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8 ways to know if your child is ready for potty training

Children are usually ready for potty training somewhere between 18 months and three years old. For most, it’s between two and two and a half years old. But every child is different, and there’s really no hard and fast rule. Because if your little one is not ready, even the best toilet trainer in the world is going to fail. So instead of watching the clock, look out for these signs.

Your child:

1. Shows an interest in going to the toilet

Does your child ever copy you going to the toilet or ask to wear underwear like an older sibling?

2. Doesn’t like having a wet or dirty nappy

If your child tugs on their nappy when it’s dirty, makes a yucky face, or asks you to change it, this is a great sign that they’re ready to take the next step.

3. Can stay dry for one or two hours at a time

Potty training isn’t just about whether your child can notice when they need to pee or poo. It also requires a certain level of bladder and bowel development and control. If they can stay dry and clean for two hours, they’re ready.

4. Poos fairly predictably

Does your child have soft, formed poos at relatively regular times throughout the day? Do they no longer poo at night? If yes, they could be ready.

5. Can dress themselves

If your child can’t pull down and pull up their trousers independently, they will probably struggle to potty train.

6. Talks about peeing and pooing

Does your toddler broadcast to the world that ‘I did a poo!’ or even ‘Mummy did a poo!’ to the whole world?’ 😳 As embarrassing as this can be, it’s actually a great sign that they’re ready to communicate with you when they need the toilet.

7. Asserts their independence

‘I can do it myself’ or ‘I do it, I do it!’ might usually be super annoying when you’re trying to leave the house and you’re running late, but actually this is a good indication that your child is ready to take control of their toilet trips.

8. Can follow simple instructions

There are a lot of steps involved with going to the toilet: realise you need the loo, get to the loo, pull down your trousers, get up onto the toilet, do your wee or poo, wipe yourself, flush the toilet, pull your trousers back up, and wash your hands. This makes it really important that your child can follow instructions.