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Potty training is an exciting time: little ones get to take a big step towards independence and parents get to spend less time changing nappies (hooray!). But knowing what age to potty train can be tricky, mostly because every child is different. Patience is key, but there are a few ways you can identify the best age for potty training your child.
What age do you start potty training?
It's a question we've asked every mum or dad we come across. Surely someone has the magic answer? The truth is that there is no 'good age' to potty train, because every child is different. The potty-training age that worked for the kids of your friend, your brother, or your sister, won't necessarily work for your own. The best age to start potty training will depend on them, and when they're ready. And just remember: whatever age that ends up being is ok - you'll both get there.
The average potty-training age
Although the average potty-training age isn't something to become preoccupied with, it typical tends to be between 18 months and three years for emotionally and physically healthy children.
Most parents find a good age to potty train is between two and three years old. That's because the muscles used to control the bladder and rectum don't mature until the age of 18 months to two years. If you try potty training any younger than that, your child simply won't physically be able to control when they pass urine or stools.
Just keep a roll of soft and absorbent Cushelle toilet paper on hand to mop up any accidents.
Is the potty-training age different for boys and girls?
Girls tend to be ready a few months earlier than boys. However, when it comes to what age to potty train boys versus girls, it's best to wait until that particular child shows signs of readiness, rather than work on a gender-based distinction.
Signs to look for
Look out for signs that your child is approaching the right age to start potty training. These might include:
- Telling you when their nappy is wet or dirty.
- Knowing they're doing a wee or poo - maybe they fidget or go somewhere out of sight.
- Telling you in advance when they need to go. This is the strongest sign that they're at a good age to potty train.
Potty training is something the whole family can help with. Ask older siblings to keep an eye on these signs too, and ask them to encourage their little brother or sister when they start showing progress.
Waiting for them to reach the right age to start potty training
In many areas of their life, toddlers learn by copying, so you can make using the toilet a natural process for them by letting them watch you and other family members. They'll become familiar with the process of pulling clothes up and down, sitting down, wiping and flushing.
In the run-up to them reaching the best age for potty training, make sure you're stocked up with toilet paper that is soft, absorbent and strong, like Cushelle.