It’s every parent’s dream to have a potty-trained toddler: no more diapers, no more accidents, and no more carrying around ten pairs of clean clothes. The good news is that potty training doesn’t have to be complicated. With patience and the right approach, you can quickly and easily potty train your toddler!
Since we want to help answer all your questions about potty training. Here is what we will be covering in this article.
In This Article
- 10 tips to Quickly and Easily Potty Train Your Toddler
- How To Know If Your Child Is Ready?
- What Age To Start Potty Training?
- How To Prepare Your Child For Potty Training?
- Must-Have Potty Training Items
- How Long Does Potty Training Take?
- Potty Training No-No’s
10 tips to Quickly and Easily Potty Train Your Toddler
#1 Keep track of your child’s bathroom schedule
The first step to potty training success is understanding your child’s bathroom schedule. This means knowing when they typically need to go and ensuring they have regular opportunities to use the restroom. An excellent way to keep track of this is by using a Potty Chart.
Put a sticker on the chart for each time your child uses the restroom at the beginning of each day. As they get better at using the toilet, you can reduce the number of stickers. Eventually, the goal is to have them use the restroom independently with no need for stickers!
#2 Keep them bare-bottomed
One of the best things you can do to help your child with potty training is to keep them bare-bottomed as much as possible. This will help them feel when they start to go and make it easier to get to the bathroom on time.
Plus, they won’t have to mess around trying to get their pants down. Make it as easy as possible for you and your toddler by keeping them bare-bottomed. Another reason is that when your toddler has an accident, they will see that they no longer have a diaper that will catch everything. So they will learn to make it to the potty before having an accident.
#3 Watch closely for signs of needing to go potty
The next step is to start watching for signs that your child needs to go potty. These can include squirming, pulling at their clothes, crossing their legs, squatting, or doing a “potty dance.” When you see these signs, it’s time to take them to the bathroom.
It’s essential to act quickly when you see these signs because the longer you wait, the more likely you will have an accident. When you see these signs, it’s time to take them to the bathroom.
#4 Help them identify the feeling of needing to go potty
This next step can be somewhat tricky to help your child understand because they haven’t had to identify the feeling of needing to go potty until now.
Helping your child to learn this is important because they will then be able to recognize when they need to go and when they need to take themselves to the bathroom. You can do this by telling them what it feels like. When your child does make it to the potty or has an accident, help them connect that feeling of needing to go potty to the actual event.
After your child has had a few accidents and you have helped them understand the feeling of needing to go, they will start to be able to tell when they need to use the restroom.
#5 Keep them entertained on the potty with potty toys
This next step is key to helping your child stay on the potty long enough to go. Nobody likes sitting on the potty for a long time without anything happening, especially a toddler. So make sure you have some potty toys available to help keep them entertained.
These could include potty books, small trinkets, bouncy balls, etc. Anything works as long as they’re entertained. These potty toys should only be played with while your child is on the potty. They have something to look forward to while on the potty.
#6 Celebrate with high-fives and potty dances when they make it to the potty
Learning how to use the potty is a big deal for your child. Since it can be a hard transition, celebrate each time your child makes it to the potty! This could include giving them a high-five, doing a happy dance, or letting them know that you are glad they made it to the potty.
It’s essential to make this a positive experience for your child, so they want to continue to use the potty. If your toddler does have an accident, don’t punish or scold your child. We will cover more about this later in the article but for now, keep in mind that your child is still learning, and it may take some time for them to get the hang of it.
#7 Establish a routine
When it comes to potty training your toddler, you will want to establish a routine. This means going to the bathroom at regular intervals, such as 15-30 minutes after meals, before and after naps, before bedtime, and before and after car rides.
By establishing a routine, your child will start to expect to use the restroom at certain times of the day, and it will become second nature to them. Also, make sure other caregivers such as babysitters, daycare workers, and grandparents know your child’s routine to help keep your child’s routine consistent.
#8 Give plenty of liquids
This next step is important to help your child feel the urge to go to the bathroom. Since toddlers usually go number two once or twice a day, you will want to make sure they are drinking enough fluids to need to use the restroom more often.
The more often they need to use the potty, the quicker they can learn how to identify when they need to use it. You may want to decrease liquids an hour before naps and bedtime to help your child not have accidents while sleeping.
#9 Show by example
Children are visual learners and are very observant of their environment. One of the best ways to help your child learn anything is leading by example. So when it comes to potty training your toddler, you will want to use the restroom in front of them from time to time. This will help them understand what you are doing and why you are doing it.
# 10 Be patient
Potty training can be frustrating and challenging for both you and your child. There will be accidents, and there will be days where it seems like your child is never going to get it. But if you stay positive and keep leading by example, your child will eventually get the hang of it. It’s important to remember to be patient with your child as they learn how to use the potty.
For potty training to be successful, you want to make sure your child is ready, know what items you want to stock up on, must-have potty training items, and things to avoid that can make potty training difficult for your child. First, let’s cover how to know if your child is ready to be potty trained.
How to know if your child is ready?
There are a few key signs that your child may be ready to start potty training.
First, does your child show an interest in the toilet or using the restroom? This could include wanting to watch you use the bathroom, flush the toilet, or sit on the toilet even if they don’t have to go.
Second, you are changing fewer diapers. If you notice that your child is staying dry for more extended periods or only having a few wet diapers a day, this is a good sign that they may be ready to start potty training.
Third, can your child follow simple instructions? Potty training will require your child to understand and follow simple instructions such as, “Let’s go potty.” If your child can’t follow simple instructions, they may not be ready to start potty training.
Fourth, your child no longer wants to wear diapers. This is a big sign that your child may be ready to start potty training. If they are constantly taking their diaper off or are uncomfortable in their diaper, this is a good sign that they want to start using the restroom independently.
Now that you know how to tell if your child is ready to start potty training let’s talk about what age you want to start potty training at.
What age to start potty training?
There is no perfect age to start potty training. It depends on when your child shows signs that they are ready to start potty training. Some children may be ready as early as 18 months, while others may not be ready until three years old. The general rule of thumb is to start potty training when your child shows an interest in it.
How to prepare your child for potty training?
Now that you know when to start potty training, it’s time to prepare for it. The first thing you want to do is stock up on some supplies. You don’t need to go crazy and buy everything under the sun, but there are a few key supplies that you will want to have on hand.
First, you want plenty of wipes, underwear, cleaning supplies, and extra changes of clothes.
You may also want to start changing your child’s diapers in the bathroom or where your child’s potty will be if you can. This helps bridge the gap between going potty and the bathroom. After your child has gone number two in their diaper, take your child to the toilet and dump their number two in the toilet, which will help reinforce that the two go together.
#2 Talk bathroom talk
Be sure to talk about going to the bathroom often with your child. This helps normalize the process and help your child understand that everyone has to go potty. Also, start to use words that express using the toilet
#3 Involve your child in the process
Getting your child involved in the process will help get them excited and empowered about this new transition they will be making. Let your child pick out a potty and underwear. They will be excited to use their potty and when the time comes to use their underwear.
#4 Read kid potty books or videos
Reading potty books or watching potty videos with your child is a great way to help normalize the process and get them excited about it. There are tons of potty books and videos for you to choose from.
#5 Get all items you need ahead of time
The last thing you want is to be scrambling around trying to find everything you need when it’s time to start potty training—stock up on all the items you need ahead of time, so you’re prepared.
Must-have potty training items
These potty training items can help make potty training go much more smoothly. Get what you think will work best for you, as there are many items out there, but pick what things are going to work for you and your child the most.
For our recommended must-have items, check out the links in the description below!
How long does potty training take?
This is a tricky question because it varies for every child. Some children may take a day or two, while others may take weeks or even months. Just go at your child’s pace and be sure not to force them into potty training before they are ready.
Be patient and keep at it, and eventually, they will get the hang of it!
Potty training no-no’s
There are a few things you want to avoid doing while potty training as it can make the process much harder and set your child back.
#1 Avoid Punishing Your Child When They Have An Accident
First, you want to avoid punishments if your child has an accident. This will only make them stressed out and scared to use the potty. Instead, remain positive and encourage them even if they have an accident.
Have them help you clean up their accident and encourage them to try again next time. When children have a negative experience with accidents, they may start to attach their self-worth to accidents and going potty. To avoid this, remain calm and let your child know that it’s okay they had an accident and that they can try again next time.
#2 Avoid Bribing your Child
Second, you want to avoid bribing your child to use the potty. Bribing your child for using the potty can make them do it only for the reward and not because they have to go. This may seem like a good idea, but it can backfire.
You can reward your child (without the reward being followed by a bribe) at the beginning of potty training. But as you start to see that your child is getting a hand of it. Drop giving a reward since you want your toddler to learn to use the potty because they have to go instead of because they know they will get a treat.
#2 Don’t nag
It can be tempting to ask your child if they need to use the potty every 10 minutes. But this can annoy your child and make them not want to listen to you or try to use the potty. Try to avoid nagging as much as possible and only ask them periodically.
The fourth potty no-no is a big one, and that is…
#4 Don’t force your child to sit on the potty
If a child doesn’t have to go potty, they don’t have to go. Making your child sit longer on the potty does not mean they will go potty. It can make them not want to use the potty at all. Your child should not sit on the potty longer than 5 minutes. Let your child get up when they want and try again later.
Some children struggle with going number 2 in the toilet because they feel like they are losing a part of themselves, and it can seem very scary to them. So our next potty no-no is…
#5 Don’t push for number 2
Over time, as your child’s confidence in going potty in the toilet grows, going number 2 will come naturally to them. When a child is forced to do a number 2 on the toilet, this can lead to your child holding it in, and they could become constipated if the issue continues.
This could then potentially lead to chronic constipation, which is what you want to avoid at all costs. So instead of forcing your child to go number 2 on the toilet, offer your child a diaper or a pull-up to do number 2 in, but still in the bathroom.
After your child has done their number two in their pull-up or diaper in the bathroom, dump the contents into the toilet to give your child a visual of their number 2 goes.
Our next no-no is to…
#6 Avoid asking, “do you need to go to the potty” Or “Do you want to go potty.”
Any child starting to be potty trained does not know the sensational feeling of needing to go potty yet. So when asked, “Do you need to go potty,” the answer will almost always be “no” because children would rather play or do what they are currently doing than stop and go to the potty.
So instead of asking, “Do you need to go to the potty,” or, “Do you want to go potty,” say this: “Honey, you haven’t gone to the potty in a while, so let’s go and give it a try real quick, and then you can come back and continue playing.” or, “Hey sweety, I can see that you are crossing your legs a lot. It looks like you need to go potty. So let’s try real quick.”
Another thing you want to avoid is…
#7 Putting pull-ups or diapers back on your child
Now, this no-no comes with an exception that if your child is having a hard time going number 2 in the toilet, you can allow them to go number 2 in a diaper or pull-up to avoid your child getting constipated.
You want to avoid putting your child back into diapers or pull-ups for a long time or because you are tired of cleaning up accidents. Understand that accidents will happen, and it can be frustrating when your child just keeps having accidents.
Children who have their diapers or pull-ups put back on can get comfortable and used to the easiness of going in their diapers or pull-ups. So when a parent tries to give potty training another try it is harder for parents to get their children to want to try the potty again.
If your child can’t make it through the night or their naps without having an accident, you may want to consider nighttime training underwear where your child can still feel the wetness while keeping the accident contained.
Being potty trained is a huge step and transition for children. It is also a big responsibility, and so it may take some time before your child can confidently take themselves to the bathroom without your help. During this time, encourage and praise your child for their hard work and know that it will just click one day, and you can say goodbye to diapers for good!