At what age should I start potty training my child?

There is no rush to start potty training! On average, kids show the most readiness for potty training between 18 and 30 months. The decision to start toilet training is based on readiness, rather than age. Child development experts have found that potty training may actually be more effective when delayed until the child is ready, rather than rushing to get it done at an earlier stage. However, if delayed too long, it can potentially make the process more difficult. So, it’s really about finding the sweet spot for your child!

So, how do I know when my child may be ready to start potty training?

These signs may start to appear at different ages depending on each individual child, so experts recommend looking for signs of emotional and physical readiness before starting the potty training process. Parents must also demonstrate emotional readiness and availability, as this process works best when parents can spend time showing and helping their little one through the process patiently.

Here are some signs that your little one may be ready for potty training:

  • Bladder and bowel control:

    At this time, toddlers are likely to have better bladder and bowel control that will help them regulate their potty times. Your child should be able to stay dry for about an hour or two while awake during the day. 

  • Verbal communication skills:

    The ability to verbally express any frustrations and understand instructions should help with the ease of this process. Toddlers may also start mimicking the behavior of older siblings or friends, and show an interest in using the potty just like the “big kids” around them!

  • Ability to take clothes on and off (alone or with some assistance):

    While many kids may still need help with this task during or after potty training, it is important they can help with the process of removing their clothes (or can do it themselves) to use the toilet. This will help avoid accidents (not being undressed in time) and allow them to start going to the bathroom alone.

  • Emotional Readiness:

    If your child seems fearful of the toilet or potty training toilet or seat, or doesn’t seem to be getting the hang of the process, pause the training for a few weeks before trying again. You can try bringing them into the bathroom with you, as often as you feel comfortable, and explaining what is happening in order to increase their comfort level.


This article has been reviewed by our team of experts.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article does not constitute medical advice. If you have concerns about any health or medical condition, diagnosis, or treatment you should consult with your pediatrician or a licensed healthcare provider.