21 answers

Too Early to Potty Train?

My daughter is 9 months old. She is walking, not just a couple of steps but down the hallway. She is very precocious, and I think she can begin the process of potty training. My husband and I would like to potty train as early as possible (it’s a “green” thing we want to reduce ours and our baby’s footprint). I am realistic I KNOW she is young, we just want to start the process. Have any of you out there had any experience with early potty training? If so what worked best for you? Are there any books you found helpful?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

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Featured Answers

Most babies are not ready for potty training until they are at least 18 months old, so yes it is too early, any child care book will tell you that. Every child is different, however they need to be walking and talking/communicating well
before you ask too much of them.

To give my advice, I am a mother of 4, and the earliest most children potty train is anywhere from 18 mos to 3 years. Two of my children did it at 20 mos (both girls) and my boy at 3 years. She is not old enough to understand and control that part of her body yet. I would suggest having fun with her beginning to walk and wait another year or so. She will let you know when she's ready and show signs. Girls are very easy when it comes to potty training and normally do it faster than boys.

Good Luck!!!!

More Answers

I have a 6.5 month old. She has been peepeeing in the potty for about a month and a half and pooping for the last several weeks. She is NOT potty trained -- but I think she could be if I was dedicated to this. I had read an article about babies in other countries learning to potty early on. So I bought a potty and started putting her on it just at night before her bath. The first time -- I put her on right after I nursed. And within about a minute she peepeed. Afterwards we looked in the potty and I praised her. A few weeks ago -- she just pooped. It was pretty funny ;-) Ever since then she has pooped most days in the potty. We now put her on in the morning and at night and then sometimes during the day (usually if I need to go then I put her on her potty while I go). She certainly isn't potty trained -- but that wasn't my objective. I wanted her to get familair with the potty while she was still eager to please and excited about learning new things. I'd say she pottys in the potty about 90% of the time that I put her on - but I praise her everytime -- whether she pottys or not. And I don't make her sit there for any length of time -- when she starts to squirm -- I know we are done. For us - the potty is fun. We probably use a couple less diapers a day - but when you add the amount of spray cleaner and water I use to clean her potty -- it probably evens out. Truthfully, I think you could potty train a child that young -- many other countries do it -- but I think it will require a big commitment from both you and any other caregivers (For example my dd pottys in the potty with me but when she goes to grandma/grandpas - they don't believe in it so they don't do it -- and daddy doesn't put her on as often as I do). I don't see any harm in trying as long as you are realistic that she will have accidents and you don't try to punish her now for those accidents. If you try it out and make it fun she may suprise you. Or you may realize she just isn't interested.

2 moms found this helpful

When you wake her up set her on the potty. If she goes great! After she eats breakfast and you get her cleaned up set her on the potty. If you know when she normally has a bm then you can try and set her on the potty around that time. Read books to her while she is sitting on the potty. It is a good idea to take her to the potty every hour! It may take awhile, but she will get it. My mom said that I was completely potty trained by 14 months. My son is for the most part has been potty trained since he was 20 mos. I still put him in pull ups, because if he is with someone who is not paying attention then he will have an accident. He still needs help getting his clothes out of the way. But he tells you when he needs to go. My oldest son started potty training at 18 mos. and lost interest and was ready about 2 1/2 or 3. If you would like to learn how to learn about a company that will really help you go green send me an email. This company has really changed our lives and they are very economical!
H. M.

1 mom found this helpful

HI E.,

I do appreciate your green approach but she is not ready.
To have a potty chair around is a good idea to get her familiar with the idea and to talk about it or sit baby dolls on it. She will have to be able to say she needs to pee-pee or poo-poo before she can be trained.

May I suggest cloth diapers?
This is an exciting time in your daughter's life. There are all sorts of skills she is about to master, being ready for the potty is not one of them. At least not in the next few months.

I wish you all well,

Too early is not really defined by age...except where their own body's ability to respond to what their minds are trying to control.
I had this experience. Our daughter, now 27 and expecting, was very verbal and I thought quite early on that she was "smart" enough to potty train, so we started. She was totally into it. However, her little body was not quite developed enough to accomplish what we and of course she thought she could do. It had another unwanted response. It made her feel totally unsuccessful and bad about herself.
We stopped and waited a good while and then about at 2 years we started again and there was no issue at all.
With each of our others I just waited until about 2 and started then. The boys were all really easy to train and one of them did it in days.
I'd check the current "manual" and see if this is just my kids or if the doctors concur about physical development for this process being later rather than earlier.

As i am sure her doctor will tell you and others who deal with the development of children, 9mo is too young to began actual potty training because her little brain does not understand the concept. When you begin potty training, you want it to be a stress less time. You do not want to set in any areas of frustration.

You can start the process of potty training through reading stories or watching videos/dvds..Until such a time as your little girl can stay dry throughout the night, verbally express the need, and show her interest(not mom and dad pushing)than physical potty training should be started cautiously.

I am sure there are those who will tell you there success story with potty training before 12 months but I would read those cautiously. I am sure a true tale would find that the potty training took up most of the day and there were more days of tears and frustration.

As a early interventionist, I have worked with children from the age of 0-6 typical/atypical. Each child was different when it came to potty training. With each child, I started the parents to reading to their child daily. Taking child into potty and allowing to sit on potty while parent was in bathroom.

Approach this as a wonderful milestone in your child' life and proceed with opptimistic caution.

I totally agree with Alexis. In my opinion, 9 mths seems way too young to potty train. I started my daughter around 15-16 mths. Usually when they can start communicating with you is a great time.

Good luck!!

Google "elimination communication". It might be just what you need.

I am not one who believes children can't potty train until they are three. I say as soon as they understand and their bladders are developed enough to hold it/control it, then why not!!! I would just make sure her bladder is developed enough. My pedi told me that little boys bladders aren't fully developed until around 18 months, but I am not sure about girls. Good luck.

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