Potty Training Signs

Are there potty training signs that parents should look for as a guideline for when to potty train their little one?

When to Start Potty Training

Based on my research, there is not specific age at which parents should start working with kids on the toilet and weaning them from diapers, but there ARE some things to look for to help you determine readiness to learn this process.

Basically, children need to be demonstrating independence and an interest in being independent, or in being “a big kid.” They also need to have the physical maturity and the cognitive capabilities to understand instruction and communicate well enough what they are doing. (More on this in a moment.)

Parents can start trying to get their children out of diapers earlier, but the general age --- assuming that physical and cognitive readiness – is anywhere between 1 1/2 months to 2 1/2 to 3 years old. If parents start earlier than this typical potty training age and their kids are not ready, instead of making the process end faster, it could actually prolong the process and lead to potty training resistance. Therefore, consider the overall readiness of your child, as well as your readiness before you start!

So what are some signs that your child is ready?

Potty Training Signs:

Clues that Your Child Might Be Ready

  • Shows signs of wanting to be independent, or be a “big boy” or “big girl.”
Potty Training Seat
  • Can pass a good amount of urine at one time and also has periods (2 hrs or so) of being dry
  • Being able to notice other sensations (if they are aware of other sensations, they will likely be able to notice the sensation of having to go to the toilet, i.e. hot, cold, etc.)
  • Modeling behavior of going to the toilet by a bigger sibling or parent
  • Being unhappy about being wet
  • Going somewhere private when they wet/soil their diaper
  • Able to understand simple instructions and words like “poo” or “pee pee”, or whatever words you want to use for these things. Also, they’re able to communicate somehow that they have done one of these.
  • Pulling off either diaper or other clothes when wetting or soiling diaper (which points back to being unhappy about being wet or soiled.)
  • Wants to please, or can at least appreciate the difference between doing something well and doing something that’s disappointing. Appreciates the celebration when he/she achieves.

Once you feel that your child has shown you potty training signs that indicate that he / she is ready, get yourself ready to help him / her. Store up a little patience, and remember to stay positive through the process and celebrate the wins.  Know that there WILL be day wetting during this process, but it all while you're on the road to getting your little guy or girl diaperless!

Click here for some tips on potty training:

Potty Training Girls

Potty Training Boys

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Want some good reading on potty training? 

Check Out:

The Potty Book for Boys

The Potty Book for Boys

...or Check Out:

The Potty Book for Girls

The Potty Book for Girls