5 Signs Your Toddler is Ready for the Big Potty

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Image adapted via Flickr/ MabyCakes

There was a glorious time in my life a few years ago when we were all done with the diaper stage of life and my three children were using the toilet full time.

Then my fourth child was born.

Now that he's technically a toddler, I am reminded that this potty training isn't as simple as I remembered it being. Yes, going diaper-free is awesome and, well, the lowered expense is nice, but there isn't a one-size-fits-all age when toddlers are ready to tackle this next milestone.

{ MORE: Quiz: Is Your Little One Ready to Potty Train? }

My youngest isn't there yet, but having three older kids, who I have seen through this milestone, I know that before my youngest is ready, he will show the tell-tale signs. I also know that if I want this transition from diapers to toilet to be smooth, I will wait until he's showing all of them before trying potty training.

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Image via Flickr/ mliu92

Your toddler goes longer stretches with a dry diaper

If your toddler woke up from their nap and their diaper is still dry, that's a great sign that they're ready for the toilet now. Being able to go longer stretches with a clean diaper will mean they won't be rushing too often to the bathroom during potty training and will then be less likely to not make it.

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Image via Flickr/ Michael Bentley

They tell you when they used their diaper

It will happen, trust me. Your toddler will use their diaper and turn to you and say they have done so. If your child isn't doing this yet, they're probably not ready to use the potty because they're not at the point of understanding the whole process. Sometimes, your toddler will only use their diaper in a particular spot of the house (like stand behind the curtains), and that's another clue.

{ MORE: Incredible Newborn Baby Feeds Herself at Three Days Old }

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Image via Flickr/ abbybatchelder

They can pull their pants up and down on their own

Sure, you can follow your toddler to the washroom and take care of this part yourself, but when they're able to do this task themselves, it's a clear sign they're ready. They don't have to be able to handle things like buttons and zippers, so while your child is both potty training and working on those fine motor skills, dress your toddler in pants they can easily handle themselves.

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Image via Flickr/ abardwell

Your child takes pride in their sense of accomplishment

There will come a time in your toddler's development when they will take pride in accomplishing something. They will seek the “good job” accolades, and when this happens, it makes potty training so much easier. They will enjoy getting praised for making it to the toilet on time and will feel like they've done something great.

After the first time, they will seek it out, and that's why it's never worked for me unless my child has reached this stage.

{ MORE: How to Recognize Early Signs of Speech and Language Delays }

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Image via Flickr/ abbybatchelder

Your child notices others using the toilet

Once your toddler becomes aware that other people are using the toilet, they've had their interest piqued. You can use that as the start of talking about what the toilet is and how it's to replace the diaper for older kids.

{ MORE: Why My Three-Year-Old Potty Trained Himself }

How old was your child when they potty trained? Share in the comments!

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5 Signs Your Toddler is Ready for the Big Potty

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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1 comment

  1. Profile photo of JIll JIll says:

    What really helped us was the method we found on pottytrainingboysgirls.com

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