28/08/2014 15:21 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

When To Start Potty Training?

potty training

When is the right age to start potty training my child? You should only start potty training when your child shows signs of being ready. (See below.)

Just as children will learn to walk and talk in their own time, the age at which a toddler is ready for potty training varies from child to child.

The muscles that control children's ability to control when they wee and poo aren't mature until they are about 18 months to two years. Most parents don't start potty training until their child is two or three years old. Boys tend to be ready for potty training a few months later than girls.

Don't feel pressured to start potty training just because your child has reached a certain age, or because some of your friends' babies are out of nappies. (And staying dry at night and not wearing a night nappy is a whole different story and often much later.)

So how can you tell when your child is ready to be potty trained?

Look out for three or more of the following signs:

Your child can stay dry for an hour or more at a time, or is dry after a daytime nap. (This is a sign they have developed mature bladder muscles).

Your child expresses (either through words or actions) that wearing a wet nappy is uncomfortable and he needs changing.

Your child's poos are regular.

Your child can tell when she needs a wee or a poo.

Your child takes an interest when you, your partner or a sibling go to the toilet.

Finally, if your child asks to use the potty or toilet, or asks to wear normal underwear.

Some children are potty trained quickly, while others can take months. According to the NHS, nine out of 10 children will be dry most days by the age of three, and most children are reliably dry by the age of four, but all children will continue to have the odd accident.

If your child is not generally dry by the time they are about to start school, just mention it to your GP or health visitor who can give you guidance (and check there are no underlying problems).

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