How do you know when your child is ready to take the leap from diapers to potty training? Potty training your toddler depends upon the developmental and behavioral milestones and not just their age. While some children are ready for potty training at 18-24 months old, others may not show any signs until they are 3 years of age (1). So, there’s no need to rush the process, but rather look for the signs that your child is exhibiting that hints he/she is ready to be potty trained.
Developmental Signs To Watch Out For:
A child who is still crawling and hasn’t taken their first step cannot be potty trained. Hence developmental signs play a major role in determining if a child is ready to be potty trained or not.
They Can Walk
If your child has already taken his/her first steps, congrats! It just means that they are learning to be independent on some level.
They Can Sit Still For A While
We are not talking about an hour here. But rather a few minutes without crawling around or picking something from the floor. If they can sit and focus for a brief period, it will be easier to potty train them, don’t you think?
Ability To Understand
Your child may not be able to understand everything that you are saying yet. But if they can understand a few basics and simple sentences, it will go a long way when you begin to potty train him/her.
Signs Your Child Is Ready To Start Potty Training
Your kid may give certain signs to let you know they are ready to transition from the diaper phase.
1. Uncomfortable In Dirty Diapers
If your toddler seems irritated or really uncomfortable to be in dirty or wet diapers, they might show signs that it needs to be changed. It just shows that they have an awareness that it’s dirty and needs to be changed.
2. Hesitate To Poop In Front Of You
If you find your little one hiding when they poop or pee, it’s probably because they know that it’s a private business. They don’t want everyone to see what they are doing because its not something to be shared.
3. Less Wet Diapers
If your munchkin can get through their nap time without getting their diaper soaked, it’s a great sign. Also, check if your baby can stay dry for longer periods. It means that they now have a good grip on their bowel movements.
4. Lets You Know That They Need A Changing
Does your child make a sound or use some sort of signal to let you know they need to go to the toilet or their diaper needs to be changed? They may pat their diaper or do something unusual to give you a hint.
5. Interested In Your Business
Is your child curious about what you are doing in the toilet? They may follow you to the toilet and might be interested in the fact that you are not wearing a diaper.
What To Do When You Start Potty Training
There are a few things you can do to speed up the potty training process:
- Introduce the potty and let them know it is used for big boys and girls.
- Purchase some cute underwear and get them excited about wearing it.
- Let your child go diaperless for some time. Let them put on the underwear instead. Slowly increase this time.
- Encourage your toddler whenever they sit on the potty. Praise them when they make an effort and tell them how happy you are.
If your child hasn’t shown any signs, then don’t rush it. Your toddler will let you know (through signs) when they are ready to let go of the diaper phase. Pushing the process will only distress both you and your baby. Until then relax and let things take its own course.