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When Should I Start Potty Training?
Believe it or not, toilet training is a fairly straightforward process—for you and for your child. Some toddlers pick it up in a few days, but mastering the habit is more likely to take a few months. The key is waiting until your child seems ready to begin to learn about the potty. Be patient. Don't consider potty training a matter of 'success' or 'failure,' and do recognize the project as your child's alone. You should not feel overly proud or especially disappointed in your child's potty progress. Instead, see it as a separate endeavor that your child is embarking on. Avoid getting your sense of confidence as a parent wrapped up in how soon your child chooses to use the potty.

Is there a recommended age to begin potty training your child? At what point after that can you expect your child to be completely diaper-free?

A good recommendation is not to start before the age of 2. Before that age, most children's bladders empty so often that it's too difficult for them to control—and because they're not tuned in to having to 'go,' it's useless to begin teaching them. The key: wait for your child to demonstrate 'readiness' first.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education