When you've got a toddler whose stinky diapers are basically a bio-hazard, potty training seems like the light at the end of the tunnel. If you're dreaming of the day when you no longer have to get your hands dirty (sometimes literally) dealing with your kiddo's poop-covered butt, you might be watching them like a hawk to see if they're ready to say goodbye to diapers. Unfortunately, however, figuring it out isn't always easy, and the age when kids are ready to potty train can vary wildly. There are some signs that your toddler isn't ready to be potty trained that you should know about, because ignoring them can make things ever harder.
Some moms and dads get to work on potty training as soon as their little one can walk, while others wait until pre-school makes it a bit of a necessity. The average age for potty training is about 27 months, according to Healthline, but some kids are more stubborn than others. As much as you may be completely over changing diapers, potty training won't always happen on your schedule. If you try to force it before your kid is ready, they might respond by holding it in — which ABC News explained can cause bladder problems or digestion issues.
These seven signs will tell you if you need to be a little more patient before starting potty training. As hard as it can be to wait, rest assured that you'll get there eventually.
1. They're Not Fazed By Dirty Diapers
One of the biggest signs that a toddler is ready to potty train is that they begin to be upset by dirty diapers, according to What To Expect. It makes sense, considering that it can't feel good to sit in a cold and soggy mess. But if your kiddo doesn't seem to notice or care that their drawers are suddenly drooping, they may not be ready because the motivation simply isn't there yet.
2. They're Constantly Wet
If it seems like your child pees constantly, you might want to hold off on potty training until their bladder is strong enough to hold in their urine for longer stretches. You'll want them to be able to stay dry for about two hours or more at a time before potty training, according to the Mayo Clinic.
3. They're Totally Uninterested In The Potty
Some kids are all about heading into the bathroom to figure out how grown ups handle their business, and are eager to test out the porcelain throne themselves. Others can't be bothered to set foot in the bathroom, let alone squat on the potty. As Mom.me noted, if your toddler isn't showing any interest in figuring out how to use the potty, you could be setting yourself up for a battle of wills that will seriously stress out both of you if you try to force it.
4. They Can't Sit Still
You may be in and out of the bathroom in a minute or two, but kids are nowhere near that quick — especially when they're just learning. Raising Children suggested keeping your child on the potty for three to five minutes, but that can seem like an eternity to a toddler. If they can't keep their butt on the seat for that long, you might want to wait until their attention span is a little longer.
5. They Can't Get Their Pants Off
Depending on which potty training method you use, you'll probably be marching your toddler into the bathroom constantly for pee and poop breaks. But eventually, they're going to have to learn to do it themselves if the training is going to stick. That's why it's important for them to be able to get their pants up and down with minimal help from mom or dad, according to Baby Center.
6. They're Scared Of The Potty
My daughter insists that her butt will go down the drain if she poops on the potty, so training is on hiatus in my house. Fear of the potty can be a very real thing for a toddler, whether they're afraid of falling in or hate the sound of the toilet flushing. You'll need to spend some time putting those fears to rest before you can potty train in earnest, according to Mother.ly. Otherwise, you're just setting yourself up for failure.
7. They're Going Through A Lot Of Upheaval
If there are any major changes happening in your child's life, potty training should probably be put off according to Kids Health. Welcoming a new sibling, moving houses, or even just making the switch from the crib to a big kid bed can all be serious adjustments for a toddler, so it's best to not add potty training into the mix as well. Take it one thing at a time, and you're more likely to have success.