As parents, we constantly find ourselves worrying and questioning whether our kids are hitting their milestones at the right stage of development for their age. This is a lot of pressure, and truthfully we don’t have as much control over this as we might think, potty training in particular. There is no exact moment that our toddlers are ready to get out of their nappies. And sometimes in our eagerness to move them on to their next stage, probably, out of fear they may fall behind, we rush them before they are ready.
Timing Is Everything
News flash! There is no point in rushing this milestone before your child is ready. It’s way too messy a process, and potty training could actually take longer than it would be if you waited until they were actually ready.
If you are unsure whether to start or not these are the signs that will tell you your toddler is just not ready to potty train, or at least not yet.
How To Tell If Your Child Is NOT Ready To Start Potty Training
1. Nappies are always wet
This shows that their bladders just aren’t strong enough yet to hold the pee for long periods of time. When they are able to keep the nappy dry for at least two hours straight, that’s when you know your toddler is getting there.
2. Wet nappies are no problem
Recognizing when they are wet is one of the first important steps in potty training. If a wet nappy doesn’t bother them chances are wet pants won’t phase them either. That awareness is crucial, and if they are not yet there, don’t force it.
3. Unable to pull pants down
It’s important that your child is capable of pulling their pants or nappy down. Rather work on helping them dress and undress independently before trying to potty train. In addition to that start letting them wear pull-ups instead of their nappies.
4. Unable to communicate effectively
If your child is totally happy sitting in a soiled nappy without indicating it, then they will struggle to communicate with you about when they need to go to the toilet. They need to recognise the sensation of needing to go to the toilet and what that feels like when they do.
5. They can’t sit still
In order to use the toilet, we must sit on it for the duration of time it takes. This means a child must sit for as long as it takes them to urinate or have a bowel movement (2-5 minutes). For some kids, sitting still is impossible. If they can’t sit still long enough to use the potty all kinds of messy disasters are bound to happen.
6. They’re fearful
It’s normal if your toddler to have some sort of irrational fear when faced with the idea of using the toilet. There are several possible reasons. The idea of their poop being flushed away to an unknown place can be scary for them. They might be afraid that they will be flushed away. Fear of falling into the toilet bowl is another common fear. In the meantime buy a toilet training seat that is stable and comfortable.
7. Lack of desire
When a child doesn’t have the desire to use the toilet, it clearly isn’t time to potty train. There is a lack of desire when it makes no difference to them if they pee on your lap or in the potty. Lack of interest goes hand in hand with the lack of desire. If the child isn’t the slightest bit interested in what you are doing sitting on that big white thing then it is probably best to wait.
8. Still very dependant
Potty training can bring out a child’s emotional side. Your toddler may fear detachment from you as they discover their newfound independence. Each step in the potty training process takes them a bit further away from a routine they have always known. Changing time was once a time of big smiles, laughing, toe tickling and tummy rubbing. Potty time has now become a private and independent time. This can be difficult for a child who does not like to be left alone.
9. Unable to follow simple instructions
Listening and following instructions are skills that children begin to work on at a young age and continue to work on through adulthood. Your child must be able to follow simple instructions in order to successfully potty train. Learning how to use the toilet involves a lot of small steps and if they are not there yet, it will make the whole process that much more difficult.
Don’t Let The Potty Training Blues Get You Down
They might not be ready now, but you can take comfort in knowing that they will eventually get out of those nappies. Remember potty training is not only difficult for us as parents but for them, as little ones, it is a huge transition from baby to big kid.
In the meantime go easy on your toddler and yourself and don’t forget to stock up on those Drypers Drypantz Pull-ups. When the time comes, they’ll show you that they are ready, here are the signs to watch out for.
Also From Our Potty Training Series:
To help you with your potty training journey, we recommend the following articles:
- Top 10 Recommended Storybooks To Help With Potty Training
- 17 Most Helpful Tips To Successfully Potty Training Your Toddler
- 10 Cues Your Toddler Is Ready To Start Potty Training