How Long Does Potty Training Take?

How Long Does Potty Training Take?

So, you’ve read the potty training method books

You’ve weighed up the pros and cons of the 3-day method and the “Oh Crap!” method.

… now what? 🙃

Well, mama, it’s waiting time. ⏳

But, just how long exactly is expected for your little babe to get to grips with this new life stage?

And, is there anything you can do to speed things up a little?

Let’s get right into it. 👇

In this article: 📝

  • So, how long, on average, does potty training take?
  • Potty training timeline
  • How to know if potty training is working
  • Why is potty training taking longer than expected?
  • How can I speed up potty training?

So, how long, on average, does potty training take?

Typically, it takes around 6 months to learn the process, and most children have completed potty training by 36 months. [1]

But, of course, it varies for every toddler.

You might find one of your little babes masters the power of the potty in a couple of months, while for another, it may take them slightly longer. 🚽

But, most children are reliably dry every day by about 4 years old. [2]

Also fun fact…

Girls are actually faster potty learners than boys, completing the training sometimes 2-3 months before the boys do. [1]

Go, girls! 👏


Potty training timeline

“So, what age does all of this go down?!”

To best explain the different stages of potty training by age, let’s break it down into a timeline: [3]

  • Age 1: By now, most babies have stopped pooping at night. (🙏)
  • Age 2: At this stage, some children will be dry during the day — but, don’t worry if not, as it’s still quite early.
  • Age 3: By this age, 9 out of 10 children are dry on most days. Of course, children will still have the odd accident — usually when they’re upset, excited, or distracted by something else.
  • Age 4: “By Jove, I think they’ve got it!” Here, most children are reliably dry during the day. 👏

🔍 Read More: When To Start Potty Training 🚽

How many days is considered potty trained?

So, it all depends on the specific potty training technique you’re using.

Some methods are designed to get your little babe up to Jedi master level of potty training in a period of a few months. 🖖

While, others say you only need a few days…

But, generally, it’s considered that your little one is potty trained if they’re able to:

  • Get to the toilet on their own
  • Sit down
  • Pull their pants up and down
  • Be able to tell you that they need to go

Being potty trained isn’t always considered in days — it’s considered in their ability to consistently carry out these tasks on their own.

How often should I ask my toddler to potty?

So, a common strategy is to take your child every 30 - 60 minutes for the first couple of days. [1]

This is dependent on factors such as how much they’ve drank, where they are, and how comfortable they feel with potty training.

Once they’ve mastered this, you can begin extending the length of time between tries.

Try and tie these potty trips in after meals, before and after naps, when they wake up in the morning and importantly, before bedtime. 🥱

That way, they’ll begin to get into the habit of going to the potty around these day-to-day activities.

And, before you know it, they’ll be a pro. 😉

How to know if potty training is working

So, how do you know if all these hours of potty training are working? 😵‍💫

There are a few key things to watch out for to indicate your child has more bladder control: [3]

  • ⌛ The gap between wetting is at least an hour
  • 💬 They know when they need to pee, and might tell you in advance
  • 💦 They can tell when they’ve got a wet or dirty nappy
  • 💩 They have an awareness of when they’re peeing (or pooping) — and they may tell you allll the details of this 😅
  • 🤫 Their body language indicates they need to go to the bathroom by fidgeting, or going somewhere quiet or hidden for privacy


Why is potty training taking longer than expected?

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our little babes just don’t want to adapt to life on the potty…

It can feel frustrating — especially if you’ve put in a lot of hard work and hours into training them.

So, what might be some of the causes of being resistant on the potty?

  • 😨 Fear: Some children may be afraid of the potty or, more likely, the role of responsibility the potty plays. They may even be fearful of the act of going to the bathroom itself.
  • 😌 Too happy in diapers: Now, some children just love their diapers. I mean, on some level, who can blame them? No fear of peeing or pooping in public while causing a mess! But, diapers reduce the feeling of wetness… so, by putting them in normal underpants, your child may find this is less comfortable, and have more desire to start using the toilet properly.
  • 💪 Underdeveloped muscles: And, sometimes, our baby’s muscles just aren’t ready yet. You can sense when your bladder is full, and it’s a muscle that’s developed over time. So, it may be that your child has low muscle tone, which is preventing them from feeling when they need to go.

Whatever the reason, just try and remain as calm and patient as possible, and take baby steps.

It’s not an overnight process — it’ll happen over time, as long as you are consistent.

And, if you feel your child may be suffering from severe pain, or muscle underdevelopment, get in touch with your pediatrician to get some expert advice.

How can I speed up potty training?

First up, speeding up potty training when your child isn’t ready to use the potty is a bit of a non-starter…

Although you may want your child to progress in this life stage, you can’t force them — they’ll want to use one in time when they feel ready. 🤷‍♀️

They’ll likely not want to go to school in diapers, either, so they’ll come round to the idea eventually.

But, some handy top tips to encourage them to learn the art of the potty are:

  • 🔄 Introduce as part of your child’s normal routine: Routine is key, so try and keep everything as normal as possible, with the added extra of a very exciting potty for them to start using. 😅 So, no major life distractions if possible!
  • 💦 Keep them hydrated: When training little babes on the potty, of course, it’s easier when they actually need to go… so, keep supplying the water, milk, and diluted juices to keep them hydrated.
  • 🌞 Start in the summer: Let’s be honest — potty training may get messy. And wet. So, with fewer clothes to deal with in the summer, and the temps slightly higher so everything dries quicker, we’d suggest summer is the best time to start potty training.
  • 🩳 Keep them naked from the waist down: The idea is that your little babe will be more in tune with their bodily cues if pesky pants or diapers are in the way. (Side note: this is actually part of the 3-day potty training method).
  • 🚽 Take the potty everrrywhereee: To the park? Grab the potty. To the shops? Got the potty. To a family member’s house? Yep — you guessed it… the potty is in tow. Your child will then start to work out that every time they gotta go, it’s in the potty.

🔍 Read More: Best Potty Training Tips for Mamas 👶

So, there you have it — the 411 of how long potty training takes.

Read up more on potty training from in complete guide, which highlights when you should start, the best tips to train your little babe, and more.

And in the meantime?

Our Community is always here to offer advice and insight, from women who’ve been through it all before. 🥜


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