I’m sure you’re ready to get this poopy monkey off your back, but knowing when to start potty training your boy or girl can be a difficult decision. Starting before they’re prepared can make the entire process scary, delaying the end result you’re after.
Every child will be different, but there are some tell tale signs I and many other mothers I’ve talked to have noticed soon before successfully going down the toilet training journey. Start too soon and you could set the whole thing back months.
But never fear, because in this article we’re going to cover everything you need to know about when to start potty training.
When to start potty training: signs to look for
To start with, is your son or daughter old enough that they can understand, value, and seek out praise? Many parents are so eager to get their child potty trained that they overlook this and start too soon.
Potty training your child is much more effective when you use reward systems, so if your child does not yet appreciate that performing tasks or learning new things leads to good things, it may be too soon.
But if they have a good grasp on this concept — that performing tasks leads to fun things and happy mommy — then the praise you heap upon them when they successfully go potty won’t be wasted.
Do they want to do things on their own?
Is your son or daughter showing signs of independence and wanting to handle things on their own? One of the best ways I’ve found to gauge this is watching them during playtime and learning activities.
Is your son or daughter able to handle small challenges? Can they deal with periods of play or quiet time on their own? Do they want less time with mommy and more time with the big kids?
This is where having older brothers or sisters can really come in handy. If your little one is getting more fussy when you do things for them, or being more persistent about going along with the older children then there’s a good chance they’re ready to begin.
If you do not have other children or regular playtime with older kids, then pay attention to what types of games and activities your son or daughter is showing interest in. Do they still like baby stuff? Or are they reaching for things a bit out of their age range?
How long between diaper changes?
Is the length of time between diaper changes growing? If you’ve been checking your son or daughter’s diaper at your usual times and are finding more and more often that they are still dry, then they’re probably beginning to understand how to hold it in until more opportune times.
This is another good indicator that your child is mentally capable of beginning toilet training. Knowing that going to the bathroom anywhere besides the toilet makes them icky and uncomfortable is a small but major step.
If you’ve noticed this newfound sense of independence, a desire to be more like the older kids, and/or the amount of time between diaper changes getting longer, then there’s a good chance your child is ready to toilet train! (Did you just hear the most beautiful music ever?)
I would start potty training by watching this quick video by a mommy blogger named Carol, where she goes over the steps you’re going to be experiencing during this important time. Carol does a great job of explaining everything in a helpful, simple way. You can view the whole video now by clicking here.
BTW, I would love it if you could pin this article if you found it helpful. Thank you so much and good luck to you and your little one! 🙂