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  • Writer's picturePatience

How to Know It is Time for Potty Training: Guide for First Time Parent

As a first time parent, it can be difficult to know when it is the right time to start potty training your little one. This important milestone can be a source of anxiety and worry, but with the right information and guidance, you can be confident in making the decision on when to start. In this blog post, I write our personal experience of the signs our toddler showed before we potty trained her.

Reading on the big potty

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When to Start Potty Training

In continuation of my previous post of how our toddler is potty trained both day and night before the age of two, I will like to elaborate more on how we were able to achieve that.

When we started potty training our daughter, I later understood that potty training a baby is not about the readiness of the baby but of the parent. I see lots of parents give up when they start potty training their little one with the excuse that "the child is not ready".

Every child is different, and there is no perfect time to begin potty training. In some countries, they start potty training from birth through elimination communication. However, it is recommendable to start between 18 and 24 months of age. This period is considered the ideal time when your toddler is developing bladder and bowel control.

We started potty training our toddler at 18 months old, we were ready and so was she, and within a week she understood the concept.


Signs Your Baby is Ready for Potty Training

I´m ready! Are you?

Although when to start potty training depends mostly on the parent, it is crucial to recognize the signs that your baby is also ready for potty training even though you might not be ready, in order to avoid limiting your little one.

From 12 months old, we noticed whenever we change our toddler diaper it will still be dried or just a little bit wet. She could go hours without needing to pee which means she was developing better bladder control. I wanted to start potty training her but it was winter and I was not ready to deal with potty training and the cold season. Then when she was 14 months old, she was already capable of staying dried almost all nights. That could be our window to start potty training her, but we had to go for a vacation, and we were not ready to turn the holiday experience into a teaching moment.


So, here are the 5 signs our daughter showed before we started potty training her:

  1. Staying dry for longer periods of time which means she was developing better bladder control.

  2. Starts showing an interest in the bathroom or the toilet. She started following me to the bathroom and pretended she wants to pee.

  3. Started having predictable bowel movements. You must be very observant because some babies tend to have regular bowel movements at a certain time of the day or after a specific meal time.

  4. We started understanding how she was communicating her need to use the toilet through her body language. I can´t forget her poop face, it was so funny and cute.

  5. Being uncomfortable in a dirty diaper, mostly when it was too wet.

Your baby might not show all these signs, but some might be similar. Once you start seeing some of these signs, it´s time for potty training.


Essentials to Have Before Starting Potty Training

Before commencing potty training, it is essential to equip yourself with the necessary tools;

  • Potty: when our daughter was 12 months old we got her the small potty just to get her to familiarize with it. She would sit on it, pretending to pee. Although she never really peed on it at that time, but when it was time to start potty training her, she was already familiar with it, she was not scared to sit on it.

  • Child-size toilet seat: We introduced our toddler to the big potty immediately we started potty training because we didn´t want to deal with double training, that is, when a toddler is already trained in using the potty but still need to be trained to use the adult toilet. This type of children toilet seat is my absolute favorite because it has handles that the child could hold and seat comfortably.

  • Step stool: This provides your child with the independence to climb up and down from the toilet. We got the wooden step stool because it was more stable, and base on the independence it gave our child now that she goes to the toilet all by herself at just 2 years old, I believe we made the right choice.

  • Panties: I could remember my toddler excitement when I told her she is now a big girl and she can start using big girl panties. She felt she accomplished something enormous. I believe that helped the training process because I continuously reminded her that it doesn´t hold pee and big girls not pee on themselves.

  • Foldable Travel potty: Since toddlers are still trying to understand how their bowel movement, they might want to use the toilet at any odd time, that is why a travel potty is a most have. We still take it with us everywhere we go, we use it in our road trip or even to go to the park and she has to pee. We always put a disposable bag on it with some tissues, and have it ready so its set whenever she have to use it without wasting time.

Potty training your toddler can be challenging, but with patience and persistence, it is entirely possible to make it a successful experience. It's important to be attentive to your child's needs, ensure that you have the right tools, and take advantage of every opportunity to encourage and praise them. Ultimately, the key to successful potty training is understanding that every child is different, and with perseverance and a positive attitude, your little one will get there in their time.


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