If there’s one thing about potty training that will make or break the experience, it’s making sure that your toddler is ready. According to Dr. Joseph Barone, a pediatric urologist who analyzed years potty training research going back to the 1930’s, there is no “magic” age for potty training. Instead, he explains that the ideal time to potty train is better described as a window. Based on his analysis, parents have the highest probability of success when they potty train their children between the ages of 27-36 months.

This doesn’t mean you’re forbidden from potty training at 22 months, but don’t feel like you have to force it if your child isn’t showing interest on their own. If they want to use the potty, by all means, let the kid GO! By the time most children are 27 months old, they have developed the physical and mental skills they need to start potty training. Dr. Barone says it is important for children to show interest in the potty before parents introduce the concept, but if a child doesn’t show interest by 36 months, it’s a good idea to start the process.

The reason he suggests 36 months is because around age three, toddlers start to enter a new developmental phase where they become more headstrong and realize they can beat you in a battle for control over their body. If this sounds familiar, you know it ain’t fun.

We love Dr. Barone’s advice because he knows every child develops at their own pace, so it’s hard to tell parents the exact age to potty train. His findings bring us to The Potty Rocker’s rule of thumb:

If your child shows interest at any time (even before 27 months), put that kid on the potty and give it a shot! Just don’t freak if they regress or struggle with consistency. If your child still wants nothing to do with the toilet by their third birthday, whip out those potty books and get the party rolling!

Lucky for you, The Potty Rocker is ready to rock at any time. Just break open his book, drop some Rainbow Poop in the bowl, and potty like a rockstar!