Potty Training Tips from a Parent Who Has Been There

potty training tips

I’ve always maintained that potty training is not for the weak.

It’s more often than not a tough task, you can make yourself crazy if it doesn’t go smoothly and it seems to last forever. Or, that’s been my experience, at least. I’ve gone through the process three times – and I’m actually still working with my third kid on it.

My first child was ridiculously difficult to potty train, likely because I had no clue what I was doing and I’m pretty sure I did everything wrong. My second was one of those magical unicorn toddlers who potty-trained herself in a couple of days. My third is proving to be a tough nugget to crack. I guess you only get one unicorn child per family.

Which is why I’m all about anything and everything that can make life – and the process of potty training – just a teensy bit easier. So here are just a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way that might help you, too.

Try to Start in the Summer
Whenever possible, aim to start the whole process in the summer when your kid can roam around without any pants (and not be too chilly). Being commando and feeling the breeze on their bums somehow helps them to realize they have to go to the bathroom before they start going. Who knew? Also – there’s less laundry for you to do when there are accidents.

Make it a Big Deal
Getting all excited about their new undies, their new potty, the fact that they’re big kids – all of this can help kids get pumped for the process. I recruited my two oldest daughters to help with making a huge deal out of my youngest when it was her time to start. She loved it!

Regressions Happen
Even with my unicorn baby, there were accidents and a few regressions here and there. It can be hard to think you’re almost at the finish line only to be faced with a regression. But my experience has been that they pass with time and there’s not much that you can do but stay the course and wait them out.

You’ll Have to Help Them Wipe
This was an interesting one for me to discover. I figured “My kids are going to be potty trained, which means they’ll wipe their own bums”. Oh, how misinformed I was. Uh… no. Not only do they not always remember to wipe after peeing, they really suck at doing a good job after pooping. (Gross, I know. But I figured you would want to know!) Keep wiping those bums for a while, guys. They’ll eventually grow out of it, so right now they could use your help.

Try Bringing the Potty Everywhere You Go
Like – into every room of your house, when you go outside, if you go in the car. Everywhere. I brought it with me anywhere I was going so my toddler wouldn’t have far to run when she realized she had to pee.

Liquids, Books & Few Distractions
My strategy when I was just getting started was to give my kids lots of water, sit them on the potty regularly and to read to them while they’re on it (to keep them on a little longer and give them a chance to pee). We’ve also tried to limit the distractions as much as possible. Kids will turn into zombies and have very little focus when screens are around.

Be Patient & Give Yourself a Break
This is the best tip I could give any parent starting out on the potty training journey. There are strategies that help, but for the most part, you have to work with your child’s personality. It will likely take longer than you want – but why make it more difficult than it needs to be? Just give yourself time, go easy on yourself and remember that you will both get there!




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