Six potty training tips for toddlers

Six potty training tips for toddlers


Its potty time!

Your baby is growing up and has arrived at the stage whereas a toddler he will learn to use the potty. Needless to say, this is a very exciting time in both your lives. For your toddler she will feel confident once she learns to master the toilet. For your part, you will fill a sense of relief that diaper days are behind you. Every child arrives at this stage differently, some begin very young such as one year others as old as four years. It is not a race and your child needs to know this. Do not make your child feel a lot of pressure to learn this new skill quickly.

Toddlers go into learning to use the potty with a variety of emotions. Some as the approach it engage it with much eagerness and excitement. They take right to it without much prompting. Others may be uncomfortable going potty as they have only used their diapers since birth. Some still maybe indifferent and not care if they go in their diaper or in the potty. Finally, some may even be mad about learning to use the potty.

However your toddler reacts know that their emotions are natural. If they reject using the potty do not worry. If they cry and want to run away do not get pushy or frustrated.

Ask, Ask, Ask and keep cool

When your toddler is learning to use the potty above all else please remember to keep asking her if she wants to try. Explain its nothing to be worried about, by going potty you will not have boo boo on your bottom and that it’s fun to go because when you finish you get to flush the toilet. You know your child better than anyone, what are things that motivate him? How can you use those to encourage your child to use the toilet.

If your toddler does not want to use the toilet do not force her to do so. This will only scare your child more. Do you want him to want to go or make the fear worse? Keep your cool as well if you are prone to having little patience. By getting angry, forcing her on the toilet when she tries to get off of it or crying from frustration you will only be making it harder and more unpleasant for both of you.

When the time is right your child will natural want to go use potty. It makes toddlers feel good about themselves. Just keep asking and eventually it will happen.

Break up using the potty into parts

To make it easier for your toddler to learn to use potty and want to do it start by helping them take off and then put back on their pants by the potty. By breaking the stages up into parts it makes it less stressful for them.

Second thing you can show them is how to unroll toilet paper, how to take enough off to use to wipe and how to dispose of it once finished. This though can be omitted depending on whether you feel your child would need more time to learn to wipe. You will be the judge.

Third thing you can show your toddler is how to flush the toilet. Explain in terms your child will understand how big kids get to do this after going potty. Try to encourage your toddler to want to use potty for this reason, to be like his older brother for example. Even if you have a standalone potty as a reward you could allow your daughter to flush the big toilet as a reward.

Purchase books about using potty

In addition to teaching how to use the actually potty with your toddler you can purchase and use books about kids using the potty. You can do this even before your child begins to show interest in using it to help them become familiar with the concept. Your toddler learning about using the potty will expose him in a safe environment that can be made fun and enjoyable with a good book. This can serve to siblings your toddler learning more quickly to use the potty.

Support from siblings, cousins and friends

If your toddler is unsure about using the potty you can ask one of her siblings, cousins or friends to go potty in front of your child. When your child sees how easy it is, how fun it is and enjoyable to not have a mess in their diaper afterwards this can help encourage your child to try the potty out.

Most toddlers do not have many peers putting pressure on them to go potty like older children do when learning new skills. So this may be a method that can help encourage your toddler to try it.

Again if after all your efforts your toddler still refuses to go do not lose it. Keep cool and come back again later that day and the next day. Keep providing the opportunities for your toddler to go potty. You will get through this.

Frequency of potty times

Some parents find it helps their toddler to go potty when they plan ahead times to go potty each day. If your toddler is already in daycare check with them to know the times they take the kids to use potty and use those times at home as well.

Other parents find it best to wait for signs from your child that its times to go potty like not having bowel movements for longer periods of time during the day.

Before potty time let your toddler know that it is coming up and that their favorite toys will be there when they finish using the potty. Help alleviate your toddlers concerns before taking them to use potty.


When potty training it is important that your toddler use underwear. If she uses a diaper she may be tempted to go in the diaper instead of using the potty.

You can purchase superhero underwear for boys and princess ones for girls.

Toddlers will be able to learn to use potty and hold going potty during the day much easier than at night. For this reason it is advisable to allow your toddler the use of diapers at night when they are learning. Some children have trouble controlling at night and the age that this passes is different for each child. Work with your child on this until you feel he no longer requires a diaper.


Feel free to leave comments below about your own experiences that you believe are helpful in toddlers learning to use the potty.


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10 thoughts on “Six potty training tips for toddlers”

  • I found this article really good, I am currently trying to potty train my son so it really caught my attention. We have been training for about two weeks now and it is very hit and miss. Some days he gets it and other days he just doesn’t care.

    The content is really good, very imformative!

    • Hi Hannah,

      Thanks for commenting and I am glad you found this post helpful.

      How is the potty training coming along? Making any headway?.

      If you are still waiting remember to be patient, encouraging and gently persistent with him learning to use the potty.


  • Hi, I wondering if you could help me with a problem I have involving potty training and my toddler son at the moment. 

    We’ve only recently started the potty training routine but my son is not at all happy about having his nappy off – it’s got to the point where he’s scared to do a ‘Number Two’ and he holds it in for a few days. 

    We have been told that we’re not to put the nappy back on when it’s off – but the distress it’s causing him is quite terrible to watch at the moment. 

    What would you suggest?


    • Hello Chris,

      Thanks for your comment and question.

      I am sorry to hear your son is having a difficult time with having his diaper off. You just never know how they will react. My son is not ready yet to go potty but plays with the toilet, even sits on it and loves taking off his diaper. It is a fight to put on his diapers. I have read on this topic and learned that some children learn to use the potty very young like 18 months for example while others around 4 years. 

      Where did you get the message that once his diapers come off they can not go back on? Friends, family, doctor or the media? I understand why because some children need to know that to go number one or two they now can only use the potty. I would examine where that came from because you and the mother of your son are the only ones who have the right to make that call. Under no circumstances does anyone outside of the two of you have that right. Please hear me when I say this because I believe it will bring you both much closer together. 

      If he does not have the skills required and is not ready he could be scared to death that he will make a mess of himself which might be horrifying for him. I only say might be because unless he can tell you we can only assume how he must be feeling.

      Put yourself in his shoes, if you were told you had to fly a plane for example without any instructions and knowledge of how to do so you would be stressed out. You would not be ready and should not be asked to do so until you developed the skills required.


      To know if your son might be ready to learn to use the potty you may want to ask yourselves the following questions,

      1. Is your son aware when he is going and/or needing to go potty (in his diaper)?

      2. Is the time between changing his wet diapers increasing? 

       If it is then this indicates that his spinal-cord reflex to automatically empty his bladder is now being stopped by his own brain signals. In other words he is learning to control his bladder and ability to go when he wants to. Until this happens he will unconsciously do his business.

      3. Is your son capable of now carrying out two to three commands in order?  If so then he may be ready to learn to go to the potty. He will need this skill and the confidence that comes with it in order to pull down his pants and underwear, sit down on the potty, do his business etc. 

      4. Are your son’s bowel movements at predictable times throughout the day? If this is the case you may be more likely to find success with coordinated potty training attempts.

      5. Does your son imitate actions you do every day? If so it may be easier for him to follow your demonstrations of how to use the potty.

      6. Does your son wear big boy underwear? It can be a great motivator when he is ready to learn to use the potty. You can reward him by wanting to use the potty by allowing him to wear underwear. If he wants the diaper no underwear.

      7.Some children say no to everything so if that is the case with your son you may want to wait a little longer.

       You may want to buy story books of children learning to use the potty. You son may benefit from having exposure to using the potty in a safe environment away from the actually potty.

      If he has family members and friends of the same age more or less that already are using the potty maybe they could be asked to go potty in front of him. Could raise his curiosity and interest.

      I hope you find some information here that is helpful. Please follow up with me I really would like to know how it turns out for your son.

      Proud papa of two,


  • Hi Jody!

    Interesting post!

    I remember out kids when they were small, they needed to learn many things to do, doing “potty” to standing on both feet. The time was sometimes very fun but sometimes also a bit exhausting.Fortunately, we did not have any problems with such thing as potty learning and other things.One thing I remember with my youngest son when he was at that age of learning potty (he is 19 now) that for the pretty long time he didn’t like to much to swim in a see. He was running away when approaching close to see (we live in the coast).But, suddenly, at age of 5-6 years of age, he was running into sea.So, kids grow differently and any of advice for new parents is welcome!Best regards!

  • Hello Igor,

    Thanks for leaving a comment. Yes I have heard of children not liking water and swimming. Every child is different as you said. Important message for all parents so they relax in their expectations and block out other peoples opinions. Our children will be fine. They will learn at their own rate.

    Have a great day!

    Proud papa of two,


  • We found that potty training books for little kids were the best way to get them thinking about it. One we really loved, that was gifted to us, was called The Potty Train. It’s awesome and we’d read it while my children were on the potty. The most important part of advice though is to make sure your child is ready or you’re in for a looooong, difficult journey.

    • Hello Genesis,

      Thanks for your comment! I am happy to know potty training books were of great benefit to your children. For some children they need to warm up to the idea, like when one goes swimming in cold water. One toe, one hand and keep going until you are completely submerged in the water. 

      Have a great day!

      Proud papa of two,


  • Great post, Jody.  Unfortunately for me, it came too late.  My five kids are all adults now so the potty training is long past.  I do have grandkids who are learning though so maybe I should forward your post to their parents.  The all live away from us so I’m not involved in my grandkid’s potty training.  I’m glad for that, by the way.

    Even though I don’t have a use for the information you present, I do agree with what you wrote.  I can’t remember seeing those steps back when.  If I had, maybe the experience would have been easier for our kid and for us as parents.


    • Hello Grant,

      Thanks for the comment! 

      Sorry you will not be able to use this information. I am glad you see potential in these tips.

      In your experience can you offer any additional advice for current parents that may be going through this now with their toddlers that worked for you and your children?

      Have a great day!

      Proud papa of two,


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