Potty Training: When is the Right Time?

For the past couple months, whenever Lucas is naked and starts going pee on the floor, I immediately pick him up, run to the bathroom and sit him on the toilet and say over and over potty potty potty go potty good job potty!! This only happens maybe a few times a week, so it’s not a totally common thing.
Lately he has been more interested and curious with his body. Today he was playing with his diaper and whining a bit. I asked him if he needed to go potty and he walked over to the bathroom! I took off his pants and diaper and put him on the toilet and said, okay, go potty. Do you need to go potty? Go potty! Now, don’t get too excited, he didn’t actually go to the bathroom, but I think he might know what it means!
Or I’m just over thinking things here. That’s probably it.
(And afterwards I put his diaper back on while he was standing up and he pulled his pants up and I’m just sitting there thinking to myself, when did this happen? You know how to pull up your pants? Excuse me?)

Later this evening, after bath and lotion and a clean diaper with warm pajamas, he went to the bathroom big time in his pants. A sort of type of explosion if you know what I mean. Before I knew it, he had walked into the bathroom and flushed the toilet. Sweet boy, you have to actually go in the toilet!
Lucas is only 14 months so I don’t expect or even anticipate that he is ready to be out of diapers. And really, I’m not in any huge hurry… I don’t mind his adorable diapers and I’m not sick of them– yet. (And hubby is stay-at-home-dad this summer so he’s in charge of washing them- bonus!) 🙂 I will save my excitement for new, fresh, small, newborn diapers for another post. If this next baby is a girl, oh pink diaper cuteness overload please and thank you.
Ultimately and in a perfect world, I would love to have Lucas potty trained by the time our 2nd is here in October. He would be about 18 months, so this idea could be totally out of reach. Like I said, it’s in a perfect world and I’m not going to be surprised or too bummed if it doesn’t happen. For now we will continue to ask questions/talk about going to the bathroom. If he shows more signs of being ready, I will put him on the toilet.

I do not have a strategy and I’m absolutely not going to force it in any way. If he’s ready- great. If not- that’s fine too. I think that’s the most important thing – to be excited and encouraging. I don’t believe that if it’s forced potty training is successful. A kid is ready when a kid is ready. Some earlier and some much later than others.

I would love to hear from you! Have any of you done potty training early? What is your experience? At what age were you’re children out of diapers completely? Do you recommend a separate little toilet that goes on the floor or a smaller seat that fits on a regular size toilet?

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

14 thoughts on “Potty Training: When is the Right Time?

  1. Sounds like you're going about it just right.

    I got a potty when Logan was about 14 months and if he wanted to sit on it, cool, and if he didn't, cool. We didn't really try until he was 2 1/2 though, but it only took a week.

    Logan hated the little potty. When it came down to really potty training, I got a seat to fit the big toilet. I'm not sure if he'd have trained earlier if I had bought the seat sooner.

    Jordan is just learning that his potty is to sit on, not to climb on, but he'd still rather stand in it.

  2. I attempted to potty train Aidan at about 22 months with no success. He liked the potty chair (the big potty was too high for him), but after a day, he was just peeing all over the floor and not caring. I tried again a few months later, about 28 months, and this time used the 3 day potty training method. It didn't stick. He refused to use the potty and thought it was funny when he would pee/poo on the floor. After 5 days of the 3 day method, we went back to diapers.

    And then, just three months later, he decided that he wanted to use the potty chair. That was all it took. He has been fully potty trained ever since, with only a few accidents at night, and he now uses either the potty chair or the big potty, since he can climb up on it now. He'll be three in August.

    I wouldn't rush it with Lucas- he is still really young- but I would keep introducing him to the potty. Once Aidan made up his mind that he wanted to use the potty, everything was smooth sailing. Good luck!!

  3. Hi, my daughter is 13 months and we are starting potty training right now. I find the pull ups for 2-3t actually start at around 18-34 lbs so they fit a 13 month old, petite girl just fine.

    Also we are using elimination communication so she can start letting my know when she has to go and are going to try to work in baby sign language to teach her the potty sign (http://www.signwithme.com/video_display.asp?ID=39).

    If you look up EC you can find a lot of helpful tips to spot when your son needs to go, the bet type of potty's to get and tons more!

    I think your son is totally letting you know he is ready! Before disposable diapers were invented the average age of a potty trained child was 18 months, it is now 3.5 years!

  4. oooh, it's like you are channeling my inner thoughts!! LOL. My son is 23 months and always tells me when he's dirty or wet and asks for a new diaper. however while i'm working i feel like it's too hard to try to attempt potty learning so as soon as I'm a SAHM (woo hoo, only 4 weeks!) i will try your method.

    also i hear you on the yummy pink diaper goodness!! if my next baby is a girl i already have diapers picked out that are pink and frilly and lovely!

    and no, i'm not pregnant yet. just dreaming! 🙂

  5. My daughter went on the potty occasionally from about age 7 months until 10 months (did a post about this on my blog), when she started trying to learn to walk and decided she didn't want to spend any time sitting any more. During that time I was putting her on the potty about 1-3 times per day and she would pee about 75% of the time. Then, when walking started she would try to stand up immediately upon being set down. Now she is 15 months and I am thinking we will try again over the summer. Maybe try using fitted diapers without the cover so I can get a better sense of her elimination schedule, and then try a few days of diaper-free and putting her on the potty regularly. I would LOVE it if she was out of diapers by next fall, but won't be disappointed if she's not. She definitely seems aware of it, and will sometimes tell me when she's pooed, so I think we have good chances. Keep us updated on your progress!

  6. You're doing the right thing. Avery fully potty trained at 28 months, but we started at 28 months! I was expecting her to wear diapers until 3, so I was pleasantly surprised when she trained so quickly.

  7. is it too early? i don't know. but i do believe he knows what you are saying. my boy is 16 months and sometimes i ask him if he needs to go potty and he goes to the bathroom. we've only sat him down a couple times and he doesn't like it. but when he sees his 3 yr old sister go, he says “pee pee”

  8. We have had success with late potty training (around 2.5-3 years). With my kids, when they are ready, it only takes about a week. It is worth it to me to change diapers instead of stress over potty training a reluctant child. And we also like training on a seat that fits on the big potty. It is easier than using the little potty and THEN having to learn to move to the big potty.

  9. I trained both my son and daughter at about 28 months – my son got it within a week but was in pullups at night until he was 3. He didn't have many night accidents, but I was preggo at the time and after a few nights in a row of having to change sheets in the middle of the night, I resorted to pullups until my baby was here. My daughter also caught on within a week, but even a few months later, she still has occasional accidents. BUT, unlike her brother, she has never used pullups at night – she fully trained day and night at 28 mnths. Don't worry, when he's ready, he'll get it 🙂

  10. Our oldest started telling us when he was wet around 13 months – he wore cloth diapers. But it was always after he went- never before.

    We tried potty training him at about 2 years. He would go (using a seat on the potty) but only #1 and with putting him on there. It only lasted a few weeks and he started refusing.

    We tried again at about 6 weeks shy of 2 and a half and he had the #1's down in 3 days. #2's took a few days longer. We found that using a small potty (Ikea ones are great and cheap) worked really well and it's great to take in the car with you or when you go away somewhere.

    After about 5 weeks he transitioned to using the seat on the toilet but we still take the Ikea one with us when we go away. It's been about 2 months and he's only had about 3 accidents- usually when he's having fun and forgets.

    A word of advice if using cloth is to avoid the cloth training pants. They are hard to use especially if the child goes #2 in them. We found it easier just to put underwear on him and then use a large sized Sandy's Mother Ease diaper with a cover for naps. He wears pull ups at night because he is a heavy wetter.

    Good luck!

  11. for us the key to potty training was to have our kids to be naked (from the waist down) as much as possible. They clue into their bodies MUCH MUCH faster that way. It's ideal in the summer when you can be outside more and there isn't as much running around to do.

    We use imse vimse trainers for when we are in public and then when they are working towards giving up their diapers at night.

  12. I started my 1st at 12 months. Well, not really expecting much but I started taking him so he wouldn't be afraid of the potty. My niece was terrified by the potty so they had a hard time getting her to use it. I've actually found a neat little trick to use on boys. It worked for mine almost every time. I'm right now potty training Gage who just turned 2.

    I figured this out when I noticed that Gavin would pee every time he was in the bathtub. I started by putting his feet or hands in warm water while he was on the toilet. Didn't work. But THEN I thought what if it's not the water on his FEET that's making him do it? I tried pouring a cup of warm water down his belly and he peed! Worked every time for him. I would wait about 15 minutes after he would drink something and then do it. It really helped him! It works on Gage too but not as often as it did for Gavin.

  13. My twins are 2.3 yrs. We started at 2 with potty chairs and pull ups. The potty chairs allow them to rest their little feet on the ground so their legs dont' fall a sleep. We don't have success yet but I have heard around 2.5 yrs they really “get it”. So fingers crossed for that. So now they sit on the potties and still go in their pants wonderful!

  14. I had a little potty chair that I would move from room to room with us. I would always just place a towel under it. When both of my boys were learning how to use it, it was always right there. This cut down on accidents on the way to the bathroom. It only took 2-3 days after one week I moved it to the bathroom. I also got a seat that hooked onto the toilet. When it wasn't in use it folded into a small square and I would put it in a ziploc back and toss it into the diaper bag. Kids can be afraid of public bathrooms and I knew it was always much cleaner than the regular toilet.

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