What age should a child be potty trained by?

Potty training is an important milestone in your child's development. Most toddlers are ready to be potty trained by the age of 18 to 24 months old, but some may not be ready even by the age of three years old.
Potty training is an important milestone in your child's development. Most toddlers are ready to be potty trained by the age of 18 to 24 months old, but some may not be ready even by the age of three years old.

Potty training is an important milestone in a child’s development journey. It can also bring along considerable anxiety for you and your toddler. Although most toddlers are ready to be potty trained by the age of 18 to 24 months old, some may not be ready even by the age of three years old. Newer studies suggest that intensive potty training should not be started before 27 months of age. All children are not ready for potty training at the same age. Starting too early can put unnecessary stress on your child. It may even take them longer to be trained if potty training is started early. Generally, boys take a longer time than girls in getting ready for potty training.

What are the signs that my child is ready for potty training?

Health experts rely more on certain signs than just the age to know whether your child is ready for potty training. Some of these signs include

  • Your child stops their activity for a while or clutches their diaper when they are pooping.
  • Your child has learned to walk and sit on the toilet.
  • They can follow simple instructions.
  • Your child can stay dry for at least two hours at a time.
  • They are aware of the difference between being wet and being dry.
  • Your child can make a connection between the urge to poop or pee and the use of the toilet seat.
  • They understand and use the words about using the potty.
  • Your child shows interest in using the potty or wearing underpants.
  • Your child can pull down diapers or their pants.
  • Your child can sit on the toilet seat for enough time.

Both you and your child must be ready before starting the potty training. If you are not sure, you can take your pediatrician’s help. They will assess the child’s development and guide you accordingly. Remember, every family and child are unique. The time to start potty training may vary and it is perfectly fine. You can delay the start of your child’s potty training when

  • The child is unwell.
  • You are traveling with your child.
  • There is the birth of a sibling.
  • You are shifting your child from the crib to the bed.

How long does it take to potty train a child?

The time required to fully potty train a child varies. The process also requires a lot of patience. Most children are potty trained in three to six months. It can, however, take more or less time than this for some children. Starting your child’s potty training before they are ready can take a longer time. Children learn quicker to be dry by day than they learn to be dry by night. Do not mock, shame or scold your child if they take longer to learn. It can take months to years for children to learn to stay dry by night. If you are confused about what to do, do not hesitate to ask  your pediatrician for help.

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Medically Reviewed on 2/19/2021
References
Medscape Medical Reference

American Family Physician