Potty Training Part 1 – how to know when your child is ready

by admin on January 21, 2010

Having recently gone through the experience of potty training my toddler, I have put together 3 posts on the subject of Potty Training. Part 2 will be about Top Tips to help when potty training and Part 3 will be on The essential items you need.

There’s no magic age at which children are ready to start learning to use the potty. Some develop the necessary skills between around 18 and 24 months old, others are much older. The average age is around 3 (earlier for girls).

Use the checklist below to see how ready your toddler is. Bear in mind too, if you start before your child is truly ready, it doesn’t mean you’ll finish sooner — in fact, the process could end up taking longer.

Readiness Checklist

Physical signs

Can walk and even run

Has regular bowel movements at relatively predictable times.

Has “dry” periods of at least three or four hours, showing bladder muscles are developed.

Behavioural signs

Can sit down quietly in one position for two to five minutes.

Can pull pants up and down.

Dislikes the feeling of wearing a wet or dirty nappy.

Gives a physical or verbal sign when he’s about to do a poo.

Demonstrates a desire for independence.

Takes pride in his accomplishments.

Isn’t resistant to learning to use the toilet.

Is in a generally cooperative stage, not a negative or contrary one.

Cognitive signs

Can follow simple instructions, such as “go get the toy.”

Understands the value of putting things where they belong.

Has words for wee and poo.

Understands the physical signals and can tell you before it happens or even hold it until they get to the potty.

(List adapted from babycentre.com)


Mummy's Little Monkey July 27, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Ooh, how timely! Am just about to test the potty training waters with my 2-year-old, to see if she is ready yet. She’s just started taking her nappy off every time she ‘fills’ it. Then she tells me by running in, half naked, yelling ‘Oh no! Ewwwww! Oh no!!!’ (which is actually quite funny…)

21stcenturymummy August 2, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Luckily my 2 year old never did that! She refused to go for about a week.

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