21 answers

How Early Is to Early to Start Potty Training?

My daughter is 17 months old and has been real intrested in the toilet. It's not so much as putting toys in like other kids =) but what we are doing and how it works. She's pretty smart (not just because she's mine) so I think she might grasp the concept. I've heard that they don't have good bladder control until 18 months. what are the down falls of to soon? Has anyone had any experiences like this?

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What can I do next?

Featured Answers

In my experience, if a child is interested, do it! I have a son who was trained at 18 months (except at night) and a daughter who waited until she was 38 months.

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Do it now. I bought my daughter a little toilet at 17 months and by 18 months she started using it. Her ped. told me that any kid can potty train at 18 months.

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my grandson whom i have on a daily basis started pulling off his diapers around 12 months. at 13 months he was very interested in the toilet. i have to taek him with me when i go because he is a terror. at 14 months i got him his own potty and started sitting him on it 15 mintues after he ate because that is when he usually goes. i would sit on the big toilet myself and read books or sing to him. he would go occasionally. he is now 15 months and he tells me he has to go poo and points to his butt. he doesnt do it all the time but just this week he has told me that he has to go almost every time. he still pees in his diaper and tells me after he does it so i dont think hehas bladder control but at least he knows to tell me before a bowel movement which is a blessing becasue he has truck criver sized poops. i think if they are interested then go for it. im not ready to take him out of diapers just yet but at least he is getting the concept of going in the potty. my husband and his daddy wont let him go in the bathroom when they go pee so he doesnt see what that is about but i guess he will just have to sit when he pees until he gets the concept of that. i potty trained my youngest son when he was about the same age but he started with pee first. i ould let him pee off the front porch and he thought that was fun and we transitioned into going in the toilet after that. also put some cheerios in his little potty for him to aim at so it was fun. iknow that peeing off the porch sounds awful but we live out in the boonies and i sprayed the ground off after he went , my husband didnt think it was a goodidea but it worked. he is now 18 and in college but when he comes home he still pees outside, cant break that habit. doenst do it off the porch anymore but goes off by the barn and does it as soon as he gets up. and i keep getting lectures form my husband for that so he doesnt want me to teach Charlie that trick.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi L.,
We should rename this website "Potty-training survival."

Hi, my name's T., and I survived potty-training. (ha-ha)

If it feels right to you, I say "go for it." I have a friend with 5, and she potty trained them all by the age of 2 by getting a potty chair, and letting them "go commando" until they got the *feel* for it.

My son had to be commando too, and I think it worked well for us.

Look forward to hearing updates from you - lol

Good luck!!!
T

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Hi L.,

From my experience, 17 months is a great age to begin working with your child on potty training. In fact, and this might sound wild to you at first, but you could even begin introducing your 2 month old son to it. If you have time and interest, research "infant potty training" and "elimination communication" -- these are approaches to potty training with the very young that involve the caregiver tuning into the signals that a child gives when needing to relieve herself.

It's pretty incredible to think that even babies can communicate such a need, but in this country we are just rediscovering how capable and "smart" our children really are (most "developing" countries begin training their infants to use the potty from the very start -- they simply do not have the option of disposable diapers).

On a personal note, we worked with our daughter on using the potty since she was about a month old, not rigidly or even 100% consistently, but she and we steadily got the hang of patterns and picking up on cues, and she had mastered the concept by her second birthday.

I hope this information provides some encouragement and resources. Take good care.

J.

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Hi,
We started when my daughter was 13 months because she was waking up dry after a nap. By the time she was 2 she had it down pat. She regressed a little when we had our next baby, but that resolved pretty quickly. You just have to trust your instincts about your children. Each one is different and what works with one may or may not work with another.
Thanks,
E.

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I don't think there is a too early. If they are showing interest then go fo it. My oldest daughter was the same way, she was soooo interested in using it, and we were first time parents so we didn't know when to start either. We just took her cues and she was fully potty trained by 18 months.

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If she is interested - go with it. My son was interested in potty training at 18 mos, but I've always been told that's too early, boys train later than girls, blah blah, so I didn't do anything with it. He's 2 1/2 now, and just starting to be interested again. The added benefit of potty training is the money you'll save on diapers!

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Like a previous poster, I used elimination communication (not even always consistently) and my daughter has not had any accidents since age two. (Not that I could not handle it very well if she did...accidents happen!)
If the child is ready...try. Don't put expectations and pressure on...just go with it.
The whole idea that kids don't have good bladder or bowel control until age "X" was created by our diaper wearing culture. The habits, experience and traditions shape our views about what is "normal" and possible. (Just remember how the idea that new babies should eat only every 4 hours came from formula feeding...not from actually seeing babies eat as they naturally would.) Babies in other many parts of the world have bladder and bowel control...it is not a concept the people there challenge.
Good luck...have fun!

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My mom potty trained both my sister and myself very early. I was trained at 14 months and my sister at 15 or 16. We just tried with my daughter last weekend and she's 16 months. She have also been very interested in the potty like yours. She did ok but after trying we decided that she's not quite there. We'll probably try again around Christmas when I have some time off. My suggestion would be to give it a try and after a few days, you'll know pretty quick if she's really ready. I would also advise against pull-ups. From everything I've read and heard, they don't help with the process because the kids can't really feel when they're wet. I would suggest the more traditional training pants (cotton with thick crotches) and rubber pants. Good Luck!

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If she is interested- go for it.. my 18 month old little boy is using the potty about half the time-- I have let him lead the way.. but if she decides she isn't interested- be OK with that too.. my 3 year old took forever- she had to lead the way. Good luck- a decrease in diapers sure is nice!

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In my experience, if a child is interested, do it! I have a son who was trained at 18 months (except at night) and a daughter who waited until she was 38 months.

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If she is interested I say go for it. Children develop at different ages and some are quicker to respond to potty training than others. My personal advice is if you start, don't stop, stay consistent, tell her shes a big girl and doesn't need diapers anymore. Sometimes parents become inconsistent with potty training because there are other things going on in their lives and they make excuses to put the diapers or the pull ups back on the child they are training. This can be highly confusing to the toddler. If you are going to go for it, start and don't stop! My son and daughter were both completely trained by their 2nd birthday, it is possible to train early if the child is ready for it. Best wishes!

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Hi L.- haven't had a chance to read what others have shared so not sure if I will be repeating. If you think your little girl is ready I would encourage you to start. However, be prepared for set backs too. My daughter was the same as yous and really wanted to start around 17 or 18 months. I treated her interest very casually and just put her on the toilet when she wanted to. Eventually she started telling me when she had to go. We got to the point where we were using pull ups because she was going so often and she would even tell me in public when she had to go. She was smart enough to learn the art of manipulation and would use having to go "poo poo" at a restaurant as her ploy to get out of the highchair she didn't want to be in :) I was so excited to get her out of diapers because I also have an infant in diapers. Unfortunately, we traveled to California for 3 days and then she got really sick for a couple of weeks when we got back. This totally stopped all potty training and she gave it up completely. She is now 24 months and starting to show some interest again, but it is much slower and not consistent at all. Bummer! I had the perfect window of opportunity when she was 18 months old, but now I have to wait until she gives me signs that her window for training is open again.

So anyway... I'd say give it a try, but don't be discouraged if she shows incredible interest at first but then acts like the novelty has worn off.

i can't wait to read what others have to say because I SOOOOOO need potty training ideas.

1 mom found this helpful

Do it now. I bought my daughter a little toilet at 17 months and by 18 months she started using it. Her ped. told me that any kid can potty train at 18 months.

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I think you can start anytime you want. My daughter is almost 21 months but we have been working on it for over a month. Just taking it slow, at her pace. She goes poo and pee pn the potty but only when we are home and she is diaperless. JUst take your time, be patient and your daughter will get the idea.

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Well, the only downfall of starting too early is that it may take you longer. It may take you 6 month now to completely potty train, but at 2 years of age it may take you only 3 month. However, it will definitely benefit both of you. Your daughter will satisfy her natural curiosity and learn something new, and you will save on diapers. Do not push her at this age, and do not take her diaper off. But let her sit on the potty and offer her to go after her meals and after naps. Sit on the potties together in the mornings ;-). Potty training is supposed to be fun.

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Just putting in my 2 cents in. I was potty trained at 8 months. I am glad to see there is at least one elimination communication response here. My mother is korean and in her culture they do potty train much earlier than here. I would start her on potty training right now. But it is up to you, you understand your daughter and know when not to push. I think people make a lot of big deal out of a simple bodily function and can hurt their child. I like my mother's method. I've had a lot of people tell me that potty training that young is only having the parent catering to the child. IE the parent is potty trained, but I have to say when you are potty training an older child, you have to go to the bathroom with them anyhow. Differences in culture I guess.

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The best rule with potty training, is to follow your kid's cues. If she is interested in potty training this early, go for it! Just follow her cues. I was potty trained before I was 1 year old, and know of other babies that just train themselves early because they don't like feeling wet. Sometimes those kids will only wet their pants once when you put them in normal underwear, and they hate it so much, they never go in their pants again. If she's interested now, but doesn't want to keep doing it, don't push her. She'll do it when she's ready. My daughter is 21 months old, and shows more interest now, but still sometimes just doesn't have the energy or patience to do it all day. So I just follow her cues. When she WANTS to be naked and go on the potty, she does great. When I MAKE her, she will just pee all over the floor. I give her plenty of praise when she goes on the potty, and she helps me say "bye bye" to the poop when we flush it, and I started giving her a little treat when she goes on the potty as well. (I opted for Annie's organic gummy treats).
If your daughter is one of the ones who just don't like to be wet and train themselves, just count your blessings and consider yourself lucky!

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Hi,

I agree if she is interested then start potty training! My daughter is 16 month now and we started potty training at 10 months. Ya I know that is early BUT she wanted too and she poops and pees in the potty everyday know and has since 10 month. She pooped the very 1st time she sat on the potty. She still wears a diaper and still pees and poops some times in her diaper but I'm ok with that since she is only 16 months and does still go in the potty several times a day. My son who is now 4 has been potty trained since 2yrs. I started him at 16 months and he pooped in the potty the very 1st time too. They both have enjoyed the book and video Once Upon a Potty they have it for girls and boys. Both my kids love it!
Good luck with potty training!

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DO IT NOW! When our grandaughter was with me, she started
showing interest in it also at 16 months (Mom was at work)...
She also wanted panties like Mommy and Grammy, so I explained
that if we got panties, that meant that she wouldn't want to
get them wet or dirty but use the toliet that she was asking
about....We went to Walmart and found (finally) a pair of
cotton panties (don't do pull ups)....She never wet them!
Everyone was so impressed that this tiny little thing (she is
very petite) was already trained....we just explained that
she did it herself....Be prepared for the first week!! She
drove us (the family) all nuts because it was so much fun to
go the bathroom!! She wanted to go every 10 minutes, and of
course we were afraid not to take her....We also got a little
seat (princess) to put on top of our seat so she wouldn't
"fall in"..... Think you will find your little Princess is
also ready if she is asking and expresses a desire to do it;
we never forced her; she asked us!
G. Henderson
(wife, Mom, Grammy with home office)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L., It looks like you got a lot of different responses so I guess I will put in my 2 cents too. My daughter was trained at 18 months, my son at age FIVE!!! So we'll talk about my daughter :) I think what made it easiest was I had a home daycare provider that said, let's do it, and within 2 weeks, she was out of diapers, into pullups and then panties. I don't think we even went thru a whole pack of pullups! Anyway, the trick is to be on it 24/7, you don't want them going from diapers, to pullups, back to diapers, etc. it's too confusing. also, don't use a little potty, use the little cushy seat that fits over the normal seat on the toilet. if you start to train them on their own little potty, you still have to train them on the big one! so I say if you are going to do it...make sure you have the time and effort to put into it and just get it done! Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

If she is interested then go ahead and let her sit on the toilet. Girls are much easier to potty train than boys so it might work out. Just expect accidents because I found that until they are about 3 they don't fully have control of where they go to the bathroom.

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