Toilet training should begin when the child shows signs that he/she is ready. There is no right age to begin. If you try to toilet train before your child is ready, it can be a battle for both you and your child. The ability to control bowel and bladder muscles comes with proper growth and development.
Children develop at different rates. A child younger than 12 months of age has no control over bladder or bowel movements. There is very little control between 12 to 18 months. Most children are unable to obtain bowel and bladder control until 24 to 30 months. The average age of toilet training is 27 months.
When My Child is Ready
The following may be indicators of your child's readiness to begin toilet training. Your child should be able to:
- Walk well in order to get to the potty chair
- Tell you when there is a need to go to the potty
- Control the muscles used for going to the potty
Signs that your child may be ready for toilet training include:
- Asks to have the diaper changed or tells you a bowel movement or urine is coming
- Shows discomfort when the diaper is wet or dirty
- Enjoys copying what parents or older children do
- Follows you into the bathroom and sees how the toilet is used
- Wants to do things (like going to the potty) to make parents happy or to get praise
- Has dry diapers for at least two hours during the day or is dry after naps or overnight