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Toddler Clinic


Signs your child is ready to potty train

Tips on behaviour that might suggest your child is ready for life without nappies.

Although there is a certain approach to training where parents let their babies go without nappies from the earliest age, feeling clean and dry helps a young child feel comfortable and confident, and nappies allow babies to deal with other significant milestones like crawling and walking before they are ready to potty-train.

Signs your baby is ready to potty train

  • An interest in your toilet habits. When your toddler show a curiosity when you got to the loo. Perhaps beginning to act out little routines with you, like trying to climb on himself.
  • Being aware of what is going on. Your child comments on the mess in his nappy.
  • Rejection of dirty nappies. When your child starts to come to you having either wet or soiled his nappy and wants to be changed.
  • More dry nappies. When your child does not soil every nappy and goes for longer stints (two or three hours at a time) without wetting his nappy.
  • Regular poos. When you notice that bowel movements are starting to happen around the same time each day.
  • An interest to pull down his nappy when he wants to have a poo or a wee. He may also want to experiment with pants. Try pull-up nappies in his regular nappy size for a while.
  • He can dress himself. Your child doesn’t have to be able to get clothes fully on and off, but if he can pull on simply trousers or leggings then he is physically ready for other similar actions.

First interest in the toilet

Some small toddlers show a desire to sit on the toilet before they are even 18 months, but this can often be just a copycat habit your child wants to have a go at. Don’t be disappointed if actual potty training doesn’t start for at least another year.

What’s next?

Check out tips on How to start potty training.


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