Potty Training Support

Is your child READY to be potty trained?
March 6, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Signs your child may be ready:

  • Your child is staying dry for longer periods of time (often two hours or more). This indicates that her bladder capacity is increasing.
  • Your child recognizes when she is in the process of urinating or voiding. If you try to potty train before this time, you'll likely run into trouble, since your child isn't really aware of what she's doing and so is unable to control something she can't understand.
  • Your child is able to easily pull her pants up and down. She may not have had any reason to do so in the past, but luckily, of all the readiness factors, this skill is easily learned.
  • Your child can follow simple instructions. There are many steps to using the toilet that we take for granted as adults. For example-- go to the bathroom, turn on the light, pull down your pants and underwear, sit on the potty, wipe your bottom, flush the toilet, wash your hands-- the list goes on, so this is a very important skill.
  • Your child is able to sit and engage in an activity for several minutes without becoming distracted or irritable.
  • Your child is walking and running well. Because the urge to potty is often sudden in toddlers, and because a potty isn't always steps away, it's important for your child to be able to make it to the toilet before an accident occurs.
  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, your child shows interest and desire. Interest in keeping dry or clean. Interest in wearing "big kid" underwear. Interest in what you're doing when you go potty and a desire to do what you're doing.

Remember, age is not the most important factor. Potty training will be best accomplished when your child's physical and emotional development are taken into account as well.


  • pinkm143
    March 6, 2011 at 9:32 AM
    Sign Description
    Sufficient Attention Span Your child plays with one toy for five minutes or longer. This means the attention span required to learn the routine involved with going to the bathroom has developed.
    Ability to Dress Your child can dress and undress with limited assistance. This will be helpful when you start to teach the potty training routine. It’s one less step in the routine your child will have to learn. Dressing and undressing also require motor skills indicative of physical and cognitive maturity necessary for potty training.
    Cognitive Maturity Your child is able to show you where toys and clothes belong in their room. This is another indicator of cognitive maturity. If your child can do this, the mental ability has developed to remember where the toilet paper is and other necessary functions to learning the process.
    Follows Directions Many of the steps in the potty training process require a series of simple instructions. If your child can respond appropriately to “hold the book in your hand”, they will most likely be able respond when you say “sit on the potty.”
    Consistent Bowel Movement Your child can keep a diaper dry for 2 hours or longer and has bowel movements at relatively the same time everyday. Both of these signs show that your child’s bladder and rectal muscles are developed enough to allow the control needed during the process. Regularity will help with scheduling of a routine during the process. Keep a journal throughout a week-long span to track your child’s waste-production times.
    Aware of Diaper Your child is aware that he is wearing a diaper, or can signal that he has one on when you put it on. If your child can signal by pointing or touching, it means he has enough language to tell you when he needs to go potty. If he is aware he is wearing a diaper, he will be able to feel the difference between wet and dry, which is a crucial step when learning when to use the potty.
    Washes Hands Your child enjoys the process of washing his hands. If your child enjoys it, it probably means he understands it, and it’s not an easy one to learn from scratch. There are multiple steps and each step builds on the previous one. If he can do this, he will be able to put together the steps of going to the potty as well.
    Likes to Please Your child is willing to please you. Because potty training is about teaching and waiting for optimal results, you will want your child to do what you are telling him to do. If he is in a defiant stage you will most likely want to wait until something other than “NO” comes from his mouth.
    Wakes Dry Each Morning Your child can wake up from sleep dry for several mornings in a row. This is an even better indicator that your child has the motor control necessary to begin the potty training process and make it a successful one.


    Don’t worry if your child lacks one or two of these behaviors. If you can check off at least five of these signs, you are probably ready to start teaching your child how to use the toilet and kick those diapers to the curb.


    (Of all the signs I think nighttime staying dry is the last thing to come and if pretty much everything else is there then it's perfectly easy to potty train before then.  Also boys often aren't nighttime potty trained until much later than their normal potty training.  I potty trained both of my kids early, before 2 and neither of them were fully night trained but had no problem being potty trained during the day and most days woke up dry as well, we just used a diaper at night only and it worked very well for us)

  • Godspitgrl
    March 6, 2011 at 9:26 PM
    Very interesting TY.
  • bhwrn1
    by bhwrn1
    March 7, 2011 at 8:16 AM

     Great tips!!! I really like this:

    Remember, age is not the most important factor. Potty training will be best accomplished when your child's physical and emotional development are taken into account as well.

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