Potty training is an important milestone that indicates your toddler is ready to join the league of big boys and girls who no longer need to have their bum covered up in diapers all day long.

However, as with other aspects of growing up, this stage requires your patience and your toddler’s readiness to make the transition smooth and less stressful.

Although most Nigerians start this process long before their babies can even crawl much less walk, it’s best to wait till your child is ready to enter into this next level because he/she would be more willing to go through the process unlike when they feel forced to learn. This usually begins around the 18 months old mark.

So how do you know when your toddler is finally ready for potty training? Read on to find out the telltale signs to look out for.

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1. S/he refuses to wear diapers: Wisdom is a key part of growth, so don’t be surprised when you realise that your toddler no longer wants to wear a diaper. S/he either cries when you wear it on or they attempt to take it off. That’s his/her way of letting you know that they no longer need it. This is the perfect time to start introducing your child to using a potty so that s/he doesn’t relieve themselves on the floor or furniture.

2. S/he waits ‘to go’: Normally, babies ease themselves wherever and whenever the call of nature meets them. However, when you notice that your toddler doesn’t urinate or defecate on the bed during or after nap time but rather holds it in and waits till s/he gets off the bed, then you know s/he now understands that such things are not to be done on the bed. That’s a great opening for potty training.

3. S/he follows you to the toilet: Children learn by imitation; they see what you do and they try to do the same thing. When your toddler starts becoming interested in following you to the toilet to see how you use it, then it’s time for you to introduce him/her to their own size of toilet which is the potty. Note that some children skip the potty training part altogether and just go straight to using the toilet. In that case, you can buy a toddler size toilet seat for him/her to use when s/he has to ease themself on the ‘adult potty’.