Potty training your toddler can be a rewarding experience as it shows they are getting more self-sufficient and grown up, but it can also be a maddeningly difficult one. For the first two to three years of your toddler’s life, they’ve simply gone to the bathroom in their diaper, as it is all they’ve ever known.
This is really the simplest path for both child and parent, but there comes a time when it’s obvious that the toddler is not only ready to be potty trained, but is crying out for it. It’s your job as a parent to read those signs and know what is the proper potty training age for your child. If you follow the potty training tips listed below, you’ll be well on your way.
Signs that your Toddler is ready to be Potty Trained
One of the first signs you should look for is their ability to keep a dry diaper for extended periods of time. This is especially true if you find that their diaper is dry upon waking up from nighttime sleep. The first time you find a completely dry diaper after a night’s sleep you’ll be startled and maybe even wonder if your toddler is dehydrated or maybe even sick. You’ve grown so accustomed to them having a completely full diaper upon waking, but you have to realize that this is uncomfortable for them in general. If they are capable of holding their urine for an entire night, it’s a great sign that they are ready to be potty trained.
Another sign you should look for is your toddler recognizing both when they are about to pee or poop and when they have just gone to the bathroom. This is also a great sign that they are ready to be put on the path to potty training, because it means they are cognizant and aware of the act of going to the bathroom. For their initial months they really had little idea that these important bodily functions were taking place, so the awareness is a huge step.
When your toddler starts taking an interest in you going to the bathroom, they are also getting ready to be potty trained. This means when you go to the bathroom they will often want to come in, help you with the lights, open the toilet seat, grab some toilet paper, flush the toilet, etc. Basically they will mimic what they see you doing in the bathroom. This might seem a little odd at first, but it’s really a great sign that your child is ready.
The aforementioned signs were all fairly straightforward, as they are easily observable. The last major section of clues that your toddler is ready to be potty trained is a bit less obvious. You really need to make the determination as a parent if they are mentally and physically ready to be potty trained. The concern here is that if you try to potty train them when they are too young or too immature that it might backfire and set them back a number of months as compared to when they would have actually been ready to start the training.
Some things to look for are their ability to dress themselves and especially their ability to take off their pants and diaper. While this isn’t necessarily indicative of a child who is ready to be potty trained, it is certainly a positive sign. If they are mature enough to sit in one place long enough to concentrate on a book or a puzzle, then they are probably mature enough mentally to sit on the potty and go to the bathroom properly. It is also essential that they are able to follow directions properly and communicate with you. When they need to go to the bathroom they will have to not only tell you about it, but be able to understand when you tell them they need to rush over to the toilet.
Final Thoughts on Potty Training your Child
Potty training your toddler is all about consistency, timing and proper parenting. When the child is ready mentally and physically, it is really just about being consistent as a parent and letting your toddler see that going to the bathroom on the toilet is what they want to be doing. If you follow the advice above and keep an eye out for the major signs you’ll be well on your way to an easy toilet training routine with your child.