When it comes to potty training, there is no “one age fits all” rule. Like many milestones in Baby’s development, the point when Baby might be ready to try potty training could be earlier or later than the other toddlers you know. It’s wise not to try to push Baby too soon, because training too early can lead to frustration and even regression. Tune into these signs that indicate they may be ready to ditch the dipeys.
Longer periods of dryness
In their first year, Baby was not as in tune with their body, and would eliminate waste without a thought. But as they approach their second birthday, you will likely find you’re changing fewer diapers than before. The reason for this is that they are growing more able to hold urine for longer periods of time as their bladder muscles strengthen with age. If you find that Baby is going more than two hours without wetting their diaper, or is even waking up dry from naps, it may be a good time to start entertaining the idea of potty training.
As Baby grows older, their vocabulary is growing, too. Being able to communicate verbally will be incredibly helpful when it comes to potty training. If Baby has a word for urine or bowel movements, encourage them to use it to let you know they need a new diaper (or, better yet, is about to go). If they isn’t speaking much yet, look for nonverbal cues, such as hiding in a corner when they need to go, or trying to take off a soiled diaper.
Once Baby has reached the point where they are able to tell you they have a dirty diaper, the next step is getting them to tell you they need to use the potty. If they say it’s time to go, bring them to the bathroom and sit them on the potty. It’s important, too, that they understand it’s necessary to remain seated while doing their business.
One key skill to master before potty training is Baby’s ability to dress and undress themself. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this skill begins to emerge around 18 months, and children become more efficient with time. Encourage Baby to pull their own pants up and down while getting dressed and undressed to familiarize them with the motion.
Interest in your bathroom habits
If Baby is suddenly following you into the bathroom and watching your every move, it means they have potty training on the brain. Don’t be shy about letting them into the room and talking to them about how the process works. The more you communicate, the faster they will learn.
- “It’s potty time!” HealthyChildren. American Academy of Pediatrics, November 21 2015. Web.