16 Potty Training Tips To Help You And Your Child Succeed

Is it time for your little person to ditch the diapers? Is it time to move to the next big step?

Because this is another big milestone for your little person, it’s best to not start the process during a stressful period. 

Times such as moving to a new house, moving from crib to toddler bed, traveling for vacation, when your little one is ill or around the birth of a sibling.

You and your toddler will have a more successful training period if you wait until their environment feels safe and secure to them.

Most children begin to show signs of readiness for potty training between 18-24 months old.  However, don’t let age be the determining factor. 

Here are some tips to assist you and your child to a successful potty training.

Tip #1- Wait for signs from your toddler. If you try to start training before he/she is ready, you'll only frustrate the both of you.

Just pay attention to their signs that they are interested. He/she will start talking about it more, start showing interest in the toilet and even let you know that they need a fresh diaper.


Tip #2 - Ignore all those timelines! You know the timelines that make you feel like the most incompetent potty trainer around. 

Prepare for the long haul with your toddler. That precocious little one will get there in their own time when they are truly ready. And you know what?  You'll be right there helping them along.


Tip #3 - Kids love to explore new things to the max. So take advantage of their curiosity to help them learn this new process.

Help them out by explaining the toilet. What is the handle for? Let them try it out. What is the roll of paper hanging there for?

Show them how things work. Answer their questions as they check out this new territory. Don't rush them, let them get comfortable and ask questions. The more comfortable the both of you are the smoother this training process will go.


Tip #4 – Let your child participate in selecting their potty.  Take them to the store with you to pick out the potty seat they want to use.  It could be the color or a favorite character on the potty training seat that makes it the one they want as their own.

Tip #5 – Incentives motivate little ones, even when the rewards are small.  Celebrate their successes right away. Don’t delay as it may become difficult for them to relate the good deed with the incentive.  

Positive reinforcement for their accomplishments helps to encourage them to repeat the behavior.  Be creative with the rewards with little trinkets, stickers, special mommy time or a new book.  Don’t encourage with sugary treats when there are so many other inexpensive things that will do the trick.

Tip #6 – Keep a potty training chart to track successes.  You can even let them draw a star or place a sticker on the chart as they meet a goal.  Once they have mastered the use of the potty, a great reward may be letting them pick out some new big boy or big girl underwear.

Tip #7 – Exaggerate praise for even the little victories.  Give extra hugs, kisses and words of congratulations for each accomplishment.  This helps them to understand that they have truly accomplished something.  When you are excited, they’ll be excited.

Tip #8 – Read some potty training books as part of your normal reading time together.  There are lots of good books that will help break the process down in terms they understand.  Story time reading on the subject will bring up questions that they or even you may not have thought to ask.

Tip #9 – Visit the bathroom frequently with your little one.  Keep checking and asking if they need to use the potty.  Give them plenty of opportunities to try and be successful. 

Tip #10 – Don’t force your little one to sit on the potty against their will.  This will only build resistance to the process.  Rather, let them see you sit on the toilet and explain what’s happening.  They learn my watching and mimicking your actions.

Tip #11 – Accidents will happen.  When this occurs, be sure to be positive and continue to show support and encouragement.  If you show disappointment, it could result in a step back in the process. 

Tip #12 – Dress your child in clothes that allows them to easily undress themselves.  Overalls or onesies should be avoided.  They need to be able to undress to use the potty on their own.

Tip #13 – Introduce disposable training pants, pull down diapers or potty training underwear as part of the process.  Kids don’t like the feel of a wet bottom.  Taking away the diaper will allow them to feel what it’s like to be wet and understand that it isn’t a comfortable feeling. 

It’s a good idea to use a barrier on their bottom during this time while they are learning to recognize when they are wet. 

 Tip #14 – Include all of your little one’s caregivers in the process as well.  This includes grandparents, baby sitters, day care workers and even older siblings.  Everyone should use the same language when talking about the process and body parts so they don’t confuse your child.

Tip #15 – If you have tried numerous times to potty train without success, there may be a fear at play.  Keep in mind that your child doesn’t fully understand, their fear needs to be identified and addressed. 

Some children fear falling in the toilet.  In this case, a low to the ground potty seat may be the answer. 

Some children fear they may get flushed down the toilet or they fear flushing a body part.  Many kids feel this way about poop.

Tip #16 – Once your commit to potty training don’t turn back.  It’s important to stay consistent during this process for the both of you.  This will be a 24/7 process until they truly get it.  The more consistent you are the quicker your little one will succeed.


Potty training is an opportunity for a fun bonding experience for you and your little one as he or she conquers an important milestone in their development.  Be patient and persistent, but most of all, be creative and have fun with your toddler.


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