This article introduces some of the best Potty Training Tips and Tricks that’ll help you on your way to be 100% diaper free!
We’ll be giving you all the nuts and bolts about:
- What Potty Training is and When to Star
- Establishing a Routine
- Ways to handle the training sessions
- And a whole lot more…
Warning: Potty Training is a nightmare when battling it out unprepared!
Let’s find out more.
Related: Potty Training Rewards Work
Potty-training! It is monumental in the development of your child.
As a parent, I remember it all too well. But the closer it actually got to the process, the more it started to terrify me.
The keys to succeeding are the 3 P’s–having a plan, being persistent, and having patience (lots of it!).
Children are all unique…
..so the ability to master potty training may vary. It is important to remember to keep at it!
It might be daunting, but do not fret...
I understand, and am here to say: I got you covered.
The day you see your child go to the bathroom, do their business, clean their hands, and return to you without your guidance — is glorious.
Here are some steps that may help your child “be a big kid now” and say good riddance to diapers forever.
When To Start Potty Training?
The simple answer is: it depends!
The not so simple answer: children begin to show interest ranging from about 2 to 3 years of age.
Keep in mind, Mommy..
..it is very important to be patient and not push your child before he or she is comfortable to start potty training.
While there is no definitive time to start, there is a common age range.
Kids are not the same!
Every child goes at their own pace and the “ideal moment” largely depends on being developmentally ready.
Once your child is ready, you may definitely see some key clues to begin your diaper free diaper-free journey.
Potty Training Clues
Spotting the signs a child will give when they are ready is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Once you see these common clues they are ready to dive right in:
- Imitation of your actions
- Is showing independence (sayings such as “I am a big kid now!” or “Look what I can do all by myself”)
- Goes to the toilet and can sit on it
- Knows how to pull of pants and pull them back up
- Is able to stay dry without dirtying himself or herself for around two hours
- Can communicate when they feel the urge to pee or poop
- Is able to follow instructions
- Uses bathroom terms (pee, poo)
Planning For Potty Training
There are many things to consider before deciding to completely get rid of diapers.
We suggest creating some sort of plan for your approach!
There are many choices that range from an easier “go with the flow” to more “hardcore” type approaches.
Here are some of the best potty training books as examples:
- “Stress-Free Potty Training” by Peter Stavinoha Ph.D.
- “The No-Cry Potty Training Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley
- “Oh Crap! Potty Training” by Jamie Glowacki
- “Potty Training in 3 Days: The Step-by-Step Plan for a Clean Break from Dirty Diapers” by Dr. Fredric Daum
If a method is not working for you, do not worry..
…you can step away from it and try out another approach!
While there is most certainly no right or wrong method, consider that the best method is one that fits the convenience of your family and child.
The process is extremely important, but here are a few ways to facilitate the process:
Making your child inquisitive about the toilet via reading is a wonderful activity to create an exciting and fun environment to get your child motivated.
Books are great teaching tools before and during the journey of potty training, to show your child that, “this is something I can do too.”
It works like magic..
There are a number of children’s books that teach about using the bathroom.
These fun books for kids make using the bathroom more familiar.
Even things such as TV shows and seeing pictures of using the bathroom can stimulate their minds.
You may be wondering now: What items do you need?
Worry not, Mommy,
…we got you!
Here are a few things for your consideration to get you started:
- A “special” Potty training seat with ladder or chair
- Potty Training Rewards (prizes for positive reinforcement)
- Favorite Character Soap (to encourage positive hygiene practices)
- Kid Friendly Step Stool (so he or she may be able to reach the toilet or wherever they are attempting to do their business)
- Training Pants or Pull Up Diapers (for future attempts on the go as well as those inevitable accidents)
Choosing the best training potty seat or chair frankly does not matter as much as your kid being comfortable using it…
What does really matter is allowing your child to feel comfortable with the potty throne of their choice!
A curious child may want to explore and play as he or she becomes more familiar with it.
Then they might consider using it.
That is quite ok!
Let the child play and also try sitting on it fully clothed…
This can give them a great example! If that goes well, it is a very good sign…
The better the potty training seat or chair is, the more enjoyable it will be.
… that’s true, Mommy!
This can make it seem less of a chore, and more like playtime.
A favorite book or potty training doll/toy may also create a positive environment for them.
It can help to remove all anxiety about the foreign object: the toilet!
Through all of this, the goal is fear-free comfort
Talking with your child about going to the bathroom can put it in the forefront of their minds. It helps to also show them where it usually goes.
This creates a calming effect and positive association to using the bathroom.
Sadly, this may not be a walk in the park. Persist onwards despite this!
A consistent (but far from rigorous) schedule is vital to have when potty training.
Trying multiple times a day can help establish a daily routine. It is helpful to replicate the same number of times an adult would ideally have to go to the toilet.
This helps to plan out a reasonable schedule for your kiddo.
Here is how to start..
First thing in the morning, after meals, and once again before bedtime.
Be careful to be aware of any telltale facial expressions or any signs that might stick out to you.
Sometimes they may say, “I need to go badly” with their facial expressions.
Let’s face it…
Now, there may be some potty training refusal but that is ok.
Honestly, refusal is part of the deal..! Yep!
Forcing your child to go may only hinder your progress. This may ultimately delay your child from getting this thing down.
On the other hand, if your child willingly agrees to get on — ample amount of praise and even small potty training rewards are very much in store.
Bare in mind, even if peeing or pooping did not occur, this is a HUGE step and you should celebrate.
Positive reinforcement works wonders!
Power of Positivity and Patience
They say patience is a virtue!
…and oh you definitely need to be virtuous for this turbulent journey.
As a parent, your role in guiding your child on how to use the toilet is absolutely crucial.
There may be pitfalls… many, many pitfalls but pushing through and being positive will pay off in the end.
Keeping calm and relaxing rubs off on to your child. When you show negative emotions, your child may be able to sense it.
A positive, loving environment will create a nurturing and advantageous end result.
If you yell at them because they could not use the bathroom, they will have bad memories attached to going potty.
So, you have created a tentative plan for yourself or have chosen a schedule from an alternative source.
Now comes the execution of your plan.
Pick a day and go for it!
Do not get cold feet now…. Do not psych yourself up!
I see you, Mommy!!
…Just take a breath now and keep scrolling down
Try to make it fun rather than looking at overcoming a daunting task. We recommend watching some educational videos.
Go for the ones that focus on potty training from a show your child loves.
…try not to sweat it and make sure to give your child a heads up that a new milestone is approaching for both of you!
A great time to dive in would be considering some sort of 3 day weekend or whenever you have a bit more time off from work.
Here is a tip for you..
Summertime is an excellent season to dial in this journey!
With some of the mentioned key clues from above, you’ll know when to plan around the beginning.
On The Go
So, a bit of time has passed, and your child is able to consistently use the potty seat or chair all by himself.
What an accomplishment!
Time to step up your game. The next step is to try taking your child out of the home.
We recommend an extra set of everything… just for precautionary reasons.
We also recommend having your child use the toilet in advance before leaving home.
Also, take them straight away upon the arrival of where you are going.
As extra precaution, a foldable portable potty seat or chair might be useful. Especially, if your child feels unfamiliar with using the toilet on the go.
Now, I know what you might be thinking, taking your child out of the home is insanely terrifying.
Don’t worry, Mommy..
We got you!
There are so many factors that could go wrong.
Forget about it, accidents will happen —it is inevitable! Yep!
Take it easy…
But on the chance that you may need to be in a place where it is unaccommodating to conduct potty training… get pull-ups diapers just in case!
The pull up diaper is probably still going to be your guaranteed safest bet.
You can avoid an accident and still encourage your little one to try using the bathroom.
Further Down the Line
Alright! You have made it a few weeks into the journey and your child is able to reliably go to the potty.
It is time for yet another step up.
Let us get rid of those vexing diapers and switch to “big kid” appropriate wear (yeah I mean underwear or at least pull ups).
This may be a very exciting process for your child as he or she will see this as a growing up moment.
Involvement is a key!
Let your child feel involved and let he or she pick out what they would want to wear.
Feeling excited may hammer home how special your child feels now that they are potty trained.
Stocking up on underwear in the beginning will definitely be helpful.
This ensures that you do not have to constantly do laundry. We recommend getting enough pairs for every day of the week.
P.S. I recommend not actually throwing out all of the diapers.
Accidents during naptime and nighttime most likely occur, so it is better to be safer than sorry.
Generally, children learn how to be potty trained in a daytime phase and nighttime phase.
In the daytime you are learning to get rid of diapers and transition to pull ups.
Diapers or pull-ups are still used for emergencies, naps, and slowly working into the nighttime phase.
By the time kids are between late 4 years of age to around 7 years of age they have gotten the hang of staying to try or using the toilet.
For nighttime training, some ideas that can help your child train could be:
- Remind and excite your child to use the toilet before bedtime
- Restricting the amount of liquids he or she has in the time before bed
- Using some sort of protective lining to shield from unforeseen accidents
- Just like daytime training, your child will eventually understand nighttime training and get there at their own pace
Potty training is a challenging journey that may drive you insane.
Always remember to be persistent, patient, and stick to your plan. It is worth the wait to see your child take one of their biggest steps towards growing up.
Keep in mind, though
…potty training is not impossible and is achievable.
It will take some time but with some (more like a lot) of effort, he or will get there.
The amount of time is irrelevant as he or she might be quick to learn or he or she may need more time.
Have peace of mind wherever you are in your journey…
Accidents are inevitable, but you and your child will get there!
If your child has been attempting potty training and is having some difficulties. We highly recommend contacting your pediatrician for guidance.