How To Start Potty Training Your Child

how to start potty training

Knowing how to start potty training can seem like daunting task for many first time parents. However, with a little wisdom passed on from experienced pros, learning how to potty train your child can be a cinch. Toilet training can be the hardest for parents to understand and teach. If you are looking for a shortcut, know for sure there are none. As a parent you will have to stay calm and consistent and keep making sure your child gets the hangs of it.

How to start potty training: Equipment you will need

Obviously the potty is the most important piece of equipment when you start the training and many parents opt for having more than one potty with one located in the bathroom upstairs and the other downstairs in the living room or kitchen. Toilet seat adapters are also a good idea as they allow the child to sit on the toilet without falling in. Many children will choose to sit on the toilet after a short period of training as they like to imitate the actions of their parents. The adapter is also very useful when you are away from the home as it allows the child to use public toilets with the adapter offering a sense of familiarity. A footstool is also something that may prove useful when using the toilet as it gives the child stability and somewhere to rest their feet when sat on the toilet. So here is how to potty train your child:

1. Start with training sessions

Try to train the baby to go to the pot and sit on it in the morning, once in the afternoon and even before going to bed. Allow the baby the play and eat like normal but after every 45 minutes, seat the child on the pot. After the session, go back to the diaper and proceed with the day. After work also, give this a try.

2. Allow the child to roam naked

Without any underwear or diaper, let the baby roam about. This will allow the child to understand that the potty needs to be done at a safe place which allows the baby to make sense of the pot. Let the baby work on the flush. You can make flushing a pretty big deal. The child will enjoy the whooshing sound.

3. Use Stickers as rewards

Remember how gold stars meant something? Yes, just like in school you baby can be rewarded with a sticker. Giving a prize for trying and actually succeeding in toilet training will help your baby to learn better and win the potty prize.

4. As parent think of yourself as a cheerleader

Be one and clap, hug and laugh in order to make your baby comfortable. Never leave the baby along on the pot.

5. Use a portable potty

Teach your child to use this even while you are travelling. Teach your baby about the importance of squatting. Boys can be made to first sit and try peeing. Girls must be told the importance of wiping in a front to the back side motion.

If you are still wondering about how to potty train, then by following these simple steps you should be able to solve all your training problems. Night time training will also help your baby in learning where to go in case they have to relieve themselves. There are no shortcuts when it comes to how to start potty training. The experience can be a bit frustrating but the parent must have a good head on their shoulders and help their child master the pot.

Keep reading for useful tips on how to potty train your child naturally.

how to potty train

The most important thing to know about how to potty train your child is that every child is ready to start at different times. Just because your neighbor’s child was potty trained at twenty weeks does not mean your child will be ready at that age. In fact, some children are not ready to be potty trained until they are two to three years old. Moreover, night time potty training may have to wait until the child is four or five years old since young bladder muscles may not be strong enough to hold in the urine at night until they reach that age.

It is best to wait until your child shows obvious signs that they are ready to be potty trained before you start the actual process. Otherwise, you may be defeating the purpose as the child may resent being asked to do something they simply aren’t ready to do and you may grow frustrated when they can’t.

Here are some of the signs that your child may show when they are ready to start potty training:


  • 1. They urinate more at a time and have longer dry periods
  • 2. They have fully formed bowel movements
  • 3. Their bowel movements occur at approximately the same time
  • 4. They show a natural interest in putting on “real” underwear
  • 5. They show a natural interest in how mom and/or dad goes to the bathroom
  • 6. They are physically able to pull down their own pants
  • 7. They complain more about dirty diapers

Once you see these signs in your child, regardless of the exact age, you will have a much higher probability of success. Rushing things before you see these signs usually results in unsuccessful frustration.

One of the biggest training problems new parents run into is the child being afraid to sit on the toilet. Even with a booster seat, the toilet can seem far too big to a small child. Plus, the sounds that the toilet makes when it flushes can seem very intimidating. They may actually worry about falling in and being flushed down the toilet! For all of these reasons, it can be very helpful to purchase a small plastic portable toilet (or more than one for multiple rooms) and let the child know this is their own personal toilet. You can even personalize it with stickers and show the child how to use it with their favorite doll(s) and/or stuffed animals. Teddy bears work great for this!

You can start your child off slowly by letting them wear “grown-up” underwear an hour or two a day and showing them how to sit on their personalized toilet right around the time they usually go to the bathroom. When they are able to “wee wee” or “poopie” in their toilet, make sure you praise them significantly. Some parents give their children a reward as positive reinforcement. This could be a small piece of candy or fruit, a colorful star on a potty chart, or a trip to their favorite park. In other words, give them lots of encouragement and turn it into a BIG deal when they have success. Tell them how proud you are of them, hug them, and clap for their success. Most young children are very eager to please their parents and positive reinforcement always works best. If they have an accident during training, don’t shame them or use negative talk. Instead, try to help them solve the problem. For example, one of the biggest training problems is physically getting their pants down in time. You may want to help them by letting them wear looser pants/shorts/dress or letting them go free as they say, at least until they get the hang of the rest of the training process.

For boys, you may want to stick a special sticker inside the toilet for them to aim at once they are ready to trying standing while they urinate. In this way, you can turn it into a game of target practice.

For girls, it is important to start out right away teaching them how to wipe from front to back, not from back to front, because it is possible for little girls to get bacterial vaginosis (BV) from fecal contamination in the vagina.

The whole process of learning how to potty train can be enjoyable for both your child and for you if you approach it in the right way. Fill the experience with laughter, fun, and positive praise and you and your child should quickly get the hang of it. Good luck!

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