The Importance Of Watching Your Child’s Cues

My jaw fell open as my little guy approached me one day and said, “poop,” followed by “potty?” We went over to his little potty and to my amazement he was telling the truth! His was 15 months old and I was pretty impressed that he had made a connection!

When researching potty training, the magic window to start training your child appears to be between 18-30 months. That may seem like a huge range, but all children develop at different rates. Therefore, the wide range is needed. My little guy is still on the young side of that. I don’t expect him to be potty trained in the next few months; he may not actually train till much later. I have been following his cues and that is what has led to this early connection.

At about 12 months, he started showing interest in the large toilet. Maybe not wanting to use it for the appropriate reason more to try and climb inside of it. So on a whim, I decided to order my “baby” a potty from Amazon. It arrived, and he just played with it. He would climb in and out, put toys in it, and take it all apart. Eventually though, he began to sit on it.

I followed his lead and began to label it for him, and right before his bath we would put him on it as well. This was all very willingly with no pressure on him! Some may say we were starting a bit early, but maybe not.

Too often parents (myself included) look to their friends and the Internet for advice on all the parenting basics. While I am so thankful to have those resources, I also think one very important aspect of parenting gets lost: watching for your own child’s cues.

Children are amazing and no two are alike which makes a parent’s awareness of their child’s cues so critical. Having high expectations for your child and giving them the tools and opportunities to explore is all they really need. It is also essential that we listen to our gut and intuition, and if we feel something is not right with our child’s development, we need to follow through by seeking the experts such as early intervention services or doctors.

Our children have a lot to tell us, and sometimes we don’t listen very well. The biggest parenting struggle we have faced in my household has been getting our son to sleep through the night (you can hear more about that adventure here.) I have spent countless hours researching, asking others, and trying to find the magic bullet that would make our little guy sleep through the night. Although I did find some suggestions that helped us cope, I do think he just needed a little longer than other kiddos as he is now finally sleeping through the night (most of the time). Just because my friend on Facebook’s child slept through the night at 3 months…or 6 months (Is that really possible?) doesn’t mean my little guy will.

If you can’t find the answer you are looking for from everyone else, just look to your child. Watch what they do, see what they are interested in, and follow their lead.

About Kayla ONeill

This is me and my beautiful bouncing baby boy! Before my little guy arrived I earned a Bachelor's degree in Special Education Birth to 21 as well as my Masters in Education. For six years I worked as an Early Interventionist serving children and families from birth to age three before becoming a stay at home mom to be with my son.

17 comments on “The Importance Of Watching Your Child’s Cues

  1. I've let my kids lead many of their own new stages, such as potty training. Whey they are ready, they are ready! Thanks for sharing you thoughts.

  2. I think this is so important. My only child is only 11 months old, so I am not dealing with potty training yet, but I have read a lot of articles recently about it and how important it is that the child is ready and the parents don't push. I have always tried to follow my baby's cues when it comes to thing such as eating and sleeping.

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