In most cases you’ll begin to notice signs that your child is ready to start potty training from 18 to 24 months of age.
However, some toddlers will show readiness signs before or even after the 18-24 months range.
It’s between 12-24 months that the muscles which allow your child to control bladder and bowel movement are fully developed.
Toilet training success rests on physical and emotional readiness. It’s important that as a parent you’re not fixed on a specific age.
Your job is to recognize when your child is ready.
The readiness signs are not hard to spot if you’re focused on your child’s behaviour.
In this post I’m going to share with you the readiness signs which tell you if your child is at the “right age” to begin potty training.
- Signs your child is ready to start toilet training
- 1. Your child seems interested in the potty chair or toilet
- 2. Physical readiness signs, even if your child is not yet interested in the toilet
- 3. Your child imitates you around the house
- 4. Your child can put things back in their place
- 5. His diapers are dry for up to two-three hours
- 6. Bowel movements are soft, formed and are regular
- 7. Your child can communicate what he or she wants
- 8. He’s uncomfortable with wet or soiled diapers
- Boys vs Girls
Signs your child is ready to start toilet training
First of all, remember that not all signs need to be present for your child to be ready. Some children will only show one or two signs when they’re ready.
Secondly, don’t feel pressured to start toilet training if you’re not positive that the signs are there. And more importantly do not pressure your child.
If the timing is right you’ll be able to take your child from diapers to potty in as little as 3 days.
Altogether there are about 8-9 signs that give you a good idea about your child’s readiness. Here they are.
1. Your child seems interested in the potty chair or toilet
Your child shows interest in watching others go to the toilet, which although may seem kind of awkward it’s actually a good way to start things of.
This includes watching you on the toilet, asking questions about the toilet or sitting on the potty chair.
2. Physical readiness signs, even if your child is not yet interested in the toilet
The signs that your child is ready for toilet training, from a physical point of view are:
- He or she is able to walk and sit down all on his own
- Can sit on and get up from his potty chair
- He can stabilize himself with his feet so he can push when he needs to poop
3. Your child imitates you around the house
A clear sign of potty training readiness is when your child starts to show a desire to please you.
4. Your child can put things back in their place
If your child shows that he understands about things having their place around the house and also seems to have a desire to be more independent when it comes to completing tasks, he’s at an age when potty training can begin.
5. His diapers are dry for up to two-three hours
This is a sign that your child is able to store pee in his bladder and hold it in.
6. Bowel movements are soft, formed and are regular
A regular sign of toilet training readiness is when your child’s bowel movements become predictable.
7. Your child can communicate what he or she wants
Communication does not mean necessarily through words, but also through body movements, facial expressions, looks or hand gestures.
Also if your child understands or follows basic instructions like “Give daddy the ball”, it’s a very good readiness sign. Even better when he or she can understand words used for actions like peeing and pooping.
It’s important for you as a parent to learn how your child communicates. When your child gives you signs or hints that he needs to pee or poop you need to act fast.
8. He’s uncomfortable with wet or soiled diapers
An obvious sign that your child hates being in a wet or soiled diaper is when he tries to pull the diaper off.
He may even ask you to change him.
Him being aware about what’s going to happen when he pees or poops is another strong sign that it’s mostlikely the right time for you to start potty training.
Boys vs Girls
Boys seem to show interest in potty training later than girls and sometimes can take 1 to 3 months longer to train.
Many parents tend to postpone toilet training their child, thinking that the older the child, the quicker it will be to potty train him.
What I can tell you from my experience is that the opposite is actually true.
Think about it, the older your child gets the more resistant to changes he becomes. If he’s set in his ways it will be harder for you to convince him to make the transition from diapers to potty or toilet.
As I said, there’s no right age for potty training.
Your best bet for a quick and easy potty training experience is to follow the clues your child gives you.
Look for the readiness signs and when you feel that your child is ready take action. Don’t postpone.