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Signs of Potty Training Readiness

5 Signs Your Child Is Ready to Potty Train

You've heard that a critical factor in potty training success is waiting until your child is ready . . . but what exactly does "ready" mean? Keep reading for five signs that typically indicate potty training readiness.

1. Staying Dry Longer

Is your child waking up dry from her afternoon nap? Staying dry for longer periods of time (two hours or more, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics) indicates increased bladder control, an important prerequisite for potty training. As Sharie T. shares, "I think the easiest way to tell if your son is really ready to potty train is if he is waking up from naps dry, and waking up in the morning without his diaper being saturated."

2. Awareness Before Going

Another key physical sign of potty training readiness is the child showing awareness that she's about to urinate or defecate — whether that's by making faces, grunting, taking off her diaper, or bluntly telling you she needs to pee. Micele W. advises, "Your child will give you clues when ready, they will let you know they have to pee pee or they will start taking their diaper off." And C.P. shares, "Watch for different faces that they make. If it looks like your child is halting their activities and making a funny face, it's possible that they may have to go to the bathroom."

3. Disliking Soiled Diapers

In addition to demonstrating the physical capabilities needed for potty training, another sign of potty training readiness is a desire not to be in soiled diapers. Kristy B. advises paying attention to whether your child "shows a preference for being clean and dry, fussing when she/he is wet, pulling off a dirty nappy, or asking to be changed." As Vicky shares: "I knew my oldest was ready when he started to hand me the diapers on his own and telling me he had 'stinky.'"

4. Showing Interest in the Toilet

Is your child curious about the bathroom habits of his parents, friends, or siblings? Does she want to imitate you or practice using the potty? Demonstrating interest in the toilet and bathroom habits is one of the most important signs of potty training readiness. As Andrea B. shares, "I know from experience it usually works better when they start asking questions and seem more interested in it."

5. Wanting to Wear "Big-Kid" Underwear

Showing or stating interest in big-kid underwear is another key sign a child is ready to potty train. "Just shortly after his second birthday he got into his dresser and brought me a pair of underwear," recalls Holly M. "He has been potty trained from that day on!" Of course, as Becca S. recommends, it's a good idea to expose your child to the idea of big-kid underwear: "Take your child shopping and let them pick out what big-kid underwear they want, then put it in their dresser and remind them of it often: 'When you do your pee and poo in the toilet you'll get to wear your big-kid underwear!'"

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sandrafry1369240486 sandrafry1369240486 2 years
my daughter is 4 years old and i am begining to pull my hair out with her going number 2s on the toilet she will go a wee no problem but insist on wearing a nappy to go a poo can any one give me some ideas please x x
Kimperrot Kimperrot 4 years
My lil one is almost 1 1/2 and she has been showing signs since she started walking, which was right after she turned 1. She is not fully trained but she has sat on the potty by herself and pooped and peed in it multiply times..... but with her it's like if you keep at it eventually she shuts down and doesnt want to do it anymore. So now Im online trying to figure out what to do next.
DoreenTeo8544 DoreenTeo8544 4 years
My girl is 26months and we've been trying to get her potty-trained for weeks! ( We're still trying!) She'll tell me when she wants to poo but doesn't want to go near the potty ! She'll say " Mummy I want to stand !" ( with her diapers on). She'll be diaperless when we're home but she'll sit on the potty for a loooong time and there's no pee. The moment she stands up, she pees! And yes, she's used to seeing us sitting on the toilets from day 1 and she's not interested at all!
TiffanyStroy TiffanyStroy 4 years
My daughter will be 28 months in June and she has been showing signs of her being ready to potty train for a while now. I thought it may have been a little to early to start with her but I think we're going to go ahead and give a try this weeked considering that we have a holiday this weekend. Any time she sees the potty she automatically sits on it, asks for a piece of tissue to wipe afterwards an finally pretends that she's flushing the toilet. As of her lately she's been taking her pampers off like crazy. Even if she only goes in it once! So I believe she's telling us that it's time. I broke down and bought her some little undies and we're going to see how that works out for us. Every child and family is different and not everything works for everyone. I hope everyone that hasn't already has a success in potty training their little ones.
Nualamulholland Nualamulholland 4 years
My wee girl is 3 and I have tried a couple of tomes with her, but she didn't like it and I was afraid of putting her off altogether. I have been off for a week for Easter and am determined to crack it this time. She is aware that she needs to go, but only after she has done a little spot in her pants first. I'm not giving up this time though. I know she will get the hang of it.
am34567 am34567 4 years
I don't believe in pushing a child. These signs make sense to let us know when our child is ready. However, do they have to show ALL these signs or a few?
LaurieButler LaurieButler 4 years
I think a combination of parent and child readiness is key. My older daughter was ready to practice potty habits very early, while my second daughter has needed a little convincing. If it were entirely up to me, they would be born walking and potty trained! ;-) With our third on the way, it is important for Ri and myself to agree that the potty is a good thing and that she needs to use it and be a big girl, and she needs to know that I am proud of her while at the same time we will not tolerate "no! I won't!" and laziness. All kids are different, Glo was a total headstrong trooper and wanted to please herself more than please me and she did it fast! Ri... Well, she lives in a world of grey area and everything has an exception.
AngelaMaddenDerrick AngelaMaddenDerrick 4 years
every child and family is different...don't judge parents and call them lazy because they haven't potty trained their child yet. I believe they will do it when they are ready!
LaressaMarengere LaressaMarengere 4 years
Sounds like i better get busy! My daughter is 20 months and has all the signs of readiness... my baby is 2 1/2 months now maybe I'm ready to tackle it soon...
AmandaKliewer AmandaKliewer 4 years
I believe most of this, cuz My daugther is 2, and I have tryd a few times already, to potty-train her, but you know very soon, if they are ready or not...and every one, how can train there child at a young age, thats good, but every kid is different! For some, these ideas, might not be helpfull, but for me they are, thank you very much!
CandaceClark2209 CandaceClark2209 4 years
I waited until my son decided. Guess what? He potty trained himself in a week completely. (: So waiting to they're ready works for us. He has been potty trained for 2 years and has never regressed.
iammomiwanthelptheothersmomstoknowthisweb iammomiwanthelptheothersmomstoknowthisweb 4 years
thanks...it is important subject..
AshleyMartinMacleod AshleyMartinMacleod 4 years
I agree with Rachel. Some parrts us he waiting until she is ready but really they are saying I'm to lazy or don't wat to be bothered.. they will just teach them selfs.
Rachel3790 Rachel3790 4 years
I don't agree with hardly a word of this. The only thing I wait for is be being able to say are you going pee and him knowing what I'm talking about. Because in my opinion waiting until he's ready is too late. That is why he can say "No i don't want to stop playing and go potty" I would rather go in my pants and be changed later when I'm not playing" I think you want to start as young as possible when they are still trying to impress you. Just like giving a kiss impresses you they do it. I think they do the same thing with potty they are not excited about being able to out do you by NOT doing it when you ask yet they are excited when they can preform tricks like going pee on command.
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