Getting Started on the Potty

Signs of Readiness

Experts suggest that parents look for signs of physical, emotional, and cognitive readiness before attempting to toilet train. Most signs begin to emerge between 18 and 24 months of age, though this may vary. Here are some cues to look for:

  • Your child stays dry for at least two hours during the day and is dry after naps, which indicates that she's able to remain dry for an extended period of time.
  • He's able to follow simple instructions, such as a request to sit down or remove his clothing.
  • She shows an interest in wearing underwear.
  • He's able to walk to and from the bathroom, sit still on his own for at least a few minutes, and even undress by himself.
  • She cries, fusses, or shows other signs of obvious discomfort when her diaper is soiled.
  • He has predictable bowel movements on a regular basis.
  • She expresses an interest in using the toilet or potty seat.
  • He indicates through facial expression, posture, or language that he's ready to use the toilet.

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