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When is the right time to potty train?

My son is 18 months old. We've bought the potty -- but it seems he doesn't have the attention span to even sit still on the potty. We bought the potty books -- which all say the same things: it's all up to him. What age is the right age to start?

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Asked by jen_greiner at 5:45 PM on Jun. 26, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (8)
  • Ha! When they are ready!

    Getting the timing right can be hard. IZ is almost 18 months old and we have not started to potty train her yet. We bought a potty for her, but she doesn't do any of the signs. She doesn't hide when pooping, she doesn't consistently go to the changing table when she needs a clean diaper, she doesn't have any interest in the "big people" toilet...

    I think our first step will be setting her on it before bedtime.

    Answer by IZs_mommy at 5:49 PM on Jun. 26, 2008

  • My daughter who is 21 months has just started telling me when she goes poo-poo now, so I think she is starting to know it doesn't feel right in their and she wants it out. I am not going to try to potty train until she is ready and right now, she hasn't a clue..

    Answer by 1lilgirl at 7:35 PM on Jun. 26, 2008

  • Very few kids are ready as young as 18 months, 2 1/2 is average. I'd get a good potty training book, one that talks about "readiness" signs and discusses several different teaching methods. Then you can figure out if he is ready now or not.

    If he isn't, you can do "pre-training" things like having a story time with him to increase how long he will sit in one spot (not on the potty!), teach him the words you want him to use, let him watch you go potty, talk about how babies wear diapers because they aren't big enough to use the potty yet and how he will be big enough soon. No pressure, no negative "don't be a baby" comments or tone of voice.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 8:23 PM on Jun. 26, 2008

  • I heard a child psychologist bluntly say that it's wrong to potty train before the age of two...something about they just don't have the motor skills developed yet.

    Answer by missmarykay at 10:37 PM on Jun. 26, 2008

  • I think 18 months is too soon, but you could start letting him practice sitting on the potty when you go in there to pee. We also let our son (almost 22 months) flush our toilet. When your son wakes up from his naps with dry diapers, can say peepee and poopoo, and can take his own pants off (or pull them down)... that's a good time to start. Don't go by age, go by readiness.

    Answer by crazysocks830 at 12:00 AM on Jun. 27, 2008

  • Really the books are right. It's up to him. If you force him to go you may just push him further away from the idea. My two year old stepson started being potty-trained when he realized he gets to pee in the big potty like daddy. You just have to let him make the decision on his own. We even made it fun for him to go potty. The potty chair we had made noises when he peed or pooed in it and he loved it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:24 AM on Jun. 27, 2008

  • we started our boy at a year onces he still half asleep we put him on it we let him eat on it and watch tv everything play with his got him comfortable on it and once he was we stopped letting him eat on it

    Answer by Patience1 at 4:45 AM on Jun. 27, 2008

  • Boys!!! They will do it when they are ready and not a day before. I have three boys and each were at a different age, I tried and tried to get them done sooner but it wasn't until they decided it was time. Just be patient, it will happen.

    Answer by Soxfan4noni at 2:08 PM on Jun. 27, 2008

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