How to Potty Train a 15-Month-Old

By Brittney Horwitz
Happy Toddler image by Mary Beth Granger from

Potty training is a big step in the life of a toddler. When you consider whether the time is right to potty-train your toddler, make sure he exhibits signs of being ready for such a big step. Some of these signs include being uncomfortable in his diaper, asking to use the toilet, staying dry for two or more hours at a time and asking to wear underwear. The usual age for potty-training is 18 months to 3 years of age, so you should be extremely sure that your 15-month-old is ready before you attempt to potty-train him.

Purchase a special potty for your toddler or a smaller seat that fits over your own toilet. Have him decorate the potty with stickers or find other ways to make him excited to use it, such as letting him choose one with his favorite television characters on it.

Prepare your child to use the potty before you begin to try. Tell him that it is special for him and he will use it whenever he has to go to the bathroom. You can also give it to him to sit on in the living room or his bedroom before he attempts to use it in the bathroom so that he will get used to it.

Dress your child in pull-up diapers so that he can easily go to the potty when he wants to. It is not a good idea to start in underwear before your child is comfortable using the potty because having too many accidents may cause him to feel embarrassed--and it will create a lot of messes for you to clean up.

Watch your toddler closely for signs that he has to use the bathroom and ask him if he wants to try to use the potty. Don't force him--ease into it slowly and allow it to be his decision.

Empty his dirty diapers into the potty to demonstrate for him where he should be passing bowel movements.

Take your toddler to the toilet every hour or so to try and go to the bathroom on the potty. He might want to use the potty but simply forget about it, so this will give him the chance to try.

Reward your child whenever he chooses to use the potty and whenever he goes a few hours without wetting his diaper. Choose something that he will enjoy and that he can have immediately, such as a sticker or treat.

Encourage your child to try and use the bathroom at night only when he is completely comfortable with the potty during the day and has been dry during the day for a few weeks.

About the Author

Brittney Horwitz started writing professionally in 2009 when she became the editor of "Mother's Helper," a bimonthly magazine geared toward busy mothers in the New York metro area. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and Judaic studies from Stern College.