This is a question that I get asked a lot: How will I truly know my child is ready to potty train? Every child is different, therefore there is not a concrete answer to this question. However, many times parents will delay the process and miss the optimal 'training window' for their child! Yes, this is a real thing! There is a window of time that is ideal for potty training. Trying to train too soon can result in failure and waiting too long to train can make the training last longer than it should! In order to be prepared and know your child's window, don't miss out on the key signs of readiness! Here are the most important signs to look out for:
#1- They are interested in being a 'Big Boy or Big Girl'.
If they are showing independence and trying to do new things then this is definitely a sign that they are ready! Do they react to you and feel proud when you call them 'big'? In my opinion, potty training is the final item on the checklist of becoming a 'Big Boy or Big Girl' and it is so neat to watch!
#2- They show interest in the potty.
This means a variety of things. First of all, being interested in the potty itself. Are they playing with it, wanting to sit on it, etc? Secondly, are they interested when others go potty? Do they follow you when you go or like to watch you potty?
#3- They have longer periods of dry diapers.
Have you noticed that they are going for a longer time without going pee? This means that they are going more all at once and holding their pee for longer periods. This is a really great indicator and will make the accidents less frequent during training because they have already established the pattern of emptying their bladder and being able to hold it!
#4- They do not like being wet or dirty.
I remember both of my girls starting to take off their diapers because they simply did not like the feeling of wearing a dirty diaper.
#5- They will tell you when they went potty.
When you get closer to their potty training window, they will begin to tell you when they go pee or poop. They will likely tell you right after they go and sometimes while they are going! This is such a great sign because they are already associating the words with the process.
#6- Have a pattern with pooping.
Sometimes parents notice this right away and others need to document. Yes, if you are close to wanting to train, start tracking their poops! Just keep a note on your phone or write down the times the go. I bet that you will begin to notice a pattern of them pooping around the same times. This will help during the training days because you can anticipate them needing to go and direct them to the potty!
#7- Has the patience to sit.
Have you noticed that they are able to sit still for a few minutes when they are interested in something? For example, will they sit still to let you read them a few books, or will they watch an app or show on the iPad? It is very important when training to have them be able to sit still on the potty for a few minutes, at least for the first couple of days!
#8- They can communicate their needs.
This does not necessarily mean talking. This can be in the form of pointing, motioning, signaling, etc. More importantly, can they let you know when they want or need something? Having this mastered will relieve a lot of frustration during the training process.
If you are quickly approaching the time for training and you can check almost all of these off the list, don't miss their window!! It could be their time! I would love to help you train and in less than a week's time, have yourself a new Big Boy or Big Girl!