How Soon is Too Soon for Potty Training?

Most children in the United States are potty trained between the ages of 18 months and three years old. Many, however, believe that early potty training can be accomplished at a much younger age.

The main argument against early potty training is that babies don’t have the physical muscle development needed for real toilet training before they are two years old. Those who favor early potty training point out that it really isn’t about the child’s ability to get up and use the potty by themselves. Rather, early potty training has more to do with the parents’ ability to pick up on babies’ signals that they have to eliminate.

There really is no set age to begin early potty training. Some early potty training experts suggest that your baby can start early potty training as young as seven or eight months old. Of course, this requires a considerable commitment on the part of the parents. After all, early potty training mainly focuses on the parents recognizing their baby’s signals.

Early potty training is easiest if your baby has fairly regular bowel movements. If you know roughly how long it takes for your baby to poop after she has eaten, it’s a simple matter to have her sit on the potty chair until she eliminates.

Even if your child’s bowel movements don’t run like clockwork, early potty training can work. You simply need to pay attention to their signals. At first, it’s more about the parents being trained than the babies, but the babies do catch on to the idea fairly quickly.

Common signs that your baby is ready to eliminate include:

  • Grunting
  • Bearing down
  • Changing facial expressions

When you think about it, you are probably already attuned to many of your baby’s signals. After all, you know their body language and the different cries they use when they’re tired, hungry, hurt, scared, or crabby. Chances are, you also have a good idea of what body language they show when they’re getting ready to eliminate, too. For early potty training, you just need to take the next step and get them to the potty.

Some suggest that the age when a baby is ready to potty train is essentially up to the baby. While it’s true that you can’t really force your baby to train effectively before he’s ready, it’s also true that most babies will pick up early potty training very quickly if you’re ready to put in the time and commitment.