37 answers

How Young Is Too Young to Start Potty Training?

My daughter is 15 months old and she has not pooped at night or while taking a nap since she was 3 months old. (My Mom says this is a sign that she can be potty trained. She loves coming into the bathroom with you and now is trying to puch you forward so she can see what is going on.

I have purchased the training potty but so far have just sat her on it with her clothes on to get her use to sitting on it. I don't want to push her but I would like to start potty training b/c I think she may be ready. How do you know?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I think you should go for it! I would propably start to put her on the potty with pants down so she knows. Maybe bring her in when you go. You have to be consistent! Putting her on with clothes on may get her confused. Also try potty train DVD or book. Good luck.

Hi! My daughter is 15 1/2 months and is starting to pee on the potty. I am using this book as one of my guides - "Diaper Free before 3" by Jill M. Lekovic. So far so good :)

My daughter started showing interested around 15 months also (she is now 3). We got the potty and just put it in the bathroom and sort of let her lead us. By 18 months she wanted to go poopy on the potty. By 2 she was peeing on the potty. She did it really early but we followed her cues. Good luck! I have a 1 year old boy and I think he's going to be quite a different story :-)

More Answers

it depends on what school of thought you go by. But you can start potty training at birth. Look up the book by Laurie Boucke. It describes how to start early, has the history of potty training (pampers ruined it for us all) and a ton of accounts on how other people trained their babies. I have been doing EC (elimination communication) with my 2nd son since he was a couple of weeks old. My first son was doing well with the potty (started training at 1.5years) and now refuses it. So I am hoping #2 will be done way earlier and I won't have the battle of wills that I do with my first son. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds to me like she is Almost ready but not yet, here is why. My pedi told us that if you child is ready to begin potty training, they should be waking up from night time and naps completely dry. It sounds great that she has not had BMs, but it dosen't sound as though she is there yet. Great news that she is interested. But if she can't hold her urine while she is sleeping, she is not yet ready. Good luck to you.

I have a three year old and when she was 18 months she starting to show interest in the potty, due to my 8 year old.
She even started going and we thought cool, no more diapers.
That lasted about a week and then nothing, she would cry and have nothing to do with it.
2 months before she turned three she got a real bad yeast infection and I said that was it it was summer and with the diaper, I thought things are only gonna get worse.
Went out and bought a potty and put it in the living room and that weekend she was potty trained. Made the transition to the big potty and that was that.

You know your baby, she is still a baby in my opinion and enjoy that before they don't need you anymore. I miss that...
Good Luck

Hi D.: I am a mom mom and I think what you are doing getting her ready is great. I potty trained my own children early and I have potty trained my grandson who is now 31/2 by 2 years which is early for a boy. My grandaughter is 16mos and also showing signs that she is interested. But, we are going to wait until sometime this summer so we can take the diaper off and I think by the time she is 18 mos to 2 years is early for girls as well. Before that you may become frustrated and so will she. Sometimes they lose interest all together. Make it all positive. Good luck

My daughter started going on the potty when she was 16 months old. She would yell Pee or sign "poop". we thought we had it made. She would even tell us when we were traveling and we would have to pull over. She was doing great....then at 2 she lost all interest. She didn't want to pee on the potty (she still pooped on the potty at night). So we just let her do what she wanted and then at 2 1/2 she trained easily.
I would let her sit on the potty and go and get excited about but don't be upset if she loses interest after a bit
Good Luck

based on wat u said she sounds interested. would give it a try. only thing i found though once u start training stick to it.

I think you should go for it! I would propably start to put her on the potty with pants down so she knows. Maybe bring her in when you go. You have to be consistent! Putting her on with clothes on may get her confused. Also try potty train DVD or book. Good luck.

I don't think any age is really too young. You should feel lucky if you can get her to start training that early. She sounds ready by what you have said. I have read and have seen shows on tv where some people train their children before they can even walk. Now, that may be extreme, but if it works, it works. Nobody likes dirty diapers and it, like everything just keeps getting more and more expensive. I wish you luck with your potty training.

Why keep her clothes on? she knows how to sit, the point is getting her to go that first time and rewarding her and she will figure it out. I have started my 15 month old as well and she has gone a few times. It takes awhile for them to get used to it, but start them when they are interested and it will go better.

I think any potty training before 2 years old is a bonus. I didn't start any of mine until they were at least two although I know some children are trained earlier. I think its nice to let her get used to the potty, sit on it, talk to her about it, etc. Ask her if she's interested and if she is, let her do it at her pace. It it stresses her out, take a break or take it slower. I'm sure she'll catch on in no time.

Sounds like you are doing the right thing. I have boys so my experience may have been a little different. Maybe before bath when she's naked or getting dressed in the morning you can see if she wants to sit on there to try to go. Maybe she can pretend with her doll too. My kids watched a few potty videos and I swear that is what hit home for them. They were about 2 1/2 but anything is possible. I think pull ups are good too, but quite a pain to get off and on. Good luck.

She's showing good signs, so go with it. Don't put her on the potty with her clothes on, though. That can be confusing. Let her imitate you. This is exactly how I trained both of my boys and they were both trained right before their 2nd birthday. Back then, we were just getting to the point of stretching potty training into age 3 and age 4. The generation before me thought that 2 was about the upper limit of normal. The generation after me thought that 4 was more like it.

Human beings can be trained very young, and they are trained young all over the world. American babies were trained between 1 and 2 years old for generation upon generation before I was born (in 1961 -- I'm old!) The acceptable age of toilet training has gotten older and older since disposable diapers came on the scene. I saw it happen with my own eyes! LOL When I was a teenager babysitting kids in the 1970s, most babies were still in cloth diapers. Those kids were trained early! I remember Pampers when they first arrived on the market. It took quite a while before people really latched on to the idea of disposables. My nephew, who was born in 1982 only wore disposables part of the time. They were not as good as they are these days. The fit was awful, they weren't all that absorbent, and the tapes ripped the diaper to shreds when you undid it. When my first came along in 1988, disposables got a lot better. Oh! We were so happy when Huggies came out with elastic in the legs and the tapes that you could un-do and re-tape without the diapers coming apart! LOL. And forget pull-ups. They didn't really have them. Once pull-ups came on the scene, then toilet training stretched on even further.

If your daughter is doing all these things, ride the wave and teach her. It's so much easier teaching kids when they are in that stage of wanting to imitate everything you do. Do focus on what she is doing, remind her often through the day and try to "catch" her at times when she usually poops or pees, if possible. If you really want to focus on this, do what generations of moms did before us. Try to stay home and not go out for a week or so. It helps when the bathroom and her surroundings are the same all day every day while she is training. If you're up for it, you might even give some old-fashioned cloth diapers a try, too. It'll help her connect the entire process to what she is feeling in her body. Later on, when she's older, she'll more connected to the world and there will be lots going on in her life. It's harder to focus on the toilet learning, then. Don't fight or force her. Just praise and teach, and you may be pleasantly surprised, and will have more money in your bank account when you don't have to buy diapers! Good luck!

I think that 15 months is a little bit young yet. It is usually suggested to wait at least until they are 2. This is because most children cannot physically control the muscles that are needed for potty training. Since she has been doing it since she was three months it sounds like the no BM during naps and at night is just her routine. (lucky you) If you want to start putting her on the potty after a bottle(about 20 min after) you could try that. Honestly I don't think she'll be able to control it until at least two and probably 2 1/2.

Hi D.! If your daughter is showing signs of being interested, I would go with it. My youngest was wearing "big girl" underwear by the time she was 20 months because she was interested. I was going to wait until she was a little over 2, but she was ready earlier. I, personally, do not believe the stories about them not being ready. My husband is from Chad and when we were there, I saw that his 15 month niece was potty trained. Good Luck.

I just read something (I think in the What to Expect book) that gave some guidelines that seemed to make sense. The one that stood out to me was its time if the child can manage their clothes (pull up/down pants)by themselves. I'm not sure how good she is with her pants, but that might be an indication. Otherwise, they suggested to do exactly what you're doing now. :)

Hi D.,

It sounds like your daughter is letting you know she's ready. My youngest daughter is 12 months and showing no signs of being ready, however my oldest daughter started early. What I did with her was kept the potty chair in the bathroom and every time I went I pulled her pants down and sat her on the potty. She didn't go in it for quite a while, but she loved to sit there like a big girl and was very curious as it sounds like your daughter is about the noises. Eventually she actually went in the potty and after the first time she pretty much had the idea from there.

Hope this helps,
A. F.

A friend of mine who is a child psychologist said that if it takes longer than 2 weeks to toilet train a child then they are not ready and too young. All children are different but if it is agonizing and prolonged...it is more detrimental than good.

I say go ahead and start her training and just don't let it be on any set timetable. I definitely started my 3 that early and I was glad for any skipped diaper change due to a successful potty time. She might surprise you and learn fast.
good Luck!-M.


Each child is different and when to start potty training depends on the child. It seems to me that she is ready to start. I started potty training my daughter when I found out I was pregnant with my son. She was about the same age as your daughter is now. One of the reasons I started potty training was because I didn't want to have two children in diapers. She took to it like a pro and was out of diapers two months before my son was born.

Hi... My daughter is 4 months and I am already thinking about when to start potting training. I was potty trained by 13 months...my secretary said her daughter was also trained by 13 months. I think you have to just follow her lead.

My daughter started showing interested around 15 months also (she is now 3). We got the potty and just put it in the bathroom and sort of let her lead us. By 18 months she wanted to go poopy on the potty. By 2 she was peeing on the potty. She did it really early but we followed her cues. Good luck! I have a 1 year old boy and I think he's going to be quite a different story :-)

Hi! My daughter is 15 1/2 months and is starting to pee on the potty. I am using this book as one of my guides - "Diaper Free before 3" by Jill M. Lekovic. So far so good :)

Aht, train her. My sis was trained by 18 months, some learn quick. Good luck, enjoy the extra change from not purchasing diapers, lol!

We bought a Bjorn potty when my daughter was 9 months old. If a baby can sit on the potty, I don't see the harm in just sitting them there, if they're happy, whehter they go or not. Whenever I change my daughters diaper I usually sit her on the little potty. The first time we sat her there she went #1. She's only a little over 10 months old, but she has gone #1 and #2 on the little potty quite a few times. I put her on and if she isn't happy and wants to get off, I just take her off. There's no pressure, and while she's too young to potty train, she can at least get used to sitting on the potty. She seems to have fun sometimes sitting on her special seat.

I think you can start her slowly without pushing. Just remember to keep expectations low, don't push her, and give her time to get comfortable with the idea.

I started introducing my daughter around the same age...again with very low expectations for speedy training! I would let her sit on the potty bare bottomed just to get a feel for it. When she finally did pee in the potty (several months later)I made a huge fuss..kissing and hugging and saying I was proud of her. Later I started using thick cotton training pants an hour or so a day to get her used to it. Then, when the whether warmed up, I 'd put her in a little sundress outside with no undies on and put her potty seat outside...it didn't take long after that...she didn't like the sensation of pee running down her leg!! She was fully potty trained (daytime that is) by 23 months. I did not push one bit, but I went slowly at her own pace starting around 15 months.

Just remember when you start this young, it takes longer than if you start them early...but you often end up with them trained by age 2. I want to note I did the same thing with my son. He took a little longer (I hear boys usually do) but he was still daytime trained by 28 months.

I am of a different frame of mind on this topic. I did elimination communication from the age of 8 months. From that very early age, my son learned to release, but of course could not hold just yet. By working with him when I knew he would need to go (before and after naps and meals, etc) we developed good habits. He was doing number two on the potty every single morning. When the time came for him to start "training" he caught on VERY fast and was fully trained by the time he was two, no public accidents, no fighting with us ever since he had done it all along, no need to "reward" him with anything other than praise. So I say go for it!! Once she shows signs that she is doing well, even if she regresses, stick with it.


Dear D.,

As a mother of 3 growing kids, my advice to you is to relax and enjoy your little girl. She will tell you when she is ready to use the potty. Keep encouraging her to sit on the potty but don't push it. I know this will sound stupid, but we do "the potty dance" everytime my daughter sits on the potty. She loves it and loves sitting on the potty because it is fun. I promise she will not go to school in a diaper. All good things will happen in due time. Meanwhile, enjoy the journey!


In most other cultures, apparently, they train earlier than we do. At least according to the Baby Whisperer. My ex is from Russia and his other daughter was on the potty at that age or younger. At first I thought I wasn't understanding his bad English! I'd love to know if any moms no about this, or literature on it. He's back in Russia and won't be around to show me how. My brother and my best friend each had boys in diapers when they were four, and I dread such a thing!

My daughter is 20 months and I've read up on different websites that say 18 months is around the time to start, but there are signs to see if your child is ready. I think your on the right path by starting out slow and introducing the potty and having her sit on it. Even having her watch you go will help her understand the whole concept. You do not want to push her with it because it could back fire and take alot longer. If you visit the huggies or pampers websites they have tips that tell you when your child is ready. My daughter is still not potty trained but I think she will be ready in the near future. Every child is different, so your the one who knows her the best and you'll know when the time is right.

Based upon what you've written, I don't think it would hurt to try it. Keep in mind the process may be very slow and she may not even eliminate in the potty for a long time, but rather sit on it and enjoy the novelty of it. No matter what happens, remain patient and encouraging. Trust your judgement. If she seems to be freaked out or starts regressing after you begin training, hold off for a while. Good luck!

It definitely depends on the child. If she shows an interest then try, just don't pressure her. I just started with my daughter who is 19 months as she hates the wet pampers on her bottom and says potty after the fact. I did not start my son until he was 2.5 as he had no interest. My friend's daughter was trained at 15 months. Just note it is easier if you stay at home and are consistent with drinking times. Good luck!

My friend started with her children at a year old. After each diaper change, she would sit them on the potty for a minute or two. This helped them to associate the wet diaper or dirty diaper with the potty. 2 out of her 3 children were potty trained by 18 months. Those 2 pretty much potty trained themselves. They started doing it themselves by 18 months where they didn't even tell her when they were going half the time. She would be cleaning up the dishes and walk into the living room to check on them (where she kept the potty chair) and they would find the child sitting on the potty.

It worked great for her. I'm going to try it with my youngest in 6 months when he turns a year old.

The thing to remember is to not force it. Encourage and cultivate the curiosity about the potty and interest in potty training. If you try to force it, she may rebel by refusing to try or holding it when you put her on the potty until you put the diaper back on. Also, don't think because it was quick for my friend that it is a quick process. She was lucky with 2. Her middle child fought her all the way and didn't train completely until she was 3. It took us about 6 months to get our son potty trained. When everything finally clicked in to place, he went from having accidents all day to have maybe 2 accidents a week if that.

Good luck with your little one and remember that the key to it all is patience.

My daughter started showing interest at about 18 months. She started pooping on the potty with no problems and then got the peeing part a couple months later. I think that every child is different and it just depends on if they seem to be ready. I have 2 boys who showed no interest in potty training until much later. My youngest son is now 2 1/2 and does not even want to sit on the potty. I don't push him because he obviously will make the whole process hard for both of us at this point. I think if your daughter is ready, go for it! You will know if she is ready by how easily you can get her to sit on the potty. If she is interested in trying, she is ready.

Hi D.,
I commend you for all you are doing. It isn't an easy job as a single parent. You are doing all the work! You say you are with her father 31/2 years and sometimes wish you were marriend. I'm curious as to why you aren't. Who's choice was it? I do hope you are receiving child support from him and that he is owning up to his rrsponsibility at least in that area.
In my opinion it is too early to start if the child isnt verbal enough to understand and be able to say to you "pee pee, I have to do pee pee".

As far as the training itself goes, I didnt use a potty because I wanted my kids to be able to use the toilet, wherevewr we were ( restaurants, visiting frineds, malls and stores).
I began to familiarize them with the toilet every night just prior to the bath. While running the water in the tub I would undress them and sit them on the toilet..saying " do pee pee" . ( Now they didnt and I didnt expect them to, but I was planting the words, water and idea."
I had my second son when the first was 21/2. He was ready at 2 but I waited til after the newborn cam. Some kids regress and will go back to "being the baby" when a new one comes so I waited to give some time to adjust. IN a week he was trained, usuing the sticker and star reward system on our calendar. It was a piece of cake...when it;s the right time!
Take care of yourself. Full time Mommy's forget to pamper themselves. Be good to you.

My daughter did start to sit on the potty around 18 months and we would read books and she loved it. Eventually she did pee on the potty one day and what a fuss we made about it. So from there it just gradually progressed. By 2 1/2 she was completely potty trained, even through the night. My point is I took a slow, no pressure approach to potty training and it worked well for me. My daughter never had a single accident once she started wearing big girl underwear and I think that is because I let her take her time and go by her own schedule. I don't know if that answers your question but that is just how we did it. Good luck and remember to be patient and don't compare her progress to anyone elses.

Hi D. P.

It is never too young to start casual potty training. I have a 3-1/2 year old daughter and she started to pretend potty train at about that time. As long as you don't put any pressure and just make it fun, your little girl will have a blast. There is a big difference with the poop. Don't be suprised if she goes pee in the potty but, poop in the panties.

When your daughter is about 2-1/2 it is totally time for big girl panties and only the pull ups at night. The biggest mistake that I made was using dypers during the potty training time. I heard that it was very confusing for the trainer.

Have Fun!

G. M.

take her clothes off and sit her on it. they also have dvd's for potty training. if she does not seem interested then you will know she is not ready. keep the training potty out anyways. may be next time you go you can bring the potty in with her and have her sit on it the same time you do.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.