Toilet training is a big step for your little one! Starting too early can quickly backfire and lead to frustration for both you and your child, so it’s important to wait until they are ready to do business on their own. While every child learns at different stages, here are some common signs that they may be up for the challenge!

You’re changing fewer nappies

Up until around 18 to 20 months, kids relieve themselves so frequently that it’s unrealistic to expect them to control it. However, when your toddler stays dry for an hour or two at a time, it means their bladder capacity is increasing, which is the first crucial step to toilet training.

Your child understands when they’re going

When your little one becomes aware of their bodily functions, they might proudly announce that a bowel movement is about to strike. Your child might also communicate this through their behaviour; pulling facial expressions, grunting or hiding behind curtains are common signs that they recognise they’re in the process of going. Trying to toilet train before this point may prove difficult, as your child might not be aware enough of what’s going on to control their bladder.

Your child recognises a wet or dirty nappy

At some point, your toddler may start pulling at their nappy or asking you to change it. Some kids go through a phase of desperately wanting to escape the discomfort of soiled nappies. If your child recognises when their nappy needs replacing, it’s likely an excellent time to consider toilet training.

Their bathroom schedule is predictable

Whether you notice a bowel movement in the morning, after lunch or before bed, a regular rhythm signals that it might be time to pull out the potty. A predictable bathroom schedule indicates a higher likelihood of success.

Your child can undress themselves

To toilet train, your child must be able to pull up and down their pants easily. When nature calls, the potty won’t be useful unless your toddler has mastered the art of hiking up their skirt or yanking down their pants and pull-ups to complete their business. When your little one gains this skill independently, it’s likely time to set them up for the task.

Other signs that your child is ready for toilet training may include:

  • They can follow simple instructions
  • They’re becoming more independent
  • They understand bathroom lingo, like “poo” and “wee”
  • They can sit still for some time
  • They follow you to the bathroom or show interest in the matter
  • They wake up dry after naps