How Do I Know My Child Is Ready to Potty Train?
It is time to ask yourself the big question...is my child ready to potty train?
Child readiness is perhaps the most hotly-debated aspect of potty training. Overanxious parents who don’t want to deal with the bother of diapers anymore often try to force their child into using the toilet before they’re ready. However, starting too soon can be detrimental to your child — and yourself when you inevitably find yourself resetting the potty training clock.
The first step in successful potty training is to watch for your child’s readiness. If you don’t, this will be a very long process filled with avoidable frustration and headaches for both you and your child.
If you want to help push the process along, start by helping your child recognize the feeling of going potty. This will help them get started on the right foot without pressuring them before they’re ready.
When Are Kids Ready to Potty Train?
There’s no magic age when potty training should begin. As we’ve already said, every child is different. With my own children, my daughter was going on the toilet consistently and staying dry at night at 24 months. My son, however, showed few, if any, signs of wanting to use the potty until closer to 3. Children will be ready at different times, so keep that in mind, especially when it comes to nighttime potty training (more on that later). In general, most kids are ready between 2 and 3, and girls tend to train before boys do. Boys are often able to gain control of urine but struggle with bowel control. As you prepare for this journey, it’s important to keep an eye out for some common signs your child might be ready to use the potty.
Signs Your Child Might Be Ready to Potty Train. Your Child May:
- Have bowel movements at about the same time every day
- Stay dry for a few hours at a time or wake up from sleep dry
- Start to talk about using the potty and know when they have to go to the bathroom
- Begin to tell you when they have a soiled diaper
- Understand the association between dry pants and using the potty
- Understand terminology such as “poop,” “pee,” “dry,” “wet,” “potty,” etc.
Independence is another important aspect of being ready for the potty. If your child can understand simple commands like, “Let’s go to the potty,” then readiness is imminent. There are other signs to watch for as well.
Your child may:
- Pull their pants up and down
- Begin to imitate other family members
- Watch you on the toilet and ask questions (yes, this can be awkward...)
- Show signs of independence
- Enjoy washing their hands
- Want to please you