10 Surefire Tips as to When to Start Potty Training

Last Updated on March 14, 2022 by Michele Tripple

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It is hard to know when to start potty training but with these 10 signs, you will know if and when your child is ready!

How to know when to start potty training

You are so close to never changing your toddlers diaper again! However exciting that thought may be, you are probably feeling anxious as you think about when to start potty training.

Do you think it’s time to start potty training but you’re afraid of starting too early? 

Have you had a negative experience with potty training in the past? 

I know firsthand that determining when your child is ready to begin potty training can be difficult. I made the mistake of starting a child too early and it took forever to potty train them! It made potty training a nightmare. I literally was potty training myself.

My life became full of toddler tantrums and a lot of messes to clean up! 

As parents, we all have things to do on top of potty training. So trying to sort through all the information available can be quite overwhelming! 

So where do we begin and when is it the right time to start potty training?

Thanks to these 10 potty training signs, you will know when to start potty training  to make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to potty training.

10 Signs that your child is ready to start potty training

Most children show signs that they are ready for potty training anywhere between 18 to 24 months. However, some may not be ready until age 3! The difference in age depends on your child and their development. Your child needs to be physically and emotionally ready as they start potty training.

There is no set age for potty training and it honestly comes down to the readiness of your child.

Also keep in mind that girls tend to be ready earlier than boys.

Each kid is different. They won’t start potty training at the same age or time. So even if you have trained another child before, the next could be on a very different time table. Starting too early can make potty training a nightmare! 

These potty training signs will help you determine if your child is ready to start potty training.

1. Your child is interested in the potty. 

If they aren’t interested at all in the potty, then wait a little longer. Trust me, it will go so much smoother when they are ready! The last thing you want is a child that is unwilling and uninterested in potty training.

Look for signs that they want to be independent and go by themselves.

2. Bladder control. 

Can your child keep their diaper clean for 2 hours? Check their diaper every few hours to see if it is dry. If you notice that your child’s diaper is always wet or dirty, you should wait before starting potty training.

If your child can keep their diaper clean for 2 hours, then they have good bladder control and it’s a great physical readiness sign. 

Good bladder control means that they can hold it until they make it to the bathroom. It also means fewer accidents ahead as you start potty training! 

3. They can tell you if their diaper is wet or dirty.

Telling you if their diaper is wet or dirty shows that they are aware of what they are doing. It also tells you that they have good communication skills. It’s a great readiness indicator of when to start potty training.

4. Knows how to get on the potty, sit, and get off.

You want to make sure your child can get on and off the potty as well as sit and use the bathroom. This shows that they are physically ready. It’s important so that they can go in and use the bathroom on their own.

Plus it makes your life a lot easier since you are spending less time doing everything for them!

5. Can undress by themselves. 

When to start potty training can be recognized by how easily your child can pull their pants up and down. Be sure to grab potty training pants and underwear that are easy for them to pull up and down. 

 It’s one step closer to independence! 

6. Show interest when others use the potty.

Your toddler will start to notice others using the potty. This will lead to them asking questions or trying to copy the behavior. 

Wanting to copy others is a step towards being potty trained and shows they are interested! It makes your job 10x easier when they WANT to do it.

7. Feeling uncomfortable in a wet or dirty diaper.

Your child will tell you they are uncomfortable or they can show signs of discomfort on their face. You should easily notice when it bothers them. 

When they don’t like a wet or dirty diaper they are more aware.. Awareness helps them know when to go potty.

8. Good patience and attention span.

If you want fewer tantrums, watch closely for this sign! 

Since going to the bathroom can take several minutes, make sure they can focus on a task without becoming irritable or distracted. 

Watch how they sit at the table and work on a task. If they can focus for several minutes, it means that they will be able to sit and use the bathroom.

9. Can follow directions. 

Following directions means they will catch on quicker! 

They will know how to follow directions like find the bathroom, turn on the light, pull down pants and underwear, sit on the potty, go to the bathroom, wipe, flush, then wash their hands. 

10. No recent and big life changes.

Big events like a new sibling, vacation, or moving, can cause a lot of stress for children. Stress will only make potty training harder.

Make sure you don’t start right after one of these big changes. Give your child some time to relax and get used to the situation first! 

After they adjust, there won’t be any stress standing between them and potty training.

Hopefully, now you know what to look for as you begin your potty training journey! Be patient with yourself and your child as you watch for readiness signs.

Remember these 10 signs for when to start potty training so you can avoid starting too early. Watch out for these signs and start potty training off on the right foot! 

What signs do you look for when potty training? Share in the comments!

Ready to Potty Train? Check out all these Potty Training Posts to help!

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