Early Potty Training
While some parents swear that they have their children potty trained at six months or a year, this is very rare and, experts would say, not true potty training. In other words, it is rare that a one-year-old can identify when she needs to use the bathroom, can get herself to the bathroom in time and handle her clothes, and then do what she needs to. For one thing, most one-year-olds can't readily manipulate their clothes. For another, they rarely have the bodily control to “hold it” when necessary.
If early toilet training is important to you, it is possible to control how and when your children go to the bathroom — even though there is no reason to do this. For example, you can sit them on the potty at specific times of the day, let's say, twenty minutes after they've eaten, and stay with them until they've done something. Or, you could bring them to the potty every half hour or so and see if something happens.
But, once again, if you're doing most of the work — determining when they're going — then they really aren't toilet-trained. In fact, you may be setting up a battle in an area where the child has ultimate control. It's her body. She's going to figure that out sooner, not later.
There is no intellectual, emotional, or psychological benefit to early toilet training. No evidence has shown that children who are toilet trained early are smarter or more well-adjusted than other children.
Despite there being no reason to potty train your child this year, you may see signs that he is interested in trying to sit on the toilet or a potty seat. You should feel free to get a potty seat for him to sit on. In fact, your best bet is a potty seat that goes on the floor, so that your one-year-old can get on and off of it himself.
If your child shows an interest in taking off his diaper or watching you use the bathroom, then you should encourage him, as these are signs that he might be ready to use a toilet. Also, if he's happy to sit on the potty, then that's a sign of potty-training readiness.
At twelve to twenty-four months, you can use support and time to help potty train your baby, but it is not the time to offer rewards for potty training. Your child may regress back to diapers, and you don't want her to feel that she has begun to do something wrong if that happens. If it does happen, you should remain completely calm about it, as the less pressure you put on your child, the more likely it is that she'll return to her good habits.
The best thing to do for a child this age is to encourage, not pressure, her to experiment with the potty. You can put the potty on the floor and let her copy you when you use the bathroom without bringing her over to it. Make the experience lighthearted, with no pressure. If she gets up without doing anything, tell her she did a good job for trying.