Potty Training Tips

Your toddler is growing up right before your eyes. They are graduating from diapers to underwear! This is a thrilling and often frustrating time for parents, but don’t worry, the good news is that they will master potty training because they can’t stay in diapers forever. Whew!

Before you can begin the training process, you need to make sure they are ready…

How do you know if your toddler is ready to be potty trained?

It’s quite simple, really. When you’re changing fewer diapers and they are staying dry during naps, it’s a good sign they are ready for the potty.

Other signs are:

  • Squatting in a corner when they’re having a bowel movement
  • Telling you to change their diaper when it’s soiled
  • When your toddler has regular bowel movements – after meals, upon waking, before bed
  • Putting their doll or teddy bear on the toilet
  • Shows an interest in the potty when in the washroom

It’s important to remember your little one is an individual and they grow and develop at their own speed. If they aren’t ready to use the potty, don’t force the issue. There is nothing wrong with them and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You want potty training to be a good experience for your toddler.

Beginning the Potty Training Process with your Toddler

Should you use a standalone potty or one that fits over the toilet?

There are pros and cons when it comes to using a standalone potty or a potty seat fitted over a regular toilet. A standalone is kid size, it’s convenient and it’s less frightening for a child than a big toilet that looks like it can swallow them up. There’s more cleaning involved in a standalone and if you have a small bathroom, it can be a challenge. A fitted seat over a toilet is less work, but the seat may move a bit when your toddler sits on it causing them to feel like it’s unstable. You’ll also need a small step stool so there are a lot of little things to think about. One isn’t better than the other. Do what works for you.

Other helpful tips for potty training your toddler:

Take your little one shopping for new underwear. Colors and different patterns for girls are fun. Look for 100% cotton material. Some training pants are thicker than regular underpants and will absorb some urine lost when there are accidents. Some toddlers may object to the bulkiness.

Use pull-ups for nap times and when they first start potty training. This will just make life a bit more tolerable for you without feeling you have to clean the floor every second. They are easy to use and remove with the tear-away sides. You can switch to regular underpants when your toddler is staying dry.

Dress them in easy to remove clothes like elastic waist pants or dresses.

Praise and reward your child when they use the potty. Don’t reward with food. Instead, choose stickers, hugs and kisses, words of praise, or high fives. Make it a celebration with tons of praise–especially for #2 in the potty.

Never scold your toddler or react negatively when accidents happen. This will hamper any progress they are making. Love and patience are a MUST during this process.

Don’t decrease their liquid intake. Instead remind them or ask them if they need to use the potty.

Set a routine when they should use the potty like first thing when they wake up in the morning, before bath time, after meals, and before bed time.

Potty training a toddler takes patience, time and a lot of love. Even if it takes them months, they’ll eventually learn. They have to and they do. And you know who will be doing the happy dance with their little one?? Momma! ;)

Do you have any additional potty training tips to share? Please feel free to leave them in a comment below! I am certain your fellow Moms will thank you! :D

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  1. Sophia on September 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I used a standalone potty and used stickers for my child. She loved stickers so it was perfect. We would also read a potty training book together. I don’t know if it helped or not, but I would also let her take that book or any other book when she sat on the potty. LOL. It’s been so long since those potty training days. I also read you can make it fun by adding food colour like blue to the toilet water and when your child pees, it makes it green. For boys, if you get them to stand to put cheerios in the toilet for target practice. lol

  2. Wick Anderson on September 13, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Good reminders! Our 3rd child is definitely taking longer to appear ready to train. Our first two girls seemed easier than they should be…so perhaps we’ll make up for it here. :) Crossing fingers, and waiting…

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