View Full Version : What age do you think a child should potty train?
11-02-2005, 02:15 PM
My mom is INSISTANT that I should start Dallin NOW. She tells me that ALL 7 of her children were PT by 2 yrs and 3 months and there is NO EXCUSE for them not to be potty trained by 2 1/2, it's just the parents being "lazy". I'm not entirely sure Dallin is really ready to do this though. After yesterday and 3 major "accidents" on the carpet he still hasn't figured out that he's supposed to sit on the potty to go. He knows that it's "ewww yuck" when it runs down his leg, but hasn't put it together where it is SUPPOSED to go. She ensures me that after a few days it will click. But I'm wondering if he's just NOT ready.
So I am wondering, what your opinions are...thanks :)
11-02-2005, 02:33 PM
I'm just going for when Charlie is ready. Boys are slower than girls, so I'm guessing we'll start after he turns 3. He is NOT ready now, at all. He really wants diapers. When he tells us he wants to go on the potty, then we'll start.
11-02-2005, 02:43 PM
I and my sisters was "potty trained" (elimination communication, parents held us over the toilet) by 40 DAYS. DS is over 18 months old, and, at 9 months or so my mom was with us and she trained him to regularly pee and poopy in the potty. But I am lazy, and study outside the home ;) so we regressed. I just ordered another cute AIO for him ;)
11-02-2005, 02:44 PM
This is such a socially charged issue, and I really don't understand why. But boy, people sure do get riled up about it. My parents have been asking me when I am going to start with Charlie, and he is only 19 months!
Let's just say for the sake of argument a parent decides out of pure laziness (I'll cop to being lazy on this issue) not to tackle potty training at the age of 2yo. *So friggin' what?!*
IMO, you do it when it makes sense to you and DS. There are some issues about preschool -- some will only take potty trained children. But other than that, what is the rush? As a parent who is burned out on trying to do everything "just so" for my child, I am content to have the convenience of diapers a little longer. It makes outings/night time soooo much easier. Honestly, I am probably going to leave potty training up to the day care provider. I've seen her do it with three kids so far (all 3+ years old), and she is great at it.
11-02-2005, 02:45 PM
I think it depends entirely on the child. If you start really young, a la elimination communication, I think you can PT really early, but I don't think that EC is feasible for everyone (myself included). Must be nice, but not going to happen, y'know? So for most kids, I'd go strictly with the signs.
With DS, after he started telling me he had peed, I started putting him in CDs that don't have a fleece inner, and not using a cover to reinforce the knowledge that he was wet. Now, as soon as he feels wet, he walks funny and tells me that he needs the potty. We go sit on it, and then put on a dry diaper, with the instruction "when you are going to go pee pee, tell Mummy so we can sit on the potty first." He hasn't connected that he's supposed to go pee pee IN the potty, but he has done it a few times.
However, if he hadn't shown that he was aware of peeing, I wouldn't be sitting him on the potty so much.
11-02-2005, 02:47 PM
When they are ready as you said :)
We just had a followup appt with our doc for DS last week about his constipation issues (which are much better). I mentioned how he likes me to hold him while he's pooping and will let us know when he's about to go (does the dance, says "poooh, pooooh, hold, hold!") and wants us to hold him. I haven't even remotely considered trying to have him potty learn, although he is interested when I go (mama, pee!) and likes to flush the toilet. Several things I've read mentioned that telling you while or before they are going is a great step, but there is a big jump from that to the child actually having control over where/when they decide to go.
So anyway, we go to the ped and after I talk about DS wanting to be held while he poops, the ped tells me we should really start potty training (???). He tells me to put a big jar of some treat like m&Ms or whatever in the bathroom, and tell DS daily "time to sit on the potty and get your treat" so that he'll associate sitting on the potty with something pleasurable since until now life has been all about pleasure according to the doc. If he doesn't sit, he doesn't get the treat. The whole thing didn't sit well with me as one, I hadn't asked for his advice on this, and two, I just don't think DS is ready at only 20 months!!!!
For the record I have tried sitting him on the potty before and he wanted no part of it. Once in a while he'll sit on it if I sit behind him, (clothed LOL). Even if we had the occasional success with him peeing in there, I still think it would be a big jump developmentally to him having real bowel/bladder control. Until then, it is basically a version of Elimination Communication IMHO, kwim?
Anyway, I'm glad you asked this because I thought about posting about our experience at the doc only because I kind of thought it was a bit annoying. Now I feel like when I go back he's going to "expect" we're making some sort of progress or something. He just blurted this all out at the end of the appt. so I didn't get into it with him but I just don't feel DS is ready. I think talking about going to the potty, letting him see us go potty, letting him flush, wash hands, whatever is all great and generates an interest in it all, but I think full bowel and bladder control takes quite a while for kids to develop physiologically.
There are kids that potty learn early, no doubt, but they may just be more ready psychologically and physiologically. I also think some parents (including those of our parents' generation) basically did EC with their kids without knowing it but it wasn't like their kids were fully and independently potty-learned.
FWIW, a good friend of mine was telling me a few weeks ago that she's working on PT with her 14 month old because her mother *insists* my friend's brother was fully PT at that age. Fully. So grandmom is putting lots of pressure on mom/baby to get there ASAP. I think it is kind of sad that she's feeling pressured by her mom. The ped even told her not to worry about it as DD is too young but she's pushing it pretty hard anyway.
11-02-2005, 02:47 PM
We introduced PT concepts at 18 months. DS knows how to pee in the potty (does it before his bath at night) and poop in the potty (sporadically). We have tried harder a couple of times, and have gotten no response. So, basically, DS isn't ready to PT yet and I don't see any reason to make us both miserable trying. 3-3.5yo is typical for boys, so we're still within range.
11-02-2005, 02:52 PM
Like everyone else has said, they are ready when they're ready. Whether that's 18 months or 3 1/2 like my nephew.
My ds has started telling me when he was to go "poopy" so we bought a potty and it just sits there on the bathroom floor for now. I'm trying to take advantage of his communication but not make it a negative thing by forcing him to sit on the potty.
Just rollin' with it....
DS born at home 12/03
Breastfed for 20 months and 6 days
11-02-2005, 02:53 PM
DS seemed ready around 34 months. I tried to go with it, even pushed it and he totally did not have it. One day in August (he was already 3 ys and 2 months at this point) it all clicked for him and he has been doing it ever since. Moral of the story- your child will potty train when your CHILD is ready. It is definitely something that happens in their time, not ours.
11-02-2005, 02:54 PM
I think you should do it when you and your child are ready to do it. Its hard for us to try, because he doesn't really talk yet. DH isn't ready to do it til DS can talk, so we are waiting.
I think sometimes if you try to force it, it makes the process a lot harder than it should be.
11-02-2005, 02:55 PM
oops double post
11-02-2005, 03:28 PM
Thank you! I totally agree that it's best to wait until the child is ready- so how do I get my mom to understand that Dallin IS NOT READY???
11-02-2005, 03:47 PM
I would find a way to politely tell her that potty training your child is your business, and you will do it when your child is ready. I'm lucky because my mom is a pediatrician and has a son and knows how long it takes to potty train. And as a side note: I was so stubborn about potty training that she let me change my own diapers since I would not potty train! LOL, lets hope my DS won't do that! :)
11-02-2005, 03:58 PM
Don't worry. I would ignore your mom and do what you feel is best for your son. If he's not ready, it will only do more harm than good to try and force it. And mama memories aren't always reliable either. My MIL swears my husband was walking at nine months, but her contemporaneous notes n the baby book tell a different story (he was walking a few months later!), but she still insists on this new improved version.
At our 18 month visit, our ped (who we love) said the average age for boys being potty trained is approx. three and a half (3 years and 4 months to be exact). He said we could start modeling behavior (as if we have any private time in the bathroom anyway!) and get a little potty for my son to practice on and see if he's interested but not to push it or worry if he isn't interested for quite awhile. HTH. Good luck. :)
11-02-2005, 03:58 PM
What is with our mothers/MILs generation that makes them so opinionated about this issue? My mom would never have said anything about it - she was very hands off in terms of my parenting - but my MIL - oh boy. She started in on me when ds turned 2 and never let up. I sent her several photos including one where Paolo was dancing around in his diaper (at 26 mos) and she said she took them all in to work to show her coworkers *except* that one b/c she would've been embarassed for them to know he was still not potty trained. Whatever.
He ended up doing it at exactly 2.5 which I felt was quite early and it was entirely his idea. It took about a week because he was ready! She came to help out when Benjamin was born and Paolo was 2 years 9 mos. He had a few accidents, which had not happened in a few months, but due to the stress and all the changes, it was completely normal. She said, "I thought you said he was trained!" and helped clean up with such disdain I was ready to ask her to leave.
God help me if I am ever a MIL like that!
and a *THIRD BOY* coming in December '05
Well, since everything I've read tells me that pushing potty training can have adverse affects, I'm still waiting for Jacob to show an interest. I asked about it some time ago, and many, many people reassured me that just because he's nearly 2.5 and not showing much interest, it's nothing to be concerned about. And I do believe boys train later than girls. I'm not pushing it for fear of rebellion or witholding, leading to even more problems.
Remember Shanelle, YOU are the mommy here. It doesn't matter what your mom did or thinks. Hang in there!
11-02-2005, 04:11 PM
We have had my MIL telling us to potty train Jackson since before he was 2. In fact for his second birthday they only bought him underwear. It made me so mad because he was showing no signs of being ready. We bought a potty for him at 2 and have had it sitting in the bathroom. He would sit on it with his diaper so we started pushing him to use it. BIG MISTAKE! He soon became terrified of the potty and wouldn't go near it. We didn't press the issue because everyone said that Potty Training right before or after a new baby doesn't work well.
This weekend we finally took the plunge. Jackson still was not showing any signs of being ready but we thought we would try it for a weekend and if it didn't work wait until after Christmas. He had actually NEVER gone on the potty. I bought him one big toy that he had really been wanting and several other potty presents (Matchbox cars, money, glow sticks). I left the big toy (a garbage truck) on the back of the toilet and placed the other presents so that he could see them. We bought him new underwear and just made him wear them except for naps and bedtime when we put him in a pull up. I also has suckers and a happy face stamp for him. Friday night he cried on the potty. He was so upset. On Saturday morning we started again. Every 20 min. we were sitting him on the potty. We found that if we gave him a sucker while sitting on the potty it calmed him down enough and he would go. (Not totally sanitary but it worked)
Jackson still will not tell us when he has to go so I am having to take him in every 30 min but it is going well. Still no poop on the potty but we are happy to be mostly diaper free.
Don't push it! There is no way Jackson would have been ready at 2. I'm still not sure he is totally ready but we will see. Most boys potty train after 3 so don't stress. Pushing too hard could scare him and I would not advise it with a baby on the way.
Mommy to Jackson 11-10-02
Tyler William 6-9-05
11-02-2005, 04:17 PM
Well, before having children, my mother have me the speech about how children were potty trained by the time they were 2 years old. This is what every one just accepted back in her day I guess. So, I of course believed this too.
BUT after having my own child...I waited until Joshua was 3 years old to even try to PT him, because I could tell he wasn't ready for it, and I wasn't about to force and fight him on the issue.
I felt like a bad mom for waiting "so long," until I took Josh in for his 3 year check-up, and the Ped., who specializes in child-development, asked me if I had STARTED working on potty training yet--not if he was done. I said we just started, and she just nodded and said that most little boys aren't ready until the age of 3, so that was just fine. Whew! I felt so much better to hear that. She said if you start too soon, it can backfire and take twice as long and be twice as hard. So glad I went with my gut instinct on this one!
There is a boy in DSs daycare that actually holds it till potty time...quite amazing to me (and I come from a culture where all the 'elders' swear they had their kids potty trained by 6mths) :P
We bought DS his potty at 17mths when he would tell us that he pooped/peed right after he did it in his diaper. He loves his potty and we put him on there every morning and evening (as kind of a routine thing) but with absolutely no pressure. Other than that we dont do any training as such and will follow our daycares cue (they train them around 3yrs).
My best advice to you is what I do with my mom, MIL and SILs (why are the women always our toughest critics?!) - just smile, say you appreciate their input and ignore them :)
11-02-2005, 04:22 PM
I think you should start slowly, by putting them on the potty with their clothes on, etc. Then when they really are "ready" it'll be easy because they know what is expected of them.
We're sitting DD on the potty once a day with her diaper off, right after her nap. Sometimes she goes, sometimes she doesn't, sometimes she goes on the floor.
We won't move past this stage much until she gets better. But if you don't start small, I think it takes a long time for them to master such a complex task.
11-02-2005, 04:29 PM
1) Unless you've been EC'ing since day 1) or at least before 6 months, I would suspect that most kids are not ready before at least 1.5 years old. IMO (and of course I'm no expert), they would need to be able to tell they are wet or poopy (probably the easiest thing, I would think), they would need to be able to go longer without peeing (definitely a bit harder), they would need to sense when they are about to go, and they would need to be able to hold it for at least a few seconds (a minute?).
2) Boys generally train later than girls (although not necessarily).
3) All children are different and will be ready at different ages. I think following your child's lead will be the least frustrating for all involved, including the child.
4) In our case, we did try the potty at 8 months and Kaya willingly sat on it and if you predicted her poops correctly, she would actually poop in them, but she had no sense that she was actually doing it. So for a couple weeks, I actually tried predicting when she would poop and putting her on the potty right before. Some days it worked and some days it didn't. Then I honestly got tired of it (lazy) and stopped. A couple months later, I tried getting Kaya to sit on it and she actually wouldn't sit on it for more than a couple seconds. So I didn't push it and she didn't show any interest in it at all until this summer when she wanted to play with it, but wouldn't pee on it. Again, I didn't push her but just let her play with it the way she wanted to. Fast forward to 2 days ago when she asked for the potty and ran towards it. I thought she was talking about our cat Poppy until I saw where she went. So I asked her if she wanted to go and I took her diaper off and she sat on it and peed a dribble. I just congratulated her and she got off and then proceeded to dribble some more. Oh well. I didn't worry about it. Then yesterday morning, she ran away when I tried to put on a diaper after her night time one and she said "No, no, no!" So I basically went with it, took out the potty and have let her use it during the day. I'll ask her every 15-30 minutes if she wants to go.
Anyway, it sounds like Dallin is NOT ready for PTing, especially because he won't even sit on the potty and he apparently still loves his diapers. I do agree with your mom that it may click for the understanding part, but I don't know for sure, obviously. If it's really stressing you and Dallin out, though, I would give it a couple months and try again. As long as you don't mind keeping him in diapers for a little while longer. As for your mom--well, you're the parent and you're the one who either needs to train him or diaper him, so you're the one who should be making the decisions. :)
Anyway, I have to run, but will come back if I think of anything.
ETA: One thing I forgot to add--I've been rolling with it ever since I decided at around 6 months that I wasn't going to worry about when Kaya sat, when she crawled, when she crawled non-commando style, when she walked, etc. My mom asked a few times about walking and talking and both times I just said that she would do it when she was ready and sure enough, she's just done things on her own timeline without any pushing or frustration from us. Yes, I suppose we could have held her hands and helped her cruise earlier on, but it's not what she wanted and we were fine with it. She seems really fine with PTing right now and seems even happier to not have to wear diapers all the time, so we're going with it, but I also know that in 2 weeks or a month, she could totally regress, and I'll be fine with that as well. I just think that if for the most part I don't push her into doing things she's not quite ready for, she'll be happier and we'll be less frustrated.
http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/candle.gif for Leah
Kaya's a cousin! 10/1/05, 5lb13oz
11-02-2005, 05:35 PM
If you're the one changing the diapers, I don't think it should matter to anyone else! Pass the bean dip. ;)
Mama to Gracie (Sept '03) and Eli (July '05)
11-02-2005, 05:43 PM
I think you should do whatever is the easiest for you, since you are the one changing diapers/going potty with your child! Don't listen to your mom.
That said, he may or may not be ready. You can give it a couple more days but if it's too stressful for either of you, I would bag it till next summer!
11-02-2005, 06:15 PM
You all have NO idea how relieved I am to hear this. THANK YOU for your responses. I'm going to give it a couple more days and if he doesn't get it in the potty, I'm going to bag it till my mom comes in FEB. to help w/ the baby. SHE can do it if she thinks he's so ready. :P
11-02-2005, 06:33 PM
i think it's best to wait for some signs from your child that he/she is ready, otherwise it's just not gonna work. Of course, I also realize (from my nieces) that there also comes a point where you need to start gently encouraging it - for school, etc. DS has just started to do the sign for potty when he sees me or DH headed to the bathroom and he likes to flush the toilet. So, I will be buying a training potty soon, but don't hold any high hopes for now...
~Connor's Mom 02/2004~
Agency paperwork completed - waiting for #2!
Just want to chime in with the others here.
DS started showing signs when he was 13 months. He would tell me before he pooped. We went with it, but in a week he forgot all about it. So, I did not care, we just continued with our diapers.
Around 19 months he was telling us again, but my mom who was here with us for a couple of months went back home and he regressed. We have had potty seats for close to a year now, we said we understand and let it be.
He was almost completely trained recently. The tabs on the diaper would tear off, but he would not have used the diaper and we would throw away a clean diaper because the tabs were gone. He had a really bad stomach bug about a month ago and he was pooping 6 times a day. Every single time he would go to the potty. He would even wake me up in the middle of the night to go potty. We were ecstatic, we thought we would bid goodbye to diapers.
Then, we got him his big boy bed and we are transitioning from co-sleeping to sleeping by himself. Guess what, he regressed again. He does not even tell us after he has pooped. Its as if he does not realize it anymore. We are not pushing him with the new bed either. He likes it, he does not want to come to our bedroom anymore, still he regressed.
We would take him to the potty periodically and he would pee/ poop when he felt like and tell us if we did not take him. Now, if I take him to the potty, he cries hysterically. So, I have ignored it for 2 weeks already. Today for the first time in two weeks, he told me he wanted to go potty. It was 10 minutes after I changed his diaper, so I was pretty sure it was a false alarm. We went there, undressed, sat there. After 10 seconds, he said he does not want to. SO, we came back. I am guessing he is getting more comfortable again. He turns two in two weeks, I am in no hurry.
My mom and my MIL are fine, they understand. Others in the family have given me enough advice about this. They said their kids were trained when they were one year old. I just choose to ignore the pressure. DH was getting influenced for a little while and started giving me advice. So, I just gave him the responsiblity of PTing DS. That was the end of that, he has no problems changing diapers now. I guess in a few days he realized that DS is not ready yet.
So, that is my PT story. Hope you guys made it so far. If nothing else works, I will take DS to India and let him run diaperless for a couple of weeks, that should definitely do it. I dont want to deal with carpet cleaning here. I can clean bare floors after accidents, but not carpets.
11-02-2005, 07:15 PM
I guess I am a lazy parent, lol! With both my kids I brought our a potty chair for the boys to sit on if they wanted to, not really an in effort to train them, but just b/c that is the age they really start to mimic us. I also give them a broom to use, but I don't expect them to sweep the floor, kwim?
Nick never really showed any signs of wanting to potty train, so a few days after he turned 3 I put him in real underwear. He had four "accidents" that morning and was trained by lunch that day. I know that this isn't the norm, but I think a lot had to do with the fact he was ready. I watched too many friends walk around with their "PT" 2 yo asking them if they had to pee every 30 minutes for over a year to know I wasn't going that route. Nick not only didn't have accidents or need to be reminded to go, but also had control which meant we could run most of our errands without worrying about going potty while out.
Alex asks to sit on the potty all the time and often tells me when he is need of a diaper change or going to poop. If he really wants to train, I will follow his lead. Honestly, though, I would rather wait until he was more physically and mentally developed to avoid all the frustration. I guess that's why I am lazy!
Mom to Nick 10/01
& Alex 04/04
11-02-2005, 07:55 PM
I didn't push my DS at all!!!! He trained himself basically right around 3 years of age!!!! One day he said he didn't want to wear pull ups and I told him "ok then you have to tell mommy when you need to go and we'll use the potty!" He never looked back! It was such a non stressful thing.... I think becuase he was just ready and HE made the decision!!!!
Mommy to Mason 7/8/01 and Aidan 5/4/05
I am definately in the "wait until child really shows signs of readiness" group. We've decided to just wait until Luke decides he wants to begin. We have a potty chair and toliet insert in our bathroom, and he pees fairly often in them, but we don't ask him if he needs to go, or push him at all. We're just taking it at his own speed. (He's two and a half, BTW).
Mommy to my beautiful little boy, Luke (April 2003)
"Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you.
Before you were here an hour I would die for you. This is the miracle of life."
11-02-2005, 09:43 PM
ITA with the other posters! WHENEVER THEY ARE READY! Shouting so your mother can hear me!
Toby is learning now (2 years, 4 months). This is earlier than I expected. We have been pretty laid back about it and only did it because he was showing signs. Part of me thinks it is similar to EC (and has me kicking around the idea of EC with any future babies) since we sit him on it regularly and started by having him in no pants at home but he has just started announcing that he needs to go or run to the potty on his own. At this point we are still playing it by ear. But because he was ready we went from all diapers to some underpants to mostly underpants within a very brief period. If he started resisting, I would totally back off.
11-02-2005, 11:19 PM
We're letting DS potty train when he is ready. He still isn't ready :). He'll go on the potty but not consistently and will not tell us when he needs to go. He has never pooped on the potty either. His daycare does "naturalistic" potty training - basically they train themselves when they are ready. I am hoping it is before kindergarten (only half kidding!)
mom to Jacob 9/27/02
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