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When and how do you start potty training?

What is the first step? My mom brags that we were fully trained by 15 months. My LO is only a year, but we do cloth diapers and I've heard that they generally PT faster when they are in cloth (cause they feel the wetness more and are more motivated)


Asked by Anonymous at 2:57 AM on Apr. 8, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • (cont'd from above) People used to begin training as soon as kids learned to walk... Almost all American kids were trained by 18 months. I think a lot of it depends on how convenient you want it to be (and cloth diapering, being less convenient for you to begin with, may be a motivator for you as well as your child). For me, teaching a child to learn to use the toilet when they are able to learn is worth the extra effort as opposed to those who are thrilled that their 3.5 year-olds trained themselves in one day. The way I figure it, with my 19 month-old, even though we're still dealing with some accidents and still have to remind her to go every now and then, we're not changing diapers and she's not sitting in her poop. Personally, I'd want my parents to do the same for me.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 8:05 PM on Apr. 8, 2010

  • When your child can go 2-3 hours between wet diapers, asks to go potty on the toilet, goes to a specific place to have a bowel movement, and/or is 18 months of age, you can begin potty training. From my experience, you just have them sit on the toilet frequently throughout the day. At first, they won't do anything but play, but eventually they begin to start going in the toilet. Always reward them for going in the toilet, but never punish them for going in their pants at this age. They prolly won't be fully potty trained to close to 3 years old.

    Answer by Pocketmouse at 5:44 AM on Apr. 8, 2010

  • I would remind your mom that being potty tranined at 15months is the exception, not the rule--very few kids potty train that early. --We started potty training dd at 18 months; she was showing signs, at least we thought. She would stay dry for at least 2 hours, would frequently wake up dry, would ask to sit on the potty and would go --But i think we started too early or went too fast. --Cause it was an uphill battle the whole way -- She would go potty if someone told her to, but she wouldn't take herself. -- then there was a week where she stayed completely dry and took herself potty--but something must have happened, cause after a week, she completely regressed and went back to peeing on the floor. --She is now 3, and has been in underwear for 2-3 weeks with no wet accidents. --I would really make sure she's showing signs and lots of them before i started, and start very slow; let her lead.

    Answer by Lanasmom at 9:30 AM on Apr. 8, 2010

  • I think it's overlooked that their language skills need to be developed enough to tell you that they need to go potty. It's one thing for them to understand, "Do you need to go potty?" and give a head-nod or whatever. But it's a whole nuther kettle of fish to have a kid be able to a) recognize the need to go and b) convey that information to you in a timely fashion.

    Answer by Avarah at 1:09 PM on Apr. 8, 2010

  • My first daughter showed almost no signs whatsoever (except hiding for a bowel movement) when we trained her at 19 months. My second daughter was dry for long stretches and waking up dry AND trying to get up on the toilet after big sis by around 16 months. We started in underwear at 17 months. Now she's 19 months and is in underwear around the clock and tells us when she needs to go 100% of the time if we're out of the house, and more like 95% of the time if we're home. With our first we went cold-turkey to underwear. The first day she learned how to hold it longer between pees, the second day she learned to pee if we sat her on the potty... by about day 6 she was telling us she needed to go. With our second daughter, we started much more gradually because she was so young, and just put her on the potty after meals, before sleep, after sleep, that kind of thing. Soon enough she was just not using her diaper.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 8:02 PM on Apr. 8, 2010

  • Also, since you cloth diaper, you may find this interesting (I don't cloth diaper, actually, but it was still insightful to me!):

    Answer by EmilySusan at 8:07 PM on Apr. 8, 2010