Best Potty Training Tips from Real Moms

Crowd sourcing is an effective way to get a bunch of good ideas quickly. I recently took to Facebook to ask for the best potty training tips and what you wish you would have known before starting. This is what you said.

Best Potty Training Tips from Real Moms | Potty training | #pottytraining

Wait Until Your Child is Ready

Andrea said: In all honesty what worked for us was waiting until they are ready. I tried when I “thought” she should be ready a few times & it was a frustrating battle. I completely backed off and waited. She let me know she was ready and we never looked back. It was a piece of cake at that point. Follow your child’s time frame & not yours.

  • Rachel said: So, so true. I pushed too hard with my first and am taking a more relaxed approach with my second.
  • Aubyn said:  Same!! Waiting was the best and easiest potty training!!
  • Nicole said: The same worked for Isaac! One day he came to me and said he wanted to go on the big potty and that was that

Emily said: I’d say just go back to diapers until you feel you have the energy to clean up accidents…worked for me! My son ended up being 3.5 yo but he and I were both ready at that point 😊no need to rush it when you have your hands full with a newborn!

Lindsay said:  I agree with the “waiting until he/she was ready” comments. With my oldest son, we thought he was ready so we pushed. Yea, no go. It was frustrating for him and us, and was a waste of time. He was ready when he was ready – and all of a sudden, one day he was in diapers, then next he was going standing up and everything – including being dry at naps and night! With the 2nd boy, we were more patient. He was “trying” to go every day at preschool so we said enough is enough and took a weekend to work with him. He spent most of that time commando but it worked! A week and a half later and he’s dry all day, poop and all! He is still in PullUps at night and naps, but we’re getting there. Patience and one step at a time….

Yooli said: My kid was not into being bottomless and pressing him when he showed interest around 2.5 led to him shutting down and having a bad reaction. We just had him sit on the potty before his bath as part of the routine and any other time he asked, but otherwise dropped it. He didn’t seem keen on it again until after 3, but it was pretty much self led after that. We got him undies he was excited about, reminded him that we don’t pee on Paw Patrol, and he just got it. Our son did not like potty seats and preferred the big potty, so I suggest a padded soft potty ring since in the beginning they just sit there forever. We keep his seat on a nail in the bathroom, a small step stool, a fun hand soap, a faucet extender, and a towel at his level and he can do most of the potty process himself.

Julie said: We waited till she was ready. She happened to enjoy Daniel Tiger at the time and the potty episodes/songs got her to do it. “If you have to go potty, STOP and go right away. Flush and wash and be on your way!”

Clair said: Wait until they’re ready! If it isn’t working or if it’s causing emotional turmoil, then stop and try again later. 👍🏻 I had a “false start” w/ two of mine and once I picked it back up again later, it clicked pretty much immediately!

It Takes a While Until the Child is Fully Trained

Evie said: I wish I would’ve known the many many steps that a child has to master before we consider them “potty trained”.   I started sitting her on the potty when she was 1. She was out of diapers by 2, but at 3, she still doesn’t tell me when she has to go. I take her every couple hours if I want to avoid an accident. Also, she doesn’t just walk in, pull down her pants, go, and wash her hands. Everything has to be reminded every single time. I wish I would’ve known that this is a LOOOONG process and things click on their own timetable. Potty training is more “patience training for parents” than anything. 

  • Katie said: Totally agree! Also my MIL says “when they’re dry at night, they’re night trained!” We went with that and it worked for 2 of 3 kids so far. Obviously there may come a point with any child that you intervene further but in general we don’t worry about it until the ped does which in our case would be 7+yo.I opted to just wait until they “grew into” telling me when they needed to go. I guess we kind of did a combination. We take long road trips (we used to live a long way from all family, now we are a long way from some, plus we love to travel) and I need them to be able to “try” when we have stops. Mine were around 3-4yo when they began to tell me consistently if they needed to go. But they didn’t have accidents before that, because I usually just had them try at transitions – like before snack, before lunch, etc. However I think for some parents/kids that approach works better and for others it doesn’t work. Potty training really is more specific to each parent/child combo than some other aspects of parenting. And like sttn, where each person seems to have somehow a different definition of what that means, “being potty trained” means different things to different people. My 4.5yo still wears a pullup at night but I consider her potty trained!

It is Hard. Miserably Hard.

Rhiannon said: I just wish I had known how miserably hard it is. 😭😭 –said the mom with a newborn and a 3 YO who has been working on potty training for 4 months. 😫

Potty training twins? Read some great tips here.

Go Without Undies

Ali said: We have done pant less/no undies and it worked well for both our kiddos so far. I think the best thing for me to remember is to stay relaxed, and don’t put pressure on myself or my kiddo. If it doesn’t happen now we can always try again in a couple of weeks or even a couple of months.

Kristen said: Yep, nothing on bottom for at least 3 days. Salty snacks and water or juice so there will be plenty of opportunities. This was a big treat at my house as we don’t do juice normally.

Best Potty Training Tips from Real Moms | Potty training | #pottytraining

No Pull-Ups

Carissa said: I have potty trained 3 kids. My oldest daughter was the hardest. It took a year to potty train her and once she was DAY trained it took her another year to be night trained as well. She was 3 when she finally was day trained but has to wear pullups to bed til she was 4. My son was 3 when he finally trained and once he trained it was day and night. My youngest daughter potty trained at 2 years 2 months old day and night. I think the difference for us was with my oldest two I used pullups even during the day. They could care less. They would poop and pee and it wouldn’t bother them. With my oldest I finally switched to underwear and at first she would pee in the potty but would poop in the underwear. I finally made her clean her panties and she finally quit pooping in them. My son was kind of the same as my oldest but not quite as bad. My youngest i went straight to panties right after her second birthday and she did awesome! Had a few accidents at first but that is normal!

Stay Home 

Natallie said: Staying home for three days is part of the method I followed! That way you can “allow” accidents to happen. By experiencing accidents it helps make that connection in their brains, like “oh…this isn’t good”. I would also recommend just keeping her in panties throughout the day.

Reward Dryness:

Shea said: Reward for staying dry and give a different reward for success in the potty! Staying dry is just as crucial to training as putting their business in the toilet!

Potty Training Methods Mentioned:

Jananya said: I have a busy toddler so I dreaded having to be cooped up in the house for any length of time. My mom and I taught lil miss the basics in afternoon, every 15 mins or so we sat her down. Wiped, happy dance, repeat. Straight to undies. Next day I put the potty in a cloth bag and went about our day. In the park, playing in the sand, in the yard. Wherever lil miss went, so went her monster potty. And she got it in a few days! She had been clothed diapered and she was almost 2.5. We had a few accidents here and there but within a few weeks, she was accident free and she loved the no diaper changing routine. If you are a SHM with a busy bee, give it a go. Toss a roll of toilet paper, a 3oz spray bottle with pinesol and plastic bag for on the go poops and u are good to go.

Natalie said: Lora Jensen’s 3 day method! I didn’t pay the full fee on her website, but just bought the book on Amazon for $7. So worth it. Worked amazingly for my daughter when she was 2.5. I recommend it to everyone I know!

Marnie said:  The wee was easy, the poop was hard. Babysteps, scaffolded around her natural rhythms. It took like 3-4 months. First I started asking her to poop in her diaper in her crib before her nap. Then I would change her. Then I asked her to poop in the bathroom, but I let it take a million years and she could read books. I just gave her privacy and time.

We used a star chart with rewards (treats from Whole Foods bulk bins!)

Her grand prize was a skateboard. She’s afraid to use it, but that’s another story.

Read the full steps of another potty training method here.

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