Pottytraining Readiness

pottytrainingIs your kid ready to potty train (or potty learn)? Are you?

Potty training readiness comes at different times for each kid and parent; this is definitely not a one-size-fits-all type deal. I was really hoping to have my oldest son potty trained by the time my youngest son was born (don’t laugh, but I was terrified at the thought of two in diapers), but while I was motivated to put in the work, he just didn’t seem quite ready yet. Likewise, if you know you don’t have the energy or time at the moment to potty train your child but she seems ready, it’s probably also not a great time to start. Sometimes, the thought of your child growing up (or maybe growing out of their adorable cloth diaper and/or wool stash) is hard to come to terms with.

So how do you know your child is ready to ditch their diapers? Is your daughter showing an interest in other family members using the toilet? If you don’t have an open bathroom door policy in your home, this may be a good time to temporarily change that so your child sees their family members using the toilet.

Additionally, does she recognize when she is peeing or pooping? Does she go sometimes for two hour or longer stretches with a dry diaper? Also, can your child pull her own pants up and down?

If you’re finding you’re ticking off mostly ‘yes’ to the above questions, your child is probably ready to learn to use the potty.

“What if my child is never ready?” For some children, this is a legitimate concern. For instance, both my oldest son and my nephew are very stubborn little boys and both are a little gunshy over new things. I always joked that my son would go to college in diapers if we let him.

In this case, you can evaluate the other checklist items (for instance, if your child is not interested in the toilet and also has fine motor skill delays that make pulling their own pants up and down difficult, it may be better to work on dressing themselves first before tackling the potty) and see where you’re at.

If you think your child could learn to use the potty but has just mentally blocked it (ahem, eldest child of mine), you may want to research different potty training methods to find one that will be the best case. In my experience, the full-on potty party bootcamp is what did the ticket (fairly painlessly, too)  with my stubborn boy.

Keep in mind that no child is the same on this, and even siblings may show readiness at very different ages. Try not to let the potty become a stressor in your house. Keep in mind that children that train earlier often have more relapses or accidents and that it can sometimes lead to issues later on like chronic constipation. Waiting until the time is right for your family can make a big difference in your successfulness.

Meaghan Howard is currently a stay-at-home mom and enjoying living overseas with her husband and two young children. She enjoys traveling, running, and the most excellent sport of all time, dragon boat.

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