Toddler Potty Training

39 Replies
Jamie - May 19

As I've said elsewhere, my 9 month old is potty trained (or rather, I'm potty trained! lol) Anyway - i stil have never had this question answered. The mothers I have met on this board and others research the c__p out of everything from brand of diapers to safety of vaccines to brand of laundry detergent to ingredients of baby food - but when asked to cite sources of potty training research, no one has any. Where did we get the idea that potty training should be delayed to 2 or 3 years of age? What study shows that a child needs to be emotionally ready to be potty trained? Which medical association recommends waiting, based on what info? Please someone help me out here, because I have been unable to find ANYTHING, and it shocks me that something like potty training is so commonly accepted as being an emotional hardship without any research or evidence to support that.


kimberley - May 19

I dont know about the emotional side, but I would say babies are not ready to be potty trained until around the 2 year mark, just because of the level of understanding on there part that is needed. I have had 4 children, 3 of which are grown up now....and have always waited until they were 2...I can tell you now, that there is no-way that a baby can be PROPERLY toilet trained before hand, they just dont have the skills to fully understand, and to CONTROL there bladders and bowels. They have to be able to follow what you are saying, and be able to express themselves. But it is the control of there bladders and bowels that is the hardest, and this comes with age. As you said you are potty trained, not your baby, as you have tuned into your baby very well, and can pick when he/she is about to wee or poop......BUT there is no way you could make your baby hold is a hard skill for toddlers to learn...and some learn it quicker than others.


TC - May 19

Look into the some of the child theorists. Erik Erikson pops into mind immediately for me. His stage two-autonomy vs shame and doubt. There are others but I don't have my college textbooks in front of me. Hey maybe you can take some Child Development cla__ses. :) I notice that you have a strong interest in the rearing of your child...these clases could give you another piece of insight.


TC - May 19

Oh I agree with Kimberley. But Erickson can explain it better than I can. Control IS the main issue. The sensation of having to use the bathroom comes from within. A child must understand what is going on and understand that they can control it. It's a cognitive issue.


Jamie - May 19

I understand the theory behind it, I'm looking for sources. Erik Erikson is one - name others, please. Refer me to medical studies that show younger children can't be potty trained.


TC - May 19

Jamie, if you're looking for a study that says that younger children CAN'T be potty trained---you probably won't find it. Why? Because at the end of the day..humans are different and there will always be an exception to the rule. Do some research on Child Development or Child Psychology and you're find them. I can easily go to my textbooks and name some for you...but I think that you would be better off finding out the info for yourself.


Steph - May 19

I don't necessarily have the answer to your question, but I am going to a__sume not many studies have been done in IPT because of the amount of children that are in daycares and the people who work there do not have the one on one time to get to know every individual infant's signs and noises to show that they are getting ready to eliminate. (This is just one example) I also beleive that since IPT is not a very westernized tool due to the time, energy, and dedication it takes to actually accomplish, there's not a lot of reseach to be found on it. IMO, I don't think that it matters how a child is potty trained, and whether or not if they are a toddler or an infant when training is complete.


Ginny - May 19

I think that most of us consider the hundreds of generations that came before us as research on how to potty train. I'm going to train my kids the same way I was trained. There is little research on it because there is little interest. Who would fund a study on potty training? Pediatrician recomendations will be based on a developmental scale. Children can be trained when they have the motor skills combined with muscle control - it's not necissarily an emotional issue. I've never heard it to be so, and I have a child/family studies degree. Parents are the ones who find it emotional! LOL! You can probably do google searches if you're interested in learning more about motor and muscle development, there is plenty of research on that.


Rabbits07 - May 19

I've always defined a child as being potty trained when the child is able to recognize the need to urinate or have a bm, communicate that need, and has the ability to control the need until in an appropriate place (the potty). Jamie, I think it is amazing and admirable that you are so aquainted to your daughter's signals and needs that you are able to get her to a potty. I also think that through that process when it comes time to actually potty train her it will be a breeze. Right now all of the responsibilty is on you. I am like Ginny, I think parents are the ones who suffer the emotional hardship and I think that comes by trying to train a child that isn't ready. I have seen and heard women talk about making the child wear regular undergarments and changing them 10 times a day because they keep going on themselves...and they'll do this for weeks and complain. Obviously that child isn't ready if they are still weeing and pooing all over themselves after a week or two. I began the first attempts at potty training with all 5 of my oldest children at age 2. I introduced the potty and encouraged them to use it for a maximum of two days straight. If they didn't seem to be 'getting it' we'd give it a rest for a month or two and then try again. My oldest daughter caught on the first time. I showed her the potty and sat her on it and she used it from that day forward. The others took a while longer, but were all trained by 3-3 1/2 years old. With all of them it was like alight bulb just went off one day and they would just start using the potty all the time. It was never a fight, ordeal or emotional hardship with any of them because I let them lead the way.


Nerdy Girl - May 19

Anyone want to help me potty train my 6 month old? Cuz he just pooped in the tub. LOL.


C - May 20

How did you go about training a 9 month old? my son is just a year and I'd love to start. My babysitter said not to waste my time until he is 3??? I understand that I might try at 2 and he may not be "clean" until 3 but why do I have to wait so long?


Rabbits07 - May 20

There is an article on infant potty training in the April issue of American Baby---you may be able to access it online, I'm not sure. It's called "Can A 6-Month-Old Be Potty Trained?" There is also a website called on the subject. Jamie can probably give you more detailon actually doing it as she does it. Your babysitter probably a__sumes you mean pottytraining in the sense that I described above (recognition, communication, ability). Most children aren't ready to that degree until 2-3 years of age. (The infant potty training method does not entail the child going to the potty on their own.) I do have a friend who had all 3 of her girls potty trained by 18 months. Like all things, different children develop at different rates and hers were just ready that early. I don't have anything against infant training or starting early. Different people have different things that work for them and I found what works easiest for me and my children. Lots of people have the opinion of earlier the better, but it's never been a big deal to me (though I do admit I wouldn't want a 4 -year-old still in diapers!)


hello - May 20

I read a while ago that u were trying to begin training your baby at the 7 month mark or so... I dont want u to feel i disagree with you all the time but there are probably few studies on it because it is evident a baby is not ready.. The others are correct in saying there are signs of readiness and a baby attempting to be potty trained is crazy, sorry to be so rude.... think about waiting another yr as your daughter has no idea what is going on..... being able to sit unsupported on a potty would help as well as them being able to tell u they are wet, soiled etc and when that recognition takes place thats when people start to ask if they would like to sit on the potty, its also common knowledge its best done in summer due to less clothing and the older the better, i dont mean a 4 yr old but the closer to 2 the better ... each child is different...


Jamie - May 21

Maybe I stated my question badly. I'm not looking for information on potty training INFANTS, I've found that. I'm looking to find out why it's recommended to wait until toddlerhood...even with the name Erik Erikson, I haven't been able to find support for his theories, only his theories.


Jamie - May 21

Oh, and, Hello, my daughter IS potty trained. She can and does tell me when she needs to go. I keep her potty in whichever room we're in, and she crawls towards it when she needs to go. I take her diaper off, help her get onto the potty chair, she does her thing, I wipe her, and put the diaper back on her. How is that not potty trained?


ChaycesMom - May 22

If you and your daughter, as you put it, are already potty trained, why are you worrying about statistics?


Jenn - May 22

WOW! Night trained too? I wish I had the time to follow around my son with a potty. I guess it could be done in infancy-but isn't realistic for many moms to follow around babies like that. Personally, it would be impossible for me. Not that I wouldn't mind getting out of changing diapers. :)



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