When To Start Potty Training – 7 Signs Your Child is Ready

When to start potty training

I don’t know about you, but after two years of changing cloth diapers, I was ready to be done. The question is when to start potty training? I will share 7 signs that it could be the right  time.

Some moms start very early with a practice called elimination communication. Some of these children, don’t ever even wear a diaper and there are other moms that use age as kind of their marker. Some of them will decide to start at 18 months or two years. Then another set of moms will actually have their older children teach their younger the way of the potty.

Based on my research and experience, I decided to let my child tell me when she was ready. I just found that this was the most gentle and easiest approach for both baby and mama. How did I know when to start potty training? Here are the top 7 signs.

When To Start Potty Training

1. Your Child Doesn’t Like Wearing Dirty Diapers For Long Periods

At some point, your child is going to start getting really uncomfortable with a poop diaper or really wet one. They’ll come and tell you poopy diaper or I got peepee or I’m wet, or change my diaper.

This is a sign that they’re understanding the connection between their bowels and their body and how they feel about it. This is all really positive and good and I think it’s because our kids get old at some point.

I don’t care how absorbent this diaper is, it just can’t contain these big eliminations. This is all good in a natural part of the process.

baby boy on potty with teddy

2. The Child  Says They’re Going Potty

This is kind of a fun development. For example, you might be walking to the park or something, and your kid would just stop freeze-frame and just stand there. When you ask them what’s going on the reply ” I’m going peepee”. Or other times, they will be playing with toys and look up and say “Mom, I just went PP”.

This is just a sign again that they’re understanding like hey, I just released, I’m learning how my body is functioning and how this whole process of going to the bathroom works.

3. Child Takes Pride In Accomplishments

Like some independence, this is actually really important, because it’s showing you that the child is emotionally prepared to be potty trained. It is kind of this mark of independence. You will no longer be taking care of them in this way by changing all their diapers.

This is really important. Some signs of this would be if your child says hey mom, look what I did or I made this, or I can do it myself. Those are just little signs that your child is starting to break free and ready emotionally to be potty trained. Now, if your child isn’t showing this kind of sign, you can do little things to help encourage independence.

For example, if you have a family dog your kid can help to feed the dog. Or let’s say you go to the post office and you’ve got some mail to drop in the box. You can offer your child the mail and they could put it in themselves. Just see if they start to like this feeling of doing things by themselves.

4. Your Child Notices Others Using The Potty

This is the classic thing right. Every time you get a moment to yourself and you go to the bathroom, your child knock on the door they come in and they want to see what’s going on.

In the beginning I think it’s more about just being with you and kind of companionship, but eventually, they’ll start getting curious like what are you doing in here and can I see and can I flush it. You want to start opening this dialog and just showing your kid how this process works.

5. They Will Occasionally Have Dry Periods

Sometimes your child will wake up from his/her two-hour nap and you’ll go to change their diaper and it would be dry.

This is showing us that biologically they are learning bladder control and that their little bladders are able to contain liquid for longer and longer periods of time.

baby girl on potty with book

6. It Becomes Obvious When They Go Number 2

Earlier your child would always keep you guessing. You would have just changed his diaper, go downstairs start playing with something and all of a sudden would smell something. They would just drop them here and there in the midst of playing, and you never know when it was going to happen.

At a certain point, your child starts to get into a little rhythm, and some children even go at certain times of the day. It becomes really obvious when they are going. They have to stop and they grunt sometimes, and they might turn a little bit red and it just becomes this experience. It’s very obvious that they’re going number two.

As this progresses you might even notice that your child wants to be alone, when they do number two. They might go into a corner or behind a couch. That’s when to start potty training.

7. Child Will Try Out Potty

Buy a potty or two and put these little potties around the house. When your child plays with it you can start experimenting with it by taking off his/her diaper, letting them sit on it even if they never go on it.

If your child is showing strong resistance or just acts afraid of it, or anything like that, I would hold off and wait a month or two and try again. Reintroduce that potty and see how they feel around it.

So where do you go from here? Well, if your child is showing most of these signs, then you’re ready for my next step, which is how to potty train your child.

Related: How To Potty Train Your Child

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