Toilet Training

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One skill children need to learn is when and how to use the toilet. Here are general toilet training tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents and children begin the process. If your children have special health care needs, some tips may need to be modified. Contact your children's doctor if you need specific guidance. Also, in this publication, urine may be called pee, and bowel movements may be called poop or stools.

Learning to Use the Toilet

Toilet training is a process that involves the body and the mind.

When to Start Toilet Training

Toilet training may come up during children's 18-month, 2-year, 2½-year, and 3-year well-child visits. The average age toilet training begins in the United States is between 2 and 3 years of age. Most children in the United States are bowel and bladder trained by 4 years of age. However, toilet training can begin as soon as parents and children want to start.

In general, here are signs a child may be developmentally ready to begin the toilet training process. If you have any questions or concerns, talk with your child's doctor.

Toilet Training Tips

Here are toilet training tips to help start the process. Parents can help empower their children to be in control of their own toilet training.

When Toilet Training Should Be Put on Hold

Major changes in the home may make toilet training more difficult. Sometimes it is a good idea to delay toilet training if


If any concern comes up before, during, or after toilet training, talk with your child's doctor. Often, the problem is minor and can be resolved quickly. Sometimes, physical or emotional causes will require treatment. Getting professional help can make the process easier. If your child needs additional care, your child's doctor may suggest another pediatric health care specialist who can address the specific pediatric needs of your child.


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

In all aspects of its publishing program (writing, review, and production), the AAP is committed to promoting principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The information contained in this publication should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.