What Age Is TOO Young To Start Potty Training

44 Replies
ConnorsMommy - January 11

I've been seeing a couple potty training posts and they've got me thinking =) .. My 2nd ds is going to be born late April/early May and by that time, my first ds is going to be 16mos... I want to [maybe] get a potty for him a month before (when he's 15mos.) to introduce the idea of going on the potty. Is that too early?.. I don't expect him to catch on right away.. (my goal is to have him trained by 2.. or 2.5 at the latest).. I want to do that because I KNOW having a newborn again is going to keep me busy.. so I wanted to slowly introduce the idea so I have more time to teach him... Or will it just be a waste of time because it's too early/should I just start later when he's closer to the age of 2?.... He's a very smart little boy and very independent.. My mom had my brother and I potty trained before we were 2.. so it's possible, right?.... lol.. sorry this question is such a mess....


djh - January 11

From a neurological standpoint there are very few 15 month old babies who can truly be potty trained. The nerves that communicate between the bowels/bladder and the brain are not mature yet to have control. In fact, my Anatomy and Physiology instructor laughed when someone brought a similar situation up and explained that in most cases, it is the parent that is potty trained and just happens to get lucky if they set the kid on the pot at the right time. I am sure there will be some people on here who swear their 1 yr-old was potty trained but I would have a hard time believing it personally and if I were you I would wait to really train until at least 18 months. I had two babies 11 months apart and it was easier to have two in diapers, actually, than when my third came and I had a 2 1/2 yr. old and a 1 1/2 yr. old needing to go pee ( they don't tell you until they have to go NOW). What I can suggest is this, start pointing out what a WET diaper is and perhaps suggest that we don't like that feeling, and then if your son starts to have gas pre-bowel movement have him notice that and point out how his tummy might be feeling, etc. I was extremely fortunate in that the conditioning I did re: icky diaper feelings and by the Grace of God, all four of my kids were potty-trained before 2. Since they are all about a year apart (or less) I won the potty training lottery. That is all it is, it has nothing to do with intelligence and everything to do with the developing nervous system. If you would like to put a potty chair in the bathroom and get your son used to the idea that is great though, but expect at some point to meet resistance if the process goes on too long. Lastly, this is what worked for me when my kids were 18 months old: I prepared them a few days in advance, disussed bodily functions way too much and then woke them up on D-day with "Today we are going to be a big boy/girl" . I kept the trainee in a t-shirt and socks, no undies and watched them like a hawk all day. When I saw any signs of impending action I grabbed their favorite character/toy/stuffed animal and a pre-filled cup of orange drink. To the bathroom we would race, first the toy would sit and I would distract baby, dump the orange drink in the pot and put toy back on. Then we would check and see if toy went pee. Of course it did! We clapped and then it was my kids turn. Believe it or not, this worked so well we never had diapers again! There were occasional accidents, but they were rare. I did put diapers on at night as it is really really hard for a very young child to stay dry all night. By 2-21/2 or so they could do that for the most part. Good luck to you, it is a bit overwhelming to have two so close, but it is also so much fun!


Jamie - January 12

I started training my DD when she was 6 months old. She was completely trained by 1 year, including dry overnight. Google Infant Potty Training and Elimination Communication if you're interested in learning more.


djh - January 12

Well, Jamie, I must say you are the first and only person I have ever encountered that had a baby that could stay dry all night, on purpose, at 12 months. As I said before, with an exception for your daughter, the neurons for communication between the organs and the brain just don't exist for 99% of all human infants. If I may ask, what was the rush in training your daughter so early?


djh - January 12

I want to say, Jamie, I wasn't challenging your experience, ok? But in MOST cases, nearly all, babies of that age just don't have the neuro connections to achieve bladder/bowel control. Like everything, there are exceptions. We attended an infant potty training session during our Maternal/Infant/Child semester and it was just as my A & P instructor described, the parents had figured out their infant's elimination patterns and trips to the potty were timed accordingly. Obviously your experience was different.


Jamie - January 12

Well, DJH, you're the expert. I'm just a mom. After all, it's entirely plausible that humans are the only species in the world that are born physically incapable of knowing that they need to eliminate waste product. Totally 100% plausible.


Nita_ - January 12

I ddin't read all the posts but I just wanted to add that my dd for some reason was going without a diaper change for a couple of months when she was 2-3months old. We were totally surprised but she never had a wet diaper the whole time. She would drink her milk and go right back to sleep and it was so nice. She used to wet quite a bit after she woke up in the mrng, but not during the night!! Now she's back to wetting her diaper,but she only does this early mrng! So it's still good! we haven't trained her or anything but I 'm guessing potty training her when the time comes will be easy.


rl- - January 12

I have my doubts about a 1yr old being totally potty trained my ds is a year old and I just can't see it guess you have a super baby there Jamie LOL!!


djh - January 12

This post was in answer to Connor'sMommy's question. I don't know what has happened Jamie, but you and I used to get along just fine on the older c-section threads. In the last several months I have seen a change in your tone to others so let's just say we can remain friendly...or not. Like I said, your experience is different. If people want to believe that one of the differences between humans and other animals is minimal, that they don't essentially witness the finishing fetal development outside the womb, so be it. I suggest you look up infant/child brain development in a MED/NURSING book and not the internet) it has nothing to do with not knowing they are doing it, it has to do with getting the signal in advance and voluntarily controlling the muscles. Is that that difficult to explain? I mean our babies don't come out crawling or walking like most other animals either. I can comment on these posts, not only am I also a mom x 4, I have been a medic for years and have been in school with tons of human science and chemistry etc. cla__ses for the past several years. And that, my friend, does qualify me to comment on these posts too. But of course, that means nothing. Like I said, we used to get along just fine, but as I see you argue with others I just want to let you know, (see, no sarcasm here) that I will not do it. I much prefer the nice Jamie, or was that just because I agreed with you about a topic?


Rhiannon - January 12

Wow. The more I read, the more I think Jamie is absolutely insane. (I know, I'm catty. I just can't help it)


rl- - January 12

djh I have to say if you got along w/ Jamie is was cause you agreed with her she is so mean if you don't as your getting a taste of right now I see....that is why most of us are very rude to her at this point but she has brought it all on herself sorry to connorsmommy I did not mean to side track your thread.....


sahmof3 - January 12

Jamie... I thought you just posted some time ago... probably a couple of weeks now... that your dd is back in diapers until summertime???


tiphanai - January 12

hi, not trying to debate. Just looking for info. My baby is not even here yet so I don't know much about the potty-training issue, but I was looking at this website: natural-wisdom.com/ If it's possible to get the elimination timing down and your baby is not using diapers, isn't that basically the same thing as being potty-trained?


Emily - January 12

I wouldnt concider that potty training but peeing ona schedule. I concider potty trainign when tehy can tell oh I have to pee and then make the choice to go do it, just my opinion as to ConnersMommy's question, I would at least introduce the potty. dont push it as that could delay training but it wouldnt hurt to get him familier with it....


ConnorsMommy - January 12

haha.. wow... okay.. umm... where to start?.. thank you djh for that very useful information!... I've never, personally, had any problems with Jamie, but having a one year old "potty trained" seems COMPLETELY NOT POSSIBLE! What djh said makes A LOT of sense. The nerves that communicate between the bowels/bladder and the brain are not mature yet to have control... Anyway, I think I'll still get the potty when he's 15mos. just for him to see it's there and a normal part of the bathroom now.. is that a dumb idea?.. I think I will wait till he's 18mos... I don't want to push him..


sahmof3 - January 12

Yeah, I agree Emily. I mean, if someone has the time to hold their infant over a toilet all day... go for it. No way that would be feasible for my schedule lol.


sahmof3 - January 12

... should also say that mine were never on a strict pee/poop schedule. I mean teething, colds, growth spurts... it's always changing. I think the concept that babies always pee/poo on predictable schedules is a bit far-fetched... at least it was for mine!



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