My daughter is almost 3 years old. How do I know she is ready to use the potty?
Regarding potty training, toddlers have their own timetable.
Most are ready to potty train some time between their second
and third birthdays, however, some are ready before their
second birthday, whilst some master the skill later, after
their third birthday. Readiness is not related to intelligence
or developmental growth. It's not a race. And remember it
is unwise to force the issue, as this will lead to resistance.
Only your daughter can let you know when she is ready. Let
her take the lead in potty training by showing you some
of the signs of readiness indicated below.
- She can understand key concepts:
up and down, clean and dirty, dry and wet.
- She can do some simple self-dressing,
ie pull down and pull up her nappy or pants.
- She becomes curious about the
bathroom habits of her family; she follows you into
the bathroom and watches you. Use this opportunity
to say: "Won't it be fun when you can go to the
toilet too?" If she's giving you the signals
that she's interested, remind her that you will help
her with the potty whenever she wants to use it.
- She stays dry for an hour or
two at a stretch [during daytime] and is occasionally
still dry after a sleep.
- Her bowel movement timing is predictable and regular
e.g. when she wakes up, after a meal etc.
- She lets you know that she is having a bowel movement,
by "straining", getting a "push look"
on her face, squatting down, or she might even tell
you if she knows the terminology in your house e.g.
pee, poo. poop etc.
- She is clearly upset when she has soiled her clothes;
and wants to be changed immediately.
[Note that at this stage her sense of smell is maturing.
Whilst before she has been blissfully unaware of a smelly
nappy, she is now clearly aware of the bad odour.]
see also when to postpone
before you start,preparing your toddler
for potty training