Early Potty-Training vs. Late Potty-Training

Jenni - posted on 08/06/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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So I have 2 children Benjamin (2 yrs) and Morgan (12 wks). I've read about early potty-training (starting at 9 or 10 months) and parents having their child out of diapers before their 1st bday. I considered it with my son and thought what a dream it would be to have him out of diapers so early! I didn't go through with it b/c I couldn't see it working and knew of no one who had their child out of diapers any earlier than 18 months. My son just turned 2 mid-july and we do dabble in potty training (he loves doing it in his speaking potty) but i haven't taken it seriously b/c of lack of time on my part (w/ ND). I am planning on waiting until she is at least on a 4 hr routine.
I'v read that only since the invention of Dis. diapers have parents been waiting longer to PT. The average age is now 2 1/2 whereas before it was 18 months. I've also read the average age of PT differs between countries and cultures.
So here are a few questions:
1. Your Country/Culture and what you feel is the average age of PT.
2. At what age did you have your child PT?
3. What challenges did encounter?
4. What benefits/disadvantages do you see in either early training or late training?

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Lindsay - posted on 08/06/2010

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I assume that by the early "potty training" you are talking about elimination communication? While a child my not be in diapers, I don't really consider them to be potty trained. From my understanding of EC, it's more along the lines of the parent being able to know their child's typical potty habits, reading their cues, and getting them to the pot in time. It's not that they are actually controling their bladder and bm.

With my own children, I had 2 vastly different potty training experiences. With my first, potty training was a dream. We had bought her a potty around 16 months to let her sit on it and get used to it. We actually jumped into potty training with her around 22 months and within a matter of days, she was completely accident free. It was like magic, we talked about the panties and going in the potty and she did it. My head swelled a little too big and I lacked understanding for people that couldn't get there kids trained in a timely fashion.

Then came my son quickly approaching time to start pottying and I went about it with the same attitude and manner as the first. Reality hit quick and my head went back down to a normal size. He was 2 and was totally not ready. And I really do believe I pushed it too soon. The next year and a half was filled with failed attempts at potty training and many different methods that simply didn't work. Finally this summer he did it on his own. He put on his "big boys" and aside from a few accidents, did it. He will be 4 next week so basically I started training him right around his 2nd birthday and almost 2 years later, it happened.

Here's the lesson I learned the hard way. Kids will potty train when they are ready. It doesn't matter how devoted the parent is or how much time or effort they put into it, if your child isn't ready, it's not going to work. But also remember that your child will get potty trained, whether or not it comes when you are expecting it to.

Sarah - posted on 08/06/2010

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My eldest was quite late in potty training, I can't remember exactly, but I think she was about 3 before she'd mastered it. It took a l o n g time too.

So with my youngest, my husband was determined we'd get it done a lot earlier. We started introducing her to it before she was 2 without much luck. Then once she turned 2 we tried again, after about 3-4 weeks, she had it nailed! She's still in pull-ups at night though.

I think we did it the right time with our youngest. It was WAY easier than with Cadence. I think it all depends on the child though really, if Shia hadn't picked it up so quickly, I wouldn't have made a big deal about it. I would have just tried at a later date.
I wouldn't have tried any earlier, purely because she showed no interest or understanding until about 2.

As I said, it's about the individual child, there are no hard and fast rules IMO. :)

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Stifler's - posted on 08/08/2010

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Oh and disadvantages of late training are that they may not be toilet trained before preschool and that could be embarrassing.

Stifler's - posted on 08/08/2010

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I've heard it's now 3. But the majority of my old clients told me their kids were potty trained by 18 months.

Lyndsay - posted on 08/07/2010

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I live in Ontario, Canada, and I think the average age (for boys) is around 2-3. I started trying to potty train my son when he was just 2, and his daycare provider told me most boys aren't ready until about 3. He will be 3 next month and he's almost fully potty trained (he still wears diapers at night and if we go out somewhere for a long period of time). The problem I've had with my son is getting him to tell me when he has to go... he has absolutely no problem peeing in his pants and continuing to play, it doesn't bother him at all. If I take off his pants and let him run around naked, he might poop on the floor. I think it's great that some people can potty train their kids that early, I sure would've loved to do so, but in my opinion some kids just aren't ready until later on.

Barbara - posted on 08/07/2010

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I think if you get them in the habit before they get to that "negative" phase where they want to do everything by themselves, then you're good. Otherwise, you should wait for them to want to do it for themselves.
I started holding my oldest over the potty when he was around 6 months, when I could see he was about to have a BM. I did it originally just because I figured "why sit and watch him poop on himself when he can do it in the potty." By 8 months, he would wait and have all his bm's when he was over the potty, because he'd learned to associate it with where he poos. We were thrilled, and he's done it ever since that way.
Pee has been a different story. He still wears diapers and he's 2 1/2, though he can and will go in the potty if you ask him to. He was doing it all in the potty for a while, but my MIL was staying with us and she started to be a little too forceful about him going when he didn't want to, and now he's still kind of rebelling because of that. We've resorted to letting him pee off the deck most of the time, just because he will happily do that, but will only happily go to the potty when he feels like it, which isn't that often. I bet we could've gotten him peeing in the potty if we'd done it when we got him to poo, but it just wasn't that obvious. Maybe we'll have better luck with our 4 month old;)

Jenni - posted on 08/06/2010

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My son absolutely loves using his potty (24 mos). I sit him on it before or after he takes his bath. He sits on it and goes immediately. Stands up, looks down at what he did and says "More! More!" He sits down again and squeezes every last drop out. I have to distract him with asking him if he wants to brush his teeth now just to get him off of it!!
There are a few things that are keeping me from going through with it. As in getting him training pants and allowing him more potty time. First of all, like i mentioned already... I have 12 week old DD so things are a little hectec until i get her on a 4 hr routine... as far as my son goes, and maybe you can help me with this, but i dont think he's completely ready b/c he has trouble getting his pants down, gets really wet still t/o the day, doesn't tell me when he needs to go and ummm has a weird fascination with sticking his hand in the stream..... hmmmm.
I just never got how it's possible to train them extremely early like some books i've read have claimed. Was just curious if anyone has done it.

Caitlin - posted on 08/06/2010

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I bought a potty when my daughter was 19 months old, because she was showing soime signs of beign ready, but then when I tried it, she loved sitting on the potty, but still lacks the ability to pull her own pants down, she cries right before she pees because it surprises her and she doesn't like surprises, and she also isn't very verbal yet, only has about 7 words, and not very clearly, so it's hard for her to tell me before she needs to go. Though we managed to get her to pee int he potty a few times, I don't feel she is ready.

The potty is still out, she sits on it sometimes and points in and says "pee" because she knows pee is supposed to go in there, but other than that, she's not quite there yet. It's a bit harder to do it though, because her little sister (5.5 months) is getting really demanding!

Charlene - posted on 08/06/2010

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I live in Canada and in my area, it seems to be about 2-2.5 for girls and around 2.5-3 for boys.
Gracie just turned one on Sunday, but she has been showing a few signs of being ready to dabble in potty training. She has fairly good bladder control, she is well aware of when she is about to pee or poop and she knows when she has done something.

When she is having bare bum time, if she needs to pee, she squats a little and spreads her legs. Afterward she claps. She also claps and says 'YAY' after pooping in the tub. So we have been considering getting her a potty, just to let her try it as she pleases.

I agree with the others. You (general) need to follow your child's cues or it can hinder the training. If the child is not ready, no need to force them.

Ez - posted on 08/06/2010

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My 18mo daughter has been showing interest in PT for the last few months. I got her a potty and we dabbled with it for a while, with variable success. Milla is a talker so was saying 'wanna do wee wee' etc.. she made her intentions pretty obvious lol.

But then we hit winter, so I decided to just keep things relaxed for a while and start up seriously in the warmer weather. She still sometimes asks to sit on the potty. She usually tells me before she does a wee. Another big sign to me that she's ready is that she's not just weeing constantly. She's able to hold her bladder, in that she will wait til her bladder is full before weeing (I will go to change her after 2hrs and she is dry).

From my experience, the average age for Aussie kids to be PT is 2-3yrs (though I personally know more kids who were closer to 3). This has changed dramatically since I was a child - my brother and I were both done by 22mths.

Everything is pointing to the fact that my daughter should be relatively easy to PT, and I plan on getting serious in another month or so. If she resists, I will back off. I never really thought I'd tackle this until she turned 2, but it's by following her cues that I have decided to give it a shot earlier. It'll be just my luck that, despite all the signs, she turns around and fights me all the way lol.

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After spending about a year potty training twins.... I'm a big believer in letting a child basically potty train him/herself. With my son, who is almost 2.5, I offer guidance and encouragement, but it's pretty much all up to him. My 3 year old nephew has been 'potty trained' for a long time and STILL is peeing in his pants multiple times a day. Although my son is still in diapers and only randomly uses the potty.... he has better bladder control than his cousin does. Every kid is different....

Rosie - posted on 08/06/2010

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i feel you should wait until YOUR child is ready. by no means does that mean waiting until they are 5 to start, but i tried with all 3 of my boys at age 2. they weren't interested, and the last 2 were terrified at the thought of it. all of them trained at around age 3 or a little after. no big deal for me. i wasn't going to force my child to do that when he wasn't ready too. toilets are a totally foreign concept, how can i expect it to be learned just like that? doesn't make sense to me.
elimination communication seems a little weird to me. i could care less if people do it, i just personally don't have the patience or time to keep an eye on my child constantly and try to decipher if they are taking a crap or not. seems like more work than i can handle, lol!

Hannah - posted on 08/06/2010

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My son is 2 1/2 and has been potty trained for the last two months. We tried at 2 and failed miserably. My mom watches the kids and really started pushing it when he started to tell her to change him because he was stanky. He did fabulous and has had accidents few and far between. Mostly when he is busy playing and forgets to notify someone.

I plan to start trying to train my daughter closer to 18 months because i have heard girls are easier. If it doesn't happen, we will wait for her cues to try again.

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First child lead by her she was out of them at 12mths in the day and 2&half at night.I got from other people that i was pushy or made or do it when she wasnt ready but many were very surprised.Its generally from 2-3 potty training is done in Ireland.My second is 19mths and so afraid of the potty and toilet but tells me before she needs to go..if it wasnt for the scary toilet and potty is would be done already.lol.

Jill - posted on 08/06/2010

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I started training my first at around 22 months. We had many accidents and she wasn't completely trained until about 24 months. With my second, we bought the Once Upon a Potty book and movie. He trained in a couple days (this was right after his 2nd birthday) and within a month was closing the bathroom door because he (apparently) wanted privacy. My third started training around 28 months. It took about a week or two (she was in daycare at the time).
With my 4th, I plan on started around 25 months when school lets out (I am a teacher), so we can spend the summer in case we need it. I think the longer you wait, the harder it is. But I personally think it is too much work on the parent to start before they can really be trained. Nothing wrong with it, but I just don't care to train myself to put the baby on the toilet.

Sara - posted on 08/06/2010

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I totally agree with Lindsay. My daughter is 22 months and while we've itnroduced the potty and I think she's moving towards being potty trained, I'm not pushing it because I want her to be ready. My mom told me that with my oldest sister she really pushed the potty training and it took her 2 years to do it. So, with the other 3 of us, she followed our lead and we were all potty trained by 2 years 4 months. So, I'm really into child led potty training. I have introduced the concept, we talk about it, we have books and Elmo DVD's, so I'm just going to let her do when she's comfortable and ready.

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