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Signs of Readiness - How to know when your kid is ready

pottytraining pottytrainingtips signsofreadiness Feb 16, 2022

One of the most common questions I get asked by parents is, “How the heck do I know when my child is ready to potty train?!” 

There are certain signs that you can look out for that indicate your child is ready to potty train. These can be broken down into developmental signs and potty-related signs


Just like crawling, walking and talking, your child will need to meet certain developmental milestones in order to be able to understand their body's cues for needing to pee or poop and then do this in a potty.

These developmental milestones are a mix of physical, emotional and cognitive developments, some of which are more obvious than others. 

Examples include:

  • Being able to imitate your behavior
  • Understand simple directions e.g. Go sit down on the chair
  • Ability to push pants down and up with minimal assistance
  • Ability to sit down and rise up from a seat
  • Aware of their bodily function and verbally expresses their needs e.g. Asking for water when thirsty



Potty related signs of readiness are specifically related to and around the use of the potty. Some examples of this include:

  • Expresses interest in toileting like flushing, washing, wiping!
  • There is an interest to stay dry - they are asking for their diaper to be changed
  • Acknowledging the need to poop e.g. hiding for privacy or pooping in corner of room
  • Bladder capacity, bowel and muscle advances e.g. diapers are dry for 1hr+ per time 




YES and YES!

Many parents get caught up in the verbal signs a child is ready, like expressing the need to go. 

However, there are a number of non-verbal signs of readiness like:

  • Hides for privacy
  • Stays dry for 2+hours
  • Expresses discomfort with dirty diapers 
  • Communicates needs and wants in a non-verbal way, like pointing
  • Shows an interest in toileting 



Equally as important is ensuring YOU, or the person who will be potty training your kid, are in the right headspace to potty train and are able to commit the time and effort.

If you have any other distractions like:

  • Illness
  • Busy period at work
  • Travel
  • Change of homes 
  • Change of job 
  • Pregnancy or new sibling

Or ANY other reason you may not be able to commit the time and effort... consider delaying potty training EVEN if your child is ready. 

A mindset of patience, persistence and focus will make your potty training journey so much more effective and enjoyable for both you and your kid! 

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