Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Potty Training: Signs of Readiness

The thought of finally arriving at that stage where you will bid farewell to diapers as part of your everyday routine can be pretty appealing.

Having a toddler who is potty trained can represent a new milestone in you and your baby’s life, some new independence for your little one, and some freedoms that weren’t there before as well!

Maybe you think your child is approaching that mark. Maybe he/she just turned two.

Or maybe your friends and relatives are whispering in your ear about what age they think is the magic potty training age.

Maybe you’re feeling the pressure and feeling like all of your friends children are doing it, so yours should too....

Every child is different. Average ages for readiness are between 2 - 2 ½ yrs. old. However, there are always going to be stories of the child who self-trained at 18 months and there are also many children who aren’t quite there until closer to 3.

While each child is unique and will do things at their own pace, there are some signs of potty training readiness that can help you decide whether or not this is the next big adventure for you and your toddler.

Sarah tweeted her thoughts and tips and she was bang on!

Stays dry longer. When you notice that you’re changing diapers less frequently throughout the day and your toddler is staying dry for a few hours at a time, this is a good readiness indicator. You may even find he/she is occasionally waking from naps or nighttime with a dry diaper.

Bowel Movements are predictable. If your child has bowel movements around the same time everyday this is a good indicator that you’ll know when to try a sit-down on the potty and anticipate some success!

Announces the need to go. As your toddler becomes more aware of his/her bodily functions he/she will start to verbalize (sometimes loudly, and at inopportune times!) what they need to do. Other children may not be yelling it from the rooftops but their body language will be a giveaway that something is about to happen. Facial expressions change and he/she may go find a corner to be alone. The awareness of what the body is doing is a great sign of readiness to begin potty training.

Heightened interest in bathroom lingo and bathroom activities. If you’ve started to notice that you have a tag-a-long every time you try to use the bathroom, there’s a good chance you’ll be potty training soon. When a toddler wants to understand the mechanics of what bodies do when they’re in the bathroom and starts to learn the words like ‘pee’ and ‘poo’ and what they apply to, they are showing readiness for the next steps beyond diapers.

Can pull pants up and down. A child needs to be able to pull his/her own pants up and down with relative ease if potty training is going to be successful. If your child isn’t at this stage, they’re not ready just yet.

Prefers clean diapers. If your child has rounded the corner into that stage where he/she wants to be changed the moment his/her diaper is wet or soiled, then you’re likely ready to begin potty training. Big-kid underwear is just around the corner!

While potty training can seem like a big undertaking, and will absolutely require patience and persistence, it can be a rewarding, confidence building experience for you and your child. Don’t give into pressure. Carefully consider the readiness indicators and decide for yourself if you think your child is ready to start trying. Good luck!

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Was learning about these signs of readiness helpful? What are some other questions you have about potty training? Share your questions, as well as any advice you have, in a comment below!
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