potty training age

Potty Training Age: When Is Your Child Ready?

Potty training is a crucial developmental milestone for children, and it can be an exciting time for parents. But getting there can be tricky and sometimes frustrating for both. It’s important to remember that every child is different, and there’s no one “right” age for potty training. However, knowing when your child is ready to start is the key to making the process smoother and less stressful for everyone involved. 

At Tappy Toes Nursery, we understand the importance of potty training and the challenges that can come with it. That’s why we’ve covered you with expert guidance and resources to help you identify the signs that your little one is ready to start. 

In this blog, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about the potty training age, including statistics, the best age to begin, and what to expect. With our potty training tips, you’ll be well-equipped to confidently and easily tackle this training journey. So, let’s dive in together and prepare to celebrate this exciting milestone with your child!

Potty Training Age Statistics: Setting the Stage

Knowing when most children typically start using the potty can help you have reasonable expectations for your child. Studies have shown that:

  • Typically, potty training for children begins between 18 months and 3 years old.
  • Girls often start earlier than boys, with an average age of 29 months for girls and 31 months for boys.
  • By 4 years old, over 90% of children are fully potty trained.

These statistics serve as a general guide, but it’s essential to remember that every child is unique and may be ready for potty training at different ages.

At What Age Do You Potty Train: Signs of Readiness

The average age for potty training can provide a general sense of when most children begin the process. Paying attention to specific signs indicating your child is ready for potty training is crucial. These signs can vary from one child to another, but some common indicators include


  • Staying dry for longer periods (at least two hours) during the day or naps
  • Regular bowel movements at predictable times
  • The ability to communicate their need to go to the bathroom, either verbally or through gestures
  • Showing interest in using the toilet or imitating others’ bathroom habits
  • Expressing discomfort when their diaper is wet or soiled
  • The ability to follow simple instructions and demonstrate physical coordination, such as pulling down their pants and sitting on a potty chair

When is the Best Age to Potty Train: Timing is Key

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the best age to potty train, as it depends on your child’s individual development and readiness. However, some factors can influence the timing:

  • Children with older siblings may show readiness earlier due to imitation and encouragement from their siblings.
  • Parents who use cloth diapers may notice their child’s readiness earlier, as cloth diapers provide more immediate feedback on wetness.
  • Some children may be more receptive to potty training during the warmer months when they wear fewer layers of clothing.

It’s essential to avoid starting potty training during significant change or stress, such as a move, new sibling, or family crisis, as this can delay success.

What to Expect During Potty Training: The Journey to Independence

As you embark on the potty training journey with your child, you must know what to expect and be prepared for some challenges. Some common experiences include:


  • Accidents: Even after showing signs of readiness, children will have accidents as they learn to recognise their body’s signals and master the process
  • Regression: Temporary setbacks are common, especially during times of change or stress
  • Fear or resistance: Some children may be afraid of the toilet or resist using it, requiring patience and encouragement from parents
  • Nighttime dryness: Achieving nighttime dryness may take longer than daytime training, as it requires the development of bladder control while asleep.

How Long Potty Training Takes: Patience and Persistence

The duration of the potty training process varies significantly from one child to another, ranging from a few days to several months. Several factors have the potential to affect the timeline, and these may include the following:

  • Your child’s age and developmental readiness
  • Consistency in your approach and routine
  • How quickly your child learns to recognise their body’s signals
  • Your child’s temperament and willingness to cooperate
  • The presence of any underlying medical issues or developmental delays

It’s essential to remain patient, consistent, and supportive throughout the process, as rushing or pushing your child can lead to resistance and prolong the journey.

How to Begin Potty Training: Strategies for Success

Once you’ve determined that your child is ready, it’s time to begin potty training. Below are a few initial steps to begin with:

  • Choose a potty chair or seat: Some children feel more comfortable and secure on a small potty chair, while others may prefer a seat that attaches to the regular toilet.
  • Create a routine: Establish regular times throughout the day for your child to sit on the potty, such as after waking up, before bath time, and before bed.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Offer praise and rewards for successful attempts and progress, such as stickers, small treats, or extra playtime.
  • Encourage independence: Teach your child to pull down their pants, sit on the potty, and wash their hands after using the toilet.
  • Be patient and consistent: Stick to the routine and remain supportive, even during setbacks and accidents.
  • Communicate with caregivers: Ensure that all caregivers, such as teachers and babysitters, are on the same page with your potty training approach.

Potty Training Supplies: Tools for a Smooth Transition

The right supplies can make potty training more comfortable and enjoyable for you and your child. Some essentials include:

  • Potty chair or seat: Choose a comfortable and stable option that your child will feel confident using
  • Step stool: A step stool can help your child reach the toilet or sink independently
  • Training pants or underwear: Transitioning from diapers to training pants or underwear can help your child feel more grown-up and motivated to use the potty
  • Wipes and hand sanitiser: Keep these on hand for quick clean-ups and promote good hygiene
  • Books and videos: Age-appropriate books and videos about potty training can help your child understand the process and feel more comfortable

Common Potty Training Problems: How to Overcome Them

Potty training can be challenging, and it’s common for parents to encounter some problems. Here are some common potty training problems and tips on how to overcome them:

Refusing to Use the Potty

One of the most common potty training problems is when a child refuses to use the potty. It can be frustrating for parents, but it’s essential to approach the situation with patience and understanding. Here are some tips to help overcome this challenge:

  • Determine the cause of the refusal, such as fear, discomfort, or lack of interest.
  • Provide positive reinforcement for attempts, even if they’re not successful.
  • Offer choices, such as which potty chair to use or which reward to receive.
  • Use a timer or schedule to establish regular potty breaks.

Holding in Bowel Movements

Holding in bowel movements can lead to constipation and other health issues, so addressing this potty training problem is essential. Here are some tips to help your child overcome this issue:

  • Encourage a balanced diet rich in fibre to promote regular bowel movements.
  • Encourage physical activities and movement to promote bowel regularity.
  • Offer praise and rewards for successful bowel movements.
  • Speak to your child’s paediatrician if the problem persists.

Reluctance to Stop Playing and Use the Toilet

Many children struggle with stopping playtime from using the toilet, but it’s crucial to establish a routine and schedule for potty breaks. Here are some tips to help overcome this common potty training problem:

  • Use positive reinforcement for successful attempts and transitioning away from playtime.
  • Establish a routine and schedule for potty breaks, such as before and after playtime.
  • Encourage your child to take ownership of their potty breaks and recognise their body’s signals.

Fear of Flushing or Public Restrooms

Many children are afraid of public restrooms or flushing the toilet. Here are some tips to help your child overcome this common potty training problem:

  • Expose your child gradually to public restrooms, starting with familiar and less crowded locations.
  • Use positive reinforcement and praise for successful attempts in public restrooms.
  • Offer alternatives, such as using a portable potty seat or bringing a favourite toy or book for distraction.


Potty training is a significant milestone in a child’s development, and it requires patience, understanding, and the right strategies to succeed for both parents and children. Knowing the appropriate potty training age for your child, understanding common potty training problems, and overcoming them are all essential elements of this journey. At Tappy Toes Nursery, we believe the key to successful potty training is to make it a positive and fun experience. We offer guidance and resources to support parents and caregivers in potty training their children, helping to build independence and confidence in using the toilet.

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