There is no standard age for children to be ready for potty training. While some children between 18 and 24 months of age may have the physical and cognitive skills necessary to use the potty, this does not necessarily mean they are ready. Other children begin potty training between 2 to 3 years old, while others even reach the age of 4 years old or above.
How do you know when to begin potty training? The following signs can help you keep track of your child’s progress towards readiness.
One physical sign of potty training readiness is when your child has regular bowel movements at predictable times during the day and no bowel movements at night. Your child should also have dry periods of at least one or two hours, or wake up with a dry diaper after naps. These periods of dry diapers mean that your child’s bladder muscles are capable of holding and storing pee for a short period of time.
Other physical signs of potty training readiness include his or her being able to pull pants up and down with a little help, showing an interest when you or other family members use the potty, or even willingly sitting on the potty.
There are also cognitive signs of readiness for potty training. This includes your child having his or her own words for pee and poo, as well as being able to understand and answer questions such as “Do you need to use the potty?”
Your child should also be aware of what he or she is doing. Your child may go somewhere else for privacy, stop whatever he or she is doing, or simply tell you that he or she needs to pee or poo before doing it.
Behavioral signs of readiness for potty training include having a desire for independence, and taking pride in accomplishments and pleasing you. Your child may also show signs of discomfort or irritation when he or she is dirty or wet.
Of course, remember that not every item needs to be checked off before you begin training. If you start to notice some of these signals, talk to your child about the process. Buy a few potties to place around the house and encourage your child to use them.