How To Know When Your Child Is Ready To Potty Train

This post contains affiliate links. We may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

This post is sponsored by Pull-Ups® Training Pants.

I’m suddenly surrounded by toddlers and I’m totally okay with that! My nephew is almost two, and I have so many friends that have 2-4 year old’s. It’s funny how life comes at you in spurts like that.

Last week Emmy started asking for a baby sister or brother again…actually she asked when she gets to be a big sister. We had to sympathetically let her know that she wasn’t going to be a big sister, but that she is a big cousin to her cousin R, and that it is just as cool! Being around him this past weekend, she dedicated her time to teaching him as much as she could. They read books, jumped on one foot and just had fun. During our visit, Emmy watched her almost two-year-old cousin ask to have his diaper changed. She then turned to me and asked me “why doesn’t he just use the toilet?” His mom turned to me and asked (wished for) the same thing. That got us talking about knowing when a child is ready to be potty trained.


After potty training three kids, I’ve learned quite a few things about the subject.

The most important thing that I have learned is that each child is different in the timing, and in what works to actually get them potty trained. However, there are a few signs of readiness that will help you determine if it’s time to move forward with your family’s potty training journey.

Here are some signs that your child is ready to start potty training:

    1. They ask to have their diaper changed. This is a big one because that means that they are uncomfortable with a non-fresh diaper. It is normally one of the first signs that potty training is going to be right around the corner.
    2. They ask about going potty in the toilet. They are showing interest even if it is not about themselves. It might be about a parent, sibling, or friend. This means that they understand that there is another option to using the diaper.
    3. They want to try going potty like a “big girl or boy.” Each of my daughters asked to try the potty out of the blue, and one of them actually went and sat on the toilet (clothes still on) because she knew everyone else did it.
    4. They have a dry diaper for a longer-than-usual time. I first knew my daughter was ready when she started consistently waking up from naps with a dry diaper.
    5. They tell you they went potty or have to go potty. As soon as your little one says either of these, you are in a great place to start potty training.

The most important thing to remember is that each child is ready at a different age, so the timing for their siblings, cousins, neighbor’s child, etc. is going to be different. Also, once you start this journey, remember that what works for one child, might not work for your child. The good news is that Pull-Ups® teamed up with child development expert Dr. Heather Wittenberg to create, tips tools and advice to help you and your child potty train in a fun way, and as a partnership between you and your child with the Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership. I so wish this had been there for me when I was potty training because the advice and tips are spot on and so helpful, and I love that it’s not one size fits all either. Everything is tailored to help your child individually based on their unique personality!

The first thing parents can do is take a quick personality quiz that will help customize the potty training journey from the very beginning with five potty training personalities: Puppy, Owl, Bear Cub, Turtle, and Squirrel. Emmy was the Squirrel! I especially agree with the “once you start using Pull-Ups never go back to diapers” tip. Consistency is so important and that is the one thing that helped with all three of my kids…especially since Pull-Ups are the best of both worlds. They feel like underwear and teach your child independence since they can slide them on & off on their own, and they also have great protection for the occasional potty accident.

And speaking of potty training accidents, I think one of the most important things I learned during potty training is that accidents are bound to happen during the journey. If you ever find yourself worrying about regression, watch Dr. Heather Wittenberg explain what to expect from accidents during potty training, and what that means for your child.

huggies pull ups

Do you have any potty training tips to share?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • I agree, kids go at their own pace. Some of ready earlier than others. I would also suggest rewarding them they go potty. Either with a sticker or even a sweet treat. Seemed to help out some little ones i know.

  • You’re going to notice that they’re ready and it’s easier to get them to go potty when they are. Everything will be easier, to be honest. These signs are what I saw with my twins as well. I really like those pull-ups it’s definitely going to help a lot of parents out when it comes to potty training and accidents.

  • I love this post. my son is not yet ready for it. But I will try my best to observed him.

  • My wife shared this with me. This is a great post, my son is starting to potty train but a little bit scared.

  • I remember my son when he was little. It is very important to see for signs that he is really ready for it.

  • Kids will be ready when they are ready – I don’t have any – I know that my mom told me that I was a “late one” 🙂

  • The best thing that worked for both of my daughters, was to put them right in undies. They may have had some accidents, but they quickly learned how to use the potty after that. It worked great with both my girls.

  • I had a hard time potty training my daughter and whatever method I tried didn’t work. Then my mother came to stay for a week long vacation and I came home one day from work and my daughter was just using the potty. I don’t know how my mom did it but I was just relieved.

Comments are closed.