Inside: Thinking of potty training? Learn the best toddler potty training tips to help you make this pivotal transition an easy one!
I plopped down at my kitchen table, completely exhausted from throwing my daughter’s 2nd birthday party. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my daughter skipping around her new toys and it hit me– oh my gosh, I have a toddler!
Immediately the thought of potty training flooded my mind.
How am I going to potty train her?
Will it be hard?
At that moment, potty training seemed like a huge mountain I could never climb. I dreaded even starting because of all the horror stories I’ve heard.
But I couldn’t let my fear and anxiety keep me from teaching my daughter this essential life skill.
So I buckled down and began potty training my toddler. And to my amazement—it wasn’t that hard!
On my potty training journey, I learned some amazing tips and tricks that made toddler potty training an absolute breeze.
Within 10 days, my daughter was completely out of diapers, using the potty, and accident-free!
I don’t necessarily believe in those “potty train your baby in 3 days” articles, mainly because like with any other milestone, potty training is a process.
But with these tips and tricks, I’m hoping to make your toddler potty training process as simple and stress-free as possible 🙂
So let’s get down to it!
Best Toddler Potty Training Tips
Remember to be patient with your toddler and yourself. Trust your instincts and take it one day at a time!
1. Stock up on Potty training essentials
The last thing you want to do is start the potty training process without your major essentials. That’s like baking cookies without any ingredients—it’s impossible!
Make sure to have all of the essentials before you start potty training. That way, nothing will disrupt your process once you’ve begun.
Or you can download my free Potty Training Essentials Checklist below!
2. Involve your child in buying underwear
The first potty training tip is to involve your little one in as much as possible in this transition. Starting with buying their first training underwear. If you read my potty training essentials article, then you know how amazing these training undies can be!
They come in different characters and colors so your toddler can get excited about wearing their favorite underwear.
When you involve your toddler in the buying process and let them choose their own underwear, it sets them up for success because they feel empowered that they are making their own choice. And ultimately, entering into their “big kid” phase!
3. Make your bathroom as comfortable as possible
The next toddler potty training tip is to make your bathroom a toddler sanctuary. You want your child to know the difference between playroom and bathroom, but also not be intimidated by the bathroom.
Many toddlers are afraid of bathrooms because it is a foreign concept to them. They know diapers and wipes but the porcelain chair and flushing are completely foreign to them!
That’s why you want to get your child accustomed to the bathroom by making it comfortable for them. When you remove their reservations, they are way more likely to actually *want* to use the bathroom.
That way, you aren’t forcing your child to sit on the potty. They are asking to go.
I made some minor changes to our bathroom during potty training season. I purchased a fun Finding Nemo shower curtain, a fun toddler toilet seat, added some fun color towels, and made a “potty basket” filled with potty books and potty training dolls.
As soon as Baby L saw the bathroom with Nemo, she immediately wanted to go in!
4. Create a reward system
I am a strong believer in reward systems because not only do they work but then can be completely customized to fit ay family!
My favorite potty training tip is to use a Potty Chart. (You can get my FREE potty training chart here!)
This helps get your toddler involved with their potty training! For every time they sit on the potty, use the potty, flush the potty, and wash their hands, they get a different reward. This encourages then to learn each step of the potty training process as easy as possible!
Step by Step Reward System
Because every part of the potty training process is important, I like to reward Baby L for every time that she does anything potty related.
- If she sits on the potty and tries to go, she gets to play with her fish toy in the bathroom sink.
- If she actually goes, she gets a chocolate chip (I buy sugar-free chocolate chips that are healthy so no worries about overloading your child with sugar!)
- If she does the whole process, flushes the toilet and washes her hands, she gets a sticker on her potty chart that she completed the steps.
- If she gets 4 stickers that day, she gets a surprise.
I went to the dollar store and bought $10 worth of toys, coloring books, and little surprises to give her over the course of her potty training days. (You can find all of these on my potty training essentials checklist here!)
It’s worked like a charm!
And if she initiates to go on the potty without me asking, she gets an extra surprise. This could be her playing with a certain toy that she’s not allowed to play with all the time or something else that is meaningful to her.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel!
Use rewards that make sense to your child
It doesn’t have to be big or elaborate. Just something that is special to them.
To help you perfectly track your toddlers potty training progress, I created a customizable Potty Training Chart & Tracker for you!
The potty chart includes a chart for you to check off each time your toddler does one of the potty training steps. You can print the chart so they can see their progress and they can even use a marker to check off each star once they are done!
Then you can let them put a sticker on the chart so they can feel accomplished 🙂
It also includes a tracker to help you keep track of what is working and what isn’t. Plus it has a place for you to write notes about each potty trip as well.
This is the exact chart and tracker I used and it was perfect!
You can download the FREE Potty Training Chart & Tracker by clicking below!
5. Set some time to be home
My next potty training tip is to set a couple of days aside to just be home. You don’t want to start potty training your little one only to find that you need to run a bunch of errands. This can disrupt the training process and cause a delay.
I made the mistake of starting to potty training during a week where we had a lot to do. This confused my daughter because she didn’t know when it was okay to go in her diaper and when it wasn’t.
If you truly want potty training to stick the first time, you’ll have to teach your child that going to the bathroom in a diaper isn’t an option anymore. Of course, there will be accidents and special cases! But as a whole, the goal is to teach them the new place to do their business is on the potty, and nowhere else.
This will help them understand what it means to “hold it” and go pee-pee on the potty.
If they are confused about when they can go on themselves and when they can go on the potty, it will be hard for them to understand what going on the potty actually means.
To eliminate all confusion, being in the comfort of their own home where they can go potty as they please will really help solidify potty training!
6. It’s okay to have accidents
This potty training tip will cause some controversy but that’s okay!
I truly believe that it is okay for your child to have accidents during the potty training process. This is completely normal. After years of going to the bathroom in their diaper, they are now learning that it’s something they cannot do. And with that, comes a huge learning curve.
My daughter would have an accident at least twice a day. She either wouldn’t make it to the bathroom or she would just be playing and would pee—because she forgot she wasn’t wearing a diaper.
Don’t worry, this is normal!
Having accidents will actually help teach your toddler that they need to go on the potty. When they feel wet, they will know something isn’t right and then you can use that situation as an opportunity to take them to the potty.
Also, because they have on their training underwear, the mess isn’t as bad too!
Don’t forget to have some disinfectant on hand for those accidents too 😉
7. Set a reminder for every hour
To prevent a million accidents taking place in one day, my final potty training tip is to set a reminder for your little one to go potty.
Every time your little one has some water or juice, make a note of the time and set a reminder. At first, they won’t understand that they need to hold it until they get to the potty. So to help them, you sit them on the potty even if they aren’t telling you they have to go. Because odds are, they do!
8. Celebrate it up!
Don’t forget to celebrate every time your toddler uses the potty! Jump up and down, sing a song, clap your hands—use positive reinforcement to give them as much praise as possible.
And don’t forget to give yourself some praise too. After your baby foes to sleep, have a cup of coffee, treat yourself to your favorite snack, watch a guilty-pleasure show and take a breather. You deserve it! Potty training is not easy. Teaching your child something new is always a difficult task so don’t forget to take some time out for yourself too J
Download the Free Potty Training Chart & Tracker!
Don’t struggle through potty training! Download the free potty training chart and tracker to help you easily keep track of your child’s progress. Plus use the potty chart as a reward system to keep encouraging your toddler!
Keep track of any notes and your toddler’s potty progress during this pivotal step in their development!
Take the stress out of potty training!
Download the free chart now!
And there you have it!
I hope these potty training tips were able to bring you some relief about starting to train your toddler to use the toilet.
Now potty training doesn’t have to be a daunting mountain that feels like you can never climb. With these easy tips and resources, make potty training a celebratory step into toddlerhood!
Have any questions or other potty training tips you’d like to share? Drop it in the comments below!
You got this, mama!
Check out these other toddler hacks!
- Potty Training Must-Have Essentials to Make it Easy
- How to Handle the Terrible Twos with ONE Easy Thing
- 3 Routines Your Toddler Needs for a Tantrum-Free Day
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