Is Your Baby Ready for Potty Train?

All children are different. While some may be potty trained before their second birthday, others still struggle by the time they are preschool age. When should you start potty training your child? Just like any other milestone, you should let your child decide when is the right time to potty train. If you try to get your child to potty train when they aren't ready, then you are setting yourself up for a stressful experience. Then when is the baby ready to potty train might be a question you start asking after they reach the one year mark. There are some clear signs they might be giving you that say they are. Read on to learn that.


Is My Baby Ready to Potty Train? Check These Signs

1. Less diaper changes.

When your toddler can stay dry for an hour or two, this can be a good sign they are ready to move on to the potty. Usually round 20 months of age, you may notice you are having to change your little one less and less, which is a good indication that they are gaining control over their bladder.

2. They let you know when they need a diaper change.

As your child grows, they will be able to give you clear signs that they are pooping or peeing. Some children may verbal say what they are doing while others will grunt or hide in a corner when they are going. In any instance, these signs they give you could mean they are ready for the potty train because they become more predictable.

3. They can undress themselves.

Your toddler won’t need to know how to fully button a button or zip up their own pants but they will need to be able to do simple undressing and dressing actions. Being able to pull down their own pants will make the potty training process go a lot smoother.

4. They can follow simple steps.

Using the potty will require your child to do things in steps - first undress, second sit, third wipe, fourth get dressed, fifth flush, sixth wash hands. If your child is not able to follow simple three-step instructions like pick up toy, put in box, or close lid, they might not be able to follow all the steps for using the potty.

5. They want to do more on their own.

Is my baby ready to potty train? It will depend on their desire to be more independent. If you notice your toddler want to do more things on their own, they may be ready to tackle the big kid potty.

6. They are interested in seeing others use the restroom.

Have you noticed your little one is right behind you when you need to use the potty? Children who tend to be ready to potty train will often show a greater interest in seeing others use the potty. They will ask question and even want to watch as you go.

7. They understand bathroom terminology.

It doesn't matter what you choose to use to refer to pooping or peeing, it only matters that your child understands what this means. When your child can grasp the words used when they need to go potty, and they know the associated body parts for the process, they may be ready to start potty training.

8. Take off diapers themselves.

One sure sign that your child is ready for potty training is when they start taking off their own used diapers. This indicates that they are not comfortable in the diaper and is one of the first steps to helping them be aware of when they need to go.

9. They are more curious about their bowel movements.

It might sound gross but children who show interest in seeing their own poop are often ready to potty train. When you notice your child is showing more interests in seeing their own poop or pee, this is a great place to start showing them where this waste would go if they were to use the potty.

10. Bowel movements are predictable.

When you are determining “is my baby ready to potty train”, pay attention to when they have a bowel movement. Children who have regular and more predictable bowel movements will often have more success when it comes time to potty train.

11. Other Signs:

  • They can sit and stand up on their own.
  • They can sit for up to five minutes quietly on by themselves.
  • They will pee a good amount at a time instead of a little every hour.

Tips for Potty Train Quickly

1. Dedicate time to focus on potty training

When it's time to start potty training, you want to give your child your full attention. It might not be fun having to sit in the bathroom for what seems like all day or having to follow your child around watching for signs they need to go, but it will make the process much easier.

2. Reading material

Having a few books close to the potty can keep your child sitting still. Try to find books that relate to using the potty or potty training to keep their mind focused on the task.

3. If they ask for a diaper, don't put it on

Your child may be getting the whole peeing on the potty down quickly, but pooping can be another challenge. Many children will ask to put on a diaper so they can poop, which only reinforces their capability of sitting on the potty to do it.

4. Coffee filters

Place a coffee filter in their potty to make clean up a breeze. When they poop, all you have to do is to remove the filter and throw it in the diaper pail so you don't have to worry about cleaning the potty afterward.

5. Rewards

When you answer “yes” to the question “is my baby ready to potty train” after checking the signs above, you want to consider having a reward system in place. Whether it’s a small piece of can or a little toy, these incentives can help out a great deal in the potty training process.

6. Track progress

Keep a chart up that shows your child how well they are doing with using the potty. Positive encouragement is great for keeping your child on track and showing this visually will keep them more excited. You can also make this a reward chart that they can get something small after they have used the potty so many times.

7. Set a timer

Getting your child to stop what they are doing to use the potty can be a challenge. Using a fun timer that will remind your child it is time to use the potty will get them into the habit of stopping what they are doing when they feel the need to go.

8. Keep the diapers out of sight

When you start potty training, you don't want to remind your child of the diapers. Get your child involved to get rid of the diapers and put them in big kid underwear. It may take a few days of frequently underwear changes, but they will grasp the concept of using the potty quicker.

9. Find the right place for the potty

Most kids are scared to use the big potty at first, so it is best to get them their own small potty to use. This potty can be placed anywhere in the home, where they play often is a great place to start off putting it, then slowly begin to move it closer to the actual bathroom.

10. When out of the house

Have post-it notes on hand for when you need to run errands with your little one. Many kids are scared of the automatic flushing toilets, so you can cover the sensor with a post it and remove it once your child is done.

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