Poll Results: Potty Training


Here are the results on potty training! To see the original post and the responses, see this post.


There were 25 responses.


Here are the answers–you will notice there is a huge variance in the answers, which just supports the idea that there is no one right way to potty train (Potty Training: More Than One Right Method):


1. What age did you start the potty training process (the age when you started and your child actually moved to being potty trained–not an age where you started and realized the child wasn’t ready). 

14-15 months: 1 (4%)

18-19 months: 2 (8%)

20-21 months: 2 (8%)

22-23 months: 1 (4%)

24-25 months: 4 (16%)

26-27 months: 8 (32%)

28-29 months: 1 (4%)

2.5 years: 5 (20%)

34 months: 1 (4%)

3 years: 1 (4%)


2. How long did it take between the start of potty training and your child being potty trained in the day?

Less than 3 days: 6 (24%)

3 days: 8 (32%)

4-7 days: 7 (28%)

2 months: 1 (4%)

3 months: 1 (4%)

5 months: 1 (4%)

N/A: 2 (8%)


3. Did you do underwear, diapers, or pull ups for naps?

Underwear: 9 (36%)

Diapers: 9 (36%)

Pull-Ups: 6 (24%)

Yes: 2 (8%)


4. Did you do underwear, diapers, or pull ups for night?

Underwear: 5 (20%)

Diapers: 12 (48%)

Pull-Ups: 7 (28%)

Yes: 2 (8%)


5. How long did it take between the start of potty training and your child being potty trained for naps?

Less than 3 Days: 5 (20%)

3 days: 3 (12%)

4-7 days: 2 (8%)

4-7 weeks: 1 (4%)

3-4 months: 3 (12%)

5-6 months: 1 (4%)

7-8 months: 1 (4%)

1 year: 1 (4%)

2 years: 1 (4%)

N/A: 7 (28%)


6. How long did it take between the start of potty training and your child being potty trained for night?

Less than 3 Days: 4 (16%)

3 days: 2 (8%)

5-7 weeks: 1 (4%)

2 months: 2 (8%)

5-6 months: 4 (16%)

18 months: 1 (4%)

1 year: 1 (4%)

3 years: 1 (4%)

N/A: 10 (40%)


7. What method did you use to potty train? (list either a book/method or briefly describe your own method).

3 Day Potty Training: 1 (4%)

3 Day Potty Queen: 1 (4%)

Bare Bottom (most included pushing drinks and offering rewards): 7 (28%)

Pottywise/Potty Training 123: 6 (24%)

John Rosemond: 1 (4%)

Lots of Juice: 2 (8%)

Child-led: 3 (12%)

Other *(see below): 5 (20%)


8. How did you deal with Independent Playtime during potty training? 

Went Potty Before and After: 2 (8%)

Checked during: 1 (4%)

Skip It: 15 (60%)

Left Potty With Child: 4 (16%)

N/A: 1 (4%)


9. Did you allow your child to get out of bed for potty breaks at IPT, naps, and/or night? If so, how did that work?

No–went Potty Before and After: 6 (24%)

No–had to call to us to get out: 6 (24%)

No: 1 (4%)

Allowed one potty break only: 4 (16%)

Didn’t Say Anything–Stayed Dry: 2 (8%)

Allow It–No Issues: 4 (16%)

Allowed but didn’t do it: 1 (4%)

Not Answered: 1 (4%)

N/A (in diaper/pull-up): 4 (16%)


10. Any words of advice for those potty training? (pep talks, signs of readiness, good ages, little tips to make it easier, etc).


“Listen to your child”


“Hang in there and if you know they are ready, keep at it and make sure you give lots of praise when they go. Use treats if necessary!”


“wait until they are really ready, don’t start too soon. I felt like she was late (34 months, girl) but we had tried twice before unsuccessfully which was awful. I ended up telling her, “You can only go to preschool if you stay dry” and that worked!”


“We loved this quick method [1-3 days commando with lots of juice and practice and showing with a doll. I think babywise mentions this method and there was another book that talked about it as a party. I’m not sure what that book was called.] and we’ve heard from lots of parents who had success – even a family with 3 boys who all did this successfully at 2 yrs old. Our kids have adjusted REALLY well – not perfectly – they both had setbacks for a time here or there – but it was good. Super stressful the first day – with my first daughter, the count was something like floor – 18, potty – 3 the first day. But it got SO much better the second day – only a few accidents – and almost none the second day. It’s definitely worth a 3-5 day try, I think.”


“When my daughter was ready to potty train, I just knew. We buckled down for a few days in the house and then ventured out and about. We used cloth trainers or underwear. Wearing jeans when we were out caught accidents better.”


“Never go back to diapers once on undies. even for changes like a new baby arrival stand your ground and believe they can, then they’ll believe it too. Pull ups are a waist of money I have never seen them work well(fast) after 3 yrs in preschool and watching 50 kids or more get trained.”


“Used m&ms as rewards. Don’t do it! Made him constipated. Took much longer to get to go poop in the potty. Still has accidents after a month. ave him tiny pieces of a cookie.”


” Don’t get one method or idea stuck in your head as the end all be all way to do it. I really though Pottywise would work just like the sleep training in Babywise but it didn’t for my son. It ended up being a totally random thing that we did that ended up working. You know your child and how they will respond best. Although it is time consuming, I would consider how it is done in other countries – I’ve read that most other countries toilet train earlier than the US. I think we keep our kids in diapers too long because it’s easier sometimes!”


“Pottywise. Reward dryness, not just potty use. Make it fun and exciting.”


“Once you start, don’t go back! It’s confusing for the child. I did that several times and I could definitely tell that it confused him. A great thing I did was to start the potty training after nap time one day. That way we only had a half day of potty training the first day. I needed a break of running to the potty, cleaning the floor, changing underwear, etc. by the time we reached bedtime! It was rough the first couple of days- a lot of cleaning and accidents, but it dramatically improved after that! Just keep with it and stay calm! They will get it!”


“Well, maybe a warning. I feel like I am still potty training my 6 year old boy sometimes. He has regressed so many times, especially with bm’s. He would all the sudden start having accidents(pee and poop) after months of 0 accidents! Even now, he accidentally pees all over the floor when he goes poop sometimes. I also know my sister told me once not to worry about peeing at night, that once my son went to school he would probably stop. She was right. He did it on his own. My trying to push him earlier did no good! Please oh please let my girl be easier!!”


“My advice is to make it a normal thing. Let them watch you go, explain what you are doing (especially with poop, pooping in the potty takes a little longer for them to understand the urge and feelings). Introduce a potty in the bedtime routine when they are able to take instruction (i.e. 18 months was good for us). We did not try to do anything other than he sat on the potty while we read book and if he peed we praised him, if he didn’t it was no big deal. COLD TURKEY, NO PULL-UPS, NO BACK AND FORTH WITH DIAPERS. Every 15 minutes consistently for several days until there are no accidents. If you work this is harder unless your childcare is open to doing this, if not, you may want to consider taking a Friday and Monday off and doing it over a long weekend or something. Some schools make you have the kids in pull-ups and this is hard because pull-ups are the worst thing for training (it will still get done, but it takes much longer, in my opinion and you will have more accidents after they get in underwear). I was very lucky, his school is AWESOME at potty training and no parents ever argue with their method because it works and we never had to do the hard work – lol!”


“WAIT until they are ready. It may be hard, but my daughter potty trained herself naps and night in under a week. She convinced ME that she was ready for undies at night, haha! She was ready to wear princess panties and I told her the deal was, if she peed anywhere but the toilet, she didn’t get her princess panties. She was old enough to understand and made the decision on her own with no forcing or coercion on my part.”


“Make sure that you and your spouse are ready and on the same page, it made SUCH a big difference that my husband was so on board and took E to the bathroom. It is hard and can be very discouraging at times, but we are so glad we stuck with it. My little man is very proud of himself.”


“Underwear, and diaper OVER underwear when we went somewhere during the training process. It was way easier than I thought! My daughter loved the whole process and all the attention and cheers 🙂 One thing we did that helped was that ever since she was a newborn, if we noticed she was going potty (in her diaper or anywhere) we would use the same word. Incidentally, that happened to be the very first word she ever said 🙂 When potty training, she could say that word and tell me if she needed to go. It is so handy! I really think potty training was fun and gave me a huge sense of accomplishment! :-)”


“3 day potty queen works!!!! poo is harder, as my kids got constipated once potty trained. Helpful is miralax and fiber gummies to keep it super soft and keep consistent (daily after lunch with one kid and before bed with my other)”


“Even if your child shows signs of readiness, don’t attempt until you’re sure YOU are ready and committed.”


“a good time to start is when your child is able to follow/understand instructions and able to give some cues. take time with night-training. diapers are much cheaper/easier option than having to wash bedsheets, not to mention the frustrations. my #1 would wet her bed consecutive for 5-6 nights then miraculously stop for a few months, and start wetting again!”



*My own that I learned from working in a center 2yr old classroom. Once child wants to sit on potty change diapers standing up until they actually go pee in potty (pip) even for poops. Have them bend over for poops to wipe for hard stools that won’t be messy. Once they go pip cut the diapers and use undies only and stick to the 3 day method with a lot of one on one time and praise.”


“We started with Pottywise – because Babywise is so spot on I figured that this had to be the absolute best method ever. This was not so with my son. We did the whole doll thing, the treats just as the book describes, but my son just didn’t get the connection. He is a smart child, but just didn’t get where we were going with the whole process. Potty training ended up happening by accident for us. We knew that he would always pee when the water was running for his bath – so we ran the water and sat him on the toilet instead and he peed. We continued to do this for a while and started taking him to pee during the day at specific times. Soon he only peed in the potty – it would still be a while before he would tell us, but at least we were able to keep him dry during the day. The pooping came later as mentioned above. As much as I love Babywise, the Pottywise method didn’t work for us and I’m more inclined to follow the Baby Whisperers approach. With our next son we will just start putting him on the toilet at times when we know he pees or poops – much like people in other countries do.”


“His school has a strict potty training approach and extremely high success rate so I did what I was told – lol. They do not allow pull-ups AT ALL in the school, they are banned. When you say you are ready to actively potty train they tell you to bring about 8 pairs of clothes each day. You go cold-turkey and they have a timer and every 15 minutes on the dot they take those children that are “actively potty training” to the bathroom. They have them go in the same order so that not one kid has to wait longer than another. about 90% or the time all the kids are accident free by the end of the week.”


“Talked a lot about it and let him sit when he wanted to (he was showing a lot of interest on his own) then switched to underwear one day and gave lots of encouragement and a small treat for success. What really helped after a while was also getting a sticker if his undies were dry.”


“Followed Emily’s advice at journeyofparenthood. For a couple days, I set a timer every 20 minutes and put her on just for a little. She got the idea very fast. “


“Cold turkey to underwear. Set a timer for him to try every 10 minutes the first day and every 15 the second. By day 3 he was telling me when he needed to go.”



1 thought on “Poll Results: Potty Training”

  1. We did elimination communication from infancy. Our daughter is 2 now and although she sometimes has an accident she really prefers no diaper and goes on the potty most of the time for pee and always for poo. Iive heard that with ec completion of potty training is more of a gradual process. We do us pullups for nap n night. We call them big girl panties and shes tolerant. Were really happy with how ec has worked out althougb as she has become more n more aware of her need to go n less happy about diapers we had occasional sleep disturbances.


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