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“I’m just waiting until she’s ready” is probably the most common phase you’ll hear about potty training. But if you think that one morning your kid is going to toss her diapers and sit on the toilet like NBD—you’re living in a fantasy. There is a reason why it’s called potty training, so it’s up to you to take the reins. The good news: there are signs that show your toddler is ready to tackle the two Ps. We talked to Jamie Glowacki, potty-training expert and author of Oh Crap! Potty Training, and found out six to be on the lookout for.

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He Wants To Please You

Sometime between 20 and 30 months, your kid is in a developmental lull—he’s mastered eating, walking, separation anxiety—and now is basically trying to appease you either by showing off his awesome fork usage or snuggling up extra hard during story time. This makes for the perfect time to suggest saying bye-bye to diapers. After 30 months, toddlers figure out this thing called individuality and turn into a “no”-wielding Threenager, making it much harder to start the process.

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He Finds a Special Pooping Place

A child who heads to a secluded corner of a room to poop is actually seeking privacy—a vital socialization marker. Get that kid on the potty stat.

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She's Reciting the ABCs

Or the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Or the words to her favorite book. The point is that your toddler has learned something through repetition, and is eager to learn through repetition again. Put her on the potty at the same time every day; practice makes perfect.

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She's Hanging Out in the Bathroom

Between 18 and 24 months, toddlers love to accompany you to the bathroom. And even though it may seem like she’s just in there to unravel the toilet paper roll, it’s actually a sign that she wants to do what you’re doing. Capitalize on mimicry and make room for the potty next to the toilet.

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She Tells You What She Needs (Or Throws a Tantrum)

Even if your toddler doesn’t have a full vocabulary, you know that “waa-waa” is water and “Outside soon” means “I’m bored and you’re ignoring me.” Take advantage of this burgeoning ability to express needs by asking her constantly if she has to tinkle. Eventually, she’ll get the point.

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He Refers to a Friend’s Potty

Kids observe everything, so when his BFF plops on a potty in the middle of playgroup, use it as a topic of discussion. It’s only a matter of time before they want to do everything the cool kids are doing. Might as well exploit it while it’s useful.

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