Do you ever sit back and think, how in the world do babies ever learn to talk? Or walk? And then later on read and write? It amazes me. Truly. We all go from being wiggly little crying babies to functioning people--well sometimes ;)--out in society! The one that really blows my mind is potty training. It feels like a miracle that we can train our little ones to be self-sufficient little potty-goers. So how do you know when it is time to potty train?
It’s astonishing that this little person ever stops going potty in their diaper. I mean, the convenience is unmatched. Anywhere, anytime, and then they don’t even have to handle the mess. Don’t even get me started on how crazy it is that they ever figure out how to hold their pee or not go at night. One might say I was a bit intimidated to potty train. The diaper definitely had the upper hand.
I had heard time and time again from people that trying to potty train too early is not a great idea. I knew you shouldn’t potty train straight out of the womb, but when is best? Here are some of the signs that helped me out the most before potty training.
Shows Interest in the Potty
One sign that your child is ready to use the big kid potty is when they start showing an interest in potties. It may sound silly, but it is a thing. My little girl would ask me questions about it, want to flush it, ask to sit on it, and pretend to use it. Sometimes she would even ask to use it and actually pee in it. This is a great indicator that it’s time to potty train.
Hates a Soiled Diaper
This can be a tricky one because some children or babies always hate their diapers being dirty. From day one, both of my girls would get the most upset when they had a wet diaper. So don’t just look for them to hate a wet diaper, but look for a change in behavior around diaper changes. Maybe your child has never cared about a dirty diaper and now they lose their minds if it isn’t clean. Maybe they tell you immediately after they have gone, and ask for a diaper change. Maybe it’s big-kid potty time.
Expresses Interest in Underwear
Whether it is seeing diapers on their baby siblings, baby friends, or baby dolls, your little one may begin to realize that diapers are for babies and underwear is for big kids. If they start to voice this association or ask to buy underwear, it could be time to switch out of the diapers for good.
Shows Increasing Awareness of Bodily Functions
If your child realizes they have to go potty and tell you so, then the work of teaching them to notice when they have to go is done—and this can be the hardest part. They could also start to get embarrassed to go potty in their diaper when out in the open and start hiding--more awesome signs that it could be potty training time.
So, they have some of the signs that it’s time to say adios to diapers, but potty training fails miserably. It’s okay. Don’t be discouraged. My daughter had literally all of the signs that she was ready. When we had our winter break from school, I thought it would be a perfect time to try because I would be with her every day. It turned into lots and lots of crying, so I said we aren’t going to force it and scratched the whole thing.
I gave it a month and then I got Covid. Once again, I was going to be home from work for an extended amount of time, so I thought, let’s try this again. This time it went super smoothly. I realized, though, that the first time I had done it wrong. She was ready to use the big-girl potty, but I was incentivizing it the wrong way for her—that’s a great topic for another post.
Potty training can be filled with trial and error, just like all of parenting and life in general. Don’t get discouraged. We’re all right there with you and you’re doing great!
For more info on potty training go to babycubby.com.