Friday, April 21, 2006

What are your best toddler potty training tips?

Here are some posts and comments received by email regarding potty training toddlers:
Can somebody give me a couple of pointers on potty training? I have a
very stubborn three year old. She refuses to go on the potty. My nine
yr old was not hard at all. Also is a two yr old able to be trained or
is it to early for her. Any input would be helpful.

Come share your experiences and advice in the Parenting Forums:


I have a 2 year old and her school is training her too, which really helps, but she is doing great on the potty. You just need to set a firm schedule. Take them both to the potty every hour and especially after snack or juice. After my daughter started going pretty regular during potty time, I let her pick out a pack of new "pretty" panties and she doesn't like to mess them up - it really works!

Good Luck.


Depends on the child. If she is fighting you and refusing to go on the potty it might be best to Wait a month and try again. I potty trained my own four, numerous ones I watched in daycare and most recently two of my grand kids. Each is different. Don't turn it into a war.
When she shows an interest, when being wet bothers her is when you start. Make it fun and keep it positive! I used rewards. A piece of chocolate for each success in the beginning is what finally worked with my grand kids (two of them at once, a boy and a girl) Used stickers with daycare kids and my own. There are story books and kids movies you both can watch to help her understand. My grand kids were three before they really showed an interest. I got lucky often with them but I was the one trained to watch the clock and them. Do a goggle search for numerous ideas and "programs" if you want. Only a few children I have cared for were potty trained completely before two and a half. Most were closer to three. Best thing to remember is lots of praise, hand clapping and celebration when she goes in the potty. Positive reinforcement is best.

Thank you for your response Cyndie, all was a good start. I will try the videos to see if they will work. I already do the praise and candy if they go. It seems to work some. All I know is that my nine year old was not hard at all. One week in real underwear and she trained herself. Now I'm basically starting from the beginning. Thank you again!

I bought my girls a cheap baby doll that goes potty when it drinks water from its bottle. Every half hour of so I took their baby to go pee pee. They watched dolly go potty and get praise so they started going potty. That is how I potty trained my first two daughters and that is how I will train my last little girl. Getting pretty new panties helps them feel like a big girl. That one worked too.

Not sure if this will be any more help or not - I work with toddlers at a daycare and I have eight kids who are potty training. They range from three years old and can get through a nap without wetting their pull up to two years old and just starting out.

When it's time to go potty i start sending children one at a time. I send the kids who are more excited to go potty first, and make a big deal about how they went potty in the big girl or big boy potty. When it comes down to the kids who are more reluctant, they have the excitement from me and from those who have already gone in the room and are usually more interested in at least trying. I realize this may be more difficult with just one child, but we also tried this on my nephew and it worked some for him - we just had to enlist family.

Another thing I do is reward for trying. I have a bulletin board display that says "I went potty" and it's on the bottom quarter or so of our board. Each child has a place to stamp the "you did it!" stamp. They get a stamp for going and for trying - and we all gather around the board as each child gets to put their own stamp on.

When we put this method into place - it took about two trips before kids came running back to the room saying "I went potty! Can I get a stamp!"

There are some tips that appear on tip sheets and seem so simple - and yet parents forget them when they send their kids to daycare. What I've learned as a daycare teacher is that pull ups are essential. I have two kids who are trying to potty train, but their parents keep sending diapers. They see their peers in pull ups - and the kids know the difference between a pull up and a diaper. Also - what they wear is so important. Elastic pants and shirts that aren't too big are good things :) I have parents who send their potty trainers in pants with snaps and buttons or ties and shirts that are too big for their child so they hang really low. It's frustrating :)

Well that got long...sorry. Maybe you can get something out of it :)


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