How I knew my child was ready to potty train
How hard is potty training? It depends who you ask, and it's different from child to child.
If you asked me a couple years ago I would have said potty training was a piece of cake. My daughter let me know she was ready to potty train before she was 2. She followed me into the bathroom and asked to sit down after me.
We prompted her to try going before bath time, too, and it worked! A bit of celebration, and a prize when she went seemed to be all the motivation she needed.
Once I realized she was getting the hang of things I ordered some Pampers Easy Ups Training Pants. We told her not to go pee pee on Dora because then she'd be sad. That worked too!
Fast-forward to my son. He's a HUGE Thomas fan, and Thomas is also on Pampers Easy Ups but doesn't care so much when he goes potty on him. He tells us when he needs to go so we know he's ready, but he hides when he needs to go number 2, so we still have work to do.
I asked several moms who've been there how they knew when their child was ready to potty train. Take a look at what these moms had to say about noticing the signs with their kids.
“My cue has always been when my daughters learned to take off their Pampers after using them. Both my girls were potty trained by their second birthday which is our goal! Soon it will be little man so it should be interesting” –Melina Rapp
“I knew it was time when she would go and get her diapers and wipes and attempt to change herself before I could notice she needed a diaper change! She was 2.5.” –April Parks
“I asked her if she wanted to sit on the toilet starting around 2. She hated it, so I waited to see if she was ready again at 2 1/2. By that time, she told me she was ‘too busy' to go to the potty and would continue to say that until she was a little past 3 when she looked at me and said, ‘You win, I'll go I guess…' and she went like a pro.” –Chelsi Javan Koehn
“Taking off diapers, telling us when they were poopy and needed changing, wanting to watch us go … both were 2 when they were ready and they got it down pretty quickly.” – Jenna Foote
“We didn't push potty training at all! But as soon as the little one was dry through the night, we knew he was ready to learn. And it was SO easy…maybe we just got lucky, but there were zero accidents after that point, he was just ready.” – Natasha Curtis
“I don't potty train mine until they're pretty much doing it themselves. It's like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer otherwise. Diapers are way more convenient than stopping every five minutes because now they REALLY have to go!” –Hildie Westenhaver
It's evident kids show different signs of being ready, and that they're ready at different ages — there's no need to feel bad if your child isn't interested when he or she is 2.
As for us, I'm still working through the process with my son. Here are some tips from other moms who have been there:
“We make potty time fun. When we were teaching our son we sat him backwards, bought dry-erase markers, and let him draw on the lid. It helped keep him happy while we waited for him to go. We also make a big deal when they go even if it's just calling a family member. They love hearing praise from people, it keeps them excited.” –Savannah Whitesell
“We put her on the potty about every hour for a few days, every time she went I clapped and made a big deal, and off she went. We had a ‘diapers are for babies' motto. I think better to start earlier then later because they get used to wet/dirty diapers and some don't care and then you have to wait until they are much older.” –Yelena Yarmolyuk Peffle
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