10 Potty Training Cues Your Kid's Giving You That You Shouldn't Ignore

Ad failed to load

Is it time to potty train already? How did this happen? Wasn't it just yesterday that your baby was a squishy, helpless ball of love that needed you every hour of every day? Well, that age-old cliché of time "flying" when you're raising children, it turns out, is pretty damn true. One day you're feeding them their first bite of solid food, and the next minute your kid is showing you potty training cues you shouldn't ignore. Seriously, this kid can slow his roll whenever he's ready, because this mom certainly wouldn't mind a few more years before potty training (and everything that goes along with it) is an actual thing.

Potty training is tough. In fact, I would easily argue that it's one of the worst parts of parenting, at least early on (because I imagine those teenage years are going to be rough). It poses the potential to take both the parents and the children on an emotional roller coaster of doubt and disillusion (plus, it kind of requires that you invest far too much of your money on cleaning products). However, parents shouldn't beat themselves up if potty training isn't going well because almost every parent, at one point or another, wanted to give up and invest in a lifetime supply of diapers for their kid. I mean, it's normal to prepare your kid for college by packing some pull-ups, right?

And though there are countless methods and potty training tips out there, it can take some trial and error for you to figure out what works best for you and your child. The best way to start the process is to look for signs that your child is ready and interested in learning how to potty on their own. Here are just a few that I'm more than familiar with, but it is definitely worth mentioning that every kid is different, so if your baby or toddler isn't showing these signs, have no fear. Before you know it, whether you like it or not, potty training truly is just around the corner.

Ad failed to load

Your Child Has Fewer Wet Diapers


One way to tell whether or not your child is ready to begin potty training is by the amount of wet diapers you're changing in a day. As a child gets older, they may go less frequently but in bigger amounts. This is an indication that his or her bladder muscles have developed enough to hold more urine and, therefore, determine for themselves when they want to/have to go to the bathroom.

If your child is able to stay dry for two hours or longer, this may be a sign that they are physically ready to begin potty training.

Your Child Asks To Be Changed

Once kids mature a bit, they might start to ask you for a diaper change. They'll reach a point when they realize that they're wet or smelly and that it's not a feeling that they like. If your child is asking you for a diaper change, or even bringing the diaper to you, they may be ready to try the potty.

Your Child Tells You When They've Got A Wet Or Dirty Diaper


As previously mentioned, one of the physical signs that your child is ready to try potty training is when they will start to show distaste for being in a wet or dirty diaper. On the same note, if your child is telling you that they're wet or that they need a new diaper, that is a good sign that they're aware of what's going on down there and they dislike the feeling of not being dry.

Ad failed to load

Bowel Movements Become More Predictable

Once your child's bowel movements become more predictable they will likely be able to control them a bit more. Having regular bowel movements is a good sign that your child might be ready to use their potty, even if it's only to urinate in. It can take a while longer for kids to be able to comfortably pass a bowel movement on their toilet, but regular bowels are an indication they're at least ready to try.

Your Child Is Interested In How You Go To The Bathroom


One of the more subtle signs of potty training readiness, is a child showing interest in what's going on in the bathroom. If they want to follow you into the restroom to see what exactly you're up to in there, let them! Kids are more prone to learn by observing their parents actions, rather than heading their words. Let your child into the bathroom with you and tell them what you're doing. The more they see, the more they will understand that this is something that they want to be able to do.

Your Child Is Coordinated Enough To Try To Undress Themselves


Another physical sign of potty training readiness is physical coordination. No, most toddlers can not execute the pulling up of their pants seamlessly, but if they're able to do a decent part of it on their own, they are physically coordinated enough to sit down on and stand up from the potty, and pull up their pants and underwear afterwards.

Even if they actually are able to pee in their potty, they'll still be out of luck if they're unable to pull their pants down, and having an accident in their pants can be really hard on their confidence.

Ad failed to load

Your Child Wants To Do Things On Their Own

If your child is showing the desire to do things on their own, allow them the independence to do so. This is a subtle yet oh-so-important aspect of potty training. We all know that kids won't do something if they don't really want to, potty training included. However, if they are showing signs of independence and asking to do different things on their own, they may be getting ready to practice that independence in the bathroom.

They Show Physical Signs Of "Going Potty"


We all recognize the infamous "poop faces" that our kids display when they're going #2. Yes, they're kind of hilarious, but did you know that they're also behavioral sign that your child knows when they're doing and that they're somewhat able to control it? This puts your child one step closer to connecting the dots between knowing that he or she is going to the bathroom, and knowing what to do when that happens.

Your Child Can Follow Simple Instructions

Can your child understand simple instructions like "pick up the toy" or "bring me that book?" If so, they may also be able to understand simple directions that pertain to potty training. This is a big deal, because if your child doesn't understand how to follow instructions they're definitely not going to be able to grasp the steps of potty training, just yet.

Ad failed to load

Your Child Is Communicating Effectively


Does your child know what the words "pee" and "poo" mean yet? If they are able to name and understand these terms, that is a good cognitive sign that they're starting to get the picture of what's happening with their bodies. If you can have conversations with your child and have a basic understanding of what the other is saying, it might be a good time to start talking about the potty and introducing it into their routines.

Potty training is different for everyone and no two kids are the same. If your child is exhibiting one or all of these signs, it might be time to at least introduce the concept to them. Just try to remember that there will be set backs but, eventually, your kid will figure it out in their own time.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik