a 18 month old daughter. i bought her a potty when she was just about one. i didn't expect much because she was so little but i just starting putting her on it when we woke up and randomly through the day in hopes that she take to it and not be scared of it. it worked. she doest make it to the potty all the time and she still wearing diapers but she always asks for the potty. the point that im making is if you get your son comfortable with the idea of the potty first it may got smoother for you and him.
just an side note. i have potty train boy before as i used to be a nanny and i just want to say it is i know some people say to teach your boys to pee sitting down, how ever i found it was much hard to re-train them to pee standing after they learned to use the potty sitting. and a tick so save your self from mess bathroom visits is to put a fruitloop in the toilet so its floating around the bowl and tell your little guy to sink it. it keeps them focused on the inside of the bowl. good luck hun. let me know how you make out

Cathleen - posted on 01/08/2011

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My July baby and I were doing elimination communication (EC'ing) at about 6 weeks. And continued until he started teething alot and at that point we couldn't really tell when he had to go. So, since that time (about 5 months old) we just sit him on the toilet in the morning first thing and when I notice him grunting to poop. A few times he's walked into the bathroom himself and patted the potty and then gone when I put him on but nothing consistent. So I suppose we will need to do the potty training thing and its great to read all these suggestions and comments. Thanks for posting! Good luck!

Erinne - posted on 01/07/2011

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We took the long break at Thanksgiving to start with my dd (her b-day is 7/23). We had actually been doing elimination communication from early on, so it wasn't completely new to her, but we just kept her naked all day and stuck the potty under her when she started to go. The first time we got an entire pee in the potty we cheered and went crazy and that was really about all it took. Now she's about 90% at home and maybe 50% away (we still use diapers from away from home). She doesn't like to poop on the potty yet, though, so we're still working on that.
Anyway, I would just say it's definitely not too early, and I think the naked method is really the easiest in the long run.

Becky - posted on 01/06/2011

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Dry through the night is one possible indication of readiness for potty training, but there are MANY other signs, too. Check out this article I found to be very helpful:

http://tinyurl.com/34jlkbh

My daughter is 17 months and is already showing MULTIPLE signs of being ready...but Mom and Dad aren't, so I'm speed-learning! :) Good luck!

Jessica - posted on 01/06/2011

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Well for one thing, there is NO SET AGE as to when to start potty training. Any pediatrician will tell you that. The big clue is them telling you they're ready, as it seems your son is doing. The fact that he wants to be clean and dry is a big one! I have honestly never heard of this being dry all night means they're ready for potty, because really, adults still pee at night too so that shouldnt be an indicator, but maybe it helps?? Anyway, what we did with our first was, when he started showing signs of being interested in the potty, we bought him a Winnie the Pooh potty and anytime he needed to pee, he would go sit on it, so we'd take his diaper off and he would pee in the little bucket. We'd also let him go diaperless for a few hours here and there during the day, along with sitting him on the potty for a few minutes at a time, and making 'peeing' noises (it always worked for me as a kid lol) the pooping was a little harder and longer to accomplish, but he had his telltale signs. Anytime he needed to poop, he would go hide under the kitchen table, you'd hear a couple grunts, and then he'd have this look on his face like he knew he made a mess in his diaper. Eventually we caught him as he was going under the table, and managed to get him on the potty to do his business, which of course came with a reward anytime he did do potty in the potty. It took us less than 3 months to have our oldest fully trained. Persistence is definately key tho.....So I'd say go for it during the day, my mom told me she'd wake us up during the night to go pee to ensure no bed wetting, but I never did that. I would just put a Pull-Up on at bedtime for a lil bit until I knew he wasnt gonna pee the bed. Best of luck to you and your lil guy with the P.T, sounds like you're both ready :)

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User - posted on 02/05/2011

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Normally girls are easier to train than boys and usually start earlier. I have four boys, three of which are potty trained . I honestly never tried to potty train at 18mos. but none of mine were interested. I mean they looked at the potty and tried to sit on it but I think they just thought it was just another chair. We didn't really start training until about 2 or 2and 1/2. My third son didn't even want to til he was 3. Now my youngest son is 18mos. right now and he pulled his diaper off and I jokingly asked him if he wanted to go potty. He walked straight to the toilet and I had to put him on it . But then he immediately started crying and I had to move him. We have a soft seat for the big toilet for them and everything.( We use a soft seat because none of the other boys would use their potty and right now my sister in law is using ours to train her little girl.) So I just think he got scared. I personally wouldn't advise potty training a boy this early but different kids start at different ages. I actually knew a little girl who was potty trained before she was 8 mos. old.

Jessica - posted on 01/16/2011

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I don't think there is any harm in getting your baby (of any age) used to sitting on the potty, even better if you actually catch a wee or poo in it. From what I've read, the big shift in the US towards later potty training came when people realised that scolding a baby for having accidents when they don't actually have bowel/bladder control has really bad effects on the poor kid. So as long as you are not getting upset about the inevitable times when your toddler doesn't get to the potty in time, it's fine to start now. It might not mean that you finish any earlier; even babies whose parents have been using elimination communication from birth sometimes take until 3 to be fully independent. And sometimes kids will do really well for a bit and then decide they are not interested in using the potty for a bit. From everything I've heard it's not a straight line process, with every child doing the same thing at the same age - like everything else in child-raising the variance is huge! So if you feel like your bub is ready, he's communicating about toileting, then go for it. Good luck!

Natasha - posted on 01/14/2011

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i started my first boy potty trianing at 18 mos just setting him on the pot every once in a while then at 19 mos every hour , by 20mos he was trained, he is three now and still were's a pull up at night.while training my boys the pull ups didnt work for us but the training underwere was the best cuz they know when they go. the only thing my friends and i had was our kids training young they would git bored of going to the pot after a few mos. so we stared then putting the on our pot

Morgan - posted on 01/14/2011

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my daughter is also 18 months, well almost she will be on the 29. but my mom told me that if you start potty training now then you need to make it fun. and if they miss or have an accident on the floor you cant scold them. she also advise me to set a time during the day that she can run around with out a diaper on. of course you will have to keep a close on them. but it seems to work very well she always trys to get to the potty when she has to go even if she doesnt make it.

Alexandra - posted on 01/13/2011

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My little boy is almost 18 months old and I've started introducing him to the potty. But he is just to antsy. He likes to sit on his (clothed) when someone goes on the big potty but when we put him on his he likes to get up and check every 3 secs if he went. He's not went in the potty yet but ALWAYS goes in the floor. He would rather play in the cup (empty of course) than keep his "junk" in the potty

Jennifer - posted on 01/13/2011

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Go for it! I just put my 17 month old daughter in big girl pants on Friday and she is doing amazing. No accidents today and she only had 1 accident a day for the last 4 days. She tells me every time she has to go (and if your son isn't speaking, you can use sign language) and has been dry through every nap. She'll even wake at night to tell us she has to go. I started early, around 12 months and put her on the potty whenever I thought she had to go (after meals, after naps and before bathtime). Every time she goes, we cheer her on and she loves the praise (I also have a 3 year old who was trained at 19 months and loves to help teach her). Once she started telling me when she had to go, I put her in underwear. There are some helpful books on training before 2. Check our "Early Start Potty Training" or the baby signs potty training before 2 kit (you can get it on ebay for about $8). There is also a helpful chapter in "The baby whisperer solves all your problems". Hope this helps and Good luck to everyone!

Lexi - posted on 01/12/2011

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Hey Laura, my suggestion would be to change the approach. Instead of asking her if she wants to go sit on the potty, just say yay! thanks for telling me you need to poop, lets go to the potty!!!! Be excited about how awesome it is to go sit on the potty. That way instead of it being a choice, it's more of a direction and guidance for her so she knows what is expected of her now. She probably just doesn't quite understand the concept of it being a good thing to go on the potty yet, so she's got no reason to want to stop what she's doing to go sit on it and poo.



Also, my son just figured out how to shake his head no (can't talk yet) and so now he answers EVERYTHING with a vigorous NO! lol You want ice cream? NO! =) If you think that is more the case with her I would try saying. "I think you mean yes, you do need to go poop in the toilet, lets go! yay!!!" Sit her on the potty. You don't have to force her to stay there or anything. For now just heading in and sitting her on it will start the process of teaching her, even if she doesn't actually sit long enough to go in it yet. She'll learn: I feel the urge to poop = I go to the toilet. Good luck!!

Melissa - posted on 01/12/2011

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My son did the same thing Laura so I just let him do it in the nappy. He got to the point where he kept taking the nappy off after he'd done it and in the end I ended up bribing him with a matchbox car to use the toilet. Maybe a little bribe is worth a try? Good luck with it :)

Laura - posted on 01/12/2011

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My daughter is 18 months and 1 bought her a potty ring over christmas time. I know when she has to poo because she tells me but when I ask her if she wants to go on the potty she says no,no so I don't want to put her on because I don't want her to be scared of it. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Joanna - posted on 01/10/2011

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Check out the 3 day method on ehow.com or just google it. I nannied for a family and helped potty train 4 kids. This method works and is quick so it doesn't prolong or overdramatize the process. The kids that have the hardest time are the ones whose parents pushed it too hard early on and were anxious about the training process. It just makes the child anxious about pottying if you are anxious. Here are two links, one says its one day but that seems a bit hard to believe. It incorporates the potty doll though which is genius. Believe it or not, potty training can be a fun bonding experience. But, it works best if you have a few days off from work and distractions (like other siblings relatives phone calls etc).

http://www.ehow.com/how_4725404_potty-tr...
http://www.ehow.com/how_4687280_potty-tr...

My daughter is nearly 18months and isn't showing signs of readiness. We will see in a couple months more or maybe 2ish.

Best of luck!

Melissa - posted on 01/10/2011

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I think it depends completely on the child and whether you think they are ready. Your son sounds ready for it so go for it! My boy wasn't interested at all until he was 2.5yrs old and I didn't force the issue because it would only make it that much harder to try and get him to go. He wasn't dry at night but I think that is something they learn. Once they have started and they are doing really well they can sometimes regress into not wanting to go at all. I found mine did that to the point where he would just wee where he sat. It lasted about a month but he is now just turned 3 and after three weeks with only 2 wet nappies at night we took away the nappies and he's been fantastic - dry just about every night. I also have an 18mnth old boy but again, he is not interested in using the toilet yet. My biggest tip would be to ask him every 15-30mins if he needs to go to the toilet and maybe every hour just chuck him on like you said. I also found rewarding helped big time - my son is cars obsessed and so he got matchbox cars. Once he was doing really well I dropped it back to a small chocolate(which after a few days he only got when he asked for it) and he got a car only for his poos. We ended up with a lot of cars but in the end it was relatively easy and quick. Another tip would be to maybe have the potty in the kitchen where he can see it and it might just trigger that he needs to go and use it. I did that for my boy and I also got the seat for the toilet. He would use whichever he was closest to at first but in the end he preferred the big boy toilet. Good luck with your training! :)

Katrina - posted on 01/10/2011

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Go for it! Sounds to me like he is aware and knows when he has to go. I would start off with the best potty opportunities like right after waking and right after meals. We've been using EC for our July baby, TJ, since he was about 6wks old. Now we are diaper free 100% of the time at home (even at night) and stay dry when we are out as long as I remember to take him and pay close attention to his signals. :o) A great resource to start with your 17 month old is Diaperfreebaby.org. I would also suggest using Baby Signs. TJ signs "potty" when he needs to go and "change" when he needs his diaper changed. Hope this helps. ;o)

Aimee - posted on 01/09/2011

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if your child is interested in the potty at 18 months, go for it. my 18 month has been trying the potty for a few months now, he always goes before bath and bed.and through out the day. (and me being a preschool teacher i believe in starting when your child shows interest) my 7 yr old was completely potty trained night and day at 22 months old. i say good luck! just do not push him to do it, that might make him refuse to use the potty! :) good luck!! :)

Melissa - posted on 01/08/2011

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i didn't read any replies so sorry if i'm repeating things, but i herd that if they are waking from there nap dry that shows blatter control and its a good time to start training. i starrted potty training with Joshua a few months ago cause every time i went to the bathroom he would follow me in and try pulling down his pants so we got him a potty and put him on it when he wakes up, and sometimes he will drag me to the bathroom door (we keep it closed) and he starts babbling and banging on the door he pees in the potty about 2-3 times a day right now we still havent gotten him to poop on it yet. but at least thats 2-3 less diapers a day.

Irene - posted on 01/08/2011

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We started training my daughter when she was 9 months - - before she was able to get up and walk away. She is now 17 months and pretty much tells wad when she wants to go. She still wets her diaper daily and at night. But she will not poop in it. We started her off sitting her on the potty after she ate with her fav toys - once she was done we praised her...little by little she is getting the hang of it.

Tiffany - posted on 01/08/2011

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My Casey is about to turn 18 months as well and we just bought his potty a week ago. He is almost ready but not quite. He tells us if we asks whether he peed or pooped and he was dry the entire night two days ago. But I am not going to pressure him. I got a potty book for him and a elmo potty video. He can watch and read and when he's ready he'll go. He has two older brothers so I'm sure he'll be ready soon. He wants to be a big boy like them so much. He's starting two and three word sentences so I think once his speech get's even more advanced, he'll be ready. He has to be able to tell us more when he has to go. But we're prepared if he does. We have to be, he keeps ripping his diapers off. :/

Alesia - posted on 01/07/2011

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I haven't tried it yet but when i potty trained my first born it was at 12months but my zymire just started to talk

Steph - posted on 01/07/2011

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I think it's entirely up to you and your son he will let you know when he is ready and by the sounds of it he is well on his way to using a potty!! All kids are different I don't think there is such thing as too young people just say that because their child isn't or didn't do it at that age...but that's just my opinion wish you all the best!

Shaquala - posted on 01/06/2011

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My daughter is a really big talker. She just got off her pacify after Christmas. I really wish I would've taken it away much earlier, before she started talking. When my daughter was younger, I talked to her very much and now she tells me boo boo or she takes her pants off. she also says wet! Like i said before, i have a big talker. As soon as we get her a potty, im going to start the daytime training also. I feel like no one knows better than you when your little one is ready. I say GO FOR IT & GOODLUCK:) & thanks for posting this because I have a sister and a cousin whose babies are not quite ready yet and they are older than my july baby. I was wondering the same thing! again goodluck and thanks!

Amanda - posted on 01/06/2011

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I too have started daytime potty training even though Ash wasnt showing any signs of being ready. Over the past 3 weeks he has begun to sit on the potty or toilet, albeit with his nappy on, for wees and poos. My Nana told me that when my Mum & siblings were little you started training from 6 months old just by holding them over newspaper when they would poop usually after breakfast & tea. She had 3 under 3.5 so thats a lot of nappies with no washing machine if you didnt toilet train them! I also red on here that people from European countries train early & we are probably brainwashed into 'not training too early-it will send them backwards' by nappy marketing companies.With both my kids I bought some knickers/undies early on so they learned the wet feeling (its easier in summer), my daughter was toilet trained by 2. Good Luck to us all!

Francine - posted on 01/05/2011

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Lexi just remember every child is different my son is showing signs so I put him on first thing in the morning and right before going to bed too. Sometimes hes does something but most of the time he doesn't. He speaks but not well and he has his signs and body language that tell me when he has to go. If you feel he is ready by his signs then keep doing what you are doing. My daughter now 12 was pee trained before she was 1 but it was about 18 months when she acknowledged poo after that hardly any accidents. remember to make it fun for your little one and the time will go faster

Kirsty - posted on 01/05/2011

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I started potty training my july baby about a month ago summer is the best time to do it, for a start i would put her on every hour so she got used to the feeling now we just leave her bare bum during the day and she just hopes on and goes when she needs to, maybe not the best method but works for us, and ashley, i also potty trained my now 3 year old and 18 months as well

Carly - posted on 01/05/2011

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my daughter is 18 months as well..i bought her a potty at 15 months just so she could see and get used to the idea...she has gone potty in it twice this week

i bought her one of those baby dolls that come with the potty for the baby...she loves being able to have her baby "go potty" while she does

Lexi - posted on 01/05/2011

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Thanks ladies! That's all very encouraging! Krista, him not being able to tell me verbally when he has to go is my one other hesitation. We are starting speech therapy next month because he still has no words at all and speech difficulties run in my family. He's so good at the non verbal communication tho, I think if I watch him closely he'll be able to tell me. I think we're going to get serious about it next month and see how it goes. This month is going to be pure chaos! If he's not ready, oh well! =)

Iysha - posted on 01/04/2011

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My daughter just turned 18 months on the first. A couple weeks ago we introduced the potty and really just wanted her to get used to the idea of sitting on it...she really liked sticking her feet in the hole and sitting in the corner of it...lol. She did go in it once when she was diaperless and I was trying to find A&D for her bum. Dad was with her and just sat her on there and told her to go pee-pee. She looked worried he said and said, "uh...uh," and then dropped her little toy in and went pee-pee. We praised her and she loved it. but, I think we're going to wait on the potty training and just continue to get her used to the idea. She doesnt show any signs of wanting to use it on a regular basis and doesnt have a spot she likes to go in. She does have dry diapers if we dont give her fluids in the evening after dinner...I think I'll get more serious about it around age 2. I have heard of 18 month olds being potty trained...not sure how...but That's what some parents said on here. my mom said I was trained before 2 and my sister had to be bribed at 3 with a cabbage patch doll and a trip to disneyland =]

Krista - posted on 01/04/2011

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Hi! I've tried putting my 18 month old son on the big boy potty (we haven't gotten his own potty chair yet), with no luck. I'm wondering if the big boy potty is a little intimidating for him, maybe that's why he won't go on it. But, he- too- will go to his "poop corner" and go and acknowledge his dirty diaper by looking down at it and grabbing it. I'm thinking of trying with my son when he can tell me, "Momma, poop" or "Momma, pee". We'll see... I guess you'll know when they are ready.. there really isn't a set time. My oldest, though, was around 2 1/2 and it only took me 2 weeks. Good Luck!!

Heather - posted on 01/03/2011

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Go for it! The worst that can happen is you discover he's not really ready.
My daughter is 18mo. yesterday. We got her a potty for Christmas and began today!! She knows when she goes poopy and has tried to gestures to us take it off so i figured we'll try it out see how it goes!
My son was poopy potty trained by 18mo. He would poop but not pee in the toilet. He never used a potty chair his poor legs were to fat and he always peed on the floor when he tried to use it. He used a potty ring that fits on the toilet.
I didn't think or even know when to start with him but he was so interested that i just took my cues from him he did it well too!

Jennifer - posted on 01/02/2011

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I am wondering the same thing actually! Our daycare provider thinks 18 months is too young but our daughter shows similar signs as your son. I personally believe she's a little young but there is no harm in making it fun for her. Right now we will encourage her to sit on her potty right before bath time. Sometimes she goes potty and we make a REALLY big deal out of it! She will follow us (or anyone) into the bathroom and sit on her potty while we use the toilet. My husband and I decided that when she is 18 months we will be more consistent with our encouragement. We will put her on her potty first thing in the morning, as soon as we get home from work, and then again before bed so that she gets used to the 'idea' of going potty at certain intervals. No one knows your son better than you do so if you think he is ready - go for it!

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