Is Early Potty Training
A Good Or A Bad Idea?

When is early potty training a good thing? Can you ever really prepare a child that young to change their toilet habits?

Well I have seen it done.

A friend had a holiday six months away, which involved a very long flight. They decided to give it a try, hoping it would make the journey more comfortable.

It worked for them, but it wasn't easy.

Is Your Toddler Showing Signs That He Is Ready For The Potty?

Perhaps your young toddler is showing signs of readiness for his next milestone.

If you're not sure whether to take the plunge, this page will provide some answers to help you make the right decision.

Remember to set aside a good part of your daily routine for early potty training. Then once started, help the little one, by remembering to pack the potty in the car, not to dress them so it will take 2 minutes to unbutton. Dungarees look gorgeous on toddlers, but I need to go wee wee NOW.

A simple pull down is challenge enough.

What Is Meant By Early Potty Training?

It all depends on whether your child has reached 18 months yet.

If Your Toddler Is Younger Than 18 Months

Medical experts agree that until a child reaches this age, they have no conscious control over bladder or bowel. 

The older generation may disagree with this. In the past children were often out of nappies or diapers before this age because they were not so comfortable to wear, and washing machines/powders were not so powerful as they are today.

Carers were able to achieve the appearance of toilet training (even with babies) by putting youngsters on the potty or toilet very regularly throughout the day.

The message is clear: try to potty train a toddler before they are one-and-a-half, and you train nobody but yourself.

Tanya Byron even warns that pushing a young toddler means that they could take until their 4th birthday to achieve independence, long after their friends.

If Your Child Is 18 Months Or Older

At 18 months, some toddlers are capable of proper conscious control - although most reach their second birthday (and a few their third) without being ready.

This is completely normal and nothing to worry about - toilet training is not a race.

However, you might start to notice possible signs of readiness for potty training (such as dry nappies after a nap). Go to When To Start Potty Training for more information about judging the right time to start.


Successful Potty Training (page 10), Heather Welford, 2002, Thorsons

Your Toddler Month By Month (page 128), Dr Tanya Byron, 2008, Dorling Kindersley Ltd.

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