8 Potty training signs to look out for

Welcome back to our potty training journey. If you didn’t catch the first instalment – 10 ways to introduce potty training then please do check that out first; if you already have then let’s get going with potty training signs to look out for.

Even though we had started to introduce potty training to Jasper from around 19 months we still wanted to wait until we saw signs that he was ready before we actually started. The worst thing you can do is push it on them too early, not only can it push them away from the idea but it can make for a stressful time for you and a messy time for your carpets! Of course if you start too early you can always stop and come back to it later, so don’t worry too much about it being the wrong time; just try and wait until you’re seeing a few signs first.

At 2 years we were happy that Jasper had been introduced to the idea of potty training and had also seen all of the below signs so we knew we were ready to get going.

1. Your child tells you when they’ve done a wee or poo

This is a fab start as it shows that your little one not only knows the sensation of what they’ve just done but they also know how to communicate it to you. It doesn’t matter if they don’t say wee or poo. They may have their own words for them or may simply say toilet or yucks or something along those lines but having a set word for each one is best. This isn’t a sign to go ahead mind, it’s just a fab start and shows they’ve know what it is they’ve done.

2. Your child tells you while they’re doing a wee or poo

This is even better as they are aware of the sensation whilst they are doing either a wee or poo and gives you a chance to let them sit on their potty or toilet seat to finish – even if they still have their nappy on, just so that they can start to associate having a wee or a poo with sitting on the potty. It also teaches them that they’re doing great and it’s not too late once they’ve started.

3. Your child tells you before they do a wee or poo

This is the best sign as it shows that they are aware of the sensation of needing to go before they even go. If they can tell you which they need to do, wee or poo, then even better! This gives you a chance to praise them for letting you know and to get them on a potty or toilet seat in time for a successful potty go – definitely a green light!

4. Your child wants to take their nappy off

This was a clear sign with Jasper, mainly when he wanted to take it off after having a wee or a poo. It showed that he felt uncomfortable walking around with a dirty nappy and gave us a chance to introduce a cleaner and more comfortable alternative – pants and a potty.

It’s also a fab sign even if they haven’t done anything in their nappy because it shows they no longer want to wear nappies for whatever reason – comfort or simply a disliking to them; so it’s a great chance to introduce the new exciting big girl/boy alternative – pants!

5. Your child shows an interest in going to the toilet

If your little one likes to watch you going to the toilet, shows an interest in what you’re doing and wants to know what the lid and chain do then that’s a good sign they’re comfortable with the idea of going on the toilet. Jasper used to hover around so much when me and Pete were in the bathroom and instead of asking for privacy, we went with it and let him get comfortable!

6. Your child wants to sit on the toilet/ potty

If your child sees you going to the toilet and wants to copy or tries to sit on it by themselves then this is a fab sign. It shows that not only are they not scared of the toilet or potty (something that is quite common) but it gives you a chance to associate it with them going to the toilet. If you keep one lying around the house (see my introducing your child to potty training post) then you could always suggest their potty as a seat while watching TV, reading a book or just for a little sing song. If they’re happy to do this then that’s another wonderful sign!

7. Your child is having dry nappies more frequently 

If your little one is having more frequent dry nappies, e.g. 2 hour periods of time between changes, then this may mean they’re regulating their toilet times and their bladder muscles are strong enough to hold urine. This is a fab chance to guess when they’re more likely to go, e.g. after drinking, before napping etc and focus on those times to introduce potty training.

8. Your child wants to wear pants

This may not happen if they’re your first child (although they may try and wear yours or your partners) but if they want to wear big girl/boy pants either on their own or over their nappies thats a fab go ahead sign!


Stay tuned for the next leg of our journey, how we started potty training in the home and out of the house; as well as top products and tips!


What signs did you look for when potty training? 


Thanks for reading,

Jess x

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Hi I’m Jess, Single Mum, Accredited Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and Beauty Business owner.

I chat about all thing female empowerment, spirituality and positivity