View Full Version : Is it too early to start potty training before 18 months?

09-30-2006, 07:57 PM
Everything that I have read has said not to start potty training before 18 months, because most children are not ready. At 14 months, my DS signs very well (thanks to Baby Signing Times). About a month ago, he starting singing potty when he was having a bowel movement. I was really impressed. He is very consistent. He has now been signing potty for about a months to let me know he needs his diaper changed. I ever considered potty training until today. Do you think I should consider potty training before 18 months (maybe around 16m)?? Thanks for any suggestions.

09-30-2006, 08:22 PM
If your DS is aware of his BM's and tells you when his diaper needs changing, I would say he is a bit ahead of the PT curve for his age. Get whatever PT equipment you were planning on (if you have even started looking yet), and let your DS check it out. It doesn't hurt to have a little potty and/or toilet seat on hand now, even if he just sits on it without *doing* anything. Encourage, but let your DS set the pace.

09-30-2006, 09:16 PM
dd is no where near showing me signs for pt'ing but we have a potty already. She sits on it before baths to become familiar with it. If it takes her 6m then that's fine.

My rambling point is that I think its perfectly fine to introduce a potty at his age. It sounds like you're taking his cues into account and not pressuring him, so I think it will be great for him.

09-30-2006, 10:21 PM
DD started asking to use the potty at 15-16 months. Unfortunately, after a couple of months it lost its novelty, and she is nowhere close to PT at 2 1/2 months. She used to use the potty a few times a day, now it's just a couple of times a week.

I say get the potty and try, but don't expect too much.

Mom to Truman 11/01 and Eleanor 4/04

09-30-2006, 11:51 PM
my DD did the same thing. she warns us now BEFORE she goes #2 and if I'm lucky...i can get her to sit on the potty for it. she's about 17 mos. We're not PTing exactly...i'm just following her lead. she doesn't really have the bladder control, but i figure as many poopoo free diapers i can get, i'll take it. be aware, even if he wants to go on the potty, he may be afraid to actually make a "deposit". DD is struggling with this right now. I would just follow his lead....

10-01-2006, 02:32 AM
I"d say go for it. IME, as long as you don't push him, and only follow his lead, I think there's no harm done. It'll be a new experience for him, and he may or may not like it. If he likes it, well, you can say goodbye diapers in a few months ;-). I certainly don't mind saying goodbye to changing diapers :-). If he doesn't like it, you can try again later.

My dd started to show her interest in potty training after reading Once Upon A Potty for girl (I think the book is also available for boy). She would sit in her potty and tried to pee. The first time she sat there she really peed. ;-) I thought wow, that's amazing. Unfortunately that was the only time she peed in her potty. The next time she sat there, it was only for reading the book. She purposely brought the book to the potty and "read" it there :o .

Long story short, we tried again when she was close to 2, and 3.5 months later she was fully potty trained.


10-01-2006, 06:47 AM
My oldest started about that time. He would wake up dry so we did some encouragement. He would pee on the potty 95% of the time by his 2nd birthday and learned to poop on the potty by 25-26 months.

I did start with all my boys at 18-20 months sitting on the potty a few times a day esp mornings after naps and bath time. It worked well for us. I didnt push and followed their leads. DS2 was just before 2 1/2 and DS3 was right at 2 1/2. Night time took a little longer for them.

If your child is showing signs its not to young. Just follow his cues. Good luck!

10-01-2006, 10:16 AM
You are not going to scar your child by helping him learn to use a potty this early, no matter what the books say. Right around your DS' age children become aware of their bowel movements and can start potty learning. Arguably, if you do not offer him a potty when he asks for it, you are teaching your DS that diapers are his potty. My DS started signaling with his voice that he needs to poop just before his first birthday but we were part-time ECing with him since 10-12 weeks. DS had a fairly predictable pooping schedule so we did not have to deal with too many poopy diapers. You bet I entertained DS (by reading a book) to encourage him to stay on the potty a bit longer, if I knew it was time for him to go, but I did not push him as DS has always had quite a personality. Peeing took a bit longer to master and we had our frustrating and embarassing moments but by 15.5 months he was in underwear during the daytime. And by 18.5 months during the night as well. It could have happened even earlier had I had the courage to try it and had I not fallen for cute cloth diapers around the age DS was 13-14 months.

Full disclore, I was not born in the States and I have seen many many kids potty trained well before what is the Western norm. DS was also really fighting diaper changes to the point where I felt it was easier to clean accidents and change his pants couple more times a day than go through that.

ETA: here's a link for late-starters in EC but IMHO suggested techniques also work for early PT, scroll down a bit to the bullet points http://www.white-boucke.com/reviews/latestarters.html

10-01-2006, 11:24 PM
I'd get some potty books and a potty. It couldn't hurt, honestly. If you are not forcing him, but making it available. I think Ds was 18 mo when I was shocked b/c his ped said it's a good time to get a potty and just leave it out.