Potty Training Tips & Tricks

I received several requests for any tips I might have to share on potty training. As we have successfully completed our first two weeks at potty training, I have definitely learned a lot! I read several books in the process of preparing to do this, but the best tips I found were from those who had gone before me – my mom especially. I remember the days when she trained my two younger twin siblings. She allowed them to run around on the deck and grass for several days half naked and then would just spray them off with the hose when they missed the potty chair. It worked splendidly.

Expose them well - Start by purchasing a potty chair a few months before you are ready to start training and simply begin talking about it. Allow them to sit down on it and talk about going potty and making the sounds “pss”. We found the books on potty training for kids to be fun and helpful, such as The Potty Book for Girls & Big Girls Use the Potty (of course they have companion ones for boys). We started reading these awhile back. If you can get them around others that are learning to use the potty as well that is very helpful.

Child’s potty - having her own special potty definitely was far less intimidating for my daughter than sitting on the toilet. Maybe it’s just a girl thing, but she was afraid of the toilet but didn’t mind using her potty chair. We chose the Bjorn Potty Chair because it seemed like it would be effective and comfortable for both girls and boys.
Panties/underwear – Big girl/boy underwear seems to be most effective in training as they can really experience the wetness. Cloth training pants or pull-ups are just like a diaper so it is hard to distinguish a difference. This was my mom’s advice which I am glad I followed – saved me money too! We do use cloth diapers or pull-ups for bedtime, naps and when we are out and about to prevent accidents, until they got the basics down.
Small treats- M&Ms, gummy bears, etc
Small stool – Karis loved being a big girl and having a special stool with which she could turn the bathroom light on and off and wash her hands. She can do it all with this cute little stool as it is light and easy for her to move around.
Transitional potty seat - this is helpful but not essential. Good to keep in the car when you are out. The Primo 4 in 1 seems like a nice option here to help you simplify.
Juice, milk or special drinks – these are useful when you are trying to just get them going frequently. Keep them drinking a lot and you have more opportunities to practice on the potty.


- Start by selecting a time when you can just take a good week and focus on training. Don’t try to squeeze it in within other big events. Pull back and enjoy your little one. It really can be a fun time to build your relationship as your read lots of stories and praise and encourage them alot!

- Allow your little one to run around naked from the waist down for the first few weeks. If you can keep them outside then it is even better (thus I recommend training in the summer). We had a little kiddy pool set up on our back deck and we just spend a few days hanging out there playing in the water. For the first day, we just sat on the potty the entire day (for the most part) and read stories or let her play with my i-pod. It helped her just get the feeling of going.

- I found that she normally needed to go every 45 minutes to an hour, so I would just regularly in this time frame say it was “time to use the potty”, and most of the time she would go. If she went, we would cheer her on and reward her with a little treat. This definitely encouraged her to keep it up.

- Stay close to home for the first week or so. My first mistake was to leave the house for the day just 3 days into training. She did not want anything to do with the potty when she was distracted with playing with others. She also was scared of the toilet and did not want to try it.

- Bring your potty chair or transitional trainer with you when you go out – for the first while it is definitely very helpful to carry the tools with you. This would have helpful in that previous example if we had brought the seat she was most comfortable with at this stage.

Those are my thoughts!

UPDATE: Karis was completely potty trained (including nights!) in five weeks time. I was blown away. I definitely think that it is extremely helpful to potty train in the summer when she was able to go naked outside on our deck. Also, avoiding any form of training pants was also key. She wore big girl panties from the start. I cannot emphasize enough how this really worked for us! I also think waiting till she was 26 months also was a huge plus. I read one study that showed a higher success rate at the 26 month age and it worked for us. As far as night time training goes, after we got fully trained during the day, we just let her go to bed with her panties at night. We made sure to use the potty before bed. She wet the bed one or two nights and then she got the idea to get up if she needed to go. It worked!

Titus (6/2011): Titus is now 27 months and my goal was to get him fully potty trained before baby #3 arrives in August! We started with a full day of outside play on a sunny day with the potty while being naked, drinking lots of fluids, playing in the pool, reading books together, and giving a special treat every time he went on the potty. Again, we used real big boy underwear and not pull-ups (Thomas the Train underwear have been a huge hit!) He freaked out at first when he went on himself and was very hesitant towards the idea of sitting on the potty. I thought for sure he wasn’t ready yet, but really felt I needed to persevere for a few more days before making the final call.

My husband starting encouraging me to give him a little more space and stop nagging him so much about sitting on the potty (as I was asking him every 30 minutes if not sooner). I stepped back a bit and didn’t ask so frequently (maybe once an hour), but rather encouraged him to sit down when sister, myself, or daddy sat down on the toilet. He seemed to really like the idea of going together. Imagine my surprise, after a few days into it, he really started getting independent. He wanted to do it on his own. Everything from sitting on the potty, to dumping into the toilet. He started going on his own without even telling me. There has been a lot of laughter and fun in the process! I just have been amazed that by giving him a little space, gentle reminders, rewards, and going together, has really inspired him to take it on. He is only wearing diapers at night time now (after a week into it). It seems the age factor of 26-27 months has been hugely beneficial for both my kids in making this an easy transition. And boys are not harder than girls in my experience. If anything, Titus has been easier!

Obviously every child is different, so give yourself grace for the journey, but these tips have been successful with both my little ones, so I thought I’d pass it on!

Do you have any additional tips or recommendations to share?

Further Resources:

Toilet Training in Less Than A Day – this book explains the process of the intentional focusing on toilet training for a day by drinking plenty of liquids and offering a reward. I found two or three days of this was hugely helpful in launching well into potty training. Very helpful!

Potty Train Your Child in One DayAnother book very similar to the above!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

54 Responses to Potty Training Tips & Tricks

  1. Melissa April 4, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    What helpful tips. I wasn’t sure if this would work but it did and happened exactly as stated. It took one day for my daughter to want to use the toilet. The one piece of advice I was given later is that going number 2 will not come automatically for every kid. My daughter took 4 days. It is something however, that will usually happen automatically after a child goings pee so it took a lot of patience. Good Luck.

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  4. Nicole July 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    HELP PLEASE!! My 22 mo old has been potting training for the good part of a year now and she really likes going on the potty. The only problem is I still have to make her go about every half an hour to an hour. She won’t tell us before she needs to go! I am not sure how to get her to tell me earlier before she needs to go. She will stand there, say “mommy, potty” spread her legs and pee. I know she can hold it for quite a few hours but I just can’t figure out why she doesn’t tell me with enough time to get to the bathroom… Any suggestions would be great. I am also trying to get her fully trained before our second comes in August.

    • Lindsay July 2, 2011 at 6:48 am #

      Do you offer her any reward/treat for actually making it on the potty?

      • Nicole July 10, 2011 at 4:43 am #

        Yes, she has been getting a treat for it since we started. Marshmallows (tiny ones) or as she calls them, “marshbubbles”. Not the healthiest of treats but she LOVES them. We are at the point that she still enjoys the treats but even if I don’t have them she will still go in the potty when I tell her it is time. She just won’t tell me with enough time to get there before she needs to go. There have been a few instances where she has and we praise her like crazy when she does that! It is just not consistent.

        • Sarah-Anne K. July 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

          What has worked best for my children (2 boys: 3 1/2 and 19mos) is having the potty in the room with us. This way, there isn’t the mad dash for the bathroom. Once they’re consistently going well on the potty, we transition the potty into the bathroom. But for the last two years, the potty has simply been in the living room as we play together. My 3 1/2 year old goes on the big toilet, and my little one almost always makes it onto the potty. Sometimes he’ll forget, and mid-stream I’ll move him onto his potty.That works, too. :)

          • Nicole July 16, 2011 at 8:52 am #

            So, I didn’t think that having the little potty out in the living room would make much of a difference since our bathroom is like 5 steps further down the hall but I did go ahead and try it, and moved her sticker chart right behind it. Well, so far so good! She has been telling me when she needs to go and I praise her like crazy telling her what a big girl she is! And then she gets a sticker too, of course. I really hope this does the trick! Will let you know in a few weeks.

  5. Sabrina June 18, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    :0) I just wrote a post about potty training on my blog, since my son is officially fully potty trained! He is 2 1/2, and has been potty trained for about 6 months during the day, and one full month at night.

    I did basically what you did. I let him run around naked, because it was easier for him to run to the little toilet himself and sit on it, rather than having to mess with taking clothes off. I also did not use pull ups or anything similar. He hated the wet feeling when I did start putting little underwear on him, so that actually helped a lot. I also went at his pace, not mine. I knew he was ready because he would bring me a clean diaper whenever he peed his current diaper.

    Oh, and we stayed home for a few days straight. I wanted him to really get the hang of using the potty before I took him out without a diaper.

    Oh, and just a quick tip for getting him throught the night: Have him go to the bathroom right before bed, and wake him up once to take him to the bathroom. My daughter still wakes up at night (she is 10 months old) so whenever she would wake up, I would wake him up and take him to the bathroom.

    Good luck, I hope he is out of diapers completely before the new little one arrives! (for your sake).

  6. Shannon June 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    I absolutely love your blog and the articles that you and others have written! I am a first time mom with an almost 6 month old. You have inspired in me in so many ways – spiritually growing, mentally growing as my husband and I are trying to incorporate a reading night once a week, de-cluttering my life, using baby toys that take up less space, using the ergo carrier from your reviews, trying new recipes – I really enjoyed soaking my oats (just tried it yesterday) and many other dinners, using coconut oil, baby led weaning which I will try in the coming months, hospitality meals, and loving Jesus and others! Wow – I am so blessed by you and your love for the Lord. It shows in every article!

    And I have another idea which you may want to try with your next baby. When I was pregnant, a friend at church told me about potty whispering. You can actually train your baby to use the potty (or a bucket as a potty) when they are newborns. We tried this with our little girl when she was 1 – 2 weeks old and she was practically “trained” within the first few days. She knows when to go to the bathroom when she hears the sound that we make and the position that we hold her. It is amazing! Other cultures in Africa, Asia and the Middle East do this, but not as many Western cultures know about it. I bought a DVD when I was pregnant to learn how to teach my baby about using the potty and it was very helpful. You can go to this website for more information: http://pottywhisperer.com/

    I love you, my sister in Christ.

    God bless you and your family.

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  8. Becky January 10, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    One little tip that worked for my 2 year old boy- he saw his cousins using the potty but didn’t want to go himself. When I told him about all his favorite people that went on the potty (mommy, daddy, mimi, papa, his favorite cousin…) the next day he was interested in the potty!

  9. Carrie August 28, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    Sorry to damper things here but allowing a child to run around naked is just plain ridiculous. What about when there are other siblings/children around? I guess modesty is not a virtue of the author.
    I can understand not putting on bulky clothing. Thin panties will definitely let the child know there is a difference. I trained 5 children by putting underpants on them and taking them to the potty every 30-40 minutes. Also, staying home for the first few weeks helps alot.

    • Danielle B June 18, 2011 at 8:59 am #

      These children are TWO years old, not five. There’s nothing immodest about having a BABY run around naked for potty training. I potty trained my babies the same way as Lindsay. There’s nothing wrong with it. I don’t like the naked=shame idea. I want my children to not be ashamed of their bodies by always having to be covered from head to toe. Then having problems being naked around their spouse when they are grown.

  10. Sarah-Anne January 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Maybe this is a silly question, but what kind of training pants / underwear did you purchase? I’m searching for what to get for my son (24 mos), and some of the ones made by cloth diapering companies are expensive! Less expensive ones have characters on them (Dora the Explorer, Spiderman, Nemo, etc), and I try to avoid having character-things in our home.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Lindsay January 27, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

      Like I mentioned in the post, we just purchased standard 2T cotton underwear, which we purchased at Target or Wal-Mart, I believe. We did not want to spend the extra money on training pants. We wanted our girl to really understand the feeling of going potty and know that it was supposed to go in the potty chair. It worked wonders! You learned very quickly because she could really feel the wetness instead of it getting disguised in her training pants or pull-up. Does that make sense?

      • Sarah-Anne January 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

        I rarely go to Target, so I didn’t realize you could find standard plain underwear! I thought all had characters on them:) Yes, I see that wearing underwear rather than training pants can make a big difference. Thanks for your help!!

  11. Jasileet August 17, 2009 at 7:18 am #

    My Tips
    **Ikea makes potty seats for $4 modeled after the baby bjorn seat
    **Buy plenty of them leave them everywhere with a dollar store mat beneath
    **Dollar store gold star stickers on a chart or given out are better than candy
    **Lots of praise, lots of reminder, lots of patience and lots of “Resolve” lol
    **Waterproof mattress covers!

  12. Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home August 16, 2009 at 3:59 pm #

    I have been potty training my daughter. We take one of the potty seats that fit on the big potty with us in a plastic bag. It seems to really help her to have something familiar to use and I don’t have to be concerned about germs on the public potty!

  13. Amanda C August 14, 2009 at 5:53 pm #

    We use the M&M’s method too! =) Starbursts work well too but they stick to their teeth! urg! We set a timer for 30 minutes for the first few days, and have them sit down every time. Once we figure out their special time-frame, we stick to that for a while, with an M&M treat for using the potty, 2 for a bowel movement. We also use the Potty Book for Boys/Girls. My kids all like the books still, too!

    With our 4th child (she’s 2 1/2 now), we started elimination communication at about 2 months old – mostly because it was VERY obvious when she had to go. She was just very easy to read (I tried it on our 3rd, but he wasn’t so easy to read). I was very relaxed about it. She wore cloth diapers all of the time, and I took them off when I thought she had to go. It has been th EASIEST of all transitions into potty training out of the 4 children. It could simply be her nature, but I am convinced that it was the EC technique to begin with. She holds her urine all night, and almost never pees in the middle of the night (unless she falls to sleep w/o going). I can’t say the same for my almost 5yo, and my almost 7yo (boys)!! They have more accidents at night than she ever has. She was never trained to pee in the middle of the night in her diaper, and she doesn’t do it regularly. If we have more children, I certainly hope they are easy-readers in the EC department! It isn’t that difficult when they are easy to read like she was! And again, the transition to toilet-learning has been such a breeze this way!

  14. Sweetpeas August 12, 2009 at 5:05 pm #

    Garage sales & freecycle are a good place to look for toddler potties & the seats that sit on the regular toilet. When my twins were toddlers I was able to get 2 potty chairs & a seat for the big potty both upstairs & downstairs at yard sales and spent $1 or less for each.

    Now with this new little one we’re practicing part time Elimination Communication and I have high hopes that it will mean earlier/easier potty training this time around (and the twins were pretty early even without the EC, they potty trained in a weekend when they were 27 mo)

  15. Allyson August 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    We’ve practiced infant potty training, know to some as elimination communication with both of our children. Our daughter, now 2, has been 80-95 % potty trained since her 1st birthday. Our son, 10 months, goes on the potty numerous times each day, although we still have plenty of wet diapers as well. I feel like we were able to be a little more on top of things when we just had one child.

    When ours were very small babies (less than a week old) we would lay them diaperless on a prefold during the day or have them wear a prefold without a cover so we could tell when they went to the bathroom. If we caught them in the act we would make a psss sound. Eventually they came to associate this sound with relieving themselves. Then we were able to place them over the toilet or a bowl and make the sound cueing them to potty.

    This method has been a blessing to our family and has saved us quite a bit of money since we use and wash less diapers.

    • Kay Gilanyi June 30, 2010 at 11:34 am #

      We’ve done the same! My son is almost 7 months old and does all of his poops and most of his pees on the potty. He even makes it through his nap times totally dry and pees a river in the toilet when he wakes. This is a great method and makes for happy babies!

    • Shannon May 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

      I used EC with our daughter when she was a newborn, and she would go to the potty when we gave her the opportunity! But then, after I weaned her from nursing at around 13 months, her elimination patterns changed and I wasn’t catching them. Eventually, she got used to going in her diaper and prefers it now. She is now 17 months old and I would like to get her excited about going in the potty again. We bought her a little potty and every time that I need to use the bathroom, I take her. Sometimes she will urinate in teh potty once a day, but somedays not at all. She gets a candy treat for going.

      Do you have any suggestions?

  16. Kika August 11, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    I do think it is important to know that each child is different and if the training is stressful and just not working, it is ok to put in on hold for a while. My first two kids were trained by about 2 years and night trained immediately. My third wasn’t day-time potty trained until about three years old (much to my chagrin) and night-time trained until four when SHE decided she was too old for pull-ups. I definitely think it is a great incentive to buy them fun underwear (they need to feel the discomfort of being wet) but be prepared to chuck them once in a while if you have a child like my third who’d hide and poop in them! (Yes, these can be rinsed and cleaned but in my exasperation I chucked a couple pairs). I remember using a few cheerios in the bowl for my son so he could practice his aim.

  17. Michelle August 11, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    My son is 16 months old and seems interested. It’s very easy to tell when he’s gone to the bathroom – he grabs at his diaper or grunts and his face turns all red. How old is your daughter and do you know if there’s a big difference between starting boys vs. girls? I’ve heard boys are much slower.

  18. Andrea August 11, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    Nice post! This will be very helpful to me in a year or so. I’m hoping that the transition will be smoother since we use cloth diapers.

    The Natural Mommy just did a very nice post on this subject too. I thought you might appreciate reading it as well. My parents love this book that she used, but they didn’t end up using the doll. http://www.thenaturalmommy.com/2009/07/31/potty-training-in-a-day/

  19. Amanda August 11, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    Running around naked was working great until we moved and my family all came, and I didn’t exactly want him to run around exposed all the time! So now we’re trying to get back into the “swing” and I’m finding this problem:

    he goes pee no problem, great, on the potty when he’s naked during the day. I put him in diapers during naps, nighttime and outings…but I think, honestly, that it’s confusing him, as part of the time he gets to pee/poop in his diaper, while the other part of the time he uses the potty. How do you train for naptime? I like the previous poster’s suggestion of leaving them naked for nap…I wonder if it would work.

    • Hayley August 11, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

      We are potty training our 2 year old right now and she is doing great at not peeing during naps and nighttime. We do use a pull-up at night, but when we introduced them, we threw away the few remaining diapers she had been used to (in hindsight, we should have put them in a bag to give to a younger baby instead of throwing them away)and then showed her the big girl underwear and pull-ups (which we call big girl nighttime pants). We talked about how the underwear and pull-ups are like the same thing, and just how we keep our underwear dry and cozy, we try to keep the pull-up dry and cozy too. We have been potty training for 5 days now and starting the 3rd night, she has been waking up in the middle of the night asking to go pee-pee on the potty and staying dry all night. I think soon we won’t even use a pull-up at night. Hope this helps!

    • Sabrina June 18, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

      My son started aggresively potty training at 2 years, and did really well. If he was not wearing a diaper, he would go in the little toilet. If I put a diaper on him (at home or going out) he would use the diaper. I would ask him why he peed, and he answered “Mommy, I have a diaper!”. I think it does confuse them. I stopped diapers completely, and if he has an accident, he has an accident. My son doesn’t like the feel of being wet or dirty, so accidents are very rare for him.

      When it was time to take a nap, I explained to my son that he had no diaper on. I would ask him where he needed to go potty, and waited for him to point, or say the bathroom. I did do the naked thing to, for a while, just until my son could at least give me a 30 second warning on when he had to go.

  20. Cindy August 11, 2009 at 10:21 am #

    Rewarding for being “dry” and/or “clean” worked really well for us. We were excited for potty because it meant he was had stayed dry and clean not over the pottying itself. First, we modeled with a bear in underpants and the bear got rewards and then the child. We had him check to see if his training pants felt wet. This seemed to help him understand quickly and put the ball in his court on deciding when to go. When there were accidents, “Oh, no, now we cannot get a treat for being dry/clean. Let’s try really hard next time. Won’t that be exciting?” Also, we had him randomly check himself for dry and clean and that would be one treat as opposed to two for the actual deed.

    This system was designed to help developmentally disable adults get control in this area which also seems to work well with little ones.

    Oh, and ply the kiddo with saltier things and lots of drinks so they get a lot of opportunity to feel the feeling and get to the potty. The goal is self-aware bowel and bladder control. Salty snacks, juice, and treats are just for a phase to help master a physical skill. I hope that made sense! :^)

  21. Michele August 11, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    Great tips!

  22. Carrie August 11, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    My daughter was trained at home during the day when she was 18 months. I lucked out, she basically did it herself. Unfortunately our daycare did not have a bathroom in her room. So I waited until June when I was done working to transition her completely full time to underwear. It honestly was an easy transition because she was used to wearing underwear at home. She would wait to have a bm during a nap so I actualy started putting her down for naps naked. It took 2 days and she has had no bm accidents (2 months) since then and is very proud of herself for going “poopy on the potty”. We use cloth trainers with a cover for naps and still use cloth diapers at night. If anyone has suggestions for trim cloth trainers that would be great, I am having trouble finding ones that don’t leak. I would love to switch to just cloth trainers at night. The ones that I have found for night are far too big. I used rewards for her in the beginning- yogurt covered raisins and stickers. We liked the IKEA potty, but she is now using the regular potty. My best advice is let them go naked! This is how my daughter trained herself. She had a mild rash so I let her go naked (she was only 16/17 months) and she took herself to the potty when she needed to go! Oh and don’t push it. I agree with staying close to home when you start.

  23. Rebekah August 11, 2009 at 8:31 am #

    What age should I start to potty train? My daughter is 13 months and I have been putting her on her potty whenever I go. Sometimes she goes and sometimes she doesn’t. Should I stop and wait until she gets older?

    • Christa August 12, 2009 at 7:07 pm #

      I had my daughter practice on the toilet each night before bed as soon as she could walk. We didn’t potty train her until she was 21 months… but it was so easy. I think the practice helped.

      • Kate August 13, 2009 at 9:52 am #

        Leave the potty in the bathroom, and when you use the bathroom, take your daughter in there w/you. My daughters always liked to emululate me. It worked for us, our 2 children were potty trained by 18 months, night and daytime. They would have the occasional accident, but we NEVER used pull ups. We said, it was best for them to know what real underwear felt like, and accidents will occur. Sure there were a few nights where they wet the bed, no biggie change the sheets, and change them, and back to bed we went. I will say, get a GOOD waterproof mattress pad, it’ll save your mattress!

    • Linda Easton August 14, 2009 at 8:14 am #

      You might be interested to know that before disposable diapers 95% of all babies in the US were potty trained by 18 months. That seems to suggest that babies ARE ready to potty train much earlier than we expect them to.

      The biggest obstacle to training a child under the age of two is communication. If you are interested in starting now, you can check out the Baby Signs Potty Training program and learn a few simple signs that will help your daughter “talk” to you about her potty-time needs.


      Best wishes,
      Linda Easton
      Director of Marketing
      Baby Signs, Inc.

    • Sabrina June 18, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

      Here’s what I read (and followed). When you can give your child a list of instructions to follow, and he/she follows, they are probably ready to be potty trained. Example: go to the kitchen table, pick up napkin, put the napkin on the chair.

      My son was getting very good at following directions. He also used to bring me a clean diaper when he was wet. That showed me that he did understand what having a wet diaper meant. My suggestion to you is go atleast a day with no diaper. See if your daughter registers that she is wet when she has an accident. I did this with my niece, and she really did not care at all when she wet herself. We’re waiting a little longer for her :0)

      My son is now 2 1/2, and fully potty trained, day and night.

  24. StephGarvey August 11, 2009 at 8:03 am #

    $3.99 actually for the L√ĄTTSAM children’s potty.(http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30141225) And you can get it several colors!

  25. StephGarvey August 11, 2009 at 7:55 am #

    Frugal tip: Ikea sells ones just like the Bjorn for around $3.

  26. Angie August 11, 2009 at 7:52 am #

    The tip that I always give all my friends as they attempt to train their little ones is to make sure that the child is ready. You can force them to be trained, but you will be doing more work than needed. When they are ready, the transition is smooth, easy, and relatively fun!

  27. Lisa August 11, 2009 at 7:30 am #

    We have always brought the potty chair out into the living room or area where you spend the most time. This makes it hard to forget, both for mom and little one (it’s easy to lose track of time) also this way the child isn’t pulled away from what they are doing, they don’t feel like they have to stop playing, which can be a negative for potty training.

  28. Larissa Holland August 11, 2009 at 7:26 am #

    I have potty trained 3 boys and have had it range from easy to difficult.

    I have found that what worked best for me was to not let them run around naked. Putting them in underwear helped them learn quickly to run to the bathroom. After a couple of times of this, they learned to stop themselves and finish on the potty. So, I just made sure I had lots of underwear available.
    Second, I found that allowing them to suggest when they had to go worked better than making them sit on the potty until they had to go. It put the control in their corner. . . because they do like to be in control. . . and it completely cut out the battle aspect. I tomato staked them to me, and if they started to have an accident, I’d pick them up and run them to the potty to finish. It was usually a matter of a couple of times like that before they were telling me everytime they had to go.
    And third, I always did nap/night time/and day training at the same time. They learned quickly to recognize the feeling and wake if they needed to go.
    When I used that process, my boys were done within about 3 days both night and day. It took my 1st son 3 days. . . My 2nd son was done within 1 day . . . my 3rd son took about 4 full days.

    • Scarlett August 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm #

      How old were your boys when you trained them? I am working with my 2 year old and 3 1/2 year old boys right now.

      • Scarlett August 12, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

        how did you nap and night time train?

  29. Janette August 11, 2009 at 5:42 am #

    Hi. I have 2 daughters ages 4 and 2 and we are in the last stages of potty training the youngest. Try to find out what your child is really interested in and excited about and use that to your advantage. With my oldest daughter we were potty training around Easter time and at church they gave out resurrection eggs. We hid the eggs around our house and she thought it was so fun to find the eggs. I told her every time she went on the potty we would hide the eggs and it was a great incentive to help her potty train. With my youngest daughter I haven’t found out what she really likes yet but we have used blowing bubbles and that is always fun. Always remember no two kids are alike. My girls are very competitive so I thought my youngest would train pretty fast but that hasn’t been the case. Right now my daughter can stay accident free most of the time if I remember to have her go every couple hours. She is so busy playing that she doesn’t tell me she has to go until it is already too late. I too use the cloth training pants and they work really well. I haven’t bought any pull ups as I have heard they are expensive.

    I recommend getting a travel potty seat adapter for when you are out and about. We went on a long road trip and the adapter was great for public restrooms etc. With the adapters kids don’t feel as intimidated and afraid that they will fall in the toilet. I started both of my kids with a potty chair but transitioned them to the adapter as it is much easier to deal with and takes up less space.

    I think the most important tip is to be patient. From start to finish it takes months to potty train not just a few days. It’s a learning process and it takes time. Don’t get discouraged, hang in there and realize this stage will pass.

  30. Julie @ Seeking The Old Paths August 11, 2009 at 5:31 am #

    I love it when potty-training time works out to be in the warm months for just this reason! But… with older siblings around, I don’t want the Littles running around *buck naked*, hee hee. With girls it is easy… just slip a simple dress on top of nothing, and with boys, I discovered putting on a way-too-big T-shirt on top of nothing, and voila! You get them that bare feeling *with* modesty to boot.

    My biggest advice: be diligent in the warm months! I find I get way lazier about potty training when there are 7 billion layers of clothing to bother with in the colder months.

  31. Tracie August 11, 2009 at 5:22 am #

    I started training my 2 year old son alittle over a month ago. He was doing well the first week going several times a day and trying every hour when we told him it was ‘potty time”. Then we went on vacation the second week–big mistake. So, definately wait until you can be home for a few weeks with nothing else going on! When we came back he was resisting sitting on the potty and throwing fits. We ended up making him sit on it and having it be an obidence training. “Mommy said sit on your potty. Obey Mommy Cheerfully.” If he obeyed he was rewarded and if not, there were consequences. After a day or so, he would sit on it cheerfully when asked and then started gioing again. One thing that helped our son was letting him do it all by himself. Turning on the light(and fan), going and then dumping his peepee from the little potty into the big one, etc. He also does not like to be watched while he goes! I think letting him do it all independently makes him feel incontrol! He is now into his 5th week and accidents are very few! Still have not attempted underwear in public, but he has been keeping his daipers dry when we are out!

  32. Cara August 11, 2009 at 5:20 am #

    We just trained (are almost finished) with number 3. I think the underwear thing is great (although we do use training ones-a little thicker at the crotch)! I do NOT use pull-ups (except at night) and never have with any of my others.
    With both of my girls we’ve had anal retention (it’s really a “thing”! Not just a joke!) They get uptight and won’t go poop-in the potty or in their pants. It’s very upsetting to everyone and can be very unhealthy for them. what I learned from the first experience? WE go with the flow this time. If my little girl needs a diaper to poop in we let her. She still comes and tells us she has to go, she just goes in a diaper rather than the toilet and then we take the diaper off and put the panties back on. With my first daughter we were too strict about the “no diaper” thing and she ended up with health problems from it (anal fissures, constipation, etc). Not worth it. You may have to adapt from what you think is IDEAL and do what is necessary for your child.

    • Kristen S August 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

      I am having the same problem with my child, the no poop on the potty thing. She is totally trained otherwise, and asks me to put a diaper on her when she has to go #2. Since she is my first child that I am training, I feel like she will never get over this…please tell me that one day she will not need a diaper to go #2!!!
      I guess I’ll be having the same issue with my second child too huh? Thanks for the input, I am always looking for other moms who are dealing with the same thing!

      • Lindsay August 12, 2009 at 3:26 pm #

        Funny thing. We were doing great going #2 until yesterday. Now she is freaking out about it. I am going to try switching up the prizes a bit. Maybe giving her a bigger prize (from the dollar store or something) as incentive. I do know that this is definitely not an uncommon problem. I’m there with you dear!

      • Cara August 13, 2009 at 10:31 am #

        You won’t necessarily have this problem with your next child. :) Take heart in that every child is so different. And the thing you have to remember is this: “This too shall pass”!!!!! EAch thing is a stage and will most likely give way to another stage (good or bad…just depends).
        My son (2nd child) was sooooooo easy to potty train that I literally don’t remember it. No poop issues, nothing! :) I hope that helps you to have some hope in what is upcoming.

      • Amber August 15, 2009 at 9:49 am #

        My firstborn had the same problem, would hold it for up to four days then have an accident! SO frustrating! We finally gave him ex-lax chocolate and lots of straight apple juice till he was going regularly, and then changed the prize from just chocolate chips to chips AND stickers of his favorite things which he put on a chart taped to the wall in front of the toilet. Maybe it was the visual that helped, I don’t know, but all of a sudden he was SO excited to get a new sticker and three chocolate chips when he went #2. I also made up a poo-poo song and dance, which he thought was hilarious. I guess the combo of these things helped, no accidents since then! :) Hang in there!

  33. Rachel August 11, 2009 at 5:00 am #

    What was your response for accidents, both early on and now? What a nice relaxed way to potty train! It was so stressful for me here while we were training… although it was successful – yay! I’d like to be more relaxed next time…