Potty training a toddler can be a frustrating experience. I remember starting with Dexter when he was around a year old just to get him used to it. It didn’t take at that age, and we tried again at 18 months. He was really starting to get the hang of it, but then Dan came along, and it was like he just regressed. We tried again a little past two years, and once again he was doing well, but we took a family vacation and disrupted his schedule, and he just would not work with us. He was a few months shy of three years old when we finally got him potty trained, and – I kid you not – he did it all by himself. He just decided he wanted to use the potty and from then on he did!
Of course, he’s still in a Pull Up at night time, but we’re hoping to wean him off that soon. In the meantime, we’ve got Dan. He turned two in February, and he shows absolutely ZERO interest in the potty. We ask him pretty much every day if he wants to try peeing like a big boy, but he is adamantly against it. It’s so different from how Dex was, but I try to remember that each kid has to go through it in their own way and in their own time.
If you’ve got a toddler that’s around the potty training age, you might start to feel overwhelmed at all the different tips and tricks you’ll read and hear from your friends. There are a ton of different approaches to take and it can seem stressful at first. The end result is ultimately worth it, and you’ve got to pick the best approach for you, but these 7 tips are sure to help ease the process of potty training!
1. Take your time
Potty training isn’t something that can be rushed, so it’s best to set a few days aside where you will have a lot of free time and patience. If you have the opportunity to set aside 3-5 days and just stay at home the entire time to work on it, go for it! It can help to get in a good routine of using the “big potty” before you go anywhere public where your toddler might have to use the potty.
2. Communicate effectively
It’s important to read your toddler’s cues as you journey through potty training to make the process easier on everyone. If they aren’t quite ready, or they’re struggling to do something, talk it out. Let your toddler know that you understand, help them to understand, and make sure nobody is miscommunicating. Potty training can be just as overwhelming for the toddler and it’s important to make sure their voice is heard and understood, even if they can’t express exactly what they need.
3. Provide a positive reward system
Whether it’s a high five, a song, a sticker, or even just a “good job!”, it’s important to use positive reinforcement to encourage potty training. You may consider purchasing some “potty training supplies” to make sure you’re both ready! You can even make a potty chart the week beforehand to help out with the encouragement. There are tons of variations on Pinterest for great ideas!
4. Don’t give up!
Although it might be frustrating and tiring, it’s important to keep potty training going once you start. Start with the intention to finish and you’ll get a lot further! If it’s time, it’s time so hop on that task and get it done! You’ll be glad you did at the end of it all.
5. Get them excited!
Even with a positive reward system, they’ll need the initial burst of excitement. Whether you read a potty book, watch a potty movie, or just generally make it an exciting task, it’s important to keep the excitement there!
6. Be careful what foods you’re offering!
You don’t want to give too much of any certain food that could possibly back up your toddler or cause diarrhea. Make sure you’re feeding them a balanced diet especially for this time period. It’ll make things a lot easier on both of you!
Once you start leaving the house and putting the new potty training to use – remember to remind your toddler. They’ll often be so distracted they won’t even remember and a gentle reminder can be very helpful!
Ultimately, potty training is led by the toddler and encouraged by the adult. Keep a routine and you’ll be so glad you did! What do you think is the hardest part about potty training?
Katie Reed is a passionate writer and mother of four vivacious boys from Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawing from her own journey through TTC, pregnancy, and the joys of raising children, she offers a wealth of insight into the world of motherhood. Beyond her heartfelt tales, Katie delights her readers with family-friendly recipes, engaging crafts, and a curated library of printables for both kids and adults. When she’s not penning her experiences, you’ll find her crafting memories with her husband and sons—Dexter, Daniel, Chester, and Wilder.