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Is Your Child Ready for Potty Training?

Are you tired of changing diapers? I get it, it’s not the most glamorous part of parenthood. But before you jump into potty training, the big question you have to ask yourself is – “is my child ready to potty train?” Every child develops at their own pace, there’s no one right age. Rather, there are 9 signs of readiness to look out for to determine if your little one is ready to take the plunge into toilet training.

  1. Zzzzzzzz
  • Your child is well rested. When we think about potty training, sleep probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But think about yourself, have you ever tried to learn something new when you’re really tired? It’s hard! To set your little one up for success, we want to ensure they have a foundation of healthy sleep habits so they have the capacity to learn a new skill. 
  1. Poop check 
  • What does your child’s poop look like? Is it hard, small pebbles or do you notice your child straining? These can be signs of constipation, and something that must be addressed and resolved before starting to potty train. If we try to potty train a child who is constipated, it can be detrimental to their success. They will connect that pooping on the potty hurts which will lead to the child holding their poop, further exacerbating their constipation. Before you start potty training, your child’s poop should be mushy and easy to pass.  
  1. Ready, set, GO!
  • Your child is walking confidently. When you see your little one start to squirm, those trips to the bathroom can be a sprint. Hence, your toddler should be able to walk, run, and easily change direction to quickly get to the bathroom when nature calls. 
  1. Follows directions
  • Your child has developed receptive language. This is the ability to understand words and language. More specifically, we want your child to be able to understand two step commands such as “can you get your lovey and bring it to mommy.” 
  1. No! 
  • Your child can protest. You read that right, we want your child to be able to tell you “no”. This ability to voice their wishes means they understand they have control over a situation. Listening to their needs will allow you to build their trust which will ultimately make the process easier and minimize power struggles.
  1. Routine machine
  • Your child recognizes routines. Kids thrive with routines and consistency and they help to develop connections. For example, your child knows that after they put on their pyjamas, they brush their teeth then read a book before bedtime.   
  1. Copy cat 
  • Your child can copy. You start to notice a little shadow copying your every move from the way you drink your morning coffee to sitting on the child potty when you go to the bathroom. This is important as kids learn through observation and imitation.   
  1. Predictable Patterns
  • Your child’s elimination patterns become more obvious. You may notice their diapers stay dry for one to two hours at a time, or that they poop at the same time every day. This predictability will be helpful because you can watch for signals, prompt your child and plan your day accordingly. 
  1. Elimination communication 
  • Your child is aware of and can vocalize their bodily functions. They may say “poop” when they poop, or point to their wet diaper after going pee. This awareness will help your child in the process of teaching themselves to use the potty. 

Your child’s success with potty training depends on their physical and behavioural development and readiness, not their age. While many children show signs of being ready between 18-24 months, some may not be ready until they’re 3 or older. There’s no need to rush it. Listen to your child, watch for the signs of readiness, and if you’re looking for a little extra support, reach out to your local Mama Coach

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