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can you potty train a 12 month old?

(45 Posts)
dontbitemytoes Tue 26-Aug-08 21:25:06

hello all, my dd is just 12 months and is walking, and seems very switched on (but then she's a PFB so might just be normal grin)

when she has nappy free time she often crouches down to have a wee and will then stand up and run off.

my grandma is staying with me at the moment (she is 91) and says that this is a clear indication that dd is ready for potty training, and that in her day children were routinely potty trained at 12 months if they could walk.

i am quite prepared to give it a go (not that i have the first clue of how to go about it wink, but is squatting to wee really the first signs to be looking for? and has anyone really successfully managed to potty train a 12month old?


Tutter Tue 26-Aug-08 21:27:30


is this parenting thing not hard enough?! wink

seriously, smile sweetly and offer your grandma a cup of tea

crouching to wee does not equal being ready to potty train

dontbitemytoes Tue 26-Aug-08 21:30:06

i love you tutter grin

just what i needed to hear. thank you!!

now where did i put those teabags.....

FabioTheFlouncingCat Tue 26-Aug-08 21:39:11

can you potty train a 12 month old?


Can you stagger around behind said 12 month old holding a potty in one hand and a some kitchen roll in the other ready to rugby tackle your baby onto the pot and forcibly hold it there whilst it screams and then shits on the carpet the moment your back is turned?


Someone will now come on and tell you I'm full of, er, shit and that you can do 'elimination communication' from birth. Maybe you can. But see Tutter's post first.

KnickersOnMaHead Tue 26-Aug-08 21:45:36

Message withdrawn

BabiesEverywhere Tue 26-Aug-08 21:47:23

"Someone will now come on and tell you I'm full of, er, shit and that you can do 'elimination communication' from birth."

Here I am grin

Yes, you can but it is not complusary

dontbitemytoes Tue 26-Aug-08 21:54:39

whats elimination communication? blush

dontbitemytoes Tue 26-Aug-08 21:55:45

fabio, thats exactly what i'll end up doing! tea is made, grandma quiet grin

midnightexpress Tue 26-Aug-08 22:04:13

Oh gawd, what Tutter said, absolutely. Wait until she can at least talk to you about it grin.

I suppose if I'd had to wash terry nappies(by hand) I might have been in more of a rush too, but your grandma needs to get with the program and know that it really isn't such a big deal now that we have washing machines.

BabiesEverywhere Tue 26-Aug-08 22:09:15

Elimination Communication links

ches Wed 27-Aug-08 03:08:58

There's a middle ground between EC and potty training a two or three year old; your grandmother did it FGS. The modern-day "signs" of toilet training readiness are not at all correlated to a child's ability to hold a wee/poo for the toilet, but rather for a parents' minimal involvement in a child going to the loo. If you would like your child out of nappies or using fewer nappies then you can start potty training. You can keep your child in nappies or pull-up nappies to prevent messy accidents. The developmental steps that show your child is ready to learn how to save their wee/poo for the toilet are:

- processing sequences (i.e. knowing to expect going on the toilet in the future - otherwise no incentive to wait)
- following short instructions (i.e. "come with me to the toilet")
- Staying dry for periods of 1 hour or longer, or waking up dry from a nap (i.e. child has bladder control in that weeing is a conscious act)

The younger you start, the longer it takes. We started at 14 months and 4 months later we have on average 1-2 wee accidents and no poo accidents a day. He has been 'poo trained' at home (but not nursery) for a good two months now. My DS's friend started at 13 months and was 90% reliably trained by 18 months and completely trained by 20 months.

Tutter Wed 27-Aug-08 07:16:13

alternatively, wait for ages and enjoy motherhood without fretting about such stuff grin

with ds1 it took 2 days

and he was dry at night at the same time

i shan't tell you at what age this was - it would make some of my fellow posters shudder with horror

gagarin Wed 27-Aug-08 07:26:37

Your grandmother had to wash every nappy by hand with no running hot water. And then get them dry in this godawful British weather. And then when they were dry and stiff as a board the nappy was rubbed together all over to soften it again - this led to a mother's cracked and dry hands being rubbed raw and bleeding at the knuckles.

Potty training was not what it is now - it was catching it (esp poo) as often as possible to avoid this horror of handwashing nappies with no hot water, no running water, no good weather to dry the nappies...etc etc

She would have done the "holding out" technique described to me by my mother - whereby when you see a child about to do a poo you whip the nappy off and hold them in a sitting position on the potty so they poo in there and you do not have to wash and dry another nappy.

Your grandmother potty trained her dcs early out of practical necessity.

joliejolie Wed 27-Aug-08 12:53:47

It really bothers me when people say their children are potty trained (usually said in a smug, "my child is smarter than yours" way) only to admit to putting a nappy on at night. How is that trained? Really, you need to wait until your child's body has the capability to be trained. Dry nappies in the morning are the sign as far as I am concerned. Most of the children that are potty trained early spend a lot of unnecessary time on the potty. Why not wait until they are a bit older when they might pick it up a bit easier?

Putting themselves in a comfortable position when having a wee or poo does not mean a child can control their body.

ajm200 Wed 27-Aug-08 13:05:28

Yes probably.

My son potty trained himself at 18 months after hearing my friend and I discussing it. He asked for the potty when we got home and started to use it. To start he'd had a accident 2-3 times a day but now that's down to 1-2 and only if he gets over excited, giggles too much, etc.

He was pooing on the potty at 19 months until his gran smacked him for having an accident (Grandparents don't always know best, they just think they do). We've only just got him pooing on the pot again now at 21 months.

At any age, you have to expect children to get it wrong sometimes and have to have cloths and 1001 on standby to clean up.

Give it a go. You've got nothing to lose and if she doesn't get or gets distressed, you can always stop and wait a while.

BabiesEverywhere Wed 27-Aug-08 13:08:05

joliejolie, Why does it bother you how other people choose to deal with their childrens eliminations ?

My DD is NOT potty trained she is ECed.

Yet I do use night nappies and yes if I wake up with her in the morning her nappies are dry but if I take a while to get to her in the morning, she gives up and wee's in it, hence the need for a backup nappy. That does not mean she is not capable of using a toilet during the day.

Again in our case, our DD does not "spend a lot of unnecessary time on the potty" She only spends the time taken to get to and use the potty/toilet.

Fair enough if you don't want to do things this way but it can and does work for other people. Lastly, there is no smugness here, we do this to give our DD the chance to stay dry and clean and because we don't care what other people think.

ajm200 Wed 27-Aug-08 13:08:44

As for how to go about it. Start with sitting her on the potty after meals for about 5-10 mins and be prepared to sing nursery rhymes or read stories to keep her there. When she does it right, give her loads of praise and a reward. When she does it wrong, clean up the mess without any fuss.

When she has the idea that she can go in the potty, try leaving her to run about with a bare bottom or in big girl pants. If you use pants have a good supply as she won't be able to pull them down at a year and will probably use the potty through them unless you are vigilant.

Good luck

gladders Wed 27-Aug-08 13:45:05

saw a programme on EC - baby was crapping all over the place... not nice.

also - the idea that it takes 6 months to potty train a child starting at 12 months is crazy - that's 6 months of mess and disruption.

if you do it when the child is completely ready (anything from 18 months - 4 years in my experience) then it takes a week to be 99% there.

wasabipeanut Wed 27-Aug-08 13:54:15

I realise that the earlier you start the longer it takes, but surely the sooner they're out of nappies the better?

Most people on MN are pretty tuned into environmental concerns but using nappies, even washables, for 3 years plus isn't great for the environment. If you use disposables that's a lot of landfill. Plus, from a selfish point of view, buying disposables for another year adds up to a lot of cash.

My ds is 1 next week and we're planning on starting at Xmas when we've both got some time off. If its a disaster we'll stop but I don't see the harm in trying.

horseymum Wed 27-Aug-08 14:06:24

go for it! it is noone's business but yours but i think even if you get one wee a day in a potty, it is nicer for her and you. It is no extra work at all. We do a kind of middle ground between ec and late training. DD is put on potty at every nappy change, praised if she does a wee- she grins like anything and looks really chuffed. If she grunts like she looks like she needs a poo, if it is convenient i take to see if she does. i do not stress, and never tell her off for doing anything in her nappy. I think it is max. 5-10 minutes extra time a day spent on potty- not a lot to ask! Any one who says no child can have bladder control till 3 etc has just not tried to see. I'll admit that you probably get what you are given in terms of bladder control but if your child by chance has a measure of control, use it. My dd is often dry after a 2 hour nap and wees in potty. i think of it as a process, rather than an event that will happen, Gina-ford style in one week at age 3! Also, you only have to read half the posts on this board about potty phobia and 'my child only poos in nappy at age 4' to know that the earlier you introduce it, the less likely they are to be scared of it, imho.

bogie Wed 27-Aug-08 14:08:54

I was potty trained at 12 months ds was fully trained by 17 months it is possiable whenever they seem ready.

midnightexpress Wed 27-Aug-08 14:12:40

Take your point wasabi, but doing it later doesn't necessarily mean 3 years - ds1 is 2.9, has been out of daytime nappies for about 6 weeks now. As Tutter says, it took days, rather than weeks or months - he doesn't have any accidents now, and can go to the loo, flush, wipe himself wash and dry his hands and get dressed again, without any assistance. Indeed, many LOs positively relish the independence of doing it by themselves at that age. It really beats me why anyone would want to go through months of 'only [sic] 1-2 accidents a day' if that was the alternative.

But each to their own. I wouldn't worry about how anyone else chooses to do it.

ajm200 Wed 27-Aug-08 15:01:48

My son has 1-2 accidents a day at 20 months but only if he is distracted or over excited. I'm heavily pregnant so would love the convenience of leaving him in a nappy and not having to deal with accidents but he won't have it. He decided to start using a potty at 18 months and that's it. If I leave him in a nappy (if he has an upset tummy/too much fruit etc - sorry if TMI ) He sits on the potty in his nappy if he can't get it off, does what he needs to then brings me the empty potty. He will then cry if he is wet or dirty.

He can also wash and dry his hands. If I leave a potty seat on the loo, he'll use the loo but we are constantly competing for loo time this late in my pregnancy so the potty seat is a pain.

The accidents are a pain but I don't want my child to be miserable either. I guess he was just ready to be out of nappies a bit before he got 100% bladder control.

wasabipeanut Wed 27-Aug-08 15:09:10

I should have clarified that - I was just using 3 years as an example knowing that 2-3 is about the average window for starting these days.

Admittedly I know nothing about this yet as my ds is only 12 months, but by the time they hit 2 years don't they tend to become less co operative? Is this another tick in the box for earlier training?

gladders Wed 27-Aug-08 16:10:03

surely a child having 1-2 accidents a day cannot be classed as being potty trained?

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