How Do I Know If My Son Is Ready to Potty Train?

Updated on August 25, 2007
T.C. asks from Peru, NY
9 answers

My almost 2 year old son Adam has a speech delay. He says a few things, not many, and he is receiving speech therapy. I'm just wondering how I am supposed to potty train him if he can't even tell me when he needs to go, and he really isn't showing any signs of being ready. What am I supposed to be looking for to tell if he's ready? Does anyone have any tricks on getting him started?

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answers from Rochester on

My daughter also had a speech delay when she was that age. I just would keep putting her on the potty and actually she was 3 1/2 before she decided that she was done with diapers and my daughter went into the bathroom and got on the toilet by herself. She didn't tell me...I went in and there she was. My daughter could say no really well so I would ask her continuously through the day if she had to go potty and she would let me know if she did or didn't....but in the beginning I would just go in and put him on the potty and at least get him familiar with the concept and then let him take his time to decide when he is going to start using it.

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answers from Hartford on

T. - don't rush it. Our son is 25 months old and we are slowly introducing the concept - actually have been for about 8 months. Our pediatrician said not to force it or we'll have battle on our hands that we can't win. You're son will let you know when he's ready - regardless if it's with actual words or just his actions. Good luck.



answers from Williamsport on

I first introduced my kids (I have 2) to the potty seat. Everytime I went I would put them on their seat until I was done. In the beggining, lol, they didnt sit at all. But keep on them and they will soon to sit longer and they choose the time to actually pee in it. Right now, my daughter ,2, is starting to pee in her potty seat and I started her at 1 1/2. On the other hand, my son,now 5, took a lot longer, but eventually got it.



answers from Albany on

If your son has a speech delay, the best suggestion I would offer is teach him 'bathroom' in sign language while he is still young and implement it when you go and show him what it means. As he grows older, he will learn how to sign to you when he needs to go and you will have a common communication ground. As far as when he is ready, the most common thing I found with my oldest is he would follow me in the bathroom and I would explain to him what I was doing. I got him a little potty and when I sat down, so would he. He did nothing but sit there for months, but then one day, he went pee. He got so estatic...we both did. From then on he started going more often with me (even if I didn't have to go I would fake it) and eventually he's doing it on his own now. He has other issues with his intestines, so he has no control over his bowels yet, but he is fully pee trained.

Sign Language Link



answers from Syracuse on

I had a ped once tell me boys, don't expect much till 3 years of age. And I don't always agree, but find it mostly true. My son was 3 and a few months before we got it down. He has a speech delay as well.
I would say start making him sit there in the morning and before bed... take him in a few times a day.. see how he reacts. If it's well recieved try every two hours or so...give lots of verbal praise. This is when you think he's ready, of course. And when you think hes got the concepts and the skills but needs to put it together go pick out underware together and sit there when you have a few days in a row you will be there solid and roll up any area rugs and just keep going at it. Keep it upbeat and encouraging. He will pick it up. Also... some kids like the small potty.. some the big with an insert.. some without an insert.. some boys like using something called the Peter Potty (google it)... so be open to his preferences. Also some boys in particular seem to be able to "hold it" forever. But that is how it happened for us. The important thing is watching the sighing or negativity or annoyance at having to clean up another accident... and just encourage happily to use the potty next time. I think some people turn potty training or learning into something kids push back against instead of an exciting new step into adulthood... I also gave my son a chart once we got more regular.. pee = half a star and poop was a full star... so many equalled prizes.. each week the number goal was upped slightly and a better goal... say an extra half hour at the park.. a picnic at the park.. a movie... and we went to a museum to celebrate his success.
Anyhow hope something in my ramble helped. Good luck! Feel free to message me anytime :)



answers from Scranton on

Alot of the time, when a child is delayed in speech, it is because they have no reason to speak. If everyone is running to do what ever the child wants, without the child asking, there is no reason for the child to talk. I have found this happens a lot, when a child has older siblings. If he points to something he wants, or grunts when he wants something, and someone is always there to go get it, he won't need to talk. Make sure he is asking when he wants thing, and don't give in if he grunts or points.



answers from Albany on

I would take the time to teach him a half a dozen signs in American Sign Language. I have been teaching my 2 and a half year old and he picks them up very quickly, and enjoys using them. There are ones for potty, etc, and they will be very useful when you are in a restaurant. Instead of your son yelling Mommy I gotta poop! in the middle of dinner, he can sign to you and not let the world know.
Click on (or copy paste) this link to a GREAT video dictionary for ASL.
Good luck and god bless.



answers from Utica on

Have you tried sign language? It doesn't even have to be proper ASL, just a commonl



answers from Burlington on

dont feel bad i am in the same situation my son is going to be 3 in october and he wants nothing to do with potty training. he will tell me if he goes in his diaper but not before always after. everybody tells me when he is ready he will do it. so just give it time. its hard for me cause i have to other boys and they were potty trained at a year and a half.

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