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 she may be ready to ditch the dipeys.
Longer periods of dryness
In her first year, Baby was not as in tune with her body, and would eliminate waste without a thought. But as she approaches her second birthday, you will likely find you’re changing fewer diapers than before. The reason for this is that she is growing more able to hold urine for longer periods of time as her bladder muscles strengthen with age. If you find that Baby is going more than two hours without wetting her 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, her 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 her to use it to let you know she needs a new diaper (or, better yet, is about to go). If she isn’t speaking much yet, look for nonverbal cues, such as hiding in a corner when she needs to go, or trying to take off a soiled diaper.
Once Baby has reached the point where she is able to tell you she has a dirty diaper, the next step is getting her to tell you she needs to use the potty. If she says it’s time to go, bring her to the bathroom and sit her on the potty. It’s important, too, that she understands it’s necessary to remain seated while doing her business.
One key skill to master before potty training is Baby’s ability to dress and undress themselves. 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 her own pants up and down while getting dressed and undressed to familiarize her with the motion.
Interest in your bathroom habits
If Baby is suddenly following you into the bathroom and watching your every move, it means she has potty training on the brain. Don’t be shy about letting her into the room and talking to her about how the process works. The more you communicate, the faster she will learn.
- “It’s potty time!” HealthyChildren. American Academy of Pediatrics, November 21 2015. Web.