I’m sure you’re eager to get your little one potty trained (who wouldn’t be?), but as I’m sure you’ve already figured out, just because you’re ready for your child to take that big step doesn’t mean that they are.
Children all develop at their own pace, even when raised in the same environment. Just because your child’s older siblings were ready at a certain age doesn’t mean that your littlest one will be. By the same token, there’s no reason to say your younger child won’t be ready sooner.
But how exactly do we as parents know when they’re ready? What are the tell-tale signs? Read on, and I’ll give you 7 of the biggest signs your child is ready to potty train!
1. You’re Going Through Fewer Diapers
Most kids aren’t going to be ready for potty training until they’re at least 18 months old because they don’t have control of their bladder or bowel muscles. For some children, it takes longer than this to get to the point that they aren’t being dictated to by their body and this varies from kid to kid.
One of the big giveaways that they’re about ready to start potty training is that your child is able to stay dry for at least a couple of hours at a time and you’re more regularly getting through naps with a clean diaper.
2. They Know When They Need to Go
For potty training to work well, your child needs to understand the feeling of needing to pee or poop and know that it means they need to go to the toilet. This can start when they’re still in diapers, once they begin to recognize that they have gone potty in their diaper.
If your child is able to indicate to you that they need to go (or just did), reinforce this with excited approval and try to talk with them to help them make the connection with what they were feeling right before they went.
3. They Know How to Let You Know They Need to Go
Similar to the previous point, your child needs to not only know when the feeling hits but also to warn you that this is the case. Knowing bathroom lingo (even basic terms like “pee” and “poop” is fine!) is key here.
If your kid gets into the habit of making it obvious that they feel the need to pee or poop, it’s easy to grab the potty in preparation when they start training. If they don’t, it’s harder to know when this might happen and accidents are much more likely.
4. They Don’t Like Dirty Diapers
For a good while, children tend to be indifferent to soiled diapers but there usually comes a point when they can’t stand them. At its most extreme, this loathing may even lead to them trying to get rid of the dirty diaper altogether.
This is a great time to start prepping them for potty training as their dislike of dirty diapers should make them more receptive to the idea of ditching them for good and replacing them with “big boy” or “big girl” underwear!
5. They’re Curious About Going to the Toilet
Once they understand the basic idea of potty training, many kids want to know exactly how it works and some will look to you to see how it’s done. You may find them trailing after you whenever you go to to the toilet due to their fascination with all things toilet related once they get into the whole potty training process.
6. They Can Undress Themselves In a Flash
Knowing when to dash off to the toilet won’t be any good if your child has to wrestle with their underwear when they get there and has an accident despite being poised to go. It’s helpful for them to know how to undress their bottom half quickly and easily and get everything back on unaided before you get started on potty training.
7. They Can Understand and Carry Out a Series of Steps
There’s quite a lot involved in potty training that your child needs to get their head around and remember to do every time, namely being able to pull down their underwear, sit on the potty, wipe themselves and wash their hands. For this sequence to happen, your child needs to have the capacity to follow the steps that you teach them.
If your child has got to the stage that they can process, understand and carry out commands that involve more than one step, there is a good basis for starting potty training. This can be something as simple as understanding that putting their toys away involves gathering them together, opening the box they’re stored in and then closing it again, for example.
I hope this has given you a good idea of what you need to be looking for when deciding whether or not your child is ready to go down the ever-important potty training road.
But things can still be difficult and there will be roadblocks. This video from a mom named Carol covers all the rough stuff she went through while successfully training her own stubborn child. You can watch it now here.
BTW, if you enjoyed this article make sure to pin it in case you need some reminders later! 🙂