Child’s Typical Potty Training Development Chart

Use this chart based on the child’s developmental skills and not necessarily their chronological age. This chart was developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics for typical healthy children, not for children with developmental delays.

0 – 12 months
1. Begins to associate cause and effect
2. Begins to enjoy praise and approval

12 – 18 months
1. Becomes aware of need to go potty
2. Begins to associate fullness with eliminations that follows
3. Emerging desire to mimic other children’s behavior
4. May begin walking
5. May begin communicating verbally
6. Takes pleasure in doing it himself.

18-24 months
1. Early ability to briefly control sphincter muscles
2. Improves ability to picture a goal (using potty) and remember it long enough to complete the act
3. Increased urge toward self mastery
4. Better able to sit still
5. Increased ability to understand verbal explanations
6. Increased desire to please parents and win praise

24-36 months
1. Able to manage simple clothing
2. Improved memory helps child maintain potty routine
3. Takes great pleasure in increasing competence
4. Improved imagination allows for learning through play (dolls, role playing)
5. Gender awareness encourages imitation of same gender parent’s bathroom behavior
3-Years and Older
1. Gradually maturing of digestive system eventually leads to decrease of accidents
2. Improved ability to break focus to go to the toilet and to resist distraction while getting there
3. Peer pressure encourages toilet use
4. Enjoys completing sticker charts and earning rewards
Have you ever tried potty training a child too early?


  1. The point of the child being developmentally ready is important. Comparing any child to another about when or how early they were potty trained is harmful. When it comes to potty training each child is an individual. Really takes a lot of patience and just praising the accomplishments and never puishing accidents.Daniella B.Professional Nanny5 Yr ExperienceHarrisburg PA

  2. I worked for a family that tried to potty train too early and there was a lot of diappointment, crying & constipation with boy holding in his poops from being scolded and feeling like a failure.

  3. Thanks for posting this. The son I care for is almost 4 years old and not using potty. It does show he is developmentally behind most other kids. The parents are denying his being a late bloomer.Experience NannyHeatherNaperville Ill. (near Chicago)

  4. One charge of mine had autism and sensory sensitivity. Not only were toilets too loud he was scared he would be pulled down into the toilet. Perfect example of why it is important to wait sometimes to potty train when they just aren't developmentally ready.


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