Tips for Potty Training & When to Start Potty Training

tips for potty training when to start potty training

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At the beginning of the year in Georgia's previous Mother's Day Out program, all parents were given a fantastic little booklet with tips for potty training and when to start potty training - basically a discussion of signs to tell if your child is ready yet.

Now that we are nearing Georgia's second birthday (oh my gosh how did this go by so quickly?) and she's become more and more interested in "paw-yee" I got the booklet out to brush up on readiness signs and decide when we should start potty training.

After reviewing tons of online advice and reading a couple of books, I found this little booklet to be the most helpful. And, as they pointed out, the school has helped train thousands of kids over the years. I initially wanted to do the three day potty training that I've heard so much about but we decided that putting the ball in Georgia's court was what would work best for our family.

I'll share the gist of the booklet here in hopes that it gives some good tips for potty training and helps another mommy out. If you have more specific questions let me know and I'll look them up!

Is Your Child Interested in Potty Training?

There are several signs of interest in potty training that children start showing, usually between 18-30 months although all children are different. These signs do not mean that your child is ready for potty training yet, only that they are interested.

  • Imitates behavior - mommy/daddy going potty
  • Starting to have an awareness of having a wet or dirty diaper
  • Says she needs to go potty but rarely does
  • Tells you when she needs to go after the fact
  • Goes potty before nighttime bath

  • Your job right now is to encourage interest but know it could be months before your child is actually ready for full-on potty training. Don't start asking if they have to go potty now, leave it up to them to decide when. The more patience you have now will make a huge difference in the time to come. According to the booklet, long term problems with potty training stem from parents confusing the Interest Stage with the Readiness Stage.

    When To Start Potty Training

    Finally! You get out of the interest stage and into the readiness stage. Here are the signs that your child is ready to start potty training.

  • Able to stay dry for 2+ hours
  • Wakes up dry in the morning or after a nap
  • Able to anticipate bowel movements
  • Asks to go potty and more times than not actually does
  • Uses words to tell you when she needs to go potty
  • Can pull pants up and down on her own

  • If your child says "no" that he she doesn't want to potty train now, you must respect that decision. When your child is ready he or she will do well.

    This post is getting long, so I'll follow up next week to get into how the heck we are going to start training once she is ready.

    Other recommended reading - Toilet Training the Brazelton Way