Potty Training: What's the rush?

Sara - posted on 08/24/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )




I've noticed a lot of threads lately on the Welcome page about people wanting tips to potty train their 12-18 month old. My own daughter is 22 months old, and while we talk about the potty and going to the bathroom, she's not showing signs that potty training would be successful. People are now constantly asking me if she's potty trained, to which I reply that we're not yet ready.

I guess when it comes to this I'm a big believer in letting the child lead. I'm not going to create a nightmare of a situation for her or me by trying to potty train before she is sufficiently ready. I read that the average age for girls to be fully potty trained is 36 months and for boys it's 38 months. I realize that some babies are truly ready at a younger age, I just don't understand why parents push it at a younger age or assume that when they're baby turns one they must ready to be potty trained. What's the rush?


LaCi - posted on 08/25/2010




I'm also a fan of child led training. I let my son use his potty when he wanted to at about a year old, he lost interest in it quickly and there was no pressure to use it. Since he turned two he's been using it on his own, I haven't had to tell him to do anything. He wants to use it, and he's diaper free all day now with no accidents. Way easier this way, I can't imagine the chaos of forcing a kid to use it when they don't want to.

Ez - posted on 08/25/2010




Sarah that's exactly how I feel about it - starting earlier, rather than later, does feel like there's less pressure. If they regress or stall for a while, it's not an issue because there's plenty of time. In the case of my daughter, she was doing several wees a day in the potty at about 15 mths (her choice), but then lost interest for a while. No big deal. She's starting to ask to for it again and I plan on spending some time focusing on it with her in the coming months. But I feel like if I'd ignored those early signs of readiness and waited until she was 2.5 or 3, that period would have been much more stressful because I would have felt like we were 'on the clock'.

Sarah - posted on 08/25/2010




I definitely think that 12-18 months is too early. I don't think that kids really understand the concept at that age, they're learning so much already around then, adding potty training seems a bit harsh! hahaha!

In saying that, we started trying to introduce potty training before our youngest was 2yrs. At the beginning, we didn't get very far. Once she turned 2 though, we tried again "properly" and within a couple weeks, she pretty much had it sorted. She's 27 months now, and has been completely potty trained for a while (except for night time).

I'm REALLY glad that we did it quite early, the transition was WAY smoother than with my oldest, who wasn't potty trained until about 3yrs old. Also, because we started earlier, there was less pressure. If she hadn't have picked it up as fast as she did, it wouldn't have mattered as there was loads of time before it had to be done.

So I'm kind of in the middle on this, I don't think there's any point pushing it too early, but for my personal circumstances, it was totally the best thing to do to train her at 2. Just made the whole thing less stressful.

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Cindy - posted on 08/25/2010




WOW. I thought I was going to be alone here. Pressure from every where to P train before 2. Told people to to take a flying leap. I was in no hurry and nor was my boy. When he was ready - almost 3 years old. I used the 3 day method. Merry X-mas to me.
Youngest little monster just turned 2. For fun I took in a 3 year old and tried to P-train them both. Just to see if he was ready or not. 3 year old - spot on. Trained in 3 days. My 2 year old was trained FOR 3 days. Then he decided - not to be.

Ha ha ha.

I will try again in September, maybe. Or I might just wait until he's 2.5 or 3 years old. Sure it's costing me a small fortune in nappies - but he's just not there yet.

Good luck ladies.

[deleted account]

My first was out of them at 12mths..not because i wanted it or was ready to teach her..but because she was so eager to take her nappy off and ask to sit on the toilet.Within a few days she was going pee and poo no problem.She was Turing 3 before she went nights without them.Most people gave me the look like you pushy mom and yea right until the could see her asking to use the toilet and the fact she didnt have a nappy on..but i didnt care what the thought i was child lead on most things, just happens most things happened well before the age guidelines set out for most kids with her.

I have a 19mth old who is not happy being on the toilet or potty for ages but shes sitting on the toilet now and went pee once..there's no rush with her so i am leaving it until she is 100% ready.Somedays shes wanting to others shes not and wanting the nappy back on.

[deleted account]

I know I was one of the posters asking about this. My reason was that everyone was telling me that I should start. My mother had been working with my youngest brother and sister since they were one, as well. I just thought that I was the only abnormal one that thought she was too young. She doesn't even get that her actions have consequences yet.

Anyway, that was just my reasoning. I don't know why other people do it. It's nice to know that there are a lot of people who think like me, though. Now I don't feel quite so alone.

PS. I use cloth diapers and I really don't mind having to wash the poop out, lol. That's a funny excuse. As if you wouldn't be washing poop out of underwear when your child doesn't want to use the potty!

Sharon - posted on 08/25/2010




This was one of those child led things for us too.

Kids know when they're ready - they show a curiosity, an interest, and you go from there.

people are crazy with this pushing their infants. i mean how do you brag about that?

"I watched my child for 24 hours a day for 14 days and figured out his whizzing and shitting schedule and then I kept one eye on him at all times so that any time THAT look came into his eyes (even while sleeping) I could rush him to the ceramic toilet. WTF?

Sara - posted on 08/25/2010




I do agree with you, Sarah and Erin. Rowan is showing interest, so we talk about the potty. When she's pooping (and I can tell she's pooping) I'll tell her "you are pooping", to help her understand what she's doing. I tell her that i"m going to use the potty, etc...I think my main thing is I'm not going to start putting her on the toilet every half hour hoping she'll just happen to pee in the potty because she's clearly (IMO) not ready for that. But you definitely should take advantage of you're children's interest in the potty at whatever age they begin to show interest, that way you can ease into it.

Johnny - posted on 08/24/2010




As a user of cloth diapers, I still don't get the rush. Things were going great with Michaela's potty training until we went to stay with MIL who was horrified that she wasn't trained yet (at 22 months) and berated her every time she was on the potty. It's a miracle that my husband uses the thing. Of course, he did take dumps in his mom's garden until he was 6 (geez, wonder why?) Now she doesn't really like the potty anymore. We're giving it a break for a while. I'd love to know if the previous generation really had their kids trained as early as they say or if they're just remembering it better than it was. My Granny told my mom that my father was potty trained at 6 months to make her feel bad when I wasn't night dry at 28 months. Perhaps it's a generational thing. Maybe we'll berate our kids for the same thing too.

Becky - posted on 08/24/2010




My son is 30 months and we're just barely starting to train - he wore underwear for the first time today, by his own choice. and then peed on my kitchen chair, lol! Ah well! He has a mind of his own and I'm really not up for a battle, so I am letting him take the lead.
However, I also have an 11 month old and we're starting to try for number 3, so if I get pregnant again, there may be a little more of a push to get the oldest trained, because 3 in diapers is going to cost me almost as much as my mortgage!

Michelle - posted on 08/24/2010




My daughter is 20 months old and she likes to sit on the toilet ( I think she just really likes her princess seat!) But she also see's other children using it (I run a home daycare). We are not in any rush to train her, but I do let her sit on it,if she goes she gets the clapping and "yay's"! If not oh well! I agree that some people push for it too early though!

Krista - posted on 08/24/2010




I don't get what the big panic is either...poor little mites. They'll be ready when they're ready, and pushing them is just going to make it hell for both of you.

Meghan - posted on 08/24/2010




My son has been showing ALL the signs since 15 months, We tried it...it didn't work so well so I didn't push the issue. At 22 months (a few weeks ago) he just peed on his own. We did 2 weeks of him running around naked or wearing big boy underwear-zero accidents, went on the potty every time but then he spent the nite with his dad and it all went down the crapper (pardon the pun!) I totally agree with you, I don't know exactly what the big rush is but that FIRST time was VERY exciting and I want to encourage him whenever he is willing to do do so.

Charlene - posted on 08/24/2010




Gracie is 13 months and showing a couple signs of readiness, but it's not like we are going to force her to start using the potty now.
We're getting a small potty for her, setting it in the bathroom and we'll let her use it when she feels like it, no pressure.

I really could care less if it takes her two years to be fully trained. It's one thing that I definitely will not force, because I have seen so many parents do this and the majority of their children reverted for a while. It's not something I want to put Gracie through.

I also know people who think that girls not being potty trained by 2 is completely disgraceful and the parents are lazy. Wtf? Let babies be babies....

[deleted account]

Um.... it took me a year to fully day train twins. I am in NO rush w/ my son. He is 2 years 5 months and is training at his own pace w/ a little encouragement. I give him a sticker when he poops/pees in the big potty (since I don't have to clean that one after every use). I noticed that he was hiding in my room to poop in his diaper, so 2 weeks ago I told him that if he pooped in his diaper while we are at home (no pressure for public 'performance') I would take away a sticker. He hasn't pooped in his diaper since. I could 'probably' get him fully day trained rather quickly w/ a little more incentives like that, but after watching my cousin-in-law's 3 year old STILL going through multiple pairs of underwear a day.... I'm still in no rush. It'll happen when it happens. It's not like high schoolers go around comparing what age they potty trained. ;)

Jodi - posted on 08/24/2010




"I always hated the weird/rude comments we'd get even before she was 2, when people wondered why on EARTH she wasn't potty trained yet."

I never got that, and I don't really know anyone who pushes it so young. Maybe it is a cultural thing here, I don't know. But it honestly never occurred to me to full train any earlier. And my kids were in daycare, there was no pressure from there either. In fact, most kids trained at the same age.

Joanna - posted on 08/24/2010




Paige will be 3 next month, and the only reason we started potty-training hardcore a couple months ago was because we wanted her in preschool before the baby came so she could do her own thing and have a break from me and the baby. She had shown signs of interest when she was a little over 2, but it wasn't until 2-3 months ago that we made it a habit to do some potty work every day, and she picked it up. But it's only because we got lucky and she was READY. she's completely potty trained now in the #1 area, and we're still working on the #2's, but she's not ready for that, and that's okay (at least she holds them so I don't have to worry about poo accidents at preschool).

I always hated the weird/rude comments we'd get even before she was 2, when people wondered why on EARTH she wasn't potty trained yet. I just didn't get why you'd put so much pressure on a young child, especially if they weren't ready (if they were ready at such a young age, then good for you, but most kids aren't).

Jodi - posted on 08/24/2010




I was talking to my mum about this once, and she said that the problem was, back in the day (I am 40, if that gives any indication), cloth nappies were the only option, and they were only available in one size. Kids started to outgrow them. They didn't have the variety of options we have now. So most babies outgrew cloth nappies at about 18 months. They really had very little choice but to potty train.

With all that we have available now, I also don't see the rush. Neither of my kids trained before age 3. We did introduce them to potty training before then, of course, but we didn't put the pressure on until we knew they were 100% ready. THen, one day, I just took away the nappies and within a matter of days they were trained. It was a painless, hassle free time because they were just obviously ready for it.

But, maybe for some people it is the cost, or the work involved in washing cloth nappies. perhaps they have another baby on the way and just can't foresee the affordability or time....

Lyndsay - posted on 08/24/2010




I first introduced my son to the potty at 15 months, because some babies are ready for it by then. He was not, so we put it away for awhile and let him be. I would bring it out and show it to him every few months, and sometimes he would even go on it regularly, but he was never fully committed to it. Now he's 3 and I admit, I have pushed him a little bit, but we're actually having successes now so I would like them to continue. He's almost fully trained now, we have a few accidents a week and he wears diapers at night but thats about it.

Ez - posted on 08/24/2010




I think the pressure from older generations (our grandparents) comes from the fact that they used to PT at a year, and most of us would have been done by 2 (my brother and I were). It's just what is normal to them.

Milla is 18mths and we have been using the potty off-and-on for a few months. But it hasn't been me 'training' her - it's her telling me she wants to sit on it, or she wants to do a wee. If she wasn't showing this interest, we wouldn't be doing it yet. But she is showing some other signs of being ready (besides the verbal communication), like the fact that she doesn't just wee constantly - she is able to hold her bladder for a few hours and then does just one big wee lol. Again, this has just happened naturally, so I'm hoping that by the start of next year (she'll be 2 in Feb) she may well be ready to get rid of the nappies.

As with anything, there is a fine line between encouraging and pressuring. Pressuring a child who is clearly not ready is not going to have a good outcome. But at some point I think the 'we'll wait til they're ready' idea has to turn into 'ok, you're going to preschool, we need to find a way to do this'.

Caitlin - posted on 08/24/2010




We have a potty for my daughter (she's 21 months, we've had it for a while) It has neat stickers all over it, and she loves sitting on it, but only with clothes on while the TV is on, she doesn't care about going on it yet, though we did have a few times where she peed on it, then stared in fear at what she did and ran away crying.. Definately NOT ready yet...

Jessica - posted on 08/24/2010




Yeah I don't get it either. My son's 14 months and obviously we aren't even thinking about it yet! I was thinking of maybe getting him a practice potty for Christmas (he'll be 18 months) just so he can explore it and get used to it... but don't plan on actually trying to potty train him anywhere near that time. MIL said she never attempted it before her boys were 3, and then used some method or book that supposedly trains them in a day... and she said it worked! But it was probably because she waited and didn't try to do it so early.

?? - posted on 08/24/2010




Gabe's 22 months and the only interest he has in the potty is being able to flush it whenever the bathroom door is open. I am in no rush to force him to do something he clearly does not care about. I know kids who are scared of the toilet, scared of pooping, that have actually held their poops in until they've had stomach problems because they were forced to sit on the potty for as much as 2 hours and getting scolded if they tried to get down... it's horrifying the affects some children end up suffering through over parents not wanting to deal with diapers any more

Amie - posted on 08/24/2010




You know I had this conversation with my Gramma (in-law) last week.

She asked me if Caitlin (3 years) was fully potty trained yet. We said no, she still has accidents but she's doing great. Which she is, she can go 3-4 days without an accident now.

To which Gramma replied "In my day we started training them at a year old. We also only had cloth nappies, none of this disposable stuff. If you had to wash poop every day you'd want to potty train them as soon as possible too."

I thought that was odd, I know mom's who use cloth diapers now. It may be one of those things previous generations have drilled into the coming generations heads. I was potty trained by the time I was 2, I always though all of mine would be too. Then I had kids and my opinions changed, especially after the horrendous experience with our son and trying to force him to potty train before he was ready. =S

Cassie - posted on 08/24/2010




Kiera is 22 months old also and has really begun showing signs of readiness but we're not quite there; and that is OK!! (I'm not sure I'm ready for that milestone)

Two weeks ago, she was telling us every time she had to pee and then peed on the potty (she's never pooped on the potty yet). Last week, she started telling us she has to pee but then saying "no" to the potty. When she's ready, we'll all know but I still think she's a baby and a little young to potty train successfully.

September - posted on 08/24/2010




I'm in no rush myself. Our 22 month old son does however show signs of readiness so we do take advantage of those opportunities. He's gone #2 on the "big boy" potty several times because he tells me he has to go. So we roll with it however we are in no rush what’s so ever. :) We let our son be the guide and we follow his lead.

Rosie - posted on 08/24/2010




that's even crazier!! i was completely uninformed with my first child. i was single, and just listening to advice people gave me. i figured out that it didn't work spanking him), and again i was spanking out of anger.

now with my last 2 i don't understand getting angry at a child for not controlling their bowels, or bladder. sure it's frustrating, but they can't help it. it's not like they sit around waiting for the perfect opportunity to drop a load in their pants-right when it's the most inconveinent for me, lol! they're kids for fucks sake. some people need to learn that. i'm very thankful i did. :)

Sara - posted on 08/24/2010




Fo' shizzle, Kati. It also bugs me when people punish a child for accidents when they're potty training. I had a lady in my office the other day talking about how her nephew and his wife spank their child if he has an accident (he's 2 1/2). What, what, WHAT???

Rosie - posted on 08/24/2010




this is creepy cause i was just reading a post on obama mamas about the same thing and was going to post it right now, 2 monutes after you did, lol!!

i very much agree with you. my husbands grandmother bugged us constantly to get our boys trained before they were 2. constantly making remarks that they SHOULD be trained by now, and you know, you wouldn't have to worry about all those diapers if you'd just try.
i KNOW what is best for my child, and none of them were anywhere near being ready until 2 1/2, and that was just them showing me some signs. they still wouldn't do it until they were each around 3 give or take a little. they just came out of your womb for christs sake!!! i don't know, i'm usually not for child led things, but this one really bugs me for some reason when people push to early.

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