Toddler:

When to potty train

My daughter is almost 3 years old. How do I know she is ready to use the potty?

Regarding potty training, toddlers have their own timetable. Most are ready to potty train sometime between their second and third birthdays, however, some are ready before their second birthday, whilst some master the skill later, after their third birthday. Readiness is not related to intelligence or developmental growth. It’s not a race. And remember it is unwise to force the issue, as this will lead to resistance. Only your daughter can let you know when she is ready. Let her take the lead in potty training by showing you some of the signs of readiness indicated below.

– She can understand key concepts: up and down, clean and dirty, dry and wet.
– She can do some simple self-dressing, ie pull down and pull up her nappy or pants.
– She becomes curious about the bathroom habits of her family; she follows you into the bathroom and watches you. Use this opportunity to say: “Won’t it be fun when you can go to the toilet too?” If she’s giving you the signals that she’s interested in, remind her that you will help her with the potty whenever she wants to use it.
– She stays dry for an hour or two at a stretch [during daytime] and is occasionally still dry after a sleep.
– Her bowel movement timing is predictable and regular e.g. when she wakes up, after a meal, etc.
– She lets you know that she is having a bowel movement, by “straining”, getting a “push look” on her face, squatting down, or she might even tell you if she knows the terminology in your house e.g. pee, poo. poop etc.
– She is clearly upset when she has soiled her clothes, and wants to be changed immediately.

[Note that at this stage her sense of smell is maturing. Whilst before she has been blissfully unaware of a smelly nappy, she is now clearly aware of the bad odour.]

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*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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