Potty Training: Signs that your little one is ready

While you are more than ready to be done with dirty nappies, if your little one is aged between one and two, they are maybe, but more than likely not quite yet for potty training yet.

There’s no one magic moment for your little one to be ready; they’re all different and it’s a case of looking out for the key signs below. However, it’s worth noting that their little muscles controlling their bladder aren’t usually mature enough for potty training until they are at least 18 months old.

Signs that your little one is ready:

  • They may tell you they’ve done a poo or wee
  • You’re getting the occasional dry nappy, showing they can go a couple of hours without going
  • They can understand simple phrases like ‘where’s the potty?’ and they have words for wee and poo
  • They’re interested in bodily functions , both theirs and yours
  • They  love some praise and are eager to please you to get some
  • They don’t like wearing a dirty or wet nappy and come to you to change it
  • Your toddler is having a poo at predictable times and they know they’re doing it – perhaps they hide behind the sofa or the door

You probably won’t see all these signs, but if you are noticing most, then your toddler may be ready. Don’t feel pressured by relatives or friends urging you on or telling you tales of how their toddler was dry at 18 months (they probably weren’t).

Go with your own gut instinct: most parents go for it around two or two and a half for girls and two and a half to three for boys. If they’re up for it, the chances are it will go smoothly. But even if they (or you) aren’t ready, you can still prepare them for the transition to big boy/big girl pants.  This preparation is an important part of the process: presenting your two and a half year-old with a potty out of the blue one day and expecting them to be dry in a week or so is a big, big ask.

Spend a few weeks preparing your toddler for what lies ahead.  Show them the potty and leave it in the bathroom and see how they react.

Most importantly, listen to them; they may be small but they will let you know when they are ready.