Is your Toddler Ready for Potty Training?Baby
If you are dreading potty training more than you ever did contractions, you're not alone. Most parents are at least a bit apprehensive when it comes to moving your child from going in their diaper to training them to go in the potty instead. While there are as many methods of potty training as there are parenting styles, the one thing both parents and experts can all agree on is: there's no sense in trying to potty train until the child is good and ready.
With that being said, how can you tell if your toddler is ready to be potty trained? Here are the top 6 signs your child is ready for potty training.
You might think it's hilarious when your toddler starts going into the closet or under the bed to soil their diaper, but it's actually a sign that they are ready to leave their diaper days behind. Emotional readiness is just as important as physical readiness, and desiring privacy during a bowel movement is a definite signal that they're ready for the next phase.
Monkey See, Monkey Poo
If your toddler starts showing special interest in watching you go to the bathroom, this could make potty training fairly simple. Little kids are great mimics—after all, that's how they learn everything they know! They may talk about the potty, want to flush it themselves and watch what happens, and ask questions about all the sounds and actions of the process. They'll want to be just like you and start using the toilet themselves!
You're just sitting there minding your own business, when your toddler suddenly darts through the room, NAKED. It's amusing, but it also signifies that they could be done with diapers. They realize that their parents and other older children do not wear diapers, and they want to follow suit. They're also conscious of when they have a wet or dirty diaper and find it unpleasant and disturbing, so they tug or scratch at it—or pull it off completely.
You may start to notice that their diaper is dry when they wake up from their nap, or for more than a couple of hours at a time. They may also have a regular 'time' that they have bowel movements. These signs can show that your toddler has enough physical and mental control over elimination to choose when it happens or hold it if necessary. This awareness means that with a little coaching, they can choose to eliminate in the toilet or potty seat.
They Just Tell You
Some little ones will just up and inform you that they would like to go to the potty or wear undies. These are the easiest to potty train—because it was their idea, not yours! They might start telling you when they're 'going', or just after the fact, without you having to rely on the sniff test. When they start talking about the process, that's a good indicator.
How to actually do the potty training is another tale for another day. However, now that you have an idea of when to begin the process, you'll be able to devise a method that works with your child's individual needs and personality. And won't it be nice to never have to drive all over southern Alberta for an emergency pack of diapers ever again?
Loree Siermachesky works as a multi-certified labour and postpartum doula, certified Lamaze childbirth educator, certified breastfeeding counselor, certified placenta encapsulation specialist and a certified car seat technician in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. She has had the honour of attending over 1400 births in the last 20 years. She is well-known and greatly respected by the medical providers in Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Brooks, Taber, and Calgary. She cares deeply for this profession and even more for her clientele, honoring them in whatever method of birth they choose, or helping them transition to new parenthood as they wish.