How to Know When Your Toddler Has to Pee

Your toddler will need your continual help and guidance during the toilet-training process. You won’t always have a lot of time between the point where he realizes he needs to go and getting him to the potty seat. Keep a close eye on him so you can recognize the signs that he has to pee to help him succeed with potty training.

  1. Watch your toddler for fidgeting and restlessness when she needs to use the potty. You might even notice the telltale “pee-pee dance” that some little ones perform as the sensation to urinate becomes more urgent.

  1. Notice hand gestures that indicate the need to urinate. A furtive hand reaching to grab or squeeze the genitals could mean your toddler needs to pee.

  1. Listen for a verbal warning that your toddler needs to go. Your toddler will likely say whatever word you use to indicate urinating and urination. You may hear, “Pee-pee” or “Pee” as your toddler tries to tell you that she needs to sit on the toilet, advises Jen Singer, author of “Stop Second-Guessing Yourself—The Toddler Years.”

  2. Tips

    As you strive to monitor and anticipate your toddler’s urination, keep in mind that an average 3-year-old urinates three to 11 times every day and a 4-year-old urinates five to six times every day, according to Denise Fields and Ari Brown, authors of “Toddler 411.” A child younger than age 3 may urinate more often due to a smaller bladder, depending on how much he drinks. Watch your toddler’s routine to learn approximately how many times per day he urinates to learn typical behavior.


    Don't ask your child if he has to use the potty, notes Dr. Patrick C. Friman in an article on website. If you ask, he will likely say, "No." Instead, tell your child to use the potty throughout the day.


    If your toddler acts uncooperatively about toilet training, she may not be emotionally or physically ready to train, warns Patricia Henderson Shimm, author of “Parenting Your Toddler.” Avoid pressuring your little one and do not engage in power struggles that involve toilet training. Instead, allow your child to lead the process when she’s ready.