Some parents think age is an indicator that children should be ready to potty train. There isn’t a certain age children have to be to begin using the potty on their own. Children reach their own milestones on their own time because they are all different.
You will know when your child is ready to graduate to those big-kid panties when you notice any of these 10 signs.
10 Wet Diaper Discomfort
One way to tell your child might be ready to ditch those diapers is if he or she is uncomfortable in them after wetting them. You might notice you suddenly have a kid who is overly whiney and demanding. The tantrums tend to run closer together and you’ve mentally gone down the list of possible causes that have already been tended to. If a diaper change happens to be in order and the behavior becomes a pattern, your child might not like being wet, which is a good sign!
Your child could be watching their favorite show or playing with toys when you discover their diaper is being pinched and tugged at. This is a sign that your little one is aware that there have been some “changes” and the diaper is now bothering them.
Depending on the brand, diapers have wetness indicators that show when it’s wet, taking the guessing out of whether or not to change it. Follow the blue line, or your baby’s gestures, and check it out. If there is no rash present and no redness or irritation, your child might be telling you something!
8 Runaway Naked Baby!
This sign is probably my favorite and least favorite at the same time. You know when your kid takes off their own diaper, tosses it, and runs around naked that it may be time to toss those diapers for good!
If you are having a hard time keeping diapers on your little one, perhaps taking steps towards potty training will be in the near future. When you’re ready to, offer character-printed big kid panties to show off around the house and go from there.
May I have a little privacy, please, Mom? You can hear your child’s thoughts as you discreetly watch your sneaky little person inch into a corner, unseen, making grunting noises. When your toddler dirties a diaper in secret, he or she more than likely knows when it’s time to pee or poop, but doesn’t want you to know that.
Some children get upset when they are aware their parents aren’t allowing them their privacy in an open room. If this sounds like yours, try slowly introducing potty training songs and videos for a little encouragement.
6 Full Diaper Alert!
When a diaper is so full that it sags and sways from front to back and side to side, parents know it’s time for a dry diaper. When your kid knows a diaper change is due and tells you about it, your big kid may be ready for underwear.
If you both are ready, let your child pick out his or her own potty. It can be new, exciting, and encourages your child to want to learn how to use the potty. This also promotes decision-making, a skill that children practice daily.
5 Aware of Others Using the Potty
We all know we can’t go to the bathroom without our little shadow (or shadows) following closely behind us to see what we’re doing. Has your kid ever asked you if you were using the potty when you actually were?
If your child knows when you’re listening to your body and using the potty, he or she is showing signs of potty training readiness. Try asking your child if he or she would like to use the potty, too.
4 Knows The Difference Between Poop and Pee
When your child is able to communicate when he or she wets their diapers or has to poop, it's time to introduce them to that shiny, white throne in the bathroom. Some kids are more comfortable using a smaller potty their size, while others rather use the big kid potty they see Mommy and Daddy using.
Small potties may be less intimidating when beginning potty training, but every kid's preference is different. We suggest starting with a toilet seat for potty training toddlers (since it costs less).
3 Shows Interest
Most kids have moments when they show that they're interested in learning how and when to use the potty. The time frame for this varies with each child, but it's best to act quickly. Children who show interest in potty training are more receptive to learning than children who show no interest.
Some kids learn faster than others, so don't be discouraged if potty training your toddler is not going exactly as fast as you'd hoped. Be sure to allow your child to enjoy potty training. If he or she is not ready, there will be another time to try again.
2 Disinterest In Wearing Diapers
Do you and your child dread diaper changing time? Your squirmy toddler may appear more impatient than usual. Once the diaper is on but the tantrum isn't over, your child may be sending you a sign that requires attention. If you notice your toddler grabbing or pulling at the diaper, he or she might not like the feel of the diapers.
Skip the pull-ups and dive right into purchasing cotton underwear for your growing kid. Cotton is softer than diaper material and won't irritate your baby's little bum. With big kid panties, your child will be more willing to go to the potty if he or she doesn't like the feeling of being wet if there's an accident.
1 Dressing Themselves
Do you let your little one put on and take off their own clothing? Children who dress and undress themselves are practicing those motor skills and working on their hand-eye coordination. Have your child help with getting them dressed daily. The more practice, the better they get.
When it's time to potty train, your toddler will have the skills to pull down his or her panties and use the potty on their own! That's one more milestone you could add to that baby scrapbook. Before you know it, your toddler will be using the potty independently.