We live in a world where we put pressure on ourselves to be the best and fastest at everything.
When we see other families who’s children do things at an earlier age than ours, it’s hard not to compare and feel pressure to keep up!
The problem with that is that every family environment is different. Children are ready for things at different ages, and that doesn’t make them more or less advanced.
Our son, Theo, was VERY late to walk and talk. He was also a late potty trainer.
But you know what? He started reading, on his own, at the age of 4.
Early potty training has both pros and cons. I have friends who potty trained their children and it worked fantastically for their families.
As for me? I am an all or nothing type of person. I like to do potty training fast and get it over with, including night time training.
This type of potty training really only works with older toddlers and I am totally fine with that.
We have enough pressure on ourselves as parents! Don’t put pressure on yourself to potty train early.
If you want to, and your family is ready, then that’s great.
But if not, then don’t worry about it. If you’re not sure, I have a list of reasons below to delay potty training. Also, I’m not at all saying that early potty training is bad or wrong, by any means!
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1. Your Child Isn’t Ready
This is the most obvious reason, but I feel like it needs to be stated. We put so much pressure on ourselves as parents to potty train early.
If your child isn’t ready, there’s nothing wrong with them, I promise! If they don’t have the communication skills to tell you they need to go (communication can include sign language) or don’t realize when they’re going, they might not be ready.
Theo had a speech delay and so I didn’t even think about potty training early. I wanted to be able to focus on speech development with him and not overload him with learning the skill of using the potty.
Related –> How to Use the Oh Crap Potty Training Method.
2. Constipation Issues
If your child is struggling to poop, potty training is going to be hard for them!
Eliminate bananas, feed them prunes, ensure they are hydrated, etc. Theo and Margo both struggle with constipation, so they get chopped-up prunes every morning while Josie gets raisins.
You want to make sure there are absolutely no issues with bowel movements when you begin potty training.
If your child is struggling with constipation, read about our experience here –> Poop Issues in Children
You may have a plan set in place to potty train.
If someone in your family becomes ill, it’s a good idea to delay potty training.
Even if the potty trainee isn’t sick, there’s a strong likelihood that they will become sick. If it’s another child, you’re going to need to be taking care of them and unable to focus on potty training.
If it’s a stomach bug, make sure that the stomach is completely healed before resuming potty training.
Ready to tackle potty training? Here is a list of all the potty training supplies you will need!
4. Big Life Change
They say to only make one big life change within 3 months. If you’re moving, switching to a big kid bed, adding a new child to the family, or going through something difficult, such as a divorce, it is wise to consider waiting to potty train.
I personally feel that your child will adapt.
The biggest readiness factor is you, the parent, having both the time and the mental capacity to potty train.
Your children will adapt, but how will YOU handle moving or bringing home a new baby with a freshly potty-trained toddler who may still be having accidents?
Still unsure what to do? Read this –> Benefits of Late Potty Training
5. An Upcoming Trip or Vacation
When young children are recently potty trained, they can’t hold it for very long.
We recently took a 12-hour car ride. Theo is old enough that it’s no issue, but if the girls had been potty trained, the extra stops definitely would have made our trip longer.
If you are on the go with recently trained kiddos, make sure you invest in a travel potty!
6. Parent’s Mental Load
Theo had just turned 2 when Josie and Margo were born.
I briefly considered attempting potty training… and then we were thrown into the world of NICU, newborn twins, and a full year of having 3 children under 3.
There was no way that I had the mental capacity to potty train, and I figured that out really fast!
Once you have a potty-trained toddler, it actually makes outings a lot more difficult. As soon as they tell you they have to go, you have to find the nearest bathroom ASAP. You also have to make sure they use the bathroom before leaving the house.
It’s definitely doable, but it depends on what else you have going on! It was NOT something I wanted to deal with when I had newborn twins.
7. Their Siblings Need Your Attention
My original plan was to potty train Josie and Margo over Thanksgiving weekend of 2018. They would have been a few months under 3, which was a great age for us when we trained Theo.
However, that weekend happened to be not even two months after we lost my father and my kids lost their grandfather.
Theo was still a mess and really acting out from grief. I wasn’t in the best place either, but I am stubborn and like to stick to a plan.
I was still considering trying to potty train the girls when a good friend pointed out that perhaps Theo wasn’t in a good place for me to potty train his sisters.
He really needed us to help him overcome his grief and if we had started potty training, it would have been energy that we couldn’t spend on him.
If you feel like your whole family is ready for the adventure of potty training, give my 3-day potty training a read to see if it’s right for your family!
Just remember, that as the parent you have the right to decide what works for your family…. nobody else!
P.S. Don’t forget to follow our family over on Instagram!