Children's Health

When is the right time to start potty training?

A Answers (3)

  • A , Internal Medicine, answered
    When is the right time to start potty training
    Many factors determine when and how you should begin toilet training. Watch this video as Dr. Mike Roizen and Dr. Ellen Rome discuss how to make toilet training easier and fun for your toddler.

  • A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Start toilet training as soon as your child gives you the clues that he is ready, such as:
    • He wakes up dry (showing he has some bladder control).
    • He can (and will!) follow instructions.
    • He imitates other family members' actions.
    • He gives you signs that he needs to go. (The tinkle-tinkle-squirm dance is pretty common, as is clutching the crotch.)
    • He says he doesn't like the way it feels to be wet or soiled. (Superabsorbent disposable diapers don't help here, because children don't feel the wetness. For this reason, kids who wear cloth diapers often train much earlier.)
    • His pooping schedule is predictable (for instance, every afternoon after his nap).
    • His poops are well formed and not mushy.
  • A , Pediatrics, answered
    Signs that your toddler may be ready include the following:

    • stays dry for several hours at a time
    • has regular, predictable bowel movements
    • shows signs he is about to go in his diaper such as hiding or squatting
    • seems uncomfortable when dirty and asks to be changed
    • follows simple instructions, walks to the bathroom, and helps undress himself
    • asks to use the toilet and wear big-kid underwear
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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How can parents best manage potty training?