Signs of Readiness around Toilet Training

January 6, 2021
Signs of Readiness around Toilet Training

One of the most common questions parents may ask you beginning around 18 months of age, is when should a child potty train.

Here are a few helpful tips for what you can say to prepare families in these early visits:

  1. Most children are physically, cognitively and emotionally ready between the ages of 2 and 3 years. Girls are sometimes ready earlier than boys, however there are many factors that may influence timing of toilet training including developmental delays.
  2. The average time from the initiation of potty training to mastery can vary from 3 days to 12 months depending on the method used, parental responses and the child. Parents can have very specific expectations about the length of time this will or should take their child. Other external factors may shape these expectations, such as entering school, camp, or other child care limitations. Cultural beliefs and practices may also influence toilet training timing, parents’ attitudes, and behavior norms.
  3. Developmental signs you should look for in a child that they may be ready include the ability to:
    • Follow simple instructions
    • Stay dry for at least two hours, or through naps
    • Understand body part and potty related words
    • Recognize signs indicating the need to pee or poop
    • Communicate need to use the potty with words or gestures
  4. Children may also show signs of:
    • Curiosity about bathroom activities, using the toilet
    • Discomfort with soiled diapers
  5. Despite these signs, its most important that the family is ready to toilet train their child.