Is your toddler ready for potty training? Sure, other kids at the childcare centre may already be diaper-free, but that doesn’t mean your child is ready to ace the toilet test, too. Potty training isn’t a competition to see whose kid nails it first.
It’s best to let your little one take the lead. As a general rule, most children are able to achieve daytime urine control by around three to four years old.
On your part, learn to spot signs that signal whether he’s ready for potty training.
How do you know if your child is ready for toilet training? Dr Wong Chin Khoon, a paediatrician at SBCC Baby and Child Clinic, says to look out for these telltale signs:
– Is he interested in the potty chair or toilet (following you to the toilet or flushing), or in wearing underwear?
– Can he understand basic directions?
– Does he tell you – through words, facial expressions (grunts, squirms) or posture (squats) – when he needs to go?
– Does he stay dry for two hours or longer?
– Does he complain about wet or dirty diapers and want to be changed?
– Is he physically developed? For example, can he pull down his pants and pull them up again? Can he sit in, and rise from, a potty chair?
– Does he develop a predictable peeing and pooping schedule?
If you answered mostly yes, your child might be ready for potty training. If it’s mostly no, you might want to wait – especially if your child has recently faced a major change, such as the arrival of a new sibling.
A toddler who opposes potty training today might be open to the idea in a few months’ time.
“However, even after your child is able to stay dry during the day, it may take months or years before he achieves the same success at night. Most children are able to stay dry at night after five years of age,” he explains.
If you find your child’s not interested in potty training by three, or if he suddenly has accidents after a dry spell, consult a paediatrician to rule out any medical problems like urinary tract infection, Dr Wong advises.