Looking forward to the day when diapers can become a thing of the past? Depending on your child, that day may come sooner—or later—than you think. Asking the best age to potty train is kind of a trick question, in that there is no all-encompassing age at which a child will ditch the diapers for a seat on the big boy or girl toilet. The answer, then, is that the best age to potty train depends on the child. There are, however, some general guidelines you can follow—and questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your child at the right time.
A few questions to ask yourself:
- Can my child follow simple instructions when asked?
- Can my child tell me (or use body language) when it’s time to go?
- Can he or she sit on a potty and get back up without help?
- Can he or she pull down training pants or underwear without help?
- Has my child showed increased interest in the bathroom?
- Is my child able to stay dry for at least two hours?
If you answered “yes” to all or even most of these questions, then your child is likely showing signs of being ready to start potty training. On the other hand, if you answered, “no” to most of these questions, then it may be best for you to wait. Pushing potty training on a child before he or she is ready can only make it more frustrating for both of you.
Like we said, the best age to potty train is different for everyone; however, here are a few general timeframes that can help guide you:
- 18-24 months: Parents are encouraged to start watching for signs of potty readiness (indicated by the questions above).
- 24-36 months: If signs of potty training readiness are there, start having conversations about using the potty.
- 36 months: Forty to 60 percent of children are completely potty trained by their third birthdays, according to American Family Physician.
- 3 to 4 years: If your child is potty trained by this time, be aware that accidents may still happen.
If you need help encouraging your little one once he or she has exhibited signs of readiness, Potty Train with Pinky Bear can help! This book and bear prompts children to get excited about using the big person potty in light of Pinky Bear’s arrival. For more information about Pinky Bear, and for more potty training tips, continue to follow our blog!