Signs of Potty-Training Readiness

When is a good time to potty-train your child?


Oh all right. You seem all determined…I guess I can help you out. My credentials include successfully training 5 of my own children, and countless daycare children, as well as assisting in the training of numerous other children. I should write a book. Except for the fact, that I hate it. Absolutely hate it. Potty-training, not books. Maybe more than I hate beets. In fact, if you said, “Eat this beet OR potty train this 3 yr old”, I would definately think about the beet. And if you said, “If you eat this beet, I will potty train your child guaranteed, and he/she will never have another accident as long as he/she lives,” I would yank that beet out of your hand and gobble it up. And that’s saying something, if you know me and beets.

But here you are, determined to do it anyway. You think I’m being funny. So here it is, the definitive guide to potty training readiness.

First, I’ve realized that it’s not just the toddler who must be ready, it is also his momma. So I have included signs you must watch for in yourself. Secondly, if you are past this stage of life, and are happily looking forward to a toddler/potty free life, sit back, put down your sandwich, and enjoy this look down memory lane. I hope you don’t have flashbacks.

(If you have never had a toddler you gave birth to pee in your lap or on your new mattress, you have my respect, congratulations, and freaking AWE!)

Sign #1. Toddler: Can pull pants up and down by him/herself. Now, on the surface this may seem like a good thing. Until he answers the door naked. For the 12th time. Which brings us to….

Sign #1. The Momma: Are you in fact ready for a partially nude doorman? Are you prepared for well-meaning mailmen, UPS guys, neighbors, your brother, and salespeople to tell you your child is naked, like you don’t know it because he’s been naked for days and you don’t even know where any pants are because he’s either flung them into an alternate universe or peed in them?

Sign #2. Toddler: Can tell you when he/she is wet and or messy. Let’s just call a spade a spade, shall we? It’s not *messy*, or *muddy* or any other cutesie word. It’s Poop. And no amount of  euphemisms are going to change it. YOU will be changing it, because when Poop happens, people flee.

Sign #2. The Momma: Are you ready to clean Poop out of underpants? Everywhere you are, including home, church, Grandma’s house, gas stations, Walmart, the side of the road on the way to Grandma’s, the park, the library…and are you ready to pretend that mysterious puddle near you is not, in fact your child?

Sign #3 Toddler: Stays dry at naptime, and or through the night. First of all, Yeah right. Second of all, Who cares? I am telling you that this same child who can, supposedly, stay dry through a 2 hour nap or all night, cannot, I repeat CANNOT make it on a 15 drive to the grocery store. Or home from his Aunt’s house without stopping to pee on a defenseless tree. This child will also pee on everything you love that is upholstered.

Sign #3  The Momma: Are you ready to replace Dad’s favorite chair, the kid’s mattress, your whole house’s carpet, the couch, the upholstered piano bench, the bathroom rugs, your white down comforter, the diaper bag you bought at that designer baby shop? Are you ready to live in the same house that has seen more environmental waste than a hospital? Are you prepared to move?

Sign #4 toddler: Has asked to use the potty. This is a trick. Do NOT believe him. This is one of those Signs not that your child is ready to use the commode, but that God has a sense of humor. Don’t fall for it.

Sign #4  The Momma: You think you are sick of diapers. Buying them, changing them, hauling them around.  Maybe you have a strong stomach…or maybe you are one tough momma, but somewhere between home and your sister’s wedding reception, you are going to wish with all your heart that you had never heard of underpants, or potty training. You are going to want to maim, or at least damage the reputation of, the well-meaning woman who said to you, “Don’t you think it’s time you potty-trained *insert name*? My son’s been trained for a year now and he’s only *insert age under 3*!” Are you ready to be driven nuts?

Ready is when your child can drive him/herself to the store, buy their own underpants, and leave you out of it.

I don’t think you are ready.  Sit down. Take a deep breath and say to yourself, “No child ever graduated from High School in diapers.”

Good girl. Go get some chocolate…and some diapers:)

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10 Responses to Signs of Potty-Training Readiness

  1. Abbie says:

    Mine’s ready…I’m not. Maybe after school starts. *goes to buy diapers*

  2. This is so funny! I agree with all statements. I’m terrified to take Marlee out of her Pullups. She is doing just fine but occasionally there’s the potential of an accident and I am so glad to have the Pullup. Also, she is very definitely in naked mode. 🙂

  3. Laura says:

    I thought, “I’ll read this cute little potty-training post just for fun, since I’ve now potty-trained my 7 kids” Bad karma came and bit me right in the butt! Just halfway through, my youngest came in telling me she had peed AND pooped in her undies! WHAT??? She’s been potty-trained for about 3 weeks now, hasn’t had an accident in two, we were just at the water park earlier today where she had a swimmer on, yet insisted she use the potty, only to have her come home and do that. Potty-training will have you ripping out your hair in fistfuls. Some other Momma readiness questions are: are you ready to run like a madwoman for the restrooms of every store/business you ever go to (and they will insist they have to go even though they went only 5 min ago when you left home) to hopefully avoid a major disaster cleanup; and are you willing to spend WAY more time rushing them to the potty, sitting there waiting for them, helping them wipe, wash hands, and re-dress themselves (and seriously doing the whole routine every 20-30 min) when a simple diaper change takes maybe 3 min tops??

  4. Grandma. says:

    Or…. you can send them to the teacher at the local preschool/head start who has nothing else to do but run your preschooler to the potty, change their clothes, wash their hands and her hands, mop and bleach the bathroom, the classroom floor, the chair they were sitting on, and any toys or children they touched. All this is done while 15 other kids watch with commentary. I sometimes find it hard to believe I am 62 years old and the major topic of my day is did flush and wash.

  5. lymalu73 says:

    Just read it again…this time out loud to my hubby and we were both laughing…still not sure I would eat a beet though.

  6. Nedra says:

    Let me tell you of one child who is enshrined in the Potty Training from HELL Hall of Fame. My brother. Seriously. Mom said that he would sit on the potty chair, with his little chubby arms crossed and a determinedly stubborn look on his face for HOURS. Refusing to…um…”cooperate.” Finally Mom would throw up her hands in defeat and say, “I give up. Get off the potty chair.” She would then watch, from the kitchen window, as he would go outside behind the apple tree, look around to see if anyone was in the vicinity, screw up his face and fill his pants. EVERY TIME. My mother was a Saint!

    P.S. I’ll eat all the beets for you, Maren!!

  7. Loretta Park says:

    Naturally, I had to read this. Naturally, I’m laughing with sides aching because I have two grandchildren, whose moms are dreading potty training. Daughter is waiting until after Disneyland trip. Her son will be 3 in September. Daughter-in-law is waiting for the right moment. Her daughter is 2 1/2 and announces to us all when she has pooped. Like we can’t smell it.:)

  8. Loretta Park says:

    Oh, I hate beets.

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