My son, who is about to be two in a few days, is starting to show interest in potty training. So, I am pretty excited for the “hey, no more dirty diapers” but also terrified of the “well, you know, poop EVERYWHERE.”
I wasn’t sure how to approach this, or where to even start. Having the most information about something, before you start, is super important. That’s why I want to share with you, what I have learned.
Here’s some of the research, I came across in my quest to find answers. My first questions about potty training were. “When should I start? Is my son actually ready for this?”
Does the thought of potty training fill you with excitement and dread, like it has for me?
WELL! Don’t let the excitement of potty training turn into a nightmare by starting this process too early. IF you want the most success with this big milestone, then set yourself up for success. But How?
WAIT! Wait for your toddler to show signs of readiness.
The Dangers of Potty Training Too Early
Say you are out and about, and then…all of a sudden the smell of poop hits your nose. If your like me, immediate panic sets in! You know that your child is wearing regular underwear and not a diaper.
So, all these thoughts start flying through your head. Please don’t be my child, please don’t be my child. Well, you open your child’s pants..to find a nice surprise waiting for you!
Now you’re suddenly dealing with a poop explosion in the grocery store parking lot.
Well, I think you would agree, that….that doesn’t sound like a good time. So a little word of advice, make sure to start potty training when your toddler is ready to.
What my son uses!
Potty Training Warning
Potty training is great, but like many things “toddler”, it can be stressful. Like the time you offered your toddler the wrong snack, or grabbed the wrong toy, then you had a flailing, screeching, monster on your hands.
So, let’s just try and imagine, teaching this “toddler monster” to use the potty, when they don’t want to. It doesn’t matter how much baby shark you try to persuade them with, you won’t convince them to make a pee or poop.
Not EVERYONE, learns to potty train in 3 days at 2 years old.
This is a big step for your toddler to comprehend. They are no longer just playing with their favorite toy and going potty whenever they want. We are teaching them to stop playing and go to the bathroom on a toilet. This is a big stepping stone for them to understand.
Physical Signs of Potty Training Readiness
- Your toddler can walk and sit still on the potty for more than 3 seconds.
- They have learned how to pull their pants up and down.
- Your toddler can unroll toilet paper and understand the concept of wiping.
- Having regular bowel movements, at relatively predictable times.*more below
- Your toddler has “dry” periods of at least 2 hours or during naps.
Cognitive Signs of Potty Training Readiness
- The understanding of the difference between wet and dry is known to your toddler.
- Your toddler understands the concept of pee and poop poop.
- They dislike the feeling of wearing a wet or dirty diaper.
- Your toddler shows interest in others’ bathroom habits (tries to “help” you on the toilet)
- They can give you a physical or verbal sign when they are pooping, like grunting, squatting, or even talking.
- Your toddler also understands when they need to pee or poop, and can tell you, with more than 3 seconds notice.
Behavioral Signs of Potty Training Readiness
- Your toddler demonstrates desire for independence.
- They aren’t resisting learning to use the toilet.
- Your toddler can follow simple instructions such as sit on the potty.
- They use words or signs for pee and poop.
- Your toddler is in a generally cooperative stage. (most of the time)
- Your toddler enjoys washing their hands.
Bowel Movements Matter
Some people say that your toddlers bowel movements should be predictable before you start potty training. That is sometimes difficult to do, or doesn’t always happen.
Instead, look at your toddler as a whole. You want them to learn and understand when their body needs to go and act accordingly. Some toddlers just don’t have a predictable poop routine and that’s okay.
A note on constipation
If your child is having issues with constipation, then it’s going to make potty training really difficult. You’re aiming for lots of soft squishy poop. Ideally, they should be having a bowel movement at least once a day.
Constipation isn’t always easy to pick up and may need more than a prune to resolve. In this case, I recommend talking with your toddler’s pediatrician.
So, is your toddler ready to start potty training?
Sources: Dr. Orlena Kerek. Pediatricain and Mother of 4. http://snotty-noses.com