Thursday, June 4, 2009

Potty Training Tips

So I'm not the expert on potty training but I thought I would give a few tips that I have learned after training two boys and one girl.  (which by the way can be very different)
-Don't force your child to be potty trained before they are really ready.  I have a friend who touts that her kids are potty trained before age two.  When I really got the whole story, she scares them half to death so they do it out of fear.  I really don't think this is a good way to do it.  But it works for her and they are out of diapers by two.
-To start the whole potty training experience, I start by renting videos from the library and checking books about going to the potty.  I also get a little potty out and talk a whole lot about going potty.  
-I like to keep them in diapers until my child is asking me to take them to the bathroom maybe a couple times a day.  This helps them see that they can do it but also gives them a back up if they don't make it.  
-When I think they are getting better and excited about going to the bathroom in the potty then we do the whole underwear thing.  I let them choose some cool (for boys) or pretty (for girls) underwear.  
-I like to make at first potty time part of the daily routine.  We go to the bathroom when we get up, we go before or after meals, before naps, etc. 
-At first I think it's really important to give them a reward.  This doesn't have to be a physical award it can be just a cool cheer, hug, or whatever they think would be exciting.  I slowly wean them away from this but then occasionally I still will give them a reward just to be sure they know how proud I am.  One of the things my daughter really liked was to watch her potty movie that we got from the library.  So after she would go to the bathroom she could watch her video. Candy and stickers are fun too. Whatever works go for it!
-When you first go into public, you may want to put on a diaper on for your sanity sake.  I would even put underwear and then the diaper so you can still reward them for staying dry.
-Lastly and most important is to have patience.  It seems like they have accidents at the very worse times or in the worse places.  Do you best to hold your tongue and not make them feel awful about it.  When they cooperate I think it can be appropriate for them to help you clean up. 
Any other thoughts or tips that has helped you with potty training.  Anyone found a great book about potty training?  And be sure to vote on the new potty training poll.  
Results from last poll showed that most people get the most upset with constant whining from children. (I forgot to write all the numbers down before I deleted the poll, next time I will write the results before I delete.) 


  1. I have my kids "earn" their undies by proving to me they are ready. After so many days keeping their diaper dry, they get pull ups. After so many days of dry pull ups, they get thick underwear with plastic pants on top, then they move up to their SUPER cool undies they pick out. No messy clean up, and they are so excited to work their way to the cool big kid undies.
    My oldest was STUBBORN. When I stopped giving treats, she stopped using the potty. What was in it for her? She didn't want to stop playing to go, if there was no compensation for it. She was 3 1/2...and she KNEW better. At that point, I told her I would have to clean the mess by putting her in a cold shower if she did it again. It took one shower from me, and one from dad (she had to see if he was on board with this too) and she never had an accident again.

  2. Thats exactly how I do it. I use stickers as a reward. My kids love the library's potty videos. The songs get stuck in your head though and can be very disturbing ha ha.

  3. I love Kim's idea to earn their underwear. Great idea!
    We did the cold shower thing with our oldest as well. We didn't do this until he was older and knew better. I didn't have to use it with the other two, just different personalities.

  4. I read in another section that your goal was to have your kids potty trained by three. That was my goal as well and my 3 and a half year old still has accidents and has only stayed dry all night once. I feel like potty training is a never ending process and I know I made many mistakes that probably contributed to this, but do you have any suggestions? We did give her a big surprize for staying dry all day for a week. A great book I read was "The Everything Potty Training Book." It had several differnt methods and many great statisics and information. I also like "My Big Girl Potty" for my daughter, there's "My Big Boy Potty" for boys.


I appreciate your comments!