Parents generally get very excited at the prospect of potty training because it means no more nappies but it can be tricky figuring out if your child is ready to start the process. Potty training is not something you can rush or do before your child is ready.
These are some of the signs that your toddler may be ready to start potty training.
- Pulling at their wet/dirty nappy. When their nappy starts to bother them after they have made a wee or a poo means they are aware of what is happening. They will start to want their nappy off immediately, even if they have just made a wee.
- They are able to pull their pants up and down. If your child is going to start going to the toilet on their own, they need to be able to pull their pants down and up on their own.
- Your toddler starts taking an interest in other’s toilet habits. They will want to go with you to the toilet, see what you are doing.
- They will express an interest in wearing underpants.
- A physical sign is that their bowel movements are predictable.
- Your child will start to verbalise their readiness, for example they are able to tell you they want to wee or while they are doing it (in their nappy) they share with you what they are doing.
- They will feel very proud of their “accomplishments” once they have finished.
- One of the cognitive signs your child is ready, is that they are able to follow a simple instruction and is able to tell you when he needs to go before it is too late.
Even if your child is showing most these signs, does not mean that you will place them on the toilet, throw all your nappies away and they are potty trained. It will still take some time for your child to get used to the idea of using the toilet. Some children struggle with the idea of using a toilet, they may want to but once placed on the toilet they are anxious and uncomfortable. Many will forget, while playing, that they need to go and by the time they realise it is too late.
Be patient with your child, start slowly and follow their lead. Children all achieve their milestones in their own time. Your child will start displaying some, or all of these signs, from around 2 years old but if they don’t, don’t rush them.