Potty Training Signs

Physical, Cognitive and Behavioral

Experts advise that your little darling should first be showing potty training signs of readiness before introducing potty training. Many, many parents interpret this as an invitation to give the responsibility of initiating when to start potty training to their toddlers.

However, parents should start to prepare their children for potty training before they are old enough to order their own potty chair on Amazon.com.

Observe your child for signs of potty training readiness - we included an extensive list below.

Physical, Cognitive and Behavioral Potty Training Signs

Physical Signs of Potty Training Readiness

  • Has the coordination needed to walk and run without assistance or without tumbling
  • Urination lasts long each time
  • Has very predictable bowel movement
  • Goes through regular periods when dry for at least two hours, whether awake or asleep; this means that the bladder muscles have begun to be developed enough to hold urine
Cognitive Signs of Potty Training Readiness

As children develop, there are natural phases that the body goes through. One phase has to do with cognitive development, and whether the toddler is able to read signals being sent by the brain. Here are some signs that your baby is cognitively ready to potty train:

  • They are naturally in tune with the body's signals that indicate they have to go to the potty
  • Ability to notify the parent or caregiver about the urge to pee or poop even before it actually happens
  • Has the ability to hold the pee or poop until the potty is within reach
  • Is able to follow simple instructions given by parents or caregivers, for example the instruction to pick up something or perform a certain action
  • Has a general understanding of the fact that things have their own space, and can relate to putting things where they belong
  • Has developed unique words for urine and stool, and can easily relate to them


Behavioral Signs of Potty Training Readiness
Toddlers also display behavioral signs that indicate their ability to learn responsibility:

  • Can sit down quietly in one position for up to five minutes
  • Is able to pull the pants up and down
  • Gets miserable when kept in a wet or messy diaper for too long
  • Shows interest in what goes on when older people go to the bathroom
  • Makes sounds or gives physical indications when a bowel movement is about to take place, e.g. moaning, holding the tummy or bending over
  • Displays interest in proving their independence by wanting to do everything un-assisted
  • Takes pride in their accomplishments
  • Open to learning to use the toilet
  • Displays cooperation in general, and doesn’t get fussy when others require them to do something

Don't expect to see all these signs at the same time. What's important is looking out for them, and realizing that the minute they start to pop up, your little one will be on the way to being ready for potty training.

At the end of the day, you really shouldn’t expect that there's a rule your baby's potty training should follow. It's important to exercise patience at this phase because it may end up taking longer than you expect. Remember that everybody's experience is different; just take the time to enjoy this once in a lifetime occurrence with your baby!

Return from potty training signs to Potty Training Questions

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