Potty Training Tips from a Mom of Four

I am on my fourth time around for potty training a child.  Actually, it’s more like my hundredth time if you count the many children I have assisted with toilet training in my days as an early childhood educator. I have come up with a few tips that may help you through this time in your little one’s development.

Wait until your child is ready

You know your child best.  When you feel they are ready (and YOU are ready) then go for it!  Children might be able to verbalize their needs, or gesture to communicate they understand the feelings.  I usually wait until around two years of age or after.  I find not many children are ready before then and if you start too early you may not be successful.  I like to toilet train in the “good weather” when children have less clothing to deal with.  With summer approaching and my son just over two years of age, we will begin toilet training now.  It is super easy to pull shorts on and off or even have him run around in a diaper (or naked!) I have also noticed he has an interest in the toilet and sometimes will tell us when he has soiled his diaper.  These are all great signs that it is time to start training.

Consistency and Frequency

Take your child to the potty at the same time of day  (e.g. when he wakes up from a nap) and take your child to the potty often.  Children thrive on routines and like to know what to expect next. Having a clear routine for potty training at the beginning will help them become familiar with the expectations.  Once comfortable, then you can help them to recognize the cues of how to recognize that they need to go.

Try Incentives

Some parents like to use rewards or incentives when potty training.  Find what works for your child. My children seemed to do okay with simple praise and high fives and then worked toward the incentive of wearing “underwear like Daddy”.  I have seen sticker rewards or small candy rewards for success on the potty.  Whatever you decide, remember to keep it a positive experience.

Stay Positive and Have Fun!

Do not scold your children for accidents but instead praise their success or even their attempts on the potty.  You do not want them to associate this time with a very negative experience or you may have a tough time with toilet training.  Keep things fun!  This is “Potty Time” after all… (sorry I couldn’t resist one potty time joke)  You can get a really fun potty like the one below and your child will be sure to want to try it out!

Buy this cool potty here: https://www.babygenie.com/shop/first-years-hero-in-training-2-in-1-potty-system/

Now you can make potty training fun with the Hero in Training Potty System! If your little one loves fire trucks then they are going to be excited to see and use their new potty. The potty system starts off as a standalone toilet that has a very soft foam ring that then can transition into a detachable potty seat that is simple to place on your full size toilet. This potty has a super easy cleaning system with a lift out pot and even a shield to help keep urine inside the potty and not outside!

Role model

If you feel comfortable enough, let your child see you or your spouse on the toilet.  They need to make the connection that big people sit on the toilet and do not wear diapers.  If they have older siblings who don’t mind, they can be the best role models ever.  Our youngest son is lucky to have two older brothers who want to help him “pee on the toilet like a big boy” so they actually help out and often go to the bathroom with him.  This is a great team approach.  When everyone in the family is on board and can help out, then toileting success may happen quickly.

Have the child sit backwards or use proper seating

If using your regular toilet, you may want a stool to rest their feet on or for them to climb up to the toilet.  You can also have your child sit backwards and hold the back of the toilet for stability. Sometimes the big toilet feels scary so to feel more secure on the toilet you can use a potty seat.  Or you may opt for a small potty just their size to start.  Check out Baby Genie.com  for all kinds of awesome toilet training essentials like potty chairs, seats, and accessories.

Good luck and remember there may be some set backs but you will get there eventually.  Keep calm and train on!


  1. We’ve always had success with going cold-turkey on diapers and doing a one-day boot camp. I recommend a book called Toilet Training in Less Than a Day. It’s a little dated so feel free to laugh, but the principles are sound ones.

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