My (almost) 18 month old daughter has been taking off her diaper or tugging at it for about a month now. Recently, she removed and delivered to me a poopy diaper. She also lies down of the floor expecting a diaper change when she appears to be hardly wet at all. I'm taking all this to mean that she's ready to start potty training, but it seems so young. I helped my mom potty train some of my younger brothers, but they were stubborn and usually didn't ditch the diapers until at least 3 years old.

Does anyone have any potty training advice specific to children under 2? We bought her a potty chair, and I'm having her sit on it any time I use the restroom. But I'm not sure how to help her understand what goes on in there since she still says very few words. She's learning the sign for potty, so I take her in there whenever she uses it. However, I'm not sure how to continue from here. Should I just be patient and wait for her to understand?

asked 08 Jun '11, 20:15

Artemis's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

My mother, brother, and I were all potty trained by or before 18 months so I know it's certainly possible. However, when I asked my mother how she did it, she just shrugged. I think it was probably one of those things where she didn't realize it was unusual so just did it. In any case, I read a couple of potty training books before I started with my son and the one I liked the best was Diaper-Free Before Three by Jill Lekovic. I checked it out of the library and no longer have it. However, if I recall correctly, she suggests putting your child on the potty around the time you expect she'll probably go and then praise her when she does. Eventually, she'll make the connection between praise and going on the potty. Of course, this requires you having a vague idea of when your child is likely to go which was tricky with my boy. Eventually I figured out that our best time was if I got him out of bed as soon as I heard him stir and put him on the potty. The biggest trick was getting him to stay on the potty long enough so I let him watch TV only while he sat or as a reward if he made a deposit (which I realize isn't in line with the American Academy of Pediatric's official stance on TV before 2 but it worked, probably because it was a novelty to him).

I had heard that that many children do well when they're stripped from the waist down and run around naked so it's easy for them to go to the potty and sit down. This didn't work when we were starting out and just ends up in a messy floor :) Maybe it works better with some kids than others. I went to Walmart and bought a whole bunch of slightly too large sweat pants that had elastic around the ankles which helped reduce, but not eliminate, the results of accidents. The sweat pants were pretty easy for him to pull down by himself. For trips outside the house I also put him in cloth training pants and put a plastic diaper cover on top to minimize leakage.

Anyway, my son was potty-trained at home by around 20 months (with the exception of nighttime which I'm not pushing yet) but just within the last month (at 26 months) has he started to consistently go on potties away from home. Daycare was particularly hard for him as they don't emphasize potty training till later so most of the other kids in his classroom were still getting diapers changed.

Unfortunately, I don't think there's any one way that works for everyone. I think the best results come from consistency, flexibility, and lots of humor.


answered 08 Jun '11, 21:38

Kiesa's gravatar image

Kiesa ♦
accept rate: 26%

I don't think it's too young to start. I'm going to be potty training my son this month, at 22 months...I bought the book "Potty Training in One Week" by Gina Ford- she believes kids are ready to be trained between 18 and 24 months. I liked the book and have read nothing but good things about it (I did extensive research online)...I would check it out if I were you!


answered 10 Jun '11, 14:37

DazedandConfused's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

This seems odd to me. Our duaghter is ~ 8 1/2 months now and we've been putting her on a potty for a few weeks now, whenever we notice her trying to get some poop out (she makes some very characteristic noises :)). She actually seems to like to sit on the potty (as she likes to sit anyway). I don't think she realizes what we are doing, but I certainly don't think that it is too early either. It doesn't hurt (her or us), so it can only help. And if it doesn't, so what ...


answered 09 Jun '11, 16:17

Alexander's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

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Asked: 08 Jun '11, 20:15

Seen: 5,388 times

Last updated: 11 Jun '11, 19:07