Potty training is one of the most exciting, and scary, part of having a toddler. On the one hand, YAY! No more diapers! But on the other hand, you are ripe with fear over a potential power struggle and having to deal with accidents. These fears can be put aside by making sure that your child is truly ready to begin potty-training before you begin working with him. Here are the 5 major signs that your child is ready to begin using the potty:
1. He Tells You When He Has A Dirty Diaper
When your child is no longer content to sit in a soiled diaper, and he lets you know it, then this is a good sign that he may be ready for potty-training. It is a sign of emotional and physical maturity to be uncomfortable in a dirty diaper and realize that it is much better to be clean and dry instead.
2. He Stays Dry During Naps
Staying consistently dry during two-hour naps is a sign that your child’s body has matured enough to give him the ability to hold in bodily functions while he is asleep. It should be noted that many children are ready to potty-train even if they wake up wet in the morning, as it can take much longer to gain enough control over bladder muscles to last overnight. Night-time potty will come with time, but if he is able to hold it consistently at nap-time then it may be time to consider potty-training.
3. He Is Able To Follow Instructions
As adults we do not think about the many steps required to use the bathroom, but when you break it down there is a lot involved in the process. There is undressing, wiping, flushing and washing hands. It is quite a task for a young child, which is why it is important to assess your child’s ability to follow instructions when considering potty-training.
4. He Is Able To Undress And Dress Himself
Can your child master pulling down his own pants and underwear? Can he pull them back up on his own? If the answer is no, you might want to work with him on dressing and undressing prior to beginning to potty-train. While it is true that you can go into the bathroom with your child and help him with his pants at first, he needs to be able to do it for himself in order to foster his independence while training. To make learning to dress and undress easier, avoid pants with buttons and zippers and instead choose pants that have an elastic waist, such as athletic pants or jeans with the elastic band. You can then work your way up to more complicated clothing as time goes on.
5. He Shows An Interest In Using The Toilet
If your child follows you into the bathroom and asks questions about the toilet-using process, then odds are he is emotionally ready to begin training. Potty-training is best accomplished when a child is actively interested in doing it. If your child still finds the toilet to be scary or shows misgivings, it is probably best to hold off and try again in a couple of months.