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My 4-year-old is still in diapers. Is there any real deadline for toilet training?

Guide to Toilet Training


​The average age for toilet training in the United States is currently between two and three years. This is why children trained earlier are frequently considered "advanced" (though there is no relation between age of toilet training and a child's intelligence) and those not trained by age four may be looked down upon.

While no child should be pressured to do something just for the purpose of keeping up with his or her peers, your child may become aware of others' disapproval, which can have a negative effect on his or her self-esteem.

If you see signs that your child is beginning to feel bad about himself or herself, you may want to initiate the training even before he or she expresses any interest. Chances are he or she is ready and may just be waiting for more active encouragement from you.

Additional Information from

Guide to Toilet Training

​Toilet training is an important developmental milestone for children, and it also can be one of the greatest challenges for parents. Not all children are ready at the same age, and they often respond differently to various training methods. With conflicting advice from friends, relatives, and the media, parents can quickly become confused and frustrated. Guide to Toilet Training, 2nd Edition is a complete guide to every phase of the toilet-training process. Parents will be informed and reassured by the practical information, proven techniques, and expert advice offered in this thoroughly revised and updated edition. This book can be purchased on ShopAAP.

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The information contained on this Web site 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.
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