How to Know When Your Child is Ready to be Potty Trained
Of all the joyous aspects of parenthood, dirty nappies are not one of them. Factor in up to four years of nappy changing and you’re probably feeling ready to move onto potty training. However just because you’re ready to move on, doesn’t necessarily mean your little one is.
Children can take anywhere from 18 months to three years to develop the right skills to start learning how to use a potty – although girls tend to be ready earlier (obviously, right ladies?) – and there’s no set age or right time to start. That being said, there are some tell-tale signs you can look out for that should give you an idea of when your little one is ready to begin potty training.
Get ready, we’re about to say ‘poo’ a lot.
First things first, children need to develop the ability to control their bladder and bowel movements before potty training can begin and this rarely happens before they are 12 months of age. They might not be able to tell you when they start to get more control but you can look out for signs like regular poos, a clean nappy in the morning or after a nap, or an awareness that they’re about to poo or wee (look out for sudden concentration, taking themselves off somewhere, or even telling you it’s about to happen). Once this awareness and control is in place, they should be able to move on to potty training without any accidents.
Independence is vital to potty training so keep an eye out for signs of independent behaviour such as a willingness to learn or a new awareness of self. Little ones should start paying attention to their surroundings or show recognition of routine and their own daily activities. Signs such as starting to learn how to dress themselves are also a really good indicator because they’ll need to be able to pull pants up and down without assistance if they’re going to use a potty.
In a Word
Good communication is also really important when it comes to potty training as your little one will need to be able to let you know when they need to go or when they’ve been. To get to the right stage, they’ll need to know the words ‘wee’ and ‘poo’ (or have alternative words that you both recognise as meaning ‘wee’ and ‘poo’) and have the ability to understand and follow instructions or questions such as ‘Do you need a poo?’. Once you’ve got to this stage, explaining the process of using a potty will be much easier and your little one will be ready to begin training!