Secrets of Potty Training
Secrets of Potty Training.

Are you ready to toilet train your toddler?   From readiness, implementation, to rewards, first-time parents are usually dying to know how it's done.  If you are ready to give up diapering your child AND your child is showing signs of wanting to give up their diapers too, then it's time to get started. These tips will help you determine if your child is ready, what might be the best method for you and your child, and in the end, you'll see that potty training isn't as daunting a task as it may seem if you begin prepared.


  • they are interested in the potty
  • they pull down (or take off) their diapers
  • they ask to wear big kid underpants
  • they are consistent in their voiding habits and can stay dry for a few hours or more
  • they can follow instructions
  • they ask to toilet train

The BEST time to potty train your child is when THEY are ready, so if they are interested and show signs of wanting to be toilet trained, try not to put it off.  Of course, avoid potty training if they are ill, or during disruptions in their life like moving, a new sibling or a .


Decide whether you are going to potty train with a toddler potty (one that a child sits on and empties into a toilet) or a toddler seat that sits on your existing toilet seat so that your toddler doesn't fall into the toilet.  If you go with the second method, you'll probably also need a step stool.  BEFORE you start potty training, have your "supplies" on hand.

 Here are the supplies I recommend:


  • toddler potty or toddler seat
  • flushable wipes
  • hand soap that your toddler picked out
  • underwear that your toddler picked out

Talk to your child about how using the toilet works.  Establish "potty" words.  Set aside time to devote to potty training.  It usually takes several days devoted to potty training so be prepared to .

 Keep to a routine so that you and your child are set up for success, not failure (here are some great ideas to keep them occupied).  Make sure your child wears clothing can be easily pulled on and off at toilet time.  Be aware of snack and meal times and make sure your child sits on the potty approximately 15 minutes after eating.  Be sure to praise your child for every attempt.  If you are going to use a reward system, have it in place and be consistent with it.  A reward of Play dough - here's our favorite DIY Play dough recipes worked really well for us.  It gave the kids something to look forward to doing and was a great way to spend time at home!


Praise, praise, and more praise.  Whether you sing them a song, give them stickers or verbally tell them how fabulous they are for using the potty, be sure to praise each successful effort.

If your child likes to read, pick out specific "potty books" that they get to read when they are using the potty.  This is especially helpful if going #2 has been difficult for them.

Introduce a surprise bag (small items they can choose from if they are successful) if motivation is an issue.

Ditch the diapers and Pull-ups.

 If kids don't have a fall back method, chances are, they'll use the bathroom on the toilet.


Potty training shouldn't cause tears.  It's OK to take a break.  If your child really doesn't want to potty train, give toilet training a break for a few weeks and try again.  My biggest potty training secret?  When they want to potty train, they will.  It's that easy.  At Kids Activities Blog, we've compiled a list of tried and true potty training tips from parents just like you and me for even more tips and tricks!

If you have any special tricks that helped you potty train your child, I'd love to hear them!