19 - 21 Months

3 potty training skills to work on now

Many parents kick off potty training by removing their child’s diaper and hoping for the best 🙃 But months before the diaper comes off, you can begin to prepare your toddler for what’s ahead. 

A 2020 study of 270 toddlers found three key signs that predicted toileting success: 

  1. Expressing awareness of the need to pee or poop
  2. Showing pride in doing things independently 
  3. Pulling their pants down and up on their own.

While your child likely isn’t doing all these things yet, now is a great time to help them start building the essential skills.

3 ways to prepare your toddler to use a potty

1. Introduce potty words

Whenever you change your toddler’s diaper or go to the bathroom yourself, use matter-of-fact words, like “pee” and “poop” or “urine” and “BM.” Over time, your child will start to connect these words to what they feel in their body. 

2. Encourage independence

Look for ways to build your child’s confidence and interest in doing things on their own. Try giving them simple household tasks, like watering houseplants with a cup of water or putting away a few of their playthings. Move their shirts or socks to reachable drawers, so they can pick their own clothes. 

3. Practice undressing

Your toddler isn’t able to pull down their pants on their own quite yet, but you can encourage them to learn with your help. Dressing them in elastic-waist pants or leggings will make it a lot easier. It may be several months before they can pull down their own pants and even longer before they have the strength and coordination to pull their pants back up. 

Learn more about the research

Wyndaele, J. J., Kaerts, N., Wyndaele, M., & Vermandel, A. (2020). Development signs in healthy toddlers in different stages of toilet training: can they help define readiness and probability of success?. Global Pediatric Health, 7, 2333794X20951086.


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Posted in: 19 - 21 Months, 22 - 24 Months, Independence, Potty Training, Lovevery App, Parenting, Confidence, Child Development

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