When To Start Potty Training?


There are a myriad of factors that determine when you should start potty training your child. There are often conflicting opinions and research about the question, making coming to a conclusion about it much harder. On average, potty training for boys will take longer than potty training for girls, but what is the right age to start? This is a complicated question. In a lot of places, mostly countries outside of the United States and Europe like China, parts of Africa and India, an infant is taught toilet training very early, oftentimes weeks after birth, though this training is usually not what Americans or Europeans would traditionally call “potty training.”

In America, parents usually wait until eighteen months to even start the basics of potty-training and children wear diapers up to four years of age. In the past, most children in American did not wear diapers by the time they were eighteen months, but today the average age that children are finally out of diapers is three years old or thirty-six months. Why has the age at which children are finally out of diapers doubled?

Much of this has to do with attitudes about potty training. Many parents believe that training their children too soon could cause personality disorders or behavioral disorders which may be true, but there is very little evidence to support such claims. However, there is ample evidence to support potty training children earlier. If a child is potty trained, they can avoid diaper related infections like yeast, rotavirus and giardia as well as reducing their chances of getting bladder infections.

 If you wait longer and longer to begin potty training, what happens is your child grows comfortable being in diapers and can become less astute at recognizing when they need to go. Though potty training your child earlier does not mean expecting the child to be completely potty trained within a couple of weeks, it means starting off slowly and working your way there. A lot of parents are told to wait for their child to show an interest in being potty trained. They are told to wait for their children to start talking about wearing grown up underwear and using the toilet, but in many cases this can take up to twenty-four months and an interest in using the toilet and grown up underwear can always be encouraged or taught instead of just something that parents wait for to happen.