When is it time to start potty-training?

6 May 2019

Potty training is a major milestone for both children and parents. It may seem like a simple thing, but, not only does your child need to be biologically ready to give up nappies, they have to be emotionally ready. If they are not ready, don’t try to force it. Forcing it will just cause both you and your toddler extra frustration. It just takes a little bit of extra patience. Both you and your child decide together when it’s time to start potty training.

Between the ages of 18 – 24 months is generally a suitable time to begin to introduce the idea of potty training to your toddler because this is the age at which children are able to control their bladder. Don’t be disappointed if your child doesn’t get it right away. While some may be ready at age two, many children only become ready by age four – which is also perfectly normal.

Don’t focus on what age you should start; focus on the signs that your toddler will show you when they are ready to start trying.

Some of the common signs are:

  • Gestures, sounds or facial expressions that show you that your toddler is aware that they are making a wee or a poo.
  • Showing curiosity in toilet habits or perhaps they are trying to copy you sitting on the toilet.
  • Your toddler is able to remain dry for two straight hours – this shows that they are gaining more control over their bladders and are able to hold their wee in for longer.
  • Your toddler wanting their nappy changed straight after peeing or pooing.

This is a milestone that is going to take some time. It may even take a while for you to learn your child’s signals. Once you start, give them a lot of praise and reinforcement at each stage of learning and try to make them as comfortable as possible. Accidents will still happen from time to time. The trick here is to stay calm and be prepared. Don’t punish or shame your child; continue to motivate and reassure them.

Share what you are doing and how you are doing it with anyone who takes care of your child for extended periods of time, such as teachers, grandparents, babysitters etc. This will instil consistency and normality for your child.

Keep a change of clothing and Cuddlers Pants handy when your child is out and about, especially at school or play-dates. Cuddlers Pants are a great product to use while your little one is potty training – giving your little one a comfy underwear fit while still keeping them dry in case accidents happen.

All children learn sooner or later. Don’t compare your child’s potty training progress to others, this will only frustrate you more. Every child is different and develops at their own pace.