You’ve probably heard of some families who toilet-train their babies as early as nine months old, but the process works best when your kid takes an interest.
For most children, this is when they are between 1½ and three years old, says Dr Ng Kar Hui, a consultant with the division of paediatric nephrology at the National University Hospital.
“I’d suggest that you look very closely at your lifestyle and the intervention level you can readily commit to,” adds specialist paediatrician and neonatologist Dr Natalie Epton.
“The earlier you toilet-train your child, the more labour intensive it’s likely to be. Leaving it for a few more months may result in a calmer, less stressful experience for all concerned.”
You know he is ready when he can follow simple instructions and expresses his need by saying that he needs to go, or gesturing to the potty or that he wants to be changed out of his soiled diapers.
He also shows interest in what happens in the bathroom and, while in there, tries to play with the toilet roll or the flush, Dr Ng shares.
If not, it may be a good idea to wait a few more months.
“If you feel you need to teach your toddler now, I’d suggest reading storybooks with him that introduce the concept,” Dr Epton says.
You should also shop for a potty together: Let him choose the one he likes most.
And, of course, be prepared for a pretty labour-intensive journey.
Remember to take your child to the potty regularly – even as often as every 15 to 20 minutes – to increase the probability of success.