10 Signs Your Little One May Be Ready to Potty Train

Potty training is a big deal, and when a child your little one is done, it is a huge milestone.

As with many things that are a big deal, there are many methods and many opinions on what timing is best. As a parent, you know your child best, and it is up to you to choose how and when.

But what if you’re just not sure if your child is ready? I’ve heard many a story of potty training disaster from parents who tried before their children were ready, and I am cautious. To make it simpler to tell, I’ve compiled a list of 10 common signs that a child is ready to potty train. It isn’t necessary for all these signs to be evident to begin potty training; if several are present and you feel your child is ready, then it may be go time.

  • 10 Ways to Tell Your Little One May Be Ready for Potty Training

    10 Ways to Tell Your Little One May Be Ready for Potty Training

  • Staying Dry

    Staying Dry

    If you check your child’s diaper and discover that it’s dry several times in a row, then suddenly it is very wet, that means that in between, your child is holding it. This is the big sign that your child is physiologically ready to potty train. If their bodies aren’t yet capable of holding it, then your efforts will be in vain.

  • They Know

    They Know

    Does your child hide when dirtying his or her diaper, or is there pointing to the diaper when urinating or bowel movements occur? That’s awareness.

  • Can Say What's Happening

    Can Say What's Happening

    Whether your say “poo” and “potty” or use other words for those functions in your family, the important part is that your child knows and recognizes the words.

  • "Are You Wet?"

    This seems like a repeat of a child knowing when they’re going, but it’s actually a separate skill. A child needs to know what being wet and dry feel like and know what you’re talking about when you ask.

  • Is Very Interested in Others' Toilet Use

    Is Very Interested in Others' Toilet Use

    As parents, we’ve all had our kids come into the bathroom just to be with us, but a child who is nearing potty training readiness will take a keen interest in what you are doing while you are in there.

  • Doesn't Like Wet or Dirty Diapers

    Doesn't Like Wet or Dirty Diapers

    There are some children who are more sensitive to being uncomfortable in their diaper area, and will desire an immediate change from day one, but many children don’t really mind until they are more ready for potty training, and then it becomes an urgent matter.

  • Indepenence in Dressing

    Independence in Dressing

    If your child can pull their pants up and down, they are a step ahead. Many children will need some help with this in the beginning, but if your child can accomplish this task, they can take an active role in their own toilet use.

  • Patience While Sitting

    Patience While Sitting

    Anywhere from two to five minutes is sufficient; your little one simply needs to be able to sit and focus for long enough to do what he or she sat down to do.

  • Willingness


    While you may have to cajole a little bit in the beginning, if your child is adamantly opposed, then it will be incredibly hard to complete potty training. Some children need a little extra nudge in the right direction, but many children will express an interest in using the toilet, a clear indication that an attempt is a good idea.

  • Are YOU ready?

    Are YOU ready?

    This is just as important as all the other signs of readiness. Potty training is hard work, and when your little one is freshly potty trained, they can’t hold it for as long as bigger kids. You need to be ready to put in the effort for the initial potty training stage, then adjust life to make frequent potty breaks possible. If your child is ready AND you are ready, then it is a good time to start.

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