Potty Training: Signs of Readiness

It’s almost Harrison’s 18-month milestone, which means potty training is likely around the corner.  Prior to first embarking on the journey with Jack, I had no idea that toddlers could actually be ready at this age — and they can!  The sooner you recognize the signs that your child is ready to start potty training, the easier (and shorter) the journey might be for your family.

With Jack we really put things off and stopped and started a few times(which is a big mistake), so much so that we’re still on that road with him now, almost a year later.  So, this time around I’m determined not to miss the early indicators that Harrison’s ready to potty train.

I recently took the Pull-Ups “Signs of Readiness” quiz to see where we were at in terms of Harrison’s potty training process.  The quiz confirmed what I already expected: he’s not ready.

“Your child is close but may not be ready to start potty training yet.” – Pullups.com

With Jack, things were quite obvious: around 19-20 months of age, he tugged at his wet diaper, hid behind furniture when he went to the bathroom and he started asking my husband and I about our own bathroom process.  Unfortunately, while we were proud of his natural interest in the potty, we were also expecting a new baby, so our minds were elsewhere.  Many other parents told us to hold off on the training in case of regression after the baby came along so that’s what we did.  If I had known what I know now, I would have started him as soon as he showed the signs that he was interested and then stuck with it. I think, in hindsight, we missed those initial indicators with him, which is why it’s taking so long now.  There was this glorious window of opportunity that we let slip by because we were side-tracked.


Although we know he’s not quite ready to start potty training, Rick and I are armed and ready with a very specific plan.

(1) Re-Take the Quiz

Although Harrison’s not ready yet, we’ll be watching like hawks for the key indicators that he’s ready to start the potty training process.  Each week, our goal is to reassess his behaviour and take the quiz again to see if his results change in any way.  That way, we won’t miss it this time around.

(2) Potty Party!

We’re going to take Harrison shopping for his own special potty training package: he can choose his own little potty, his size in Pull-Ups, a few special rewards, and then help us create a progress chart.  We’re going to mark it with a grand occasion (we’re actually thinking of throwing a little potty party for him) and get him very excited about our journey together.

(3) Remain Consistent

Even if we travel, use new childcare, or go on long road trips, we’re going to stay away from diapers once we’ve made the move into training pants.

(4) Dedicate time to potty training

With Jack, we didn’t set aside time in our busy schedules to allow him to focus his mind on this incredible milestone.  This time, we’re going to remain a full partner in the journey with Harrison by dedicating (at first) a weekend to really getting it all going.

If you’re not sure whether or not your child is ready, Pull-Ups has a very thorough Signs of Readiness quiz for parents.  You can read through their checklist to see how many traits your child is exhibiting to help you determine if it’s too soon or if the timing is just right.  If you start too soon, and your child isn’t ready, you might just be at it a little bit longer than you’d like to be.  Waiting too long to start though, can have the same result: the child becomes stubborn and can lose interest.

If you’re looking for resources to help kick start your potty partnership with your child, there are some great ideas online.  We got the idea of creating a potty package with your child from a post on Pull-Ups.com (they have a great checklist you can download). We’re really excited about the idea of making Harrison feel special by kick-starting his journey with a potty party.  So stay tuned!

Note: this post is part of an ongoing #pottypartnership with Pull-Ups.  The content is sponsored.



Leave a Reply