My toddler is creeping up on her second birthday and there’s one question I’m fielding a lot lately – “When are you going to potty train her?”
This isn’t my first time around the block so potty training isn’t something I’m loosing any sleep over. Unlike my oldest son, when I started stressing about potty training as soon as he turned 18 months, potty training isn’t even on my radar yet.
I’m a big fan of waiting until a child is ready to potty train. My definition of being potty trained is that the child can take care of everything on her own… otherwise I’m the one who is potty trained and I’d honestly rather deal with diapers then physically put my child on the potty every 20 minutes.
My last two boys, for a variety of reasons, were both nearly 4 by the time they were potty trained. But because I’d waited until they were ready, they were potty trained in a day. It was a far easier experience then my oldest who was potty trained by 2.
So how do you know if your child is ready to potty train?
He can get dressed on his own. It’s hard to potty train a child who can’t dress himself. Opt for easy on option like sweatpants, but make sure your child can get them on and off without help.
He has an interest in potty training. We all know you can’t force a toddler to do anything he doesn’t want to do. When you have a child who is interested and willing to potty train the process goes much smoother.
He can stay dry through the night. As your toddler gets older you’ll probably notice that his diaper is dry in the morning. My toddler is clearly not there yet. She wakes up with a ten-pound soggy diaper every morning.
You have the time to devote to potty training. This one isn’t so much about your child as it is about you and your life’s circumstances. Are you moving soon? Have you just started a new job? Are you expecting a baby? If anything major is going on, I’d strongly suggest waiting to potty train. It’s hard to be consistent with a lot of changes going on and your toddler is likely to be stressed and not able to focus on potty training. Since I’m currently expecting twins, potty training is off the table for a good long while.
Have you potty trained an older child? How did you know it was time to start the process?