Features / 13 January, 2020 / Amanda Jenner

What Are The Signs My Child Is Ready To Potty Train?

When is the ideal age to potty train?

I definitely feel we should be potty training our toddlers earlier, the average age in the UK is 3 and a half and rising year on year which is quite shocking as it’s leading to major health and child behavioural concerns.  That’s not to mention the 3 billion nappies thrown into our nation’s land-fills every year and the impact that has on our environment and our children’s futures.

There’s no ideal time to start potty training as every child is different, it really is up to the parent or carer to look out for the signs and not to always rely on the summer months as a good time to start!  Your child will show you exactly when he or she is ready, they will become aware of what’s going on in their nappy, they may even tell you what’s going on in their nappy, or they may hide somewhere discreet for a little bit of privacy.  Once you’ve spotted the signs whip that nappy off and get to work!

Three signs your child is ready to potty train

Longer periods of dry nappies which indicate their bladder has developed stronger muscles

You may be finding your child is not needing as many nappy changes throughout the day or they may even be completely dry overnight.  Now their muscles are developing to be much stronger, this will enable your child to store wee for longer periods of time.

When your toddler stops in their tracks when doing a wee or a poo

Toddlers will start to recognise they have done a wee or a poo, you may even find them hiding behind the sofa or informing you they are doing a wee.  This may be the perfect timing to get those nappies off and get those big girl or boy pants on and get going!

When your little one can understand and follow instruction… most of the time

Toddlers are incredible, it seems like every single day they are picking up new little phrases and entering into more complex conversations with you so you will soon know when this time has come.  We all know however the ability to understand and follow instructions and actually putting them into practice isn’t always the plan they have in their own little mind, so just be patient with this one!!


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Are girls easier to potty train than boys?

Every child is different, regardless of gender, however, in my experience I have found the girls have loved to pick out their own pretty pants, where boys are happy to run around free with no clothes on at all.

Boys can be a little more challenging as they have their extra parts – it can be a little distressing sometimes when they miss the potty or the toilet so it’s really important you reassure them and work on this together.

When should one teach a boy to wee standing up?

I would recommend to first get your potty training 100% correct sitting down on the potty or the toilet with no accidents before you tackle teaching your little boy to stand up.

What are your five top tips on getting started?

  • Start at any time of the year – don’t just wait for the summer
  • Let your toddler choose their own potty or toilet trainer seat
  • Let your nursery school/childcare and family know you are potty training, advise them of your methods so you can work together on this
  • Set a routine early on and stick to it as much as possible – consistency really is key when it comes to potty training
  • Potty training should be fun! Keep it interesting and engaging with lots of praise too!

Amanda Jenner, author of the best selling book potty training book, Potty Training Magic: The Fun Way to go Nappy-Free Fast.


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