Posted in Parenting

Top 7 Signs of Potty Training Readiness (+ 5 More!).

Signs of Potty Training Readiness”

Type in those five words in Google, and you’re sure to get about 105,000 hits in about as long as it takes you to hit the “enter” button on your keyboard.

See what I mean? ^^^

The amount of information out there is actually overwhelming.  There are articles, checklists, quizzes – all there to help you determine whether your toddler is ready to ditch the diapers.  Luckily for you, I did all the legwork.  After compiling the information contained in the top ten sites, I have a list of 7 potty training readiness signs.  Each of these 7 signs have come up on at least eight of the ten sites I visited.

7 signs

1.  His bowel movements are well-formed and pretty regular.


2.  She can stay dry for 2h periods (and may even be dry upon waking from her nap).


3.  He is able to get undressed/dressed (or at least pull down/up his pants) with little to no help.

Partially – He can get his pants off if I pull them down past his bulky cloth diaper, the same goes with pulling back up.

4.  She dislikes being in a wet or dirty diaper.

Nope – He could stay in his soiled diaper all day and he wouldn’t give a crap (pun intended).

5.  He is interested in the washroom habits of family members and likes to come and watch.

Check – besides the fact that bathroom attendance is one of his favourite activities, he also likes to give a play-by-play of what’s going on.

6.  She clearly shows she is having a bowel movement.  This can be a verbal indication (“I’m going poopoo!”) or a non-verbal (hiding, squatting) one.


7.  He can follow simple instructions.

Checkbut he sometimes chooses not to.

So where does that leave us?  He absolutely nails three of the signs.  He completely flunks two.  And the last two allow for an ambiguous interpretation.

Luckily for you, I’ve got a checklist of another 5 signs of readiness!


1.  You’re tired of playing catch-the-streaking-toddler, avoid-the-pissed-off-toddler’s-kicks and try-not-to-become-deaf-from-your-toddler’s-Banshee-like-screams during every single diaper change.

2.  You don’t have any carpet in your house & know how to use a Swiffer.

3.  You’ve read numerous blog posts/articles on different potty training methods.

4.  You’re not above the use of bribery and you have the mini-marshmallows to prove it.

These little guys are the most important part of my potty training efforts.

5.  You (and your significant other) have got at least a full week coming up to devote to potty training because of Christmas hollidays.

We’re starting on December 20th, by the way.  Feel free to check out the “Potty Training Chronicles” page that should be coming up in the next few days to laugh with me (or at me), cry with me and send your own stories.


Thirty-something year old discovering the joys and bumps of motherhood.

12 thoughts on “Top 7 Signs of Potty Training Readiness (+ 5 More!).

  1. I found if i stopped asking and placing him on the toilet once he was wet already he noticed. After two weeks of wet pants i was about to give up and he got it.
    Dont stress, dont pressure and make it seem that the wet pants are `naughty` i just told vinnie mummy was sad that he had wet pants and explained again again that pee pee goes on the big boy toilet.
    We dont have a pottt and just went straight to the toilet with a toddler seat.
    We have had a lot of dry nights too but im not ready to ditch the diapers yet he drinks around 300ml of milk before bed. Its a huge risk. Today his nappy is super heavy. Yesterday it was dry :/ good luck and ill look forward to your blog posts

    1. Wow, thanks for sharing! I should probably tell you that you’re actually the one who got me to kick myself in the butt and get Charles potty trained, so thanks!

      I’ll keep in mind to put him on the potty even if he went in his pants, just to help him notice, I’d never thought of that.

      We have both a potty (daddy went ahead and bought a second one for when we’re downstairs) and a toilet ring (which can also be a potty). I’m actually eager to see which of the two Charles will prefer.

  2. Best of luck! We’re in the midst of potty training (started at the beginning of November… it’s been a long road). There will be ups and downs but don’t give up! And bribery works. It was the only thing that worked for us. 🙂

  3. I’m so glad to know that toddler diaper changes are not just a struggle in my home. I honestly worry that the neighbors think we’re murdering him. Does yours do the “alligator roll” (ie: rolls over and over and over covering you, them and the floor in poo) as soon as you unbutton the worst poopy diaper you’ve ever seen?

    1. I thought that too about my toddler’s thrashing until another mama blogger told me that her daughter acted in the same way and that it was her cue to start potty training.

      We luckily don’t get the alligator roll here (sounds, um, fun). We taught Charles what the traffic lights mean and we have fun playing “red light, green light” when he has a dirty diaper. He freezes on his back, legs up when I say “red” and waits the green light with anticipation. It works most of the time.

  4. Bribery does work, trust me! I’ve used it. Both of my kids were fairly easy to potty train and took it upon themselves EXCEPT when my youngest was born. My oldest was 2 and she started to regress as soon as my youngest came home from the hospital. She didn’t want to use the potty, she wanted her pull ups again and she was just not having it at all. That was when we had troubles getting her to use the potty again. But bribing did work for us!

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