How to Tell if Your Child Is Ready for Potty Training

There can be a lot of pressure to start potty training at a certain age and yet we all know that children develop at different rates and so while one child may be ready to start potty training at 18 months or 2 years another may not be ready for training pants until they are well into their 4th year.

There is also evidence to suggest that if you start potty training too early it will take much longer for children to manage it. Whereas if you start the process when they are physically and mentally ready the process will be much smoother.

Luckily if you observe your child there are a few key signs that your child is ready to start potty training and if you can resist the urge to compare them with other children based on their age then you should have a smoother ride.

Signs That Your Child is Ready to Start Potty Training

Before you start potty training you need a few things to be in place. Children need to be able to control their bowels and bladder, they need to be able to understand and follow simple instructions and they need to want to be clean and dry. The readier they are the quicker potty training will be and there will be fewer accidents to clean up.

Some key signs to look out for include:

  1. Nappies are dry for at least an hour or two at a time. If they are peeing more often than this they have not built up the necessary bladder control and taking them out of nappies will likely result in constant accidents.
  2. They tell you they are having a wee or even that they need to go. This is a good sign that they are aware of what’s happening and will be able to use the potty.
  3. Often a good sign that children are ready to start potty training is that they recognise they are wet or dirty and want to either take the nappy off or ask you to change it for them. This shows they want to be clean and dry which gives them the incentive to get to the potty in time.
  4. There are visible signs that they need to go but are holding on such as fidgeting.

The best point to get to is the point where your child is telling you they need to go to the toilet before they go. Plus of course, there are other factors that might determine when you are ready to start trying. It can be easiest for example if you have a couple of weeks where you can be mostly at home. Or you might want to wait for warmer weather when there will be fewer clothes to get wet and more opportunity to spend time outside and naked from the waist down.


Next Up:  Potty Training Tips

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