When can I start potty training my child?

Q: At what age are most kids ready for potty training?

A: It varies widely. While 18 to 24 months is typical, some kids may not be ready until closer to 3 or even later. More important than age alone is when he shows signs -- emotionally and developmentally -- that he's ready. Some clues: His diaper stays dry for several hours; he knows "bathroom" words such as pee, poop, and wet (or whatever terms your family uses); he's interested in watching other family members use the toilet. If you've seen some of these behaviors, give it a go. If not, hold off for a few more weeks. Pressuring your child will only result in frustration -- for both of you. When he's ready to learn, he will. --Nancy Mattia

Copyright 2004. Updated 2009

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