When to start potty training is one of those things that is less related to your child’s age, and more to do with their readiness.
As I explained in my article on the tell-tale signs that your child is not ready for potty training, I’ve seen some children who were ready to be trained at around 18 months of age, while I have witnessed other toddlers who still aren’t ready until they are after the age of three.
Neither is “better”, it’s simply down to the fact that there are multiple factors that determine if a child is truly ready to be potty trained, one of which is their willingness to learn (more on this later).
I remember vividly when I was debating whether or not my daughter was ready, and during this time I did a lot of research, which happily forms the basis of this article.
So with that knowledge and experience under my belt, I’ve put together a simple quiz that you can take to help you decide if your child is ready now, almost there, or still a little while off.
The Potty Training Quiz
As we saw above, there isn’t a specific age as to when to start potty training.
That can make things tricky for parents, so a helpful way to determine if your little one is ready to ditch the diapers or nappies is by taking the following quiz.
Here’s a great little quiz with 18 questions to help you figure out where your child is on the toilet-training readiness spectrum.
As a quick tip, when answering try to be as honest and impartial as you can, and take your time to really think about the answers.
By doing so you will get the best results out of this fun and insightful quiz.
- Can your child walk steadily and are they stable on their feet?
- Can your child pull their pants down and back up again?
- Is your child able to understand and follow basic instructions?
- Can you usually tell by watching that my child is wetting or filling his diaper, and do they signal when they need to go?
- Does your child usually relieve themselves at the same time every day?
- Does your child urinate a fairly large quantity each time they go?
- Does your child stay dry on their own for at least 1-2 hours?
- Does your child understand the meaning of wet, dry, clean, wash, sit, and go?
- Does your child communicate well and use sentences?
- Does your child hide when they need to pee or poop?
- Does your child have a word for “pee” and “poop”?
- Does your child pull at their wet or dirty diaper?
- Does your child dislike the feeling of wearing a wet or soiled diaper?
- Is your child independent at home and do they want to do many things for themselves?
- Can your child sit quietly for 3 to 5+ minutes at a time?
- Is your child interested in your bathroom habits (e.g. watching you when you go to the toilet)?
- Does your child take pride in their accomplishments?
- Does your child show interest and desire in using a potty?
Analyzing Your Answers
With the quiz now finished, it’s time to look at your answers and find out what they mean!
If you answer yes to most or all of the questions below, then there’s a great chance your child is indeed ready to begin toilet training.
If most answers are no, then it’s fair to say your little one isn’t ready yet, and it’s best to come back in again in, perhaps in a few months.
What if there’s mostly a mix of yes and no?
That’s a tough one, and in that case it’s probably best to use your parental intuition and do whatever feels right.
Although again it might be best to wait to avoid the potential of going back to diapers after potty training (yes, that really is a scenario which I’ve seen other parents have to go through, and while it’s of course possible, it’s not ideal).
There you go, you’ve now completed the is my child ready for potty training quiz and hopefully have some guidance on what to do next.
Keep in mind that potty training is a process that involves both the body and the mind.
That means that your child needs to (1) be aware of their bladder and bowl signals, (2) needs to learn how to use the toilet, and (3) needs to be willing to the toilet if they want to master potty or toilet training.
If your child ticks all three of those boxes then great, you’re probably ready to begin.
Remember however that even with the best of will you cannot force your child to use a potty, so if they are simply not ready, or not willing to begin the process, there’s nothing you can do.
If you are tempted to rush your child then it’s best to reconsider, because starting too early might lead to a regression back into diapers, or at best a much lengthier process than needs had you started a little later.
So if your little boy or girl is not quite ready just yet then try to stay patient and relaxed, and trust me, your child won’t be in a diaper forever!