Posted in Potty Training, Toddlers

How do I teach my toddler to say “it’s potty time” or “I need to go”

I took off her diapers when she turned 28 months. It’s very tiring to always watch her and take her to potty. She sometimes grabs my hand and indicates she needs to go but there are times she won’t. She still wets herself at times and just doesn’t understand the concept of pooping in the toilet but I had to take the diapers away as she’d take it off In Front of people and pee. Please some advice on how to invoke her to indicate in words??!!

  • PK
    Jun 30

    How long has it been since you first started potty training? It took my son 1.5 months after the initial day to finally tell us when he needed to go. Every time we took him to the potty we would just say “potty break!” And depending on what came out - pee or poop - we would identify it for him. So now he tells us potty break, and what he needs to do. He’s a very verbal kid too. Just for some reason it took him some time to take some responsibility to tell us exactly. He’s always understood the words pee, poop and potty. I think with enough repetition they might just pick it up that they need to speak up.

  • Fara
    Jun 30

    Have you tried sign language? They can pick it up much easier than you think and are able to communicate more clearly, at times. There are baby sign language books on the Almighty Amazon and a plethora of videos on YouTube about this. Best of luck!

  • Erum
    Jun 30

    Thanks so much @Fara. Yes she’s using sign language already.

  • Erum
    Jun 30

    @PK so you don’t say things like “say I need to go” or “say pee poop”” ? It’s been like three months now. She uses hand gestures like tries to take us to restroom which doesn’t always work when I’m outdoors or pulls her pants to show she needs to go. How old was your son when he started communicating?! My daughter just turned two and a half

  • Fara
    Jun 30

    So, this is some advice some mothers gave me: "when they're ready/want to be potty trained is when they will be potty trained, and not a moment sooner." I thought that was something to ponder. Also-- my mom used the "Don't you want to wear big girl panties? No diapers if you want to wear them." Apparently, I agreed to that stipulation, and she threw away my diapers in front of me so I wouldn't have a choice. And that was it. A few accidents here and there, but big girl underwear was the incentive I needed. She told me later that she went back and saved them from the trash and hid them from me perchance I wasn't as ready as I hoped to be. Is your daughter amenable to that?

  • PK
    Jul 01

    Nope... just kept it simple and said “potty break” whenever I made him go. And then as he was going I would get excited and point out what’s coming out of him “oh wow that’s a lot of pee” “look at that big poop!” He will be exactly 2.5 in a couple of days. When we potty trained, I actually put him on a potty schedule and also make him go before we leave the house or when we get to our destination. Then about 2 weeks ago, he kept fighting with me about going to the potty so I loosened up a bit and so for the most part he tells me when he has to go. I still make him go at certain times (before nap and before we leave the house). And other times I will ask him periodically if he has to take a potty break then he thinks about it for a few seconds and then agrees that he has to go. Some times I catch him doing the pee pee dance and I will ask too. I actually still see parents with older kids doing what I do - reminding their kids to go before they leave the house or asking if they need to go. So with a toddler, I don’t think you can expect them to tell you every single time they need to go. Some toddlers maybe.. but I know my son gets so absorbed in the things that he does that he will try to ignore the call of nature... so he still needs me to keep an eye on him.

  • Anonymous
    Jul 01

    It’s indeed very tiring to watch them when to go or not or wait but successive days that you would til you learn their signals when they do go is worth it until they understand that it’s where they should go when they pee or poop and it helps to consistently verbalize what just went down and exaggerate your appreciation when they do. I also bring him to the potty within 20-30 min after drinking something. I did commando style in the first week and underwear in the 2nd week. “You wanna pee/poop?” “Let’s go pee/poop” and 2 weeks after he uses the same to tell me if he does wanna go. We had accidents within the first 2 weeks and after 3 weeks, he’s potty trained. I followed the Oh Crap book and it worked for us. I know time and patience is what you need to invest to make this successful at a couple of weeks instead of months but we had success doing it. Best of luck

  • Geena
    Jul 01

    My toddler btw is 2 years and 5 months