Potty training probably wasn’t on your mind when you welcomed your newborn into the world. Remember changing your baby’s diaper for the first time? It’s an exciting moment for new parents– figuring out how to get those teeny tiny diapers on a flailing little body. You probably mastered diaper changes after a few weeks, and now that your child’s a toddler, you’ve perfected the art. You can change a diaper while your child stands up, you can change a diaper on your lap (we’re looking at you, restaurant bathrooms without a changing table), you can even stretch a size 2 diaper to fit your size 5 toddler if you’re in a pinch. You’ve come a long way!

But now your toddler is growing and it’s time to conquer the next big milestone: potty training. Just the thought of it can make even the most experienced parent nervous. But fear not! We’ve compiled all you need to know to get started on the potty training journey.

How to Know Your Child is Ready

The first and most important step is assessing your child’s readiness. Some of the basics include physical readiness like being able to walk and pull down/up pants, but other clues are important too. Is your child coming to you and communicating when he or she has a dirty diaper? If so, they’re probably cognitively ready to start potty training. Check out this potty training readiness checklist before you break out the potty.

Finding the Strategy that Works for Your Child

A quick Google search will give you limitless potty training strategies and suggestions. Instead of stressing about which one is best, focus on finding the right strategy for your child and family life. Working parents may have the most success using the three day strategy, while a child with a parent who stays home could take a less aggressive approach.

Once you have a game plan, start talking to your child about using the potty. We love this list of potty training books to start the conversation. Get your child involved by allowing them to pick out underwear or training pants. Believe it or not, parts of potty training can be fun!

Know Your Child’s Limits

Many a pediatrician has consoled a frustrated parent by telling them their child won’t go to kindergarten in diapers. That being said, potty training can be a frustrating process for parents and kids alike. If your chosen potty training strategy isn’t working for your child, don’t be afraid to take a break and try another approach. With a little more time and practice, your toddler will be using the potty in no time.