Pwhen to start potty trainingotty training is a huge step for not only the child involved but parents/guardians as well. It’s a stage that is filled with questions and has many different avenues to success. Children can be potty trained any time after 18 months old and most will be potty trained by around 36 months. However, don’t be discouraged if this does not happen for your child. Each child is unique and will master this milestone when they are ready.

Potty training success is dependent on physical, developmental, and behavioral milestones, not age. While potty training may look different for each family and begin at various ages, there are some tell-tale signs to look for that indicate your child is ready.

Is your child showing signs of readiness?

Showing interest in using the potty by asking questions about it or mimicking using the potty is a great first readiness indicator. Wanting to wear underwear is another positive sign. When children stay dry for longer periods (at least 2 hours) or if they are dry after waking, their bodies may be physically ready for the next steps. If your child is hiding when they “go” and communicating that they have gone, then you know your child recognizes what their body is doing and is beginning to have some control over it. A child’s ability to tell you and other trusted adults that they need to go potty is a key element for potty training success.

Is your child asserting their independence?

Another factor to consider when deciding if it’s time to start potty training is your child’s independence. If they are capable of undressing and dressing themselves, you will have a higher success rate. If they use words such as “I can do it” or “No, me,” this means that they may be ready to tackle challenges like potty training. (Tip: Provide your child with easy-to-remove clothing during this transitional stage.)

Can your child follow directions?

Be sure that your child can follow directions before you begin potty training. When using the potty, children need to turn on the light, undress, clean after themselves, dress again, and wash their hands. There are lots of steps involved! Of course, you will be there to assist, but ensure that your child can follow directions with other tasks before attempting potty training.

Are you ready?

The last factor to consider when weighing if it’s time to start potty training is knowing if YOU are ready. Are you ready to commit to frequent trips to the bathroom, ready for the inevitable messes, and ready to handle accidents with grace? Keep in mind that potty training takes time and is not a linear path to success. There will be ups and downs. Be prepared with extra clothes, patience, and encouraging support.

Fostering partnership between families and teachers

We highly recommend communicating with your child’s teachers when you are considering potty training. They will have valuable insight into any signs of readiness they see in your child. Potty training should always be a symbiotic partnership between teachers and families to create a cohesive routine for your child. Our Links to Learning Beginners Program provides the foundation for children to communicate their needs, follow multi-step directions, and gain independence.

Discover how our experienced and nurturing teachers can support your child’s journey to potty training success. Find a school today!