Potty training stats and figures US & Worldwide

Potty training by the numbers in the US & Worldwide

What  do the numbers tell us about potty training?

Potty training is one of the most difficult milestones for both parent and child. Since every child is different and develop at different ages and rates there is no universal solution or answer to any of a number of issues related to potty training. With that in mind, the following data has been compiled to provide a range of different results for reference. The data is indicative of the fact that every potty training journey is unique and different very much like children.


The US Growing Potty Training Age 

In 1947, in the US 60% of children were potty trained at 18 months, and in 1974 60% were trained at 33 months, and in 2003 it grew to 36.8 months.

Most kids are physiologically ready at 18 months but may not be cognitively.

 *source CNN Health

In 1957, 92 percent of children were toilet-trained by the age of 18 months, studies found. Today the figure for 2-year-olds is just 4 percent, according to a large-scale Philadelphia study. Only 60 percent of children have achieved mastery of the toilet by 36 months, the study found, and 2 percent remain untrained at the age of 4 years.

A 1200-person survey madeformums.com in 2013

Less than a third of parents (28%) successfully potty train their child the first time around, so if you're finding it tough going, don't worry. The most important thing is to stick at it and try not to let your child associate going to the toilet with stress - you will get there.

How common are accidents?

On that first day when you take off the diapers:

  • over a third of children (31%) have 3-4 accidents
  • 12% have 5-7 accidents
  • 5% have over 8

By the end of the first week:

  • 19% were no longer having any accidents
  • 39% were only having 1-2
  • 16% were having 3-4

When do most parents start potty training?

By far the most popular time to start is between 18 months and 2.5 years

  • 6% under 12 months
  • 13% between 12-17 months
  • 26% between 18-23 months
  • 33% between 2-2.5 years
  • 17% between 2.5-3 years
  • 4% over 3 years

How long does potty training take?

Don’t expect your child to take to it straight away. Between 2-3 weeks is the most common period - which is encouraging! But remember, a lot of you have stopped and started at least once before this successful period...

  • 11% took under 1 week
  • 11% took 1 week
  • 21% took 2-3 weeks
  • 14% took a month
  • 6% 6-12 months

What are the most common potty training methods used?

You had a number of different strategies to beginning training. Some of you popped a favorite teddy bear on a potty and made teddy bear weeing noises. Other, more common strategies, included:

  • 73% sat child on a potty
  • 49% went to toilet in front of their child
  • 42% talked to child about using a potty/toilet
  • 39% swapped nappies for training pants
  • 31% sat child on a toilet
  • 31% read a book about potty training to their child
  • 6% dived straight in

Diapers off, on or never again?

There are mixed approaches when it comes to taking those diapers off. The most popular way was to take nappies/training pants off for most (but not all) of the time...

  • 35% took them off most of the time, except for odd occasions like going out
  • 20% took them off, except for day time sleeps
  • 19% took them off some of the time
  • 14% took them off and never used them again in the day
  • 10% just swapped diapers for training pants

Do parents take kids outside of the home when potty training?

Again, there were a variety of strategies. Perhaps surprisingly, the most popular was to go about normal day-to-day lives incorporating potty training into a normal routine

  • 50% blended potty training into normal daily routine
  • 20% stayed in most of the time, except for essential outings
  • 16% set aside a week and stayed in until potty training was pretty well mastered
  • 12% stayed in for the first couple of days

What do children learn first peeing or pooping first?

Most toddlers manage peeing before the more solid issues. Over a third (36%) said your child had worries or difficulties around pooing in a potty or toilet.

  • 56% mastered peeing first
  • 11% mastered pooping first
  • 31% mastered both around the same time

What potty training equipment do parents use? 

  • 58% Toddler toilet seat
  • 52% Mattress protector
  • 50% Toilet step
  • 50% Diaper training pants
  • 49% Night diapers
  • 41% Portable potty
  • 37% More than 1 potty
  • 18% Nightlight for bedtime potty/toilet visits
  • 12% Seat liner


Desmopressin is an effective treatment for nighttime wetting studies show.

hormone treatment referred to as desmopressin has also been found to be effective in reducing nighttime bedwetting. A review combining 47 randomized controlled trials found that desmopressin treatment results in 81% of children achieving 14 dry nights in a row (while only 2% of children without the treatment achieved this goal).

How common is bedwetting?

Research finds that most children are not developmentally capable of remaining dry at night until 4 or 5 years old. A large study found the number of children that wet the bed: 30% of 4.5 year olds
               20% at 7 years
               9.5% at 9.5 years.

* Research has also found that children attain nighttime dryness an average of 10 months after achieving daytime dryness.

  In her book,  The No-Cry Potty Training Solution: the Gentle Way To Say Good-bye to Diapers by: Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2006), author Elizabeth Pamley shares the following facts regarding potty training age and milestones.

  • The perfect age to potty train is different for each child as children develop at different rates and ages with most children ready to start from 18 to 32 months and pre-training as early as 10 months.
  • A child's biological, and physical, skills and readiness will determine when a child is ready for independent toileting with most between 2 1/2 years of age and 4 years of age.
  • From the start of training to toilet independence takes from 3 to 12 months regardless of starting age.
  • The age at that a child is potty trained has no correlation to future abilities or intelligence.
  • Night-time dryness can only be achieved once the child is physiologically ready.
  • Most toddlers urinate every 2 hours for a total of 4 to 8 times per day.
  • Children have a regular pattern of bowel movements, some having one, two, or even three per day, while others skip a day or two between bowel movements.
  • 98% of children are daytime toilet trained by the age of 4.
  • A parent's readiness to potty train a child and be patient and positive is just as important as a child's readiness to be trained.

A 2004 UK government survey found 95% of children were potty trained by 3 years of age and 2021 survey found 95% of children were potty trained by 4 years of age. The 12 month increase in potty training age was thought to be due to the child-led potty training movement that dictates training only begin when the child shows interest. 


How Does the Disposable Diapers Effect the Environment?


What are the developmental milestones that are critical for potty training to be successful?


How many bowel movements per day are normal?


What are the readiness signs that a child is ready to potty train?




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