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The Potty Training Readiness Quiz

By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of The No-Cry Potty Training Solution


Potty training is easier and happens faster if your child is truly ready in all three areas: physical, cognitive and social. But the big question is: how do you know when your child is ready? If you have never traveled this road before, you likely don’t even know what signs to look for. Take this quiz to find out where your child is on the readiness spectrum.

1. I can tell by watching that my child is wetting or filling his diaper:

a.         Never.

b.         Sometimes.

c.         Usually.


2.         My toddler's diaper needs to be changed:

a.         Frequently, every hour or two.

b.         It varies.

c.         Every two to three hours--sometimes less frequently.


3.         My child understands the meaning of wet, dry, clean, wash, sit, and go:

a.         No.

b.         Some of them.

c.         Yes.


4.         When my child communicates her needs, she:

a.         Says or signs a few basic words and I guess the rest.

b.         Gets her essential points across to me.

c.         Has a good vocabulary and talks to me in sentences.


5.         If I give my child a simple direction, such as, "put this in the toy box," she:

a.          Doesn't understand or doesn't follow directions.

b.          Will do it if I coach or help her.

c.           Understands me and does it.


6.         My child can take his pants off and put them on:

a.         No.

b.         With help he can.

c.         Yes.

7.         When I read a book to my child, he:
a.         He ignores me.
b.         Sometimes listens, sometimes wanders off.
c.         Sits, listens and enjoys the story.

8.         My toddler wants to do things “all by myself”:
a.         Never.
b.         Sometimes.

c.         All the time!    


9.         I think that it's the right time to begin potty training:

a.         No.

b.         I'm undecided.

c.         Yes.


Total the number of responses for each letter:

a.            __________

b.            __________

c.            __________


Most answers are a: Wait.

Your little one doesn't seem to be ready just yet. Test again in a month or two.


Most answers are b: Time for pre-potty training--get ready!

Your child is not quite ready for active training, but you can take many steps to prepare your toddler for the future. Gradual introduction of terms and ideas will make potty training easier when the time comes.


Most answers are c: Your toddler is ready to use the potty!

It's time to start your potty training adventure. Good luck, and have fun!


Are you between two scores?

Just like any parenting situation, there are choices to make. If your child is hovering between two categories, it's time to put your intuition to good use. Your knowledge of your own child can direct you toward the right plan of action.


This article is an excerpt from The No-Cry Potty Training Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Child Say Good-Bye to Diapers by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2006) 



Potty Training

This is something that I've been struggling with on and off since my daughter was almost 2 years old. I gave up trying to potty train for a while as I was told that once you have a 2nd child your first often reverts back to baby like behaviour, therefore I did not want to waste my time trying.

So here I am again making the effort to Potty Train, this time I've been consistent and it's paying off. For the past couple of weeks, my daughter has been telling us that she has to go Potty and even going on her own. We still have our accidents, but it's work in progress and I'm feeling really good about it.

My only advice to you parents who are trying to Potty Train is BE CONSISTENT and DON'T GIVE UP. Good Luck! Written by Cj

Below are some facts about Potty Training written by the Author Elizabeth Pantley.

We would like to hear from you:

Send us your stories about Potty Training. How old was your child when you started training? What worked best for you? How long did it take for your child to be completely toilet trained? Email us at Remember your submssion will be entered into a draw and you might win a prize.

Quick Facts About Potty Training
By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of The No-Cry Potty Training Solution

Potty training can be natural, easy, and peaceful. The first step is to know the facts.

  • The perfect age to begin potty training is different for every child. Your child's best starting age could be anywhere from eighteen to thirty-two months. Pre-potty training preparation can begin when a child is as young as ten months.
  • You can begin training at any age, but your child's biology, skills, and readiness will determine when he can take over his own toileting.
  • Teaching your child how to use the toilet can, and should, be as natural as teaching him to build a block tower or use a spoon.
  • No matter the age that toilet training begins, most children become physically capable of independent toileting between ages two and a half and four.
  • It takes three to twelve months from the start of training to daytime toilet independence. The more readiness skills that a child possesses, the quicker the process will be.
  • The age that a child masters toileting has absolutely no correlation to future abilities or intelligence.
  • There isn’t only one right way to potty train – any approach you use can work - if you are pleasant, positive and patient.
  • Nighttime dryness is achieved only when a child's physiology supports this--you can't rush it.
  • A parent's readiness to train is just as important as a child's readiness to learn.
  • Potty training need not be expensive. A potty chair, a dozen pairs of training pants and a relaxed and pleasant attitude are all that you really need. Anything else is truly optional.
  • Most toddlers urinate four to eight times each day, usually about every two hours or so.
  • Most toddlers have one or two bowel movements each day, some have three, and others skip a day or two in between movements. In general, each child has a regular pattern.
  • More than 80 percent of children experience setbacks in toilet training. This means that what we call “setbacks” are really just the usual path to mastery of toileting.
  • Ninety-eight percent of children are completely daytime independent by age four.

This article is an excerpt from The No-Cry Potty Training Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Child Say Good-Bye to Diapers by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2006) 



Alow Your Creativity To Flow

In the Understanding Early Years Calendar the month of May is dedicated to the Arts. There's something great about getting out the finger paint, glue, crayons, scissors, & construction paper, sitting at a table with your kids and allowing the creativity flow.

A friend of mine whom I just visited recently in Alberta, is happily married with two kids. This is someone who you never thought would settle down as she was too busy travelling around the world. Now, it really surprised me to spend some time with her and her family to find out that she is the epitome of "SUPER MOM". Not only does she run her household efficiently, she is the parent volunteer co-ordinator at her kid's school, drives her kids to their extracurricular activities & she still has time to plan out awesome Arts & Crafts activities with them. I was impressed too see her linen closet, from top to bottom shelf was dedicated to Arts & Crafts materials. Written by Cj

Here's a list of items that you can stock at home for your Arts & Crafts activities:

Get crafty with your kids and have some fun!

Here's what our MOM's have to say. We asked, you answered. Send in your parenting tips, reflections & embarrassing moments.

What happens when you the pillar of strength to get sick?

I am fortunate to have a husband who is extremely eagar to help out with the household chores and looking after the kids. When Mommy is sick though, she still seems to be doing, and unable to fully get the rest that she needs.

Prior to getting sick check list called the "Mommy is Sick Manual".

Make a to do list.

Make a list of where to find clothes and what they should wear (seasonal list).

Include options for breakfast, lunch and dinner with quick and easy recipes 1 for each meal time.

Include the number of your favourite take out restaurant.

Include your child's favourite indoor playground, outdoor playground or favourite activities (preferably out of the house).

In advance of getting sick, have an agreement with your husband for him that he should use the "Mommy is Sick Manual" when you take sick, and let you rest, no questions asked.



This is what I call a"Note To Self"moment.

During my pregnancy, I had a very short, chic, sophisticated haircut.  Although bearing no other physical resemblance, people often referred to it as the "Halle Berry" cut.  However, the frequent trips to the salon were becoming cumbersome and virtually non-existent with my little bundle of joy in tow, so I decided to grow my hair.  What could be better than sexy, luscious, long, locks.  My thinking was, "Everyone will be looking at the baby, not me, right?"  Wrong!  There are so many pictures of her because we are so proud and my hair looks terrible in every one of them.  With the driving force of hormonal changes, it appears that I will be waiting forever for those luscious, long, locks.

-Mom of one -


Making Mornings Easier

Mornings are definitely challenging…it does not seem to matter what time we need to leave the house, it is always THAT time way too fast.  One thing I do each evening is put out the kid’s (and My) clothes, so that there is one less step to getting to the breakfast table.  I also put out our whole family’s bowls, cups etc…even breakfast cereal boxes…it just makes the morning that much easier, and I feel better going to bed knowing I have done an extra step to make the morning easier.  To extend this a bit I try to involve the kids with picking out their own bowls, spoons, etc…and they help me pick out their clothes (so there is no complaints about what they are going to wear)  It has made a difference in our household! 

-E. Wilson -


Putting Baby to Bed

At 6 months, we used a modified Ferber approach... developed a bedtime routine, and our own schedule for leaving her if she was crying at increasingly longer intervals (started with only 5 minutes, and went up from there) and changed the rules a bit so we could touch her (i.e. rub her back or hold her hand) but not pick her up... saw massive improvement within 2 days, and within a week or two, she was going to sleep at 8:00 very reliably!

-T. Aiello -




I was talking to a friend one day about how frustrated I was at how my daughter refused to eat most fruit (even the ones she likes).  My friend passed on a great idea, and I'm passing it on to you.

When serving fruit, cut the  fruit into small pieces.  Give your child a cocktail umbrella toothpick to use in place of a fork. Your child will enjoy picking up the pieces of fruit with the miniature umbrellas.




Did you know?

The Mississauga Central library provides a free service over the phone called Children's Dial-a-Story. Every week you can dial (905) 615-3500 and press #4 to listen to a new preschool story. What a great way to develop your child's listening skills.




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Revised: August 31, 2007