13 signs your toddler is ready to start potty training

Posted in Learning and Development.

Picking the right time to start potty training your toddler is a tricky business.

If you force it on them before they’re ready, you may create stubbornness and resistance, and if you wait too long, they’ll be able to talk you out of trying!

So how do you know when your little one is ready to ditch the nappies and sit on the potty?

Here’s a handy checklist to help you measure your child’s readiness.

Your child may be ready to toilet train if they:

  1. Have regular bowel movements, and their dirty nappies are fairly predictable.
  2. Have the coordination and balance required to squat and sit on the potty or toilet for a few minutes at a time.
  3. Wee every few hours, and when they do so are able to urinate a fair amount at one time.
  4. Regularly let you know when nature calls (or has called and left a present!).
  5. Understand simple directions. e.g. “Go to the potty now, sit down”.
  6. Can sit still for 2-5 minutes.
  7. Can pull up and pull down their pull-up nappy and pants/skirt.
  8. Knows what ‘poo’, ‘wee’, or other variations. are and can say those words.
  9. Demonstrates a clear desire for independence (pushing your hand away and saying “I do it” or “Me” are clear signs).
  10. Dislikes the feeling of wearing a wet or dirty nappy and is able to communicate this to you (whether in grunts, gestures or words).
  11. Is able to predict the need to wee or poo seconds or minutes before they need to go, and lets you know.
  12. Is curious about toilets and what their use is, and perhaps copies your behaviour.
  13. Wakes up from a sleep with a dry nappy, which means they have sufficient bladder control not to wee for a few hours.

Mother helping toddler boy on toilet training - feature

Your little one may not be completely adept at all these signals, but if you can tick quite a few off the list, and can see that your child is starting to get the hang of the others, you’re well on your way to a successful start in toilet training. 

If you and your child are ready to get started and would like some expert tips to make your toilet training journey as smooth as possible, check out Parent School’s Toilet Training Support program! Offering step-by-step modules that guide parents through each stage of toilet training, plus handy video tutorials from our toilet training expert, Monica Ferrie; you’ll also learn about the different learning stages a child goes through at various ages, so you can tailor the guidance you give your child to support them in the stage they’re at. 


Parent School footer dinkusNeed some more toilet training advice? Our Parent School toilet training experts can help. Click to find out more or book a one-on-one session.


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