How to tell when it’s time to potty train

Potty training (or learning-which ever you prefer) is inevitable. If you love cloth diapers as much as I do, then the start of potty training is a little sad! My son, Grady, just turned 2 this summer and we’ve started on the process of using the potty. We haven’t done much yet as his little sister just arrived and I didn’t want to overwhelm him with a new baby AND a new expectation. We’ve just been taking it slow.Potty Training

So far, I bought and introduced him to the potty chair, read books about using the potty with him, and have had him sit on it when I’m also using the bathroom. We’ve been doing that for awhile, months actually, because I knew he wasn’t quite ready to go full force with it. I still don’t think he is. Some of the things I’ve been looking for are……..

  • Predictable bowel movements: I can’t seem to figure out his pattern. I used to have it down. I knew exactly when he was going to go, but we’ve been dealing with gastro-intestinal issues for the last several months and that’s messed him all up. That’s another blog post entirely!
  • Is interested in the bathroom: He’s very curious about using the toilet, watching me spray off his diapers, flushing it etc. He’s gone in his potty a few times, and he loves to watch me dump it in the toilet.
  • Can pull pants up and down: I’ve had to help him with this a lot. He can get them down just fine, but has a lot of trouble pulling them back up. It’s quite funny to watch actually!
  • Dislikes being wet and dirty: This has just started to happen for him. He’ll come to me right after going and tell me. This is a huge step for us because even just a month ago, he would say “no” when asked if he had gone and I know (by the smell) that he did.
  • Becoming more independent: He’s going through a stage right now where he wants to do everything himself, by himself, and with no help what so ever. Frustrating for me, but it’s great for him. He wants to be a “big boy” so this will be great motivation for him!

After writing all this out, I think it’s really time for him to potty train! He seems mostly ready, and honestly, now that I’ve got 2 in cloth diapers, I’m ready for him to be done. At least there are some cute cloth trainers on the market!

What signs do you look for when starting to potty train? Any tips for a potty training newbie?


Bio: Jenny is the writer behind the blog, According to Jenny, where she shares her thoughts on being a semi-crunchy mama of 2! She lives in beautiful Pennsylvania with her husband and 2 kids, Grady-born in 2010, and Haley-born in 2012. She’s an avid baby-wearer and cloth diaper addict. You’ll find a little bit of everything over on the blog-reviews and giveaways, too!


8 thoughts on “How to tell when it’s time to potty train

  1. We do VERY part time elimination communication and have since our baby was a few months old (she’s now 13 months). I try to always offer her little potty at diaper changing times and often she will go on it when I take her diaper off. I know some folks who just try to get into a routine with their toddlers where they will have their child sit on their potty every time the parent goes to the bathroom and eventually they will start consistently going at those times and learning to be able to communicate they need to go to the potty.

  2. My experience was that my son was much harder than my daughter and it seemed to be a control issue. Outside encouragement from the daycare helped tremendously. He saw his friends moving up to another class and he was told he couldn’t go until he could go in the potty….that’s when he finally gave up the battle.

  3. Great tips for readiness cues. My son is only 15 months so we’re not quite to the full-on potty training stage yet; however, he is starting to show some of these signs. He’s very interested in the potty and wants to help Mommy and Daddy go. He lets me know when he’s wet/dirtied his diaper, and he’s on a pretty predictable schedule. He has his own little potty, but is more interested in helping others go than using it himself, haha!

  4. Pingback: Fluffy Fridays: Potty Training Guest Post

  5. Great tips! My toddler isn’t ready quite yet. We tried and failed once – too early. One thing I learned was don’t buy a fancy 3 piece potty – just stick to a simple one piece potty seat.

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