Potty training is simultaneously one of the worst and best parts of parenting. On one hand, it’s really hard to figure out what works best for your kiddo and can be a real pain to get them to cooperate. Yet, when you finally succeed your life suddenly becomes a million times easier and poop will no longer be the focus of your days for the first time in literal years. We pulled together all our best potty training tips we could think of plus break down some more specialized tips for potty training boys and girls. So, let’s get this potty training party started (that’s not really a thing, and if it was, what a terrible party it would be).
25 Potty Training Tips to Help Rock Potty Training
Overall Potty Training Tips – Signs to Look for to see if they are ready
- Make sure they are ready by watching out for some of these signs. If your little one is not actually ready and you go ahead with potty training the whole process can end up much harder than necessary.
- Do they not like a Dirty Diaper? First and foremost, they no longer like wearing a dirty diaper for an extended period of time. This means they will like the idea of going on the toilet as much as you will like the idea of saying goodbye to diapers.
- Are they Interested in the Potty? Along with not liking the diaper, your child is probably ready to be potty trained if they start showing interest in all things bathroom. They will probably show this interest by starting to ask questions or wanting to accompany you.
- Are they communicating the need to go? -Kids are capable of communicating with you in some way that they need to go. They also need to use words like “pee” and “poop” to make it through this journey.
- Can they understand simple commands? You’ll want to make sure they are in a stage where they take simple commands, and let’s face it aren’t intentionally being defiant. Potty training is going to take a lot of cooperation.
- Pay attention to how long they are holding their bladder. For example, if they’re never wet after nap their bladder is probably becoming stronger.
And remember, your kid might not show every sign, but if they show a few, then they might be ready to be potty trained. Unfortunately, potty training is never an exact science. Of my kids, it has ranged between 1 and 3.5 years old before they were potty trained.
Books to get them ready for Potty Training
Prepare them properly. Before you start actually doing the potty training make it a topic of conversation every once in a while. Start reading books about potty training and talking to them about how awesome it will be to get out of diapers.
Potty Training Tips – Ideas to help you succeed
- It is all about positive attitude and encouragement. Do everything you can to make this a good experience for your child. Talk about it openly… all of it. Answer their questions and let them know mistakes happen to everyone.
- Make it easy. This means make sure a toilet is very easily accessible, have them wear bottoms they have easily get off, and set timers
- Be their timer in the beginning stages. A good way to potty train is to start by setting a timer and going every 10 minutes to the potty, then slowly increase the time in between. This is a good way to get them used to take breaks to go potty. Eventually, they will understand when their body needs to go on their own but baby steps are key. Even once they’re well trained, make sure to remind them to go potty when you’re on a day out or straying from your normal routine.
- Know the nearest restroom – When you are out, make sure they know there is still a restroom and that you will happily take them to it if necessary. This can be confusing at first and maybe even scary since they are so used to their home potty.
- Easy to take off clothes – Getting clothes on and off might not be something your child has really mastered when they begin potty training. Sweats, leggings, or soft shorts should be staple clothing items while potty training.
- Ain’t nothing wrong with a bribe. Rewards, even if small, give kiddos a nudge and some motivation. Rewards can come in many different forms from sticker charts to small candies to toys when different milestones are reached. You just pick whatever the best motivation for your child will be.
- Whatever method or routine you choose to use, follow it religiously. Whether you are timing them, going cold turkey, or anything in between consistency will get you to the finish line fastest.
- Get the right potty training gear. We even have a whole separate article about this, so make sure to check it out. The gear does really make a huge difference for many kids.
Potty Training tips for Boys
- Let him watch and learn. This is especially important for boys as they might be confused about sitting and standing, and just how it all works in general. This is where dad can be a big help and little the little guy tag along while he does his business.
- Sit first, stand later. Although it might be tempting to jump the gun, many boy moms stand by the method of sitting on the potty first and learning the stand-up method later. It just makes things more straight forward which young children respond best to. Plus, teaching them to aim is just a whole other monster to tackle.
- Let him run around nude. He (probably) won’t join a nudist colony later in life just because of this freedom. This will allow him to understand how his body works and takes away the safety guard of clothing or a diaper.
- Get some new “cool” undies – Cool big boy underwear is, in fact, a necessity.
- Don’t compare him to your daughter. Boys learn and mature differently than girls, and girls are often potty trained sooner or quicker. He will get there, just give him some time!
Potty Training tips for Girls
- It is all about how to wipe. Bladder infections in little girls are pretty common but teaching proper wiping techniques can help in keeping them away. Teach her to wipe front to back especially when going number two, or to just pat dry.
- Take her for a shopping day and have her pick out some panties. Hopefully, if she likes her panties enough she won’t want to ruin them.
- Let her have some nakey time. Just as with boys, setting aside some time for her to be nude will allow her to understand her body better.
Best Time of year to do Potty Training
Moms always ask me what is the best time of year to do potty training. To be perfectly honest, it is when both mom and kiddo are ready to tackle the adventure together. We used to do potty training in the summer when they could just ran around our backyard naked, but then we started traveling and it was much easier to train the little ones while the big kids were in school. So, really it just depends on what is good for your families situation.
The last of our potty training tips is the true key is consistency and patience. Once you are in the potty training stage you need to be fully committed to helping your kid out with potty training. There will be times of potty training regression and that is perfectly normal. Just keep a positive attitude and never let your kid feel like they are failing. Good luck Mamas, you can do this!
Have any other potty training tips? Let us know in the comments and we will add them to the list
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