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How can I teach my toddler to recognize the urge to go potty during potty training?

Hi everyone,

I've recently started potty training my 2-year-old son and I'm struggling to teach him to recognize when he needs to go potty. He's able to use the potty when we sit him on it, but he doesn't seem to realize when he needs to go on his own. I've tried asking him if he needs to go and taking him to the potty regularly, but I feel like I'm missing something.

Does anyone have any tips or strategies for teaching toddlers to recognize the urge to go potty during potty training? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Hello there,

When potty training my son, we used a combination of the strategies already mentioned - recognizing the urge and establishing a routine. However, one thing that helped us was setting up a "potty station" in the living room, where we spent most of our time during the day.

We placed a potty chair, some wipes, and a few books in a corner of the room and encouraged our son to use it whenever he needed to go. By having the potty chair in plain sight and easily accessible, we hoped that he would be more likely to recognize the urge and use the potty on his own.

To further encourage him, we also let him pick out his own special "big kid" underwear and talked about how he was now a big boy who used the potty. This seemed to help him feel proud of himself and motivated him to keep trying.

Of course, there were still plenty of accidents along the way, but with patience and perseverance, our son eventually became fully potty trained. Every child is different, so it's important to find the approach that works best for your own child and family. Good luck!


Hi everyone,

When it came time to potty train my son, we used a different approach altogether. We didn't rely on physical cues or routines, nor did we focus on verbal communication. Instead, we allowed our son to take the lead, and adopted what's been called the "Child-Led Potty Training" method.

The idea behind this method is that children are naturally inclined to want to keep themselves clean and dry, and therefore will eventually start showing an interest in using the potty on their own. So instead of constantly reminding him to use the potty, we waited for our son to start showing an interest in it himself.

We started talking to him about what the potty was for and how it worked, and then let him see us using it too. As he became more curious, we started letting him sit on it clothed for short periods of time, and eventually, we worked up to having him use it without a diaper or underwear.

It took some time and patience, but eventually our son became fully potty trained on his own terms, and without any pressure from us. While this method may not work for everyone, it was a great choice for our family and one that we highly recommend to others.


Hi there!

I completely understand where you're coming from, as I had a similar struggle when potty training my own toddler. One thing that really helped for us was practicing "potty cues" or "potty signals" with our little one. Essentially, this involved teaching them to recognize the feeling of needing to go and then associate that feeling with a specific action or phrase.

For example, we would ask our toddler if they needed to go potty and then wait for them to make a movement (like crossing their legs or fidgeting) or say a specific phrase (like "I need to go now") before taking them to the potty. Over time, our little one began to associate these actions or phrases with the need to go and would start doing them on their own when they needed to use the potty.

Another thing that helped was making sure our toddler was comfortable using the potty, so we let them pick out a cool potty seat and read fun books or play games while they sat on it. We also celebrated every success, no matter how small, with lots of praise and encouragement.

Overall, it just takes patience, consistency, and understanding that potty training is a process. Every child is different, so what works for one may not work for another. But with some trial and error, you'll find what works best for you and your little one. Good luck!


Hi everyone,

My experience with potty training my daughter was a bit different. Instead of trying to teach her to recognize the urge to go, we focused more on establishing a routine. We set a timer for every 30 minutes and took her to the potty whether she felt the urge to go or not.

At first, she would resist and say she didn't need to go, but we found that just sitting her on the potty consistently helped her learn to recognize the feeling of needing to go. This routine also helped her feel comfortable using the potty and she eventually started telling us when she needed to go on her own.

We also used a sticker chart as a reward system, with each successful trip to the potty earning her a sticker. This gave her a sense of accomplishment and motivated her to keep trying.

Overall, our approach was less about teaching her to recognize the urge and more about creating a routine and establishing positive associations with the potty. It may not work for everyone, but it worked for us and our daughter was fully potty trained within a few weeks.


Hi all,

I had a different approach to teaching my daughter to recognize the urge to go potty. Instead of relying on physical cues or routines, we focused on verbal communication. We talked to her about the sensations she might feel when she needed to use the potty, and taught her words to describe those feelings.

For example, we taught her to say "I feel like I need to pee" or "My tummy is telling me it's time to go potty." This helped her become more aware of what was happening in her body and gave her the vocabulary to express it.

We also made sure to give her plenty of water and encourage her to drink fluids throughout the day, so she would have plenty of opportunities to practice using the potty. And of course, we celebrated every success along the way with stickers, high-fives, and lots of positive reinforcement.

It took some time and patience, but eventually our daughter became fully potty trained and even started initiating trips to the potty on her own. Every child is different, but I think communication is key when it comes to potty training. Good luck to all the parents out there on this exciting (and sometimes frustrating) journey!

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