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Stephanie Benoit-Terrazas

I was an early childhood educator for 7 years. I am extremely passionate about global access to high-quality education. I have been working in the education space for a decade. I have a CDA, Bachelor of Arts in History, and another in Political Science. I have a Master's Degree in Communications and Media Studies.

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Potty Training

August 8, 2021
Stephanie Benoit-Terrazas

5 Signs my Child is Ready for Potty Training

In September of 2017, I sat my 17-month-old nephew on the toilet. I had no expectations. He sat for about 5 mins and then it happened! He peed on the potty! He immediately hopped off the toilet and we gave him tons of praise. However, all attempts to recreate that moment were pointless. He was not ready to start even though we were VERY ready.

I thought about that moment every single time I have to change another diaper. I had a glimmer of hope. This part was almost done.

Every child's potty training experience is different, but the signs that they show to tell you that they are ready are often the same. Here is what to look out for when you are ready to potty train your little one.

1) AGE

On Average most children potty train right around two years old. Some show interest at 15 months and some kids do not show any interest until 2  1/2. I have had students who didn't give up their pull-ups until they were well into their threes.

It is never too soon to start introducing them to potty training. Books about the potty are a great place to start. Also, let them come to the bathroom with you. We learn best by seeing and by doing. Model going for your child. Let them know when you are going to the bathroom. Put a potty seat in there so they can sit on the toilet with you.

2) PHYSICAL SIGNS

If your child is walking and running and if they can sit up on their own for a length of time from two to five minutes, then they can physically go to the toilet. The ability to step up and climb up is also helpful when potty training, especially if you plan on using the full-size toilet.

Something to consider as you embark on using the regular toilet -- a squatty potty. A little traction is helpful and as their bodies adjust to sitting to eliminate waste, giving them a little help will go a long way.

3) COGNITIVE/ SOCIAL EMOTIONAL  SIGNS

When your child begins to understand multi-step direction, shows pride in their accomplishments and understands that things have a place; that is how you know that they are ready to start potty training. Other things to look for are an increased interest in their own waste and in your toilet behaviors, removing clothing, especially soiled diapers, and if they are telling you they need a change. The best time to potty train is when you notice that your child is in a very cooperative stage. Offering your child games or activities while they sit can help you if your child has a shorter attention span.

4) ELIMINATION BEHAVIORS

I always found it to be very funny when I would see little bodies hiding in the corner. A lot of my co-workers referred to this behavior as going to the library. Children would hide in the corner, squat down, making grunting noises and then return to play as though nothing happened. This is a clear sign that they are ready to potty train. It means they have enough control over their bowels to poop with purpose. Children who remain dry for long lengths on time ( two hours or more) and who eliminate at relatively the same time each day have also developed enough control over their bodily functions to start potty training.

There was a little girl in my toddler room who used to always strip down to nothing. She would throw off her clothes in a second.  She potty trained in under 30 days. There was another girl who would only remover her diaper. It would frequently be wrapped around her leg. She potty trained in under 30 days. Children who do not like the sensation of wet clothing tend to move through the potty training process quickly.  If you are worried about potty training your boy, I can assure you that they show similar signs to girls, but if you are worried that they won’t cooperate, make it a game.

5) COMMUNICATION

Another skill that should be developed is expressive language. Your child should be able to communicate well enough to tell you when they have to go to the toilet. Helping them to understand potty words and expanding their vocabulary through conversation and books really helps develop language. The more your child can say the easier it will be to train them.

A few other things to consider before embarking on getting rid of diapers FOREVER!

Is your child afraid of the toilet? There are ways to help them be calmer and to show them that the toilet is not scary. DO NOT FORCE THEM TO GO IF THEY ARE SCARED! it will only make the process longer. Reassure them and ease them out of the fear. I really have to reiterate, DO NOT FORCE THEM if they aren’t ready. The best place to start is to prepare YOURSELF mentally and emotionally for the transition from diapers. Build habits that will help your child to be successful. Ultimately, your ability to be consistent is the key to successful toilet training.

Is everything calm and stable? If you do not plan on going on any trips or moving, then jump into potty training as soon as you can. The more stability a child has, the better they will do with potty training.

what are some tips and tricks that have worked for you? Share it with us in our FB Group 🥰 and Share this post with your friends who are potty training