Potty training is hard.
It’s a struggle to get your toddler to go on the toilet and not in their pants.
Your child may not want to go because they are enjoying themselves with toys or watching TV… how do you get through it?
Never fear, we’ve collected 11 tips that will help you get your kid on the right track even if they are resisting the idea of using the toilet.
Here are our best tips to get your toddler through potty training!
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Make Sure Your Toddler Is Ready
The most important thing you can do before diving into potty training your toddler is to make double sure that he is ready.
I know as a first time mom, I was SO READY to reach every milestone as soon as possible… but potty training will really happen a lot faster and easier if you wait for clear signs of readiness:
- being interested in toileting (for example, they may want to climb up on the toilet or try to flush it)
- waking up from naps dry
- hiding pee or poo
- telling you they are about to go in their diaper (or just went)
- pulling at their wet or dirty diaper
- is physically coordinated enough to use a potty or child toilet seat
If you’re seeing signs of readiness, then get ready to start toilet training!
It takes time to potty train a toddler, so don’t be upset if they have accidents. Continue working and eventually everything will fall into place!
If you find yourself becoming impatient or frustrated, take a step back and do what you can to regain your composure. Your toddler may sense you’re upset with them and react.
Potty training your toddler may be a wonderful opportunity to bond with them. Sit down and talk with your child about how they’re going through it, or simply spend some quality time together to help potty train your kid faster!
Being present will also help you avoid accidents… you’ve got to stay on your toes when toilet training a toddler.
Be aware of their cues and remind them to use the potty if they need to go frequently.
For example, your child may look around for the potty or hold themselves when they need to go.
Or they might seek privacy behind a curtain or under furniture and need redirection to the potty.
Reward Good Behavior.
Toddlers love hearing words of praise or being rewarded for doing something good, so utilize this to teach them that going toilet is a wonderful thing!
(It really is – no more diapers!! Hooray!)
Some ideas you could offer as a reward:
- praise them
- give a high five
- use a sticker chart
- a small piece of chocolate or candy
- a little toy
You don’t need to reward your toddler for every successful potty trip… but you may find the more enticing rewards helpful especially if your toddler is resisting pooping on the potty
Praise Good Behavior.
When your toddler has successfully used the toilet, offer them positive reinforcement. A high-five and words of encouragement or a sticker on the chart that records how frequently they use the potty, whichever way works best for you and your child!
Start a potty sticker chart and give your toddler a sticker each time they successfully use the potty.
This visual record will help both you and your toddler see their successes and learn from them.
This way, they are more likely to be successful in gaining independence when it comes to being able to use their own potty!
Don’t Punish Your Toddler When They Have Accidents.
You will have accidents when potty training your toddler.
Be kind and calm with your toddler – they didn’t do it intentionally. It takes them time to work out that they need to go.
Learn from potty training accidents and see what you can do better next time.
I remember one incident where my mostly toilet trained little boy and I were in a department store to buy a hat… I probably should’ve been more aware of the fact that he was almost certainly due for the potty.
One huge wet patch later and I learned a hard lesson.
Also, always, always, always, carry spare clothes for your toddler when toilet training.
Take Your Time.
Potty training is never an overnight thing.
You’ll take two steps forward then one back. Over and over.
There’s so many parts to get down pat with toilet training:
- training with a potty, then a toilet
- training with no pants, then pants, then underpants
- training at night
- training for wees, and poos
- training at home, while travelling, at the shops
It’s all part of a journey of learning you’re on with your toddler.
Give Them Help If They Need It.
When your toddler is little, they’ll probably need some help managing their clothes or getting situated on a potty or toilet.
Give them a hand if they need it. They’ll develop independence later as they get more confident and physically capable.
Don’t Give Up.
It’s vital to keep at it when potty training your toddler, so don’t give up if you’re having trouble in certain parts of the process!
If you think you’ve started too early, there’s no shame in trying again a month or two later.
You also don’t have to go from diapers to fully toilet trained immediately.
It can be a slow and gradual process.
You might use pull ups for a while when travelling for added security.
Or you might use night diapers for months after you’ve potty trained during the day.
It’s ok. Just keep going!
Keep Your Cool.
Potty training a toddler may be challenging and unpleasant, but it’s critical to remain cool so that they can learn how to react when things get tough.
It’s also important that they don’t feel like potty training is too hard or unpleasant and makes people angry with them.
The Final Word on Potty Training Your Toddler
It can be hard and frustrating, but it’s important to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Be patient with yourself and your toddler as you work through these tough times together. You’ll both appreciate all of the time spent when they’re potty trained!
The most important thing is to not give up on them or yourself. There will be setbacks along the way, but keep going for those big milestones like being able to poop in the potty or staying dry during an entire night without accidents! You’ll get there!