Potty Training Toddlers: When To Start and Best Tips on Doing it Right

Published Mon, May 31 2021 10:42 AM Updated Mon, May 31 2021 2:55 PM
Potty Training Toddlers: When To Start and Best Tips on Doing it Right
diaper changing

What is Toilet or Potty Training?

Potty training is a process where a toddler is taught how to use the bathroom for emptying their bladder and bowels. 

It is a major milestone in the life of a toddler because it also means that they no longer have to wear diapers. 

Toddlers learn to listen to their body for cues, and then go to the bathroom for their potty needs.

When Should Toilet Training Begin?

The recommended age for potty training a toddler is between the ages of 18 and 24 months

However, this will differ from child to child and some children are not ready to be potty trained until they’re older. 

There are some parents who have also begun to train their children at the age of 9-10 months.

The process of potty training ultimately depends on your child and how ready you think they are.

What is a Good Age to Start Toilet Training?

When it comes to toilet training, a good age to start is when your child is 2.5 years old. It is important to know that your toddler has to be ready. 

You can put out a potty chair and see how they feel about it. Depending on your child it may or may not work.

If it doesn’t, you can always try again after a couple of months.

When Does Toilet Training Start in Infants?

Infant potty training, also known as “elimination communication” can start at a very young age, as young as when they are born to when they are 4 months old.

It may come as a surprise to you, but infant toilet training is very popular in some parts of the world, and it results in baby being fully potty trained by the time they are 1.5 to 2 years old.

Infant toilet training is more of a norm in other cultures, like African and Asian cultures, than it is in America. 

Is it Bad to Potty Train too Early?

In many countries around the world, such as in Africa, Asia, and even in some European countries, potty training happens at an earlier age. 

In these cultures, potty training before the age of two is the norm and it usually starts when the child is able to sit up on their own. 

However, there are some pediatric urologists who believe that toilet training before the age of 2 can result in bladder control problems and even constipation. 

With that being said, there is very limited research done on this subject so it cannot be said that it is bad to potty train too early.

It ultimately comes down to how ready your child is.

Will a Child Eventually Potty Train Themselves?

Child-led potty training, just like baby-led weaning, is a common approach that parents use to potty train their children. It is a laid-back process where the child is not pushed to potty train but instead gently encouraged till they are ready on their own.

With child-led potty training, parents do have to do a number of things that subconsciously help a child potty train themselves. This includes things like talking about going potty, letting them see how you use the potty as part of your daily life, and gently encourage them.

While this process will take some time, but with some patience, it can potentially result in the child eventually potty training themselves.

How Do I Know My Child is Ready for Toilet/Potty Training?

Potty training is a huge event for the child and for the parents as well. But it can also be a very trying (and messy) process.

The best thing you can do to ensure that everything goes smoothly as possible is to make sure that your child is ready for being potty trained. 

Here are some signs that will let you know your child is ready for potty training:

  1. Your child understands potty lingo. They tell you when they have pooped or peed in their diapers. This is a good sign because it tells you they understand the concept of urination and defecation. 
  1. They are having fewer dirty and wet diapers. This shows that the child is learning bladder and bowel control, which typically happens when they are around 18 months old. Their bowel movements will also be more predictable in this stage.
  2. They are interested in your bathroom habits. You will notice that your child is showing interest in knowing what you do in the bathroom. This is the perfect time to potty train them as you show them by example and make it into a fun activity.
  3. They can undress themselves. This is important because they will need to know how to pull down their pants for going to the potty.
  4. They want to be more independent. A toddler will start expressing their desire to be more independent at a certain stage in their life, such as wanting to make decisions on what to wear, what to eat, etc.
  5. They are able to follow instructions. Once you notice that your child is able to follow simple instructions, they are ready for being potty trained.
  6. They don’t like being in a dirty diaper for too long. If your child is aware of the discomfort they feel from being in a wet or dirty diaper, it may be a good time to teach them to ditch the diapers altogether.

How Do I Prepare My Baby for Potty Training?

Once you feel like your toddler is ready to be potty trained, you can begin to prepare them for the process. Here are some things you can do that will help prepare your child to be successfully potty trained:

  • Talk about potty training a lot. But don’t be pushy about it. You have to bring up potty in a way that is fun and how mommy and daddy do it all the time. It should part of a daily conversation, so your child is well aware of it. You can be encouraging about potty training by letting them know that pretty soon they will also be able to go potty!
  • Let them see you using the potty. This will subtly encourage them to want to potty train and children are more likely to do things that others around them are doing. That’s how they learn everything. Have a small potty next to yours, so they will be encouraged to use it whenever you go to the bathroom as well. 
  • Break down the whole process. From start to finish. Show them where pee and poop go, how you wipe and flush, and how you wash your hands in the end. It will be better if they follow these steps with you.
  • Choose the right potty. You can either get a separate potty or a potty training seat for the toilet depending on what you think your child would like better. Make sure the potty is a sturdy one and doesn’t shake when toddler is doing their business, and they are able to sit comfortably on it.
  • Read books about potty. Children love listening to stories, and there are a bunch of great books about potty that will make toddler want to use the potty too. It is ok if they don’t understand the concept of potty training yet, reading to them will help them ease into the whole thing.
  • Have a reward system with stickers. This has helped a lot of parents with potty training their children. Every time toddlers uses the potty, you give them a sticker to put on their seat.
  • Don’t have high expectations. This is the most important thing you can do to prepare yourself and your child for potty training. Go in without any expectations and let toddler take their time. Remember, every kid is different; some may take longer than others to be potty trained and that is completely okay.

How is Toilet Training Given?

Toilet training or potty training is a very eventful time in a child’s life. As a parent, you will want to make sure that the entire process of potty training your child is done in such a way that the toddler is not overwhelmed or stressed, but looks at it as a fun adventure. 

Like with anything else, every child responds differently to being potty trained. Some will pick it up instantly and some will take their time. 

Whatever the case is for you, you have to be patient and give your child as much time as they may need without being forceful. 

In this section, we will give a step-by-step rundown on how you can toilet train your child. We will cover everything, from when to start potty training to how you should deal with the accidents.

Toilet Training Step-By-Step: One Poop at a Time

Toilet training your child is going to be a journey, so you might as well make it a fun one!

Step 1: Check for signs of readiness

Your child will begin to give you signs of readiness between the ages of 18 to 24 months. These signs will include:

  • Being aware of when they pee or poop in their diapers, and let you know about it.
  • Having fewer dirty and wet diapers. This shows that they have gained bladder and bowel control.
  • Showing an interest in your bathroom habits, and wanting to go to the bathroom with you.
  • Being able to follow simple instructions.
  • Being able to undress themselves.

Step 2: Make sure the timing is right

You want to start potty training your child when everyone is relaxed and has a consistent routine. 

If the family is going through some type of transitional period, you might want to schedule potty training at a later date when things are more calm. 

When you have an established routine, it will be easier for you to fir potty training somewhere between that which will make it less stressful on you and your child.

Step 3: Talk about potty a lot

By a lot we mean, you should be subtle bringing it as much as you can. You don’t want to bring it up in a way that could potentially be pressurizing for the toddler. 

Avoid saying things along the lines of “you should learn how to use the potty now” or “go use the potty”. 

This can be stressful for the child and they may reject being toilet trained altogether. 

Talk about potty in the context of how mommy and daddy, or any elder sibling does it. You can also read books about potty to them. 

The main point of talking about potty is to encourage the child and spark a sense of curiosity for using it themselves.

Step 4: Pick the right potty

There are lots of different types of pottys out there, and there is a chance you will get overwhelmed with the options available.

When it comes to choosing a potty for your child, here are some things to decide:

  • Potty seat or a separate potty? A potty seat is appropriate for children who can reach the toilet. Parents also prefer to get a potty seat so the child gets used to using the toilet too. 

You can get a stand-alone potty if your child has difficulties reaching the toilet. It will also give the child a sense of independence of having their own potty to use. You can put it next to your toilet, so your child will be encouraged to use it alongside you.

  • Level of comfort: Before you buy a potty, it is important that you make your child sit on it to check if they are comfortable. 

The height and rim of the potty should be the right size to ensure that your child can fit properly on it. 

  • Fun and exciting: It is better if you let your child choose what they want. Let them pick the one that has fun things going on, like ske lights and sounds. Remember, you want to make potty training as exciting as possible, and letting them choose a potty will help you do that.
  • Ease of cleaning: Since you will be cleaning up after, you will also want to make sure that the potty involves the least amount of work to clean.
  • Splash guards: This is specifically for boy toddlers, and it will help prevent any splashes when they are peeing. 

Step 5: Let them get used to it

Once your child has gotten the potty of their choice, and they are excited to use it, the next thing to do is let them get used to it. 

You should show them how they should be sitting on it, so they know exactly how to use it later. 

At this stage, we want them to get familiar with the potty even if they don’t actually use it. You can encourage them to use it even if they are fully clothes and have their diapers on.

Let them get used to it for at least two days by doing some “pretend potties”, before you begin the actual potty training.

Step 6: Show them what to do

When you begin showing them how to use the potty, you should also be teaching them how to  wipe, flush and then wash their hands. 

Have a stool in the bathroom, so the sink is accessible to them. 

They will learn better when you actually do everything with them, so they are able to mimic mom or dad or a sibling.

Step 7: Set up a reward system

Next thing you want to do is give them incentive to use the potty consistently. You can do this by having a reward system for every time they use the potty.

The rewards can be in the form of stickers, new pairs of fun underwear or their favorite snack. 

This will encourage them to keep using the potty till they can at least use it on their own with little assistance.

Step 8: Be patient and consistent

Potty training is a messy process, and it can sometimes take longer than you expected. But that is completely normal, and okay.

You have to be as patient as you can, because it is also an entirely new thing that your child is learning. 

Your child will eventually learn how to use the potty on their own, but in the meantime, be gentle and encouraging and celebrate even the smallest wins. 

It is also important to be consistent and stick to your training till the end. 

If you feel like your child is not ready at this point in time to be potty trained, then it is okay to try again after a month or two.

When to Not Start Potty Training?

Even though there is no universal age for potty training a child, there are some instances where you might want to consider delaying it.

Here is when to not start potty training:

  • Your family is currently in a transitional phase, for instance you are moving houses, on a vacation or something else that involves you not being in one place.
  • Your child hasn’t developed bladder or bowel control. At a certain point in the child’s age, you will start noticing fewer dirty and wet diapers. This shows that they are gaining bladder and bowel control. But if you feel like this is something your child hasn’t developed yet, you might want to potty train at a later date. Not gaining control is not something alarming or concerning but it will just mean more accidents. However, in many countries around the world parents begin potty training their children even if they haven’t gained enough control of their bowels and bladders.
  • You are stressed about something. If you are going through an uncertain situation in your life, you may not want to begin potty training simply because it will be another thing on your plate that you will have to worry about. Potty training a child required undivided attention, and if it is something you can’t give right it is okay to schedule potty training for another time.
  • Your child is not ready. Your child might reject potty training altogether, which shows that they are not ready at this point in time. You can try again after a couple of weeks, with some other techniques and methods. In the meantime, read them books about potty and bring it up as much as possible without being too pushy.

What is the 3 Day Potty Training Method?

The 3 day potty training method is essentially a potty training boot camp where a toddler understands how to use the potty, and the parents get a good idea of their potty schedules. 

It would be a little unrealistic to say that you can fully potty train your child with the 3 day method but it is a great way to kick off potty training for most children and parents as it gives a rundown of what it is all about. 

With that being said, as every child is different, there are many children who have responded positively to this method of potty training and really got the hang of it by the end of the 3rd day.

Here are the main points to know about the 3 day potty training method:

  • You ditch the diapers and pants (and also your plans), for the entirety of the three days. It is important that the 3 day potty training method is done in 3 consecutive days, so you have to make sure that all your attention is on the child.
  • When trying this method, it is important that you don’t go back to diapers because it will undermine all the progress made.
  • You will need tools like a stand alone potty or a potty seat with a stool, underwear, some books about potty and lots of healthy beverages and treats.
  • The toddler is brought to the potty every half an hour and is encouraged to pee or poop in it. And once they actually use it, you make a huge deal about it and really celebrate it.
  • In case of any accidents (which will happen), you don’t reprimand the child but let them know that it is okay. The main goal of this potty training method is to tell the child that their pee or poop goes in the potty.
  • You also try to give them a lot of fluids so they learn how to use the potty frequently. You can give them some healthy juices mixed with water.
  • Treats like M&Ms are also used to incentivize the child to use the potty. If you don’t want to involve sugary treats, you can incentivize them with some fun stickers that they will get every time they use the potty.
  • This entire process is repeated over the course of 3 days, and by the end of it you should see some type of progress.

    How to Dress Your Baby for Potty Training?

    When you begin potty training your child, the less clothing there is the better. This is because you want to make sure that using the potty is as easy and accessible for them as possible. 

    Here are some ideas on how you can dress your child for potty training:

  • Naked,
  • Top only,
  • A short dress that doesn’t get in the way,
  • Socks or leg warmers to keep their feet warm.

In the beginning, putting underwear is not encouraged because it reminds the child of a diaper. You can begin to use underwears after a couple of days when the child has gotten the hang of using the potty.

Fun underwear can also be used to reward the child for using the potty. You can get underwear of their favorite cartoon characters so they are encouraged to get a new one everytime they use the potty.

How to Keep Your Baby Hygienic?

When potty training a toddler, it is only natural to expect that there will be some accidents involved. 

Going diaper free is a completely new and alien thing for your child, and they will take some time getting used to the idea of not having anything that holds their pee and poop. 

This is why it is very important to teach your child the basics of hygiene as well, as you are potty training them. 

Show them how to wash their hands and flush every time they use the potty, and let them know how important it is to wash their hands properly so they don’t get sick. 

Teaching them the right way to wipe is also important, especially for girls. (Front to back always!)

In case of any accidents, make sure to clean and disinfect the area to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria. 

Everytime your child uses the potty, make sure to empty and clean it out right after.

Equipment Needed For Potty Training

Potty training is a huge milestone in a child’s life, and it is important you get the right type of equipment needed for potty training.

Here are some things you should have when you start potty training your child:

  • Potty chair or a stand alone potty

These come in a variety of different options, that you can choose to make the potty training journey more fun and exciting for the child. 

Some parents take their children to choose a potty chair so they look forward to using it as well. 

  • Potty seat or seat reducer

This option is relatively cheaper than a stand-alone potty, and it will be placed on the usual toilet in the bathroom so it becomes easy for a toddler to use the toilet.

Potty seats are economical, easy to clean and store away, and they will also help your child get used to the bathroom toilet right away. 

  • Stool

If you are using a seat reducer, then you will need a stool to help your child access the toilet, otherwise it will be too high for them.

The stool will also come in hand for helping the child reach the faucet to wash their hands after they have done their business. 

  • Fun Underwear

Since you will no longer be using diapers, you will want to get some fun underwear for your child to let them know that they are old enough to be wearing “big girl/boy underwear”.

Get some fun underwear that has their favorite cartoon characters, so they are excited about wearing it.

How to Encourage Child to Use the Potty?

Getting a child to consistently use the potty will be a seemingly impossible task in the beginning, but we promise you, it will happen!

When you feel yourself getting frustrated about the potty training progress (or lackthereof), you want to remind yourself that your child has never had to deal with using the potty for the past years of their life. 

The smallest things from realizing they have to pee/poo to actually sitting down and using it are all very new to them, and they’re slowly getting used to it. 

But with some little pushes and nudges, you can encourage your child to use the potty successfully. Here are some tips to do so:

  1. Let them roam around naked. In the beginning, there should be as little clothing between the butt and potty as possible, so the toddler can use the potty easily. Later on, you can put on some pants, so they learn how to pull them down and use the toilet.
  2. Let there be accidents. Toddlers are usually hesitant to poop in the potty, and this is because it is a scary feeling for them to experience their poop falling down somewhere. Remember how they have always just pooped in a diaper? This is why you shouldn’t have a tight cloth against their butt (like pull-ups or underwear) before they use the potty to poop because it will resemble the feeling of a diaper. It is okay if they have a couple of accidents to experience the feeling. Make a safe space for them, where they can roam around diaper-free, and it is easy for you to clean.
  3. Offer rewards. Some toddlers refuse to use the potty altogether, and you can encourage them by offering rewards, in the form of some snacks they like, or stickers. Parents have seen a lot of success with incentivizing their children because they genuinely get excited to use the potty to collect some stickers or have a piece of chocolate.
  4. Read books about potty. There are a lot of books out there you can read to your child to encourage them to use the potty. Books like P is for Potty!, Let’s go to the Potty, etc have proven to be quite effective when it comes to encouraging toddlers to use the potty.

How Long Should Potty Training Take?

Potty training a child successfully does not happen overnight. Every child will respond differently to being potty trained, some may take longer than others.

Potty training can take as long as a week or a couple of months. The most important thing is to be consisten and not give up, just because you are not seeing the results you want to see. 

How Long Should a Child Sit on the Toilet When Potty Training?

When you begin to potty train your child, and they actively start using the potty, they should sit as long as 3-5 minutes on the potty or toilet if they don’t pee or poop. 

Longer than this will begin to feel like a punishment, and it will be very discouraging for the child to use the potty.

How Many Hours a Day Should You Potty Train?

In the span of a day, after the toddler wakes up and before they go to sleep, you should be putting your child on the potty every half an hour to an hour.  That roughly approximates to 6-7 hours in a day.

This is why it is recommended to begin potty training when you have no plans to be anywhere, and you can give all your attention to your child. 

Giving your child lots of liquids, will enable them to pee more frequently and, hence, use the potty more frequently too. 

Nighttime Potty Training: Weeing in the Wee Hours of the Night

Potty training is quite the task on its own, but an even bigger feat is getting through nighttime potty training with success.

You might be stressed about it, but don’t worry, we’ll make it through together! 

The biggest difference between nighttime and daytime potty training is that you will have to expect your child to stay dry while they are unconscious and sleeping. It is a completely different milestone, and it is perfectly normal if your child takes some time to get there.

Is Nighttime Potty Training Possible?

Nighttime potty training is possible, but it is largely dependent on the child’s developmental stage. Even if the child is staying dry all day, there is a chance that they might not be able to at night because they haven’t gained enough of a bladder control.

You can do as much as you can to ensure toddler stays dry at night by asking them to use the bathroom once or twice before bed. You can also make sure that the room temperature is not too cold.

With that being said, nighttime potty training is not something that can be taught to a child.

When to Start Nighttime Potty Training?

It is important to understand that a child doesn’t have a lot of control over their bladder and bowels while they are asleep.

You can expect them to stay dry by making sure they use the potty before bed, and not give them liquids right before bedtime but there is still a high chance that they will wet the bed.

You can’t “start” nighhtime potty training, per say, because it is something that will happen on its own when the child is developmentally ready which can be a couple of months later, or even a couple of years later. 

Gently telling your child to listen to their body might help with nighttime potty training, but forcing them to wake up to use the potty will not be effective.

How Long Does Nighttime Potty Training Take?

Nighttime potty training is more of a developmental thing, and not something that can be learned by the child. 

If the toddler’s body is not mature enough to read signals from the bladder, they will wet the bed. 

This is why nighttime potty training can take as long as a child needs to listen to their body, which can be a matter of days, months, or even years.

Till your child can stay reliably dry throughout the night, you can put them in pull ups, or have water-absorbent sheets under them while they are asleep to minimize the clean ups.

How Do I Start Potty Training at Night?

Potty training at night is not something that can be started. This is because this ultimately depends on the toddler, and how developmentally ready they are to be able to stay dry overnight. 

Some parents wake their toddler up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. But this might not work if your toddler is a heavy sleeper, and it will be difficult to wake them up.

Once your child starts staying dry throughout the day, and you see them use the potty regularly, it’s a great sign that will show you that they will soon enough reach the point where they stay dry throughout the night as well.

However, if you feel like your child is not quite there yet, you can always put them in a diaper or pull ups till you start seeing fewer to no wet diapers at all.

Is Your Child Ready?

You will know your child is ready for nighttime potty training if they are showing these signs:

  • They are consistently using the potty during the day time, 
  • They have been staying dry for consecutive nights.

Until your toddler is showing these two signs, it is okay to put them in a diaper or a pull up in order to minimize the clean up process in the morning.

Here are some things you can do that will help your toddler with nighttime potty training:

Establish a Schedule

You can establish a schedule by making them use the potty at least twice before they go to bed on a routine basis every night.

Expect Accidents 

Know that there will be accidents, and you should definitely not reprimand your child for them. It is something that is not in their control when they are asleep.

Just let them gently know that they should learn how to listen to their body whenever it signals them for peeing or pooping.

Should I Wake Up My Child?

You can wake up your child to use the bathroom before you turn for bed for the night. However, this is harder with heavy sleepers and it might disrupt their sleeping patterns.

See how your child responds to you waking them up to pee for two to three nights. If it is something that is frustarting them, then you might not want to do it.

Should I Stop Liquids at Night?

You can definitely limit liquids at least an hour before they go to bed. You can make sure that they are drinking enough water throughout the day before bedtime. 

What Age Should a Child Be Dry at Night? 

There is no set age when a child should start being dry at night. Every child develops at their own pace, which means that your child could take some time before you start seeing some dry diapers, or they will get the hang of it relatively quickly.

Even if your child is fully potty trained during the day, nighhtime potty training is a whole different game. Toddlers don’t have a lot of control over their bodily functions when they are asleep, and it would be unreasonable to expect it from them.

It is something that they learn with time as their body matures and develops more.

Why is my Potty Trained Child Still Wetting the Bed at Night?

It is perfectly normal if your potty trained child is wetting the bed at night. The most important reason for this is because daytime bladder control and nighttime bladder control are two very different things.

Toddlers don’t learn how to read their body and hold their pee until the age of 4, which can also be later for some children. 

Even if your child is fully potty trained during the day, it may be a while till they are potty trained during the night as well.

What Can I Do if My Potty Trained Child is Still Wetting the Bed Overnight?

Even though learning how to stay dry overnight is a physiological process, and not a psychological one for the child, there are some interventions that could potentially help your potty trained child with bedwetting:

  • Reduce the number of drinks you give them before bed. Some experts suggest that you stop giving them drinks an hour before bedtime. 
  • Ask your child to use the bathroom at least twice before they go to bed. 
  • Wake your child up once during the night so they can empty their bladder. This might involve some trial and error as you should wake them up at the right time to prevent bedwetting. 
  • Use diapers or pull ups. While some parents are apprehensive about using diapers or pull ups because it may seem counterproductive, the sole reason to use diapers or pull ups is to minimize the clean up process in the morning. You can use diapers or pull ups till you start seeing some dry ones, after which you can slowly eliminate their use.
  • Whatever you do, don’t punish your child for wetting the bed overnight. Chances are, their bodies haven’t learned how to hold their urine overnight, even if they might be able to do it during the day.

What to do When Your Child Won’t Potty Train?

Potty training is not the easiest task to get the hang of; for both the parent and the toddler. It becomes even more difficult if the toddler is a stubborn one and is refusing to being potty trained.

Here are some thing you can do when your child won’t potty train:

  1. Consider how ready your toddler is. Sometimes a child may not be biologically ready to be potty trained, as they might have not gained enough control of their bladder or bowels. If you feel like this is the case with your toddler, you can reschedule potty training for a later date.
  2. Use incentives that actually work. Using rewards for potty training children is a popular technique and it tends to work majority of the time. Use something as a reward that is actually interesting to them, such as some fun stickers or a small treat. Celebrate the smallest wins with these rewards so they are encouraged to use the potty more and more.
  3. Ditch the diapers completely. If your child is still wearing diapers because you want to minimize the mess, you will want to rethink that. Using diapers might make your child too comfortable, which will prevent them from learning how to use the potty. Let them expereince the discomfort of making a mess, such as letting them walk around with soiled pants, so they are encouraged to do something about it.
  4. Have them sit on the potty every hour. You should consider establishing a routine by having them sit on the potty on a timed basis.
  5. Have a potty buddy. Get a doll or stuffed animal that can be their potty buddy who they can take to the bathroom with them. It might be a little less scary if they feel like they have a friend with them.
  6. Read some books about potty. If your child enjoys being read to, you can read some books about going potty to them. This will consciously and subconsciously encourage them to use the potty more.

Should you Force your Child to Potty Train?

No, you should not force your child to potty train. If your child is not responding well to your potty training efforts, forcing them to sit on the potty will not make things better and it may stress them out even more.

It can also lead to them holding their poop or pee, which can result in constipation or other infections. 

Potty training has to be done gently, with words of encouragement. Remember, it is a completely new process for your child and it is okay if they are taking their time.

It also has to do a lot with how mature and developed their bodies are, so it is very possible that they might not be biologically ready to be potty trained. 

If you feel like your child is old enough and still hasn’t learned to be potty trained, you might want to consult the pediatrician on this issue.

Common Mistakes of Potty Training Toddlers

Potty training is considered to be one of the most difficult milestones to reach (more so for the parents). But it really doesn’t have to be that way.

If you are struggling with potty training your toddler, chances are you made some mistakes and are facing the repercussions of them.

Here are some common mistakes that happen when potty training toddlers:

  1. Not Ditching the Diapers Completely

    Let’s get something straight before we move on: potty training is an “all-in” type of thing, and you can’t switch between diapers whenever you feel like it. 
    Just like you want your child to be committed to the potty, you need to be committed to potty training them which means no diapers. 
    Ditching the diapers is a message to your child that they are old enough to use the potty like the other big boys and girls, but going back and forth between diapers and no-diapers will send mixed messages to the toddler.


    You don’t want to undermine the progress made, no matter how big or small, by putting them back in a diaper.

  2. Getting Angry Over Accidents

    Accidents are a given when you are potty training. No matter how hard you try, you can’t avoid accidents.
    The last thing you want to do is to get upset over your child for the accident. It might seem simple enough for you to “use the potty” but this is all very new for your toddler.
    Getting upset or angry over accidents will not do good for anyone, especially your toddler as they might start looking at the potty as a very negative thing. This can potentially result in them holding their pee or poop, which can be dangerous.

  3. Forcing the Toddler to Use the Potty

    You don’t want to be pushy and force the issue because this will discourage them from using the potty altogether. 
    Be as gentle and casual about it as you can. Let them see how you or dad use the potty. Bring it up in conversations, so they are subconsciously aware of the whole thing. 


    Lots of parents recommend reading books about potty to your child, and there are some great ones you can read. 


    But being forceful, or giving them an ultimatum to use the potty will not result in good things.

  4. Not Staying Home

    When you kick-off potty training, you will want to be home for the first couple of days. This is because you will want to let your child roam around diaper free and watch them very closely for any signs of them needing to go. You will also need to put your child on the potty every hour.
    Potty training will require your undivided attention, which means you will have to cancel plans and stay home during this period. 


    This is why it is recommended to start potty training on a weekend, or a long break so both you and your partner will be present.

  5. Expecting Toddler to Potty Train at Night

    Nighttime potty training and daytime potty training are two very different things. Even if your child has got a hold of potty training during the day, it is not reasonable to expect the same from them when they are asleep.
    This is because nighttime potty training is more about being biologically ready than being psychologically trained.

    If you are seeing some accidents at night, know that it may not be in your child’s control.

    You can try to minimize accidents by waking them up once in the middle of the night, or not giving them liquids an hour before they sleep.

    Instead of putting your child in diapers, you can use some plastic liners that will minimize the clean up process.

Potty Training Differences in Boys and Girls

Potty training can be quite a challenge, whether your child is a boy or a girl. However, since men and women use the bathroom differently, it is obvious that the potty training session for boys and girls will be different as well.

Here are some differences between potty training boys and girls, that have been stated by psychotherapist, Brittany Tacket.

  • Boys take longer to learn than girls

It is a general known fact that girls mature, in physiological and intellectual terms, faster than boys, which means they are quick to learn most things including potty training. 

Boys also take longer to show an interest in learning how to use the potty, which means they start later as well. 

  • Boys have more to learn 

This is a huge difference when it comes to potty training boys and girls, because boys have to learn two separate ways of learning how to use the potty.

They have to be taught how to stand and aim properly when they need to pee, and they have to be taught how to sit down to use the potty to poop.

Most parents try to make sure they learn how to potty while sitting down, while teaching boys how to adjust their penis. After they have mastered using the potty while sitting down, parents teach them how to use it while standing.

With these two differences highlighted, it is important to understand that every child is different irrespective of their gender. Potty training is a journey that is different for every child, and one they will get through on their own time and pace.

It doesn’t matter if your child is a boy or a girl, but showing patience and understanding is what matters most.

How do Gender Differences Affect Potty Training?

The only reason how gender differences could affect potty tarining is because of how boys and girls develop at different paces.

Girls are quicker to learn things, and they mature faster as compared to boys. 

According to a pediatrcian, Dr. Shubin, boys typically get potty trained at the age of 3 whereas girls get trained at 2.

With that being said, it is important to keep in mind that every child is different and it is better not to dwell on gender roles.

How Do I Potty Train my Baby Girl?

Here are some tips that you should keep in mind when you potty train your baby girl:

  • Teach your daughter how to wipe the right way, i.e., front to back. This is crucial because incorrect wiping can lead to serious infections.
  • Try to motivate her by talking about potty constantly. You can talk about how mommy and daddy use it, or how a sibling uses it.
  • Give your daughter a doll, or any other toy she is interested in, and teach the toy to potty train along with your daughter.

How Do I Potty Train my Baby Boy?

Here are some tips that you should keep in mind when you potty train your baby boy:

  • Teach him how to use the potty while sitting down first. Let him  know how they should adjust his penis when he is on the potty so he doesn’t make a mess.
  • Ask dad to help your son with potty training, especially when you progres to teaching him how to pee while standing.
  • Talk about potty a lot in the house, so it acts as an indirect motivator.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here