Potty training your toddler can be exciting and frustrating. Having potty trained 10 children, I think I have experienced it all and here are some of my potty training tips.
In potty training, like everything else, girls and boys are definitely different. In our family, our girls potty trained earlier than our boys.
Some were ready by the age of two and others were closer to three. Each child is different. I used to joke when it seemed like one of them would never be trained that surely, it would happen in time for college!
It always did!
Before I continue with my potty training tips and insights, let me tell a funny story….
The tables were turned on me after potty training our ten. I had some surgery that required a bladder catheter. Once the catheter was removed, I had to pee before I could leave the hospital. Knowing this, the children brought a baggie of M&M’s to help with my “potty training”. The hospital staff thought this was hilarious – so did I!
Potty Training Tips
When to Start Potty Training
From my experience, I can say confidently that there is no magic age. But, there are signs that your toddler is ready. Those include:
- Demonstrating an interest and curiosity in the toilet and how it is used.
- Has an awareness of when they pee or poop.
- Shows frustration and a desire to get out of a wet or dirty diaper.
- Has the ability to pull up a diaper and/or take it off.
Encouraging Potty Training
A toddler who is ready to be potty trained may do it very quickly. Then again, potty training can be a process and take awhile.
Recognize that it will take effort and you may have setbacks. Patience is an important aspect – learning a new skill takes time!
How to Encourage Potty Training
There are even travel potty seats because, after all, who wants to take a toddler who is training to a public toilet? I have linked to a disposable one that does not have to be washed – woohoo!
2. Let your toddler become comfortable with the potty seat. Put the potty seat in the bathroom and allow time for the child to sit on it and be comfortable. Explain how it is used.
3. Have a routine:
- Upon waking in the morning, have your child sit on the potty
- Continue this routine after naps and meal times.
- Be alert to your child’s schedule (for peeing and pooping) and try to time putting him/her on the potty at these times.
4. Rewards – Use rewards to encourage your child. Here are some suggestions:
- claps and praise
- marshmallows – one of ours loved marshmallows so this worked great!
- gummy bears
- stickers – my daughter-in-law made a chart and every time my grandson pooped, he got a sticker to put on the chart.
5. Be Positive. Reassure and encourage toddlers. Accidents will happen and it is normal. Be patient, positive and put them in clean dry clothes without condemning or shaming.
This is especially important if your child should revert after potty training – see “Reverting After Potty Training” below.
6. Allow your toddler to pick out new “big girl” or “big boy” underpants that they will be able to wear once they are potty trained. Ones with super heroes, camouflage, princess or bright colors are favorites to inspire.
This was always a huuuuge deal for our children!
Reverting After Potty Training
Often a toddler can be potty trained and revert after a major life event. The most common example is the birth of a sibling. Other examples include disruptions in their normal schedule, visitors and sickness.
I found it easier, if a baby’s birth was imminent, (within a few months), to wait until our routine was back to normal before even beginnning the potty training process.
What If My Child Will Pee But Not Poop in the Toilet?
Believe it or not, this happens and make for quite a battle. Again, stay calm and remember that one of my top potty training tips is that it is a process so be patient!
This has definitely been a problem with one of our grandchildren. And, I must say, his parents have been very patient. It is his mother that came up with the fun sticker chart idea and after battling for quite some time, the stickers worked like a charm!
So, keep trying, encouraging and looking for encouraging ideas that can help motivate your child if this is happening.
Potty Training is a Process
Potty training is a new skill that has to be learned. Each child is different and learns differently. It can take a few weeks to as long as a year of training.
Your love, patience and support during this time will help build your relationship and trust with your child.
Are you struggling with potty training your toddler? Leave a comment and maybe we can encourage each other!