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5 Signs It's Time to Potty Train

Think your child might be ready for potty training, but worried it might just be wishful thinking on your part?

Not to worry, there are some pretty clear things that need to happen before you make the big change. There’s no point in trying to train a child who just isn’t developmentally ready—it will be an exercise in frustration for both of you and it will mean spending half your already busy life in the laundry room cleaning up the messes!

So how can you tell when your kid is ready to ditch the diapers? Here are my five signs it’s time to potty train.

1. Bladder control
If kids can go a couple of hours with a dry diaper, this means they’re controlling their bladder. But if the diaper always seems to be a bit wet, they still don’t have the muscle control they need before they can switch to the potty. Some potty training books mention that if your child has a dry diaper when she wakes up in the morning, this means she’s ready. I disagree. This is a rare thing, and you might be holding off way longer than you need to if you wait for a dry morning diaper as a sure sign. Think about it…even most adults will get up in the night to pee!

2. Awareness of body functions
When you’re child starts to actually notice when he has gone poo or a pee or can tell you while it’s happening, this is a great indicator. Also, if he notices when other people go into the bathroom and he says something like, “Daddy go pee?” this means he understands the process.

3. Physical Development
Good motor skills are another sign your child might be ready. If she can pick things up easily with her hands and walk from room to room independently, this shows she has the basic skills needed for toilet independence.

4. Ability to be instructed
This is a big one. If your child is not able to follow simple instructions from you, like “Alex, can you bring me your bowl?” then he isn’t going to be able to follow your potty training instructions either. Basically, they need to have the language skills to comprehend what you’re asking them to do, or there’s no point in trying until they’re older.

5. Child shows interest in the potty
So say you’ve bought a cute little potty and you’re keeping it in the living room to spark some interest (which is a good idea). If your child likes to sit on it and seems excited about it, this is a good sign. But if he DOESN’T show interest and just uses the potty as a Hot Wheels ramp, this isn’t necessarily a big red flag. If he shows some of the other signs of readiness, you’re probably still in luck.

Remember, it might seem like your child will be in diapers forever, but that is just not the case. Making sure you don’t start training too soon will save you a lot of needless frustration, so if your child doesn’t show any of these signs yet, just be patient. It will happen before you know it!

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Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
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My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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