Baby Potty Training - How Long Does it Take?
Infant potty training is a gradual developmental and communication process that carries on for many months, not unlike learning to walk or talk. As with other major skills, it takes months of practice (see article on when to start potty training).
Parents who start sometime before their baby is 5 months old should expect to finish around the age of 2 years. Many finish around 18 months, but in order to have a relaxed and patient mindset, parents should be prepared to spend the maximum number of months.
If you finish earlier, it will be a bonus.The youngest age of completion for baby potty training that I have experienced in the USA is 10 months, but this is highly unusual and should not be your goal. Consider this method as something akin to breastfeeding in terms of time, intimacy and bonding.
It takes a dedicated and loving caregiver. This is not a potty training method(s) for parents in a hurry (to learn more about a method for busy parent(s), please see our Potty Training In One Day section). Expecting too much too soon can lead to giving up.
Mothers who don't wish to be bound to the standard Western definition of "toilet trained" may be more open to recognizing, appreciating and enjoying different degrees and stages of evolution along the way and this new outlook yields a different answer to the question of how long it takes.
Depending on circumstances (age started; individual learning curve; good health; positive environment; consistency or caregiver(s); etc.) and one's definition of the term "potty trained" (ability to release on cue; ability to retain and wait to go; importance or lack of clothing factors; total potty independence), it generally takes from 6 months to 2 years.