Potty training. It’s a milestone I’ve been simultaneously longing for and dreading for what feels like forever. Obviously longing for the days when I don’t have to worry about leaving the house without diapers, or getting poop literally anywhere other than the toilet. And still dreading the process of actually getting there and going through it. Being tied to the bathroom or our house for days while we get the habit right, or worse yet not being fast enough to race to the potty when we’re out in public. Potty training comes with its own special set of parenting battle scars. There are a few signs your child will exhibit to let you know you’re coming up on this important milestone.
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One of the most important “milestones” isn’t really a milestone at all. It’s simply age. Most children just aren’t ready to be potty trained before age two, and many aren’t ready until they’re three. It’s a wide window of time, so follow your child’s cues. Even if “everyone” you know had their kids potty trained by the time they turned two, know that it isn’t realistic for all children. That’s very young to fully potty train – so if your child doesn’t show signs of readiness until closer to three, don’t sweat it!
2. Dry Diapers
Your child should begin to stay dry for longer periods of time as he or she gets older. When that starts to happen, if you haven’t already introduced the idea of going to the potty, it’s a good time to start. Most children are able to stay dry for about two hours when they begin potty training. You’ll probably stay in diapers for awhile during naps or overnight. I read a few articles on training all at once, but I’m not into laundry so we’re skipping that.
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3. Interest in the Bathroom
At a certain point your little one will start to show a lot more interest in the bathroom and what goes on inside. This may be because he sees you doing it, or because friends at school are starting to go. Either way, it’s a no pressure time to start asking if he’d like to try himself. Getting comfortable with the bathroom and toilet early on makes it a lot easier once you start the potty training process.
4. Letting You Know
This is a big one. When they can let you know that they have to go, you’re getting a lot closer to the end game. If they can’t tell you that they’ve peed or pooped in their diaper, they’re likely not going to recognize the signals that they need to go to the bathroom. Once you start hearing about the potty, take advantage! Once you begin potty training you should make sure to ask your child to go to the bathroom at least every two hours (once they’re trained – more while you’re in the process) to avoid accidents.
5. Ability to pull their pants up and down
I’ll be honest. We started asking if our little lady wanted to go to the potty before we’d fully achieved this milestone. She WANTED to pull her pants up but was really struggling to get them up over her diaper. However, once she told us she wanted to go, we weren’t going to let the fact that we had to pull her pants down stop us.
Although there is no foolproof way to know if your child is ready to potty train until you try, there are a few key signs you should look out for if it’s on the horizon. Your little one will give you clear signals he or she may be ready to take the plunge. Although it may get messy, coming out the other side will be worth it. And if they aren’t ready, wait a few months and try again. You’ll get there.
Good luck mamma!
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