How to tell if Your Child is Ready for Potty Training

How to tell if Your Child is Ready for Potty Training

Is your child ready to start potty training? All parents eventually face this question, but there are several signs that can help you determine when it’s time to start training. The truth is that no two kids train alike. The secret to success in potty training is to tune into your child’s unique learning style.

The 10 Signs of Readiness

Whether the start of potty training comes earlier or later for your child, you’ll get your cues on “when it’s time” from your child. That emerging independence starts shining through and they’re eager-to-please. Now is the time to start actively watching for these signs of readiness for potty training. Ask yourself if your child:

  • Stays dry for at least two hours.
  • Is dry after a nap.
  • Is uncomfortable in soiled diapers.
  • Shows increased interest in the bathroom.
  • Asks to use the toilet or potty chair.
  • Has regular and predictable bowel movements.
  • Asks to wear Big Kid or “grown up” underwear.
  • Uses words or body language when he or she needs to go.
  • Follows simple verbal directions.
  • Walks to and from the bathroom, helps undress his/herself.

If your child shows two or more of these signs, it’s a good indication that they’re ready to start potty training.

Are You Ready?

Make sure you’re ready for the start of potty training when your child is. When a child shows readiness, that’s a parent’s cue to start preparing the child by buying products such as a small potty, training pants and children's books about using the toilet. You also can let your child practice on the potty.

Surf the Big Kid Beginnings area of Pull-Ups.com for more advice and tips and take advantage of the learning games, quizzes and songs to help you motivate your child. Remember the basics of being a good coach for your potty trainer and keep things motivating right from the start by being patient, positive and consistent. Focus on what your child does right. Stay upbeat. You’ll make it smoother, simpler and more rewarding for both of you.

A Successful Start

When you and your child are ready to start potty training, make it a big occasion. Mark the start of potty training with the introduction of Pull-Ups® Training Pants and the potty chair. Steer clear of worrying about hard and fast deadlines. No matter what your mother told you, there’s no one right age to start potty training. Most children show signs of readiness sometime between the ages of 18-24 months. Once you do get started, potty training takes about eight months, on average.

With a positive outlook and a little creativity, potty training really can be more about quality time. Find ways to encourage your child’s early interest. Play up the fun with activities like decorating the potty chair, picking out rewards or creating a special potty progress chart together.

And don’t forget to load on the praise and rewards right from the start. Bragging rights and the expectation of applause are strong motivators to your child. So find those moments to celebrate and share them with everyone in your child’s cheering section.

Ready, Set ... Not Yet

If your child starts out fine, but then gets hopelessly stuck, no worries! It’s not unusual for the potty chair to go back into the closet for weeks, or even months. If your child loses interest, hold off for a few weeks and then try again.

Toilet training is a developmental process. Children’s bodies and brains are developing all the time, and each new phase sets the foundation for those to come. No amount of teaching can make those developments happen before their time. You’ll have an easier, happy time of it if you wait until you’re sure your child is ready.