toddler being potty trained with a potty chair

Potty training can be an anxiety-inducing, fear provoking, stressful experience – and that’s just for the parents! But seriously, potty training is a wonderful time in a toddler’s life, but it takes a lot of hard work to get there. This means that both the parent/caregiver and the child have to work in sync to get the job done. The end result is well worth it, but the road there is paved with plenty of accidents, tears and frustrations.

No need to fret! We are here with a bunch of helpful potty training tips and tricks to follow.

Focus on Your Child

Potty training is not for the faint of heart. It’s also not a time where you should be multitasking. This will split your attention from the task at hand, and lead to mistakes and bad timing. To ensure success, give your child your full attention – even if you’re bored to tears watching them sit on the potty unproductive for a half hour.

Don’t Ask, Tell

Avoid a power struggle at all costs. Instead of asking if your child has to use the potty, take them by the hand and bring them to the bathroom.  Most kids, when faced with a question, will say no or that they’re busy. Instead of prompting with a question, prompt with a statement, choice or challenge.

You can say:

“Let’s go potty now,” or “Do you want to go first or should I?”, or “I’ll race you to the potty!”, suggests Good Housekeeping. This teaches your child healthy attitudes about using the bathroom.

Don’t Provide a Diaper For Poop

Even toddlers who seem to be trained with peeing on the potty may request a diaper when they know they have to poop. Don’t give in to this request. Kids who request diapers for No. 2 are aware of the feeling and need the conditions to be just right in order for them to do it. Instead, work through that fear and anxiety so they feel comfortable pooping on the potty.

Use Coffee Filters for Easier Cleanup

While you may rejoice when your toddler poops in his potty, it can be a hassle to clean up the mess. Place a coffee filter in the little potty, then once they have pooped, just fold up the filter and pop it in the diaper pail.

Keep Their Eyes on the Prize

A little bribery never hurt anyone – and prizes work wonders with toddlers learning to toilet. Many kids work well when faced with a reward system. Motivate your reluctant toddler by placing a clear jar filled with prizes, such as Hot Wheels, stickers and fruit snacks, making sure they can see and touch the contents. Leave it where they can see it, but make it clear they only get a prize if they go potty.

Other kids work better with a chart system that tracks progress. Mark down whenever they use the potty, then let them put a sticker of their choosing on the chart. This is a great way to instill pride in progress, and it also works well for leading up to a bigger prize in the prize jar.

Make Washing Up Fun

Now that your child is getting the hang of using the toilet, now it’s time to reinforce the importance of proper hand washing. Must Have Mom suggests making Lego soap. Just remove the label of your clear soap bottle, add in a few colorful Legos and you have a fun soap bottle that your kids won’t be able to resist using. This idea also works well with beads, glitter and Barbie shoes.

Be Prepared For On-the-Go

You may have mastered potty skills inside your home, but you will have to leave the house from time to time. To prepare for those real-world destinations, bring extra gear and supplies to keep anxiety levels down. Invest in a foldable travel seat cover so your child can sit on a public toilet seat with ease. Or, you can pick up a portable potty and disposable bags for those times when you can’t find a stall. Let your child pick out their new potty so they can feel like a part of the process.

Schedule a Tour of Our Toddler Room With Country Home Learning Center

Potty training is a big part of what we help with here in our toddler program. Our staff work with the parents as much as possible to ensure the potty training process is a success both at home and at school. It’s this partnership that instills confidence and consistency in our toddlers’ lives. Contact us today in San Antonio or Austin to take a tour of our toddler rooms and learn more about our program.