During my parent teacher conference (that will be another blog post) I heard what I was not ready to hear..Bailey is ready to be potty trained. No one likes changing diapers, but I had started to embrace them. When Bailey had to go to the restroom she could go and I would change her when I had a free moment. I knew as soon as we started potty training that it meant learning where all the restrooms were in town, get comfortable have a potty in my car and dealing with accidents. It took us a couple of days, but Kurt and I decided we would try. There is no perfect time to start potty training, but if you start to early it will only make it more difficult. Below is a checklist to help you determine if the timing is right for you and for your child.
1. Can your child pull their pants up and down on their own? – This was one of the first things my sister in law told me and at first I did not understand why it was important. Now that Bailey is potty trained I could not agree more. It would be so discouraging if they make it to the bathroom but have an accident because you cannot get there fast enough to help them get their pants down.
2. Can your child communicate enough to tell you they need to go to the restroom? – Some people start with putting their child on the potty every 20 minutes, but at some point you want them to be able to tell you that they need to go to the restroom.
3. Can you stay home for 3 days straight? – I made this mistake. I had not really thought about how important it would be to stay home. One of my lowest points of potty training was in the Costco parking lot, Bailey knew she had to go, but she was not ready to use the big potty and there was too much going on in the parking lot for her to concentrate on the task at hand on the portable potty in the car.
4. Their friends are potty training – This is ideal, but not a necessity. At this age peer pressure can be a good thing. Bailey’s best friend was away when we started potty training, as soon as she got home and saw that Bailey was wearing big girl underwear and using the potty she was instantly interested in starting too.
5. Shows interest in the restroom – As a parent it is unusual to go to the restroom alone. When we first starting thinking about potty training I started to tell Bailey what I was doing to see if she was interested. She started coming in and saying “Mommy you go potty”.
6. Going longer periods between peeing and BMs at the same time – Bailey started waking up from her naps dry.
I hope this checklist helps you determine if this is the right time for you and your child. There is no perfect formula or age to start. Best of luck.