We’ve put together a list of 25 potty training tips for every first time moms and dads out there who is anxious and is still asking lots of question like is potty training boys harder than potty training girls?
25 Effective Potty Training Tips For Parents
Learning how to potty train a child can be messy, frustrating and downright disconcerting at times, but when all is done and said, it is also a wonderful time in your life.
Think about it…
Is there anything more fulfilling and joyous in life than raising children?
As your little one grows…
They are going to reach many milestones such as walking, talking and feeding themselves and one of the most highly anticipated if not dreaded, is the potty training milestone.
If you give a veteran parent an opening to talk about their potty training experience, you’ll be amazed listening to all their hilarious potty training stories and adventures.
Okay, for all the new moms and dads out there…
Take a deep breath and understand that it is all going to be okay!
Alright, all will be okay.
Your lovely child will not reach adulthood in diapers, that we can assure you.
And if you’re asking yourself when is the right time to start potty training your child?
For your reading pleasure and potty training advice, we’be put together 25 potty training tips (in no definitive order) that are going to set you in the right path and hopefully get your child from diapers to underpants in no time.
How To Potty Train A Child Fast And Easy
Table of content – 25 Potty Training Tips
- 1.) Age Is Just A Number
- 2.) Pick A Date To Start The Training
- 3.) Cold Turkey – From Cloth Diapers To Undies
- 4.) Assign Special Panties Or Underwear
- 5.) The Dreaded Naked And Afraid Technique
- 6.) Monkey See Monkey Do Tactic
- 7.) Set Up A To Do List Routine And Stick To It!
- 8.) Place Toilet Training Potties All Over The House!
- 9.) Potty Training Seats vs Potty Training Chairs
- 10.) Early Potty Training Method – Elimination Communication
- 11.) Technological Advancements For Modern Day Parenting
- 12.) Pause, Observe, Listen, and Discuss With Your Child
- 13.) Patience, Patience and a Lot More Patience!
- 14.) Potty Training Games And Activities For Toddlers!
- 15.) Develop A Potty Training Plan And Set Goals
- 16.) Potty Training Bribes And Incentives
- 17.) Educate Your Child To Get The Job Done
- 18.) Stress Free Potty Training While Traveling
- 19.) How To Potty Train A Boy – Sit or Stand?
- 20.) Ditch The Disposable Potty Training Pants
- 21.) Check, Observe And Monitor The Results
- 22.) Celebrate Success When Your Reach A Milestone
- 23.) How To Potty Train A Child In Daycare
- 24.) Night Time Potty Training Tricks
- 25.) How To Use A Timer To Potty Train A Child
Learn How to Potty Train a Toddler in Days
1.) Age Is Just A Number
What is the best age to start potty training?
You are going to get all kinds of advice about the best age when to start potty training your child. The first thing you want to do is mute the volume. Some kids will be more than ready to potty train within months of learning to walk, others not so much.
Talk to your pediatrician about reasonable expectations for your child, and then begin to watch for signs they are ready. Example of sign to watch for include:
- Your child taking off diaper
- Imitating bathroom behavior (sitting on potty, or wanting to)
- Going long periods without wetting a diaper
- Waking up from night or nap dry
- Telling you they are going in their diaper
Remember, although the average potty training age varies from a child who is 18 months-old up-to well over 3 years old, waiting until your child is ready will make the transition from diapers to underwear much easier on everyone involved.
2.) Pick A Date To Start The Training
This may seem a little silly, after all, you are the only one in this duo that can tell dates and times. Nonetheless, picking and marking a date on the calendar when to potty train helps in multiple ways. Obviously, that would act as a constant reminder to you.
Generally speaking, it is best to carve out at least 3 days of at home time to focus on potty training. This is not a hard and fast rule, but more of a good suggestion.
Choose a time when life is at its calmest, no vacations, major changes or visitors planned.
Avoid picking up dates that maybe of stress for your toddler such as during immunizations. It’s also recommended to postpone the training if your child become ill or otherwise distressed.
3.) Cold Turkey – From Cloth Diapers To Undies
Going cold turkey may not be for everyone.
After all, you must be fully prepared for all kinds of accidents the first day or so.
Even though the cold turkey potty training method is an extreme full all hands on deck no going back scenario that could encourage that reticent or stubborn potty trainer.
When all is said and done, it really is a pretty simple technique.
If you feel you and your toddler would benefit going this route, then start by putting away all the diapers, never buy a pull up and go straight to undies. To play it safe, we suggest having multiple pairs of tiny undies training pants available for the first few days.
4.) Assign Special Panties Or Underwear
During the preparation stage, it is a good idea to get your little one their very own special underwear. Make a big deal talking, gesturing and explaining to them how awesome they are going to be able to start wearing big girl/ boy undies very soon!
Make it seem exciting.
This is helpful in preparing them for something different and by so doing, gives them something to look forward to. Some parents opt for regular underwear while others go for a thicker training pant style. It’s up to you to decide.
If you are on the go, thicker training panties with rubber cover may be your best option.
5.) The Dreaded Naked And Afraid Technique
Many parents approached potty training with a simple technique that most potty training experts refers to as the naked and afraid approach method.
Letting a child to be completely free of clothing can be an excellent way to potty train.
Young children tend to love being naked, so this process is twofold, first, your child is happy and secondly your child will quickly realize there is no diaper or underwear to catch the poo and pee and that makes it easy for them to pee or poo without hesitating.
As a general rule, if your child is under 3, you are not late to potty training. That being said, there are times when you want to seek outside counsel as potty issues could be a sign of bigger problems. If you should notice any of the following potty training problems,
It maybe time to make an appointment with your pediatrician:
- Your child is straining to pee
- Crying because it hurts or burns to pee
- Frequent urination or extreme delays of 8-9 hours between pee times
- Blood in the urine (pee will be dark in color, could range from tea to coffee)
6.) Monkey See Monkey Do Tactic
Before you begin putting your bundle of joy on the potty, it is a good idea to allow them to accompany you or an older sibling to the rest room.
Now, not all parents are going to be comfortable with this idea, and that is okay.
Children are in effect mini-mimes, which means they will parrot just about any behavior they see, just slip with a naughty word if you have any doubts! This particular tip is great for when you are ready to introduce your son to peeing in the standing position.
7.) Set Up A To Do List Routine And Stick To It!
When you are ready to start potty training, it’s recommended that you set up a regular routine you can easily follow. The best way to adhere to a routine is to prepare a to do list.
Because every parent and child is unique, your routine and to do list will vary for every family and situation but basically, you want to do things a round the same time each day.
A sample potty training to do list might look like this:
Make regularly scheduled potty breaks based on what you know about your child.
For example, most kids need to pee shortly after getting up, yet some will be able to go longer periods after a meal or snack. You will quickly become an expert.
8.) Place Toilet Training Potties All Over The House!
In the early stages of potty training your child, it is helpful if your toddler can quickly access their toilet training potties & seats to do their business.
This is especially true during the times of day when they are playing or enjoying cartoons, the distraction may cause them to delay going potty until it’s almost too late.
Ideally, for most parents, the potty chair stays in the bathroom, but if you and your child spend a great deal of time in the living room or a play area, you may want to rethink chair locations. You can do this by placing potty training chair in various locations of the house.
If you decide to place potties in various places thoughout your house, bear in mind that accidents may happen. Potty training is not for the faint of heart, but take courage.
It will be over before you know it and in the grand scheme of parenting, it is barely a blip in the end. Successful training can be accomplished, for the most part, in a matter of days.
This means you should be relatively free of bowel movements and pee accidents. This does not mean there is no chance for an accident weeks or even months down the road. Things happen after all.
9.) Potty Training Seats vs Potty Training Chairs
When it time to potty train your child, you will have two basic options to choose from, an independent potty chair that can be used anywhere in the house or a specially designed potty seat that modifies your current toilet to a kid friendly apparatus.
You may use either or both, it all boils down to your preference.
On the other hand, if you notice that your child is struggling with the choice you made, why not give the other a trial and let your child guide you decide by taking note of potty that your child is most comfortable at using.
There are a multitude of potty training seats and chair options including:
Miniature big potty (looks just like a commode but smaller)
Attachments for big potty that includes steps and handles
10.) Early Potty Training Method – Elimination Communication
Let’s admit, all kids are not the same. Some kids no matter how hard you try, simply do not like the modified potties, regardless if potty is cute, sing songs or simply sit on types.
So then what will do, train you child to use an adult toilet? Well your first concern could be, how can a small child use an adult toilet without falling in?
Well, if your child is refusing to use a potty no matter how well your try, relax!
Why get yourself worked out! You have other options. There is another type of early potty training technique called elimination communication that is also known as diaper free or infant potty training and other parents refers to it as natural infant hygiene.
Potty Training Model Called Elimination Communication
This model of early potty training, called elimination communication, cuts down on diaper waste, expenses and rashes. It also helps parents become more in tune with their babies and bond during toilet time. Read more at washingtonpost.com
11.) Technological Advancements For Modern Day Parenting
Your parents will remember singing the potty songs, clapping their hands or reading to you soas to encourage to use your potty. Today’s modern parent has more options, including potty videos and singing or talking potty chairs. What will geeks think of next?
If you are more of an old school parent, there are still potty training books you can read with your child. There are multiple options including e-books you can choose from.
12.) Pause, Observe, Listen, and Discuss With Your Child
Did you know that some kids cannot tolerate the sound of flushing at a young age?
If you are having major set backs and problems with potty training, talk to your child. You may find out that the issue is something that can be easily rectified, like fear.
Maybe someone was harsh with your child without your knowledge or they have some reason to be afraid of the potty. The only way to know is to talk and listen to your child.
Some kids may develop irrational fears like being afraid of being sucked away in the big toilet, to minimize this fear, let them know they are in control of the flushing and never hit the lever while they are still on the potty.
13.) Patience, Patience and a Lot More Patience!
No matter how many potty training experts you talk to or potty training books you read, the number one ingredient for successful potty training is patience.
No two children will be exactly the same.
You will need to stay calm and collected through the process.
You really should not worry about the speed at which your child gets potty trained. Of course, if your child is past three years old and still struggling, it may be time to talk to your pediatrician. Regression is also something you’ll need to keep an eye out for.
Potty training regression is the condition when a child goes from being fully potty trained status, and then suddenly your child starts to have accidents when it comes to using the potty and it starts to looks like they have taken steps backwards.
It should be noted that a child who has been accident free for quite some time and suddenly begins wetting their pants again may be experiencing some anxiety.
This can happen when they start school or if a new child comes into the family.
Reassure your child that everything is okay and then calmly return to what you know about potty training while narrowing down the cause of their anxiety.
14.) Potty Training Games And Activities For Toddlers!
Babies loves playing. Why not turn potty training into a game!
One way you can achieve this is by keeping a steady supply of food coloring in the bathroom and let your toddler determine the water color before they potty.
Potty training games motivates your child to explore a little creativity plus gives them a reason to keep going back to the toilet to try again. There are also fun disposable aiming toys for boys.
15.) Develop A Potty Training Plan And Set Goals
Is there a special toy or trip your child would really enjoy?
Create a potty training plan that has a clear set of goals that are attainable within a reasonable amount of time, such as going 1 week accident free when using their potty chair, at the end of which they get their momentous prize!
Potty training reward chart with stickers come in very handy in this situation.
A week of gold stars equals their reward.
Time frame can be appropriate to the prize or you could set up milestones such as favorite stuffed animal each week and then a big prize at the end of a month. It is really up to you.
16.) Potty Training Bribes And Incentives
Should we bribe and reward our toddler to use the potty?
Now this one is a hot untouchable topic. Most parents will debate about this topic until the end of time, but there are situations where a well placed bribe is the only option.
Your bribe will need to be something your child really enjoys.
Examples of bribes includes incentives such as giving your child stickers as a reward or sweets such as Hershey’s Kisses, or trip to the toy store each time they use they potty successfully.
17.) Educate Your Child To Get The Job Done
When appropriate, show your child potty training videos for toddlers that train your child that going to the bathroom is a natural part of life for every living creature, human, pet and other wild animals.
You could even point out when your dog or cat are going potty to reinforce the point.
This will help them understand there is nothing wrong or yucky about going potty, which can make them reticent to do so in the open so to speak.
18.) Stress Free Potty Training While Traveling
Many parents will skip the trips in the early days of training, and if possible, that is not a bad idea. However, it is possible to deal with potty training while on the road.
You just have to use a little planning, forethought and creativity.
First, take along your preferred potty chair and seat.
Secondly, be prepared to stop more frequently for restroom breaks because a toddler’s colon and bladder are much smaller and can not wait much longer as compared to adults.
You may be tempted to bring along diapers or pull-ups for your trip.
If your potty training session has been going well in the past, consider foregoing the idea of using diapers again. If it is a really long trip and you are concerned, utilize reusable training pants that are thicker and often accompanied by rubber pants to limit the mess.
19.) How To Potty Train A Boy – Sit or Stand?
Potty training a boy can be quite challenging and exhausting when compared to teaching a girl. This is because of the additional steps that are involved particularly when it comes time to teaching your son how to stand and not make a mess in the process.
Before you start potty training your son, the key is not to put pressure on your boy but rather to listen and encourage them every step of the way when they are ready.
When it’s time to teach your boy on how to stand and pee, one idea is to find something you can float in the potty for them to aim at, Cheerios is a popular choice.
Going to the toilet can be a big step for your child. Your son would feel proud if they can go by themselves and you as a parent would have one thing to worry about.
20.) Ditch The Disposable Potty Training Pants
There was a time when parents simply put away the diapers and went straight to underwear. Modern day parents have the option to use disposable potty training pants like Huggies Pull-Ups or Pampers Easy Ups. They feel so much like a diaper.
In the beginning, they seemed like a wonderful invention, one to rival that of the disposable diaper. Nonetheless, they seem to have the distinct problem of prolonging potty training because children are often confused and forget they need to use their potty.
21.) Check, Observe And Monitor The Results
Visual reinforcements can make all the difference so when junior goes potty, particularly number 2. Everyone take a moment to observe and watch the flushing process.
It is no secret going number 2 in the potty is more difficult than getting them to pee.
However, if your child has not had a movement in 3 days, it could indicate there is a physical problem. Even if the issue is as simple as your child refusing to go and “holding” it, this could cause medical issues if not checked by a doctor as soon as possible.
Other bowel related issues to talk to your doctor about would include blood in the stool, itching around the anus and complaints of pain when trying to poo or pee on the potty.If you are lucky, babies will think the whooshing of the toilet is awesome! Baby Quote By BlogLingoClick To Tweet
22.) Celebrate Success When Your Reach A Milestone
Every success should have be celebrated until such a time it becomes a regular occurrence.
Clapping hands, praise and overall attention is affirming and lets them know you are proud of what they are doing. Understand this may mean you get a standing ovation the next time you exit the bathroom, but hey, who doesn’t need an atta boy or atta girl?
23.) How To Potty Train A Child In Daycare
If your child is ready for daycare, while you’re still potty training, it is very important that all you hard work does not go in vain. Talk to care providers or school personnel about your potty training progress to ensure they are willing and able to continue your efforts.
The last thing you want to see happen is watch your child regressing quickly!
It is not uncommon for a child to regress all the way back to diapers.
This is most common under stressful circumstances such as a new house, new family member or other big life changes going on around them like starting to attend a daycare.
Some schools have official potty training policies so be sure you are familiar with what they are. If you are lucky they will be supportive and continue your efforts.
How to potty train a child in daycare
Potty Training Model Called Elimination Communication
Parents and providers should discuss and agree on the planned potty training process.
A consistent approach and common encouragement techniques can minimize confusion of a child during this time, and help to set the environment for a successful transition to becoming a big kid! Read more at verywellfamily.com
24.) Night Time Potty Training Tricks
Keep in mind that bedtime is a separate entity from overall day time potty training.
Some children who never have an accident through the day will persist in wetting the bed. To minimize this issue, reduce and monitor their fluid intake in the evening.
Less fluids means they may better be able to hold it while sleeping.
Do not get discouraged if you have a bed wetter.
Some children have extremely small bladders and/ or sleep very heavily. Thankfully, there are options available for these situations including specially made bedwetting underwear for boys and girls or seeking medications advice from your pediatrician.
25.) How To Use A Timer To Potty Train A Child
If you are struggling to stick to regular potty breaks, then it’s time to use a potty training timer watch. In the early stages, plan on taking your toddler potty every 20 minutes.
If everything goes well without an accident, you may want to gradually increase or decrease the amount of time interval you set in the timer. Choose a time interval that works best for your child because as we all know every child is different.
Common Potty Training Problems You May Face
I.) Screaming Fit
Some parents are floored when their otherwise happy child has a complete and utter meltdown at the idea of sitting on the potty.
Fears and concerns will likely run rampant and though it’s not very comforting, it is important to talk, listen and understand that there is no traumatizing event that led up to your child developing such kind of fear.
It could be any number of things including the first signs of your child being on the spectrum or simply that they are not ready yet. It could take some time to discover, but exercise patience and you will overcome.
2.) Handling the Product
More than one parent has been mortified to find their child creating their own masterpiece out of poo. Yes, it happens, often and is perfectly normal.
That is not to say it should be encouraged or that you will enjoy the clean up, but it is not a huge reason to be concerned.
3.) Crying after Flushing
Some children may become inconsolable after watching their number 2 get flushed away. Psychologists suggest this is because they feel their movements are a part of them that are getting sucked away to parts unknown.
It is important to explain to you child, that poo is not a part of them they want to keep and that it’s okay and everyone parts with their poo.