After changing diapers for two years you may be ready for potty training. But is your child ready for potty training? Look for these telltale signs it’s time to start potty training.
7 Signs Your Child is Ready for Potty Training Video
Let’s face it, after changing diapers for 2 years, many of us mamas are ready to be done. Particularly as your child is eating more like an adult and his bowels… uh… reflect this. Throw in a pregnancy with a little morning sickness and changing a dirty diaper is a form of torture.
But, the question is, when do you start potty training? Some moms start nearly at birth with Elimination Communication. Some moms wait till the child is 2. Some let the older siblings teach the younger child.
Based on my experience and research… I decided to potty train my boy when he was showing signs of readiness. I think this is the gentlest and smoothest approach for baby and mama.
So, how do you know when it’s time to start potty training your child?
Well, here are the top 7 signs.
1. Child takes pride in accomplishments and likes some independence
This shows emotionally, they would be prepared for something like potty training. Griffin started playing for longer periods independently and didn’t mind sitting down for a poopy by himself for 10-15 minutes. If your child isn’t showing these signposts, try to think of little tasks that they can do for themselves like feeding the family fish or dog, or dropping a letter in the mailbox, and see if they like the feeling of accomplishment. Gently encourage appropriate independence.
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2. Child will occasionally have “dry periods”
I remember Griffin would sometimes wake up from nap with a dry diaper. This shows us that they have some form of bladder control and that their anatomy is able to hold urine, making it physically possible to potty train.
3. Child doesn’t like wearing dirty diapers
At some point, children won’t like the feeling of wet diapers or big poops in their pants. Cuz let’s face it, the output is getting rather large, no matter how absorbent your diaper is. Griffin didn’t seem to mind too much, but once we potty trained, he hated if he had an accident. He didn’t like that feeling at all, which helps the whole process.
4. Child notices others going potty
Griffin started noticing when his daddy or I would go potty. He’d even come into the bathroom and comment on it. Sometimes, he’d want to see it or flush the toilet afterwards. Encourage these kinds of interactions! You’re teaching your boy or girl how the process works.
Griffin would also notice when my parent’s dog, Hershey, would go potty. He loved watching this. He’d then imitate by lifting his leg or squatting on the grass. He also thought it was silly when we’d pick up Hershey’s poop, and he’d call it “stinky” and giggle. Again, these are all great things for child to see. If you don’t have pets, maybe go to zoo or watch a video that shows this natural process.
5. Child says they’re going potty
Randomly, Griffin started saying “I’m going pee pee” as he stood still and smiled. Or he’d say, “I just peed!” These were cues to me that he was understanding how his body functioned and when he was actually going.
6. It becomes obvious when they go #2
Griffin’s whole demeanor would change if he had to go number 2. He’d stand alone and make grunting noises. It was so obvious to everyone that it was almost comical. His bowels were becoming big enough that it was a minor event.
Griffin started isolating himself when he went number 2. He wanted privacy and to be alone. Sometimes, he would actually go into the bathroom and shut the door and poo in his diaper. This is a big sign that a child is ready to start potty training.
7. Child will try out potty
If your child is willing to sit on the potty, that’s a great sign! Encourage it. Whereas if your boy or girl show big resistance to the idea, I would wait a month or two and try again.
Where to go from here…
If you think your child is ready for potty training, check out this awesome ebook, The Tiny Potty Training Book by Andrea Olson. It promises to help you potty train any child ages 18-30+ months in just seven days.
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Not ready to buy a potty training book?
Check out Andrea Olson’s free potty training mini course.
And in the meantime, here are some tips:
- If you’re noticing any of these readiness signals, encourage your child! Talk to your child about the potty and the whole process. If you haven’t already, buy a few potties and place them around house. Encourage your child to use them. Tell them that this is their potty and their potty only. Help your child feel proud about this development. Get children’s books that talk about potty training. Our favorite was called “Even Fire Fighters Have to Go Potty.” Some people love the Elmo toilet, song, and book. I’ll put some links below of good resources/tools to help you.
- Start talking about how they will be potty trained soon. Talk about how they won’t be using the diaper anymore. Get them excited about this new development and give them ample warning, so they can adjust to idea and actually have some anticipation.
- Slow things down if at any time during this process, your child shuts down, becomes afraid, regresses, or acts out. Slow things down and try again in a month or two. The last thing you want is to make the process traumatizing. Also, be aware of other life changes like a move, preschool, or the arrival of a new sibling. I wanted to get my son Griffin potty trained well before our baby and move came so he could adjust to this new normal. Many kids will regress if it’s too close to a major change. Baby steps.
But, if your child is showing interest, and somewhat excitement, then you’re ready to try potty training.
Is It Time to Potty Train? Here Are Your Next Steps
How about YOU?
How did you know when your son or daughter was ready to be potty trained? Share it with us in the comments below so we can learn from each other!