• TheConfused Father

When to Potty Train

One of the most anticipated events for parents of young children is teaching them to use the potty. It is the end of diaper changes and the beginning of being yelled at across the house to come and wipe someone's butt. Still better than changing a diaper, if you ask me. As much as most parents want to get this step done and out of the way there is quite a broad range of theories on what the appropriate age is to get it done. I will say that there is no definitive age that works best but there is definitely a developmental period children have to have gone through beforehand.

Three weeks ago we started trying to potty train Simon (19 months) and Sebastian (21 months). Right away it was clear that Simon had not reached that stage of development yet. He had no control of his bladder. He would pee a small amount every few minutes that just resulted in little puddles around our kitchen. So he got rediapered at that time and we will try again with him here in a few more weeks. Sebastian however was able to hold it in and make significantly bigger puddles, which is all you really need to be able to potty train a child.


When we brought Simon home from the hospital Gabriella was still in diapers. On the drive home, Erin was telling me that she was going to start potty training Gabriella. Now at the time, I thought that potty training a 21-month-old was impossible. She reassured me that it was not and that she was confident that Gabs was ready to try. Sure enough, less than a week later our little girl had her first full day with no accidents. Sebastian has followed a very similar time trend and let me tell you while it was not as surprising as the first time I saw it, I am no less excited to have one less set of diapers to change on a daily basis. We are three weeks into potty training and while he still has a rare accident he does a very good job of letting us know when he needs to use the bathroom.

If you are thinking about potty training but don't know if your child is ready, let me tell you they might surprise you. All a kid needs is a little bladder control and the rest is up to you. So then the question becomes are you ready to commit to potty training them? As far as what that takes, that is a topic for next time.


In the meantime, I hope you stay safe and are healthy. I am just another confused father from Kansas wondering...


How old was I when I learned to use a toilet?

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