Welcome Back!

User Name
Not Registered?

Tell us a little about yourself.

My child’s birthday is (for newsletter customization):

Enter an email address:

This is where your newsletters will be delivered to and where GreatDad.com will contact you with your new account information.

father's forum

A place to discuss, learn and share ideas, thoughts and solutions.
Latest Posts

100% love
Posts: 1 Views: 2881

Surprises about newborn
Posts: 4 Views: 4854

At What Age Should I Start...
Posts: 4 Views: 3917

I'm curious...
Posts: 1 Views: 2622

New to the Group
Posts: 1 Views: 2624

hi mom!

Would you like to share this site with your husband or a friend?

Just enter his email address and your name below and we'll let him know all about GreatDad.com.

His email address
Your Name

When is a child ready to be potty-trained?

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 14-11-2006

The Potty Trainer


Child development is unique for each child.  Some children are ready to be potty trained at a young age. Children as young as eighteen months can show the signs of maturity and physical capabilities that are necessary to be potty trained. Other children may take longer and not be ready until three or four years of age. It’s very important to stress that the age a child potty trains does not reflect their intelligence or future maturity. Just because a child can physically get on and off a potty or even take off her diaper and clothes, does not mean she is ready to begin potty training. Likewise, just because a child talks about going in the potty does not necessarily indicate she is ready. A child will need to have both the physical and emotional capabilities of being potty trained before they are considered ready.



Unfortunately, many “experts” claim there is a particular age to begin the potty training process.  Some experts feel children less than two years of age should not be potty trained. They fear that parents will try to train their child before they are ready.  Yes, if a child is being forced to do something before they are ready then there can be adverse consequences.  A child can become defiant or even rebellious if they are forced to do something before they are ready.  This can result in long-term problems with parent-child relationships and problems with potty habits after training.  However, contrary to what some experts or organizations say, some children are ready to train early. If potty trained correctly, there may be no consequences to training early. There may even be positive personal rewards for the child and family. Anyone who quotes an age when a child is too young for potty training is probably making generalizations that do not apply to all children. Some children less than two years of age can be safely trained if they show signs they are ready and if the parents’ expectations are realistic. If a young child experiences a pleasant potty training experience then he is less likely to experience other potty problems in the future.



Children should exhibit some basic physical capabilities in order to begin the potty training process.


  • The child should be able to help with the task of taking off their pants or undergarments.
  • Your child should be able to assist with taking off the diaper or pull-up when the urge to go hits them.
  • Depending on the type of potty used, children should be able to get on the potty in a comfortable position. If a small portable floor potty is used, then young children will be more able to straddle and keep their feet on or near the floor.
  • Using a traditional commode will probably require significant assistance from a parent. Toilet inserts and stepping stools are very helpful when attempting to begin potty training on a regular commode. 

 - Dr. D. Preston Smith


My daughter is 3 days away from three yrs old. She is doing amazing in potty training, however things tend to slide when she has to do #2. She doesnt tell me, and she hides in her bedroom. Patience is a virtue with this new task she is learning.


My daughter is just 2 and she shows all of the signs that you say there, but she dosen't speak that much yet will that create problems with the prosses of teaching her how to potty train?


My first son is 41/2 and we have a 4 1/2 month old. He wants to teach his baby how to go on the potty already:) He was done w potty training by 3 he has had a few accidents here and there but for the most part when he was done he was done. We let him sit on his BIG BOY potty in front of the TV when he first started and praised him anytime even a drop came out. he loved the praise and thought it was a cool TV seat and he became very comfortable with it. Not saying it will work or is right for everyone but sometimes if you take some form one and some from another you make your own way:) Good luck to all and I hope the 2nd was goes as good as the first:)


i have two little boys 5 and 3. Both trained at approx 2 years. the method i used was to simply get a knowledge of their habits and then keep it in mind to ask constantly. both were very physically able to use our commode as it is a smaller model. after awhile we dropped the diapers and went straight to undies. there were alot of accidents at first with my first child. after awhile i developed a method of when he had and accident i would ask him to remove the soiled undies himself and look at them to show him what he had done. he did not like that very much. after he sat on the commode for a bit i would allow him to get up then i would ask if he wanted to put on the soiled undies. the obvious response was no. so i guess thru personal experience i taught him that going poopoo or peepee was not very fun and from then on after a few weeks of this he started to just go on his own with little to no incident. same method used on my youngest took only two days.


Thanks for the information. We have been trying to potty train our daughter for a few weeks now and I have been wondering whether we have been a bit too insistant. From your information, I think we will give it another few weeks before we start reminding her about the potty again.


My little boy is only 11months old but learns quick he has been walking since 8 months and is now squatting whenever he does a poo. He is also curious about whenever my partner and I go to the toilet. I'm wondering if maybe he is ready and if so ant tips?




Our youngest is 2 and we are desperately trying to attempt to get him to start potty training. He knows how to pull his pamper off or pull his pull-up down and take it off. He goes if we take him to the potty - but doesn't tell us when he has to. Instead, he walks up to us with poopy on one of his fingers and shows us! Patience..