7 signs your child is ready for potty training
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7 signs your child is ready for potty training

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Potty training and when to start is often rewarded. Many parents find that the best plan is to wait until their child shows signs of readiness. This is rather than bowing to pressure from friends or family to start the process too soon. This is instead of making their child potty train before a certain age or deadline.

Read on to discover signs that your little one is ready for potty training.

7 signs your child is ready for potty training

Signs of potty training readiness

A key point to remember is that there is no ‘right age’ to start potty training – it is a process that requires your little one to develop a complex set of skills. You know your child best, and you may sense when the time is right. Potty training may be easier and faster when your child is at least two years old or even older.

In fact, rather than focusing on age, it’s best to watch for signs that your little one is ready to start potty training.

What are some signs of potty training readiness?

Here are some signs that your child may be ready to train:

1. Your child shows interest in potty training and wants independence. For example, they may ask questions if they see a family member getting to the toilet.

2. Your child can understand and verbalize potty training. For example, he might say, “my napy is dirty,” or “I need to use the potty.” He might even tell you he needs to take him to the toilet even if his napy is already dirty or wet.

3. Your child can connect needing to urinate or defecate and using the potty.

4. Your child can follow simple instructions and copies behaviors, including toileting habits.

5. Your child can keep their nappies dry for at least two hours.

6. Your child can sit on the potty, stay on the potty long enough to pee or poop, and get off the potty.

7. Your child can pull down their nappies, training trousers, or underwear.

When will my child be ready for toilet training?

Although early training is possible, studies show that many children who begin toilet training before 18 months are not fully trained until 4 years. Conversely, children who do not start training until around 2 are likely to be fully toilet trained by age 3.

Girls tend to be ready to train a little earlier than boys, but the readiness cues for both boys and girls are the same.

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Things you can do to prepare your toddler for potty training

Even before you notice signs of readiness, you can prepare your child for potty training to make the experience successful.

Addressing some of these steps will help familiarise your child with potty training before training begins. You can also make the process less scary and confusing for your child, making potty training easier for you.

Here’s what you can do with your child to toilet train them:

– Get a potty and keep it at home; explain what it is for and how it works. It may also help to choose a toilet seat. Perhaps you can let your child choose one they like. This will help them get more excited about the potty.

– Use words like “pee” and “poop” to familiarise your child with what happens when you use the toilet or change a dirty nappy.

– As your child grows, show them where the poo belongs in their nappies and let them put it in their potty or flush it down the toilet.

– If possible, let your child watch when other family members of the same sex use the toilet.

How to start toilet training

Once you’ve seen most readiness signs, it’s time to start toilet training.

It’s an excellent idea to start with bowel training, which focuses on toilet training when your child is pooping or about to poop.

Peeing happens while toddlers poo, so children often find it difficult to tell the difference. Once bowel training is established and your child is used to peeing in their potty, most children, especially girls, will relate pooping to peeing. They can then understand the difference between them.

Because you will begin toilet training with a focus on bowel training, boys generally learn to pee sitting down. Gradually, however, they can learn to do it by standing up. Mimicking an older sibling of the same sex or his dad can help him improve. There are also books showing how children pass urine while standing up.

If you’ve started potty training your child ahead of time, you probably already have a potty chair at home.


First steps to toilet training

Once your child is familiar with “their” potty chair, here are some steps you can take to start potty training:

– Let your child sit on their potty chair fully clothed while you talk to them about the potty chair and what it is for.

– Once your child is sitting on the potty independently without being asked, you can try to get them to sit there without their nappies. Don’t force her to use the toilet if she doesn’t want to.

– When you are comfortable with that routine, try changing his nappies while he is on the potty. If he does something, show him how you drop it on the potty chair or toilet.

– Introduce the habit of washing hands every time your little one uses the potty, even if she doesn’t pee or poop.

An important thing to remember is to keep the experience positive and praise your child for all toilet successes. If you can make potty training fun, your little one will transition easier.

When to delay toilet training

Trust your instincts about whether or not it’s the right time to begin potty training. Even if your little one is showing signs of readiness, you may want to postpone introducing this new skill in the following situations:

– If your child is sick

– If you are on a trip

– Nearing a sibling’s birth

– If your child is moving from cot to bed

– If you are moving to another home


How do I know when my child is ready to potty train?

Every child is different, and there are several signs of readiness, but the first sign is when your child shows interest in the potty – for example, by asking questions about it. Another sign is when they seem eager to imitate you.

What is the normal age for toilet training?

It is usually easier to wait until your child is two years old to start potty training. However, remember that every child is different, and you will know best if your child is ready to begin at age two or later. Keep an eye out for signs that your child is ready to start toilet training. Signs include whether they are aware when they need to pee or poop and how to get in and out of the potty chair.

Is 18 months too young to potty train?

Starting potty training can be an exciting learning experience for your little one if they are ready for this next step towards increased independence. Although accidents will happen along the way, staying patient and positive will help your little one learn faster and have fewer problems. Have fun and good luck!

You can also find The best potty training products in 2021

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