10 Signs Your Toddler is Ready for Potty Training
One of the many great milestones toddlers are expected to master, between the age of 18 months to 4 years old, is potty training. To date, we have successfully shown all four boys how to use the toilet with raging success. Ignoring the times they miss the bowl or forget to wipe off the toilet seat. I DO remind them, since this slip-up affects me directly, in so many ways.
We recently finished potty training our youngest son. We “delayed” his potty training career until he showed clear signs of readiness. We knew our sweet toddler was ready for potty training when he exhibited these 10 signs.
(Post originally written in 2014, updated in 2017)
Personally, I am never in a rush to potty train the boys, I wait until they are old enough to write me a 30-page dissertation on all the reasons why “Now is the Time to Potty Train”. Jonah finally finished his paper last summer, and after close review I had to agree, he was ready to step into the big leagues: Our toddler was (finally) ready for potty training!
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10 Signs Your Toddler Is Ready for Potty Training:
- Able to pull pants up and down.
- This is only applicable if your toddler ever wears pants! Our boys always prefer the ever so toddler-chic “diaper only” look.
- Your life is settled into a groove with no major changes on the horizon.
- Things like moving, a new sibling, sickness – even as simple as the common cold can all cause toddlers to regress. Starting potty training during a major life change could backfire.
- We moved and added another sibling to the mix in 2014, we therefore waited for things to calm down before we even considered potty training Jansen.
- Show interest in the toilet and the things that other family members do on it.
- Having three older brothers provides a great deal of inspiration and leaves little to the imagination of what a toilet is used for. It’s fair to say that Jonah is well educated in this area – and intrigued.
- Notice and dislike wet and dirty diapers.
- Jonah aced this point. He used to take diapers off and bring them to us… yeah – he was ready.
- Stay dry for longer periods of time and their bowel movements are predictable.
- We all know the signs of a pooping baby/ toddler. Their facial expressions alone give it away, but also their body language of hiding and retreating back into a corner are dead giveaways.
- Jonah was a little more stealth than that – but he was still very predictable.
- Follow simple instructions & eager to learn.
- Toddlers are inherently eager to learn how to navigate the world around them. As soon as they are capable they will gladly follow easy instructions all in the name of learning a new task.
- Of course, this all has to be done on THEIR time – when they are well-rested and not hungry… but we all know this about toddlers.
- Express a desire to be a big kid.
- This is one reason why potty training a toddler who just became a big brother/ sister may just be an effort in futility. With a little baby in the house, many toddlers regress as they see the baby gets attention for doing “baby things”.
- Once the new family dynamics have been established, it is again “safe” for the toddler to show an interest in becoming a big kid.
- Communicate wants and needs.
- Being verbal is not necessarily as sign of potty training readiness, since we know toddlers have their own very convincing ways of getting their point across.
- Many of these methods of communication have little to nothing to do with speech – so just being able to point, sign, signal, or do the potty dance are all perfect ways of communicating the need for a potty break.
- Have patience to sit still for a few minutes.
- Resist diapers and ask for underwear.
- I know, I know – this one is rather obvious – but I had to add it since it was one of Jonah’s CLEAR signs…
- and that’s when I knew it was time for me to get off the pot and get the kid potty trained!
Before you start your potty training journey, here are some things parents wish they knew about potty training ahead of time!
Now that your toddler is ready for potty training, let’s get stocked up on the 10 things you will need for potty training success!