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When's the right time to start using a potty?The key to potty training success is starting when your son is ready. He may be ready at the age of 18 months, or it may not be until he is four years old (ERIC 2010b). Toddlers learn by imitation, and watching you go to the loo is a natural first step (ERIC 2010).
Talk up the outing in advance so he gets excited about being old enough to use the potty and wear proper underwear, just like Daddy or his big brother. Ideally, you should go straight to full-time underwear in the day to prevent your toddler from becoming confused.
If you can't decide what to do for the best, talk to other parents about what they did, or ask your health visitor for advice.
As poos and wees often come at the same time, your son should start with sitting down for both. When he's comfortable on his potty or toilet-training seat, let him give standing at the toilet a try.
Put the potty in an accessible place while he plays, and encourage him to sit on it now and again. Watch for signs that he has to go, such as clutching himself, wriggling, or hopping up and down in one place (ERIC 2010).
After a few inevitable accidents, your son will enjoy the accomplishment of getting something in the potty. But don't make a huge fuss after every trip to the potty, as it cause him to feel self-conscious due to all that attention. Even children who have used the toilet successfully for months occasionally have accidents.
If you approach potty training with a little imagination, your child may be more likely to stay motivated.
Drip some blue or red food colouring into the toilet and your child will be amazed at how he can turn the water green or orange. He may start to stay dry during and after his naps within a few months of learning to use the toilet. If a few nights of this experiment show he's not ready, put him back in nappies in a non-judgmental way. If your four or five year old still wets the bed, a night light or potty in his room can make it easier for him to get up to go during the night (DH 2009). Join now to receive free weekly newsletters tracking your baby’s development and yours throughout your pregnancy.
Infant potty training is a hotly debated subject chiefly in relation to the right age in which it should begin. Perhaps, nothing can cause a new mother more dread than the question of ‘when should I potty train my baby’? Though there is no fixed age, it has been seen that most infants are ready for sitting on the potty by the time they are about two years old.
Some of the indications of receptiveness are when the child begins to be aware of being wet or soiled and wanting to be changed.

Out of nappies and starting to toilet train can appear daunting, but rest assured all kids go through it eventually. If three or more of the signs listed below are clearly present, it’s probably time to start toilet training. When it comes to using the toilet, many toddlers prefer to start small. Potty chairs are great for most kids, but a potty seat for the big toilet can work with a little assistance and a step stool. Toilet training books and videos are a great way to introduce your child to toilet training and help him stay interested. Boys tend to stay in nappies for a few months longer than girls (Choby and George 2008, Schum et al 2002, Wu 2010). If he's just changed his nursery or has a brand new sibling, it may not be a good time. This will make it easier and less daunting for him than using a full-sized toilet, at least to begin with. A male role model helps, so let your son follow Daddy, an uncle, or a good family friend, to the bathroom to watch how they wee. Tell him that the potty or potty chair is his very own and let him decorate it with stickers.
Superhero pants, or ones emblazoned with favourite animated characters, are always popular. Though pull-ups are an option, real pants or washable cloth training pants will allow your son to feel more immediately when he's wet. For a while, at least, you'll want to continue using nappies or disposable pants at night and on long trips.
If he's reluctant, try floating a few Cheerios in the toilet bowl for target practice (ERIC 2010).
Telling your child off for wetting his pants might mean more months of nappies, rather than fewer. Put several favourite books next to the toilet so he can read them whenever he has to go, or read them to him. Every time he goes to the toilet, or tells you that he needs to go, he gets a sticker that he can stick on a wallchart. Then perhaps offer an additional reward such as a toy when he gets enough stickers, or stays dry for a certain number of days. Night-time training is trickier, because it depends on being able to hold wee for an extended period of time. Tell him that his body is not quite ready for this next step, and that he'll soon be big enough to try again.
Acknowledge this by letting him give away leftover nappies to friends or family with younger children. Let’s be clear at the outset that there is no such thing as the ‘perfect age’ to begin toilet training for babies. It just means that you have to defer the potty training till your baby shows signs of being ready for it. Relax; as mentioned earlier, how to start potty training should be dependent on the factor of when your baby shows signs of being receptive to the idea.

Rushing the child or reprimanding him will only shake his confidence and make him more nervous the next time he has an urge to go to the toilet. Your child will be over the excitement of learning to walk and will be able to sit still for a while. Give your child some ownership in the ‘new potty’ – wrap it up as a present, personalise it or decorate it with stickers!
If he has older siblings, he may learn faster than if he was a first-born (Brazelton 1962). He may be less open to change, or feel too overwhelmed to tackle this new challenge (DH 2009). He may notice that Daddy uses the toilet differently from Mummy, which allows you to explain the basic mechanics of how boys use a toilet.
And he won't get distracted by the fun of spraying and learning to aim when you need him to concentrate on just mastering the basic procedure.
Nothing can disrupt potty training faster than making a child feel bad for having an accident.
And boys often achieve dryness at night later than girls (Butler and Heron 2008, Jacques 2012).
Caffeine stimulates the kidneys to produce more wee, which is the last thing you want (DH 2009)! Sequential Acquisition of Toilet-Training Skills: A Descriptive Study of Gender and Age Differences in Normal Children. Some infants can be more receptive even at a very small age of 9-12 months old while others may not be potty trained even by the age of three or four. This is the first step in a good infant potty training method and an excellent way to begin the whole process. The actions of the infant will show more than its age of when you should begin the toilet training.
Rather, you should let your child’s behaviour and interest in toilet training be your guide. When “No” isn’t the answer to every question, they’re actually willing to co-operate now and then. That’s when to start looking for the signs of readiness. It’s best to use training pants consistently as switching between nappies and training pants can be confusing and may mean slow progress. Some toddlers are anxious about falling into the toilet, and this anxiety can sometimes interfere with potty training. I coined this term to refer to the practice of starting in true infancy, usually before a child can sit.

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