Potty Training Tips from Readers

Little Sister's potty training has begun.  She is our third child, but I still dislike the idea.  Potty training can be as laid back or regimented as a parent chooses.  This time around, we are trying the more intensive and focused potty training-but only if she responds well.  I asked on the Facebook page for helpful advice about potty training.  I love hearing wisdom from experienced parents.

This time around, I scheduled potty training and literally put it on my calendar.  

Readers' Potty Training Tips

This Simple Home Facebook fans have some wonderful potty training tips.  One thing is certain; there is no one way to do this!

"Take a day with just wearing a shirt, drinking lots, and sitting on a potty chair frequently.  Applaud progress and no negative talk at all.  Give stickers or a piece of candy.  Make it fun."  - Shonda K. from Milk n' Honey Learn and Grow

"Wait till the child shows readiness (dry at wake up times of morning and nap).  Practice at regular intervals so it becomes a routine."  - Amy M.

"I potty trained an autistic child!  Then I potty trained 2 other children.  The absolute best technique I've found is to sit them on the toilet after giving lots of liquid and a meal, plug a DVD in front of them, and don't let them up until they've gone.  The DVD entertains them until they go and is also a reward for sitting on the toilet.  I agree, too, that the nighttime pull-ups should go, but only after they've successfully used the toilet during the day a few times.  This has to be an all-in approach, though, not to be started unless you're ready to give your full attention and be ready to put them on a toilet a LOT and frequently invite them to use the toilet.  Daughters are, IMHO, eons easier than boys.  And, yes, keep it positive and happy." - Kellie R.

"After three children, I've decided that the low-key approach works best for us.  Go with the flow, in other words.  My experience has also been to wait until about age three.  Although one of my girls was partially trained before age two, she regressed rapidly one day while we kept a friend's baby.  I decided that day that age 3 is the 'magic age.'  One more to go!" - Loved her pun!

"Once you decide to start training, go all in.  No more diapers, even at night.  This way the child knows you're changing the game, and that diapers aren't even an option.  Learn from those who have trained several kids- the more the better!  They are more experienced.  I will add I wait till they are 2+ years old.  Closer to three.  They are staying dry at night and know how to say a few words so they can tell me they need to go.  I would never attempt this method with a baby younger than 2.  I like to get it over with fast, LOL."  Kay S. from A Ranch Mom

"My older two trained my third for the most part.  They entertained her while on the potty- they sang, read stories...The third was the easiest because I was the most relaxed.  Don't stress.  It will happen when they are ready and not before.  Oh!  We did read a few kid books on how to use the potty and some cute videos, too.  Have fun with it.  If you are stressed, then they will be, too." - Julie D.

"I guess I take a very different approach.  I gave my 16 month old a potty and let him get used to it...he went on it every morning and loved it.  It wasn't frustrating for him.  Then we started going before and after nap and meal at age 2.  Then I slowly started getting him to go every half hour.  He loved sitting on it.  He started #2 on his own first...then he started going #1 every so often, not all the time...It's a gradual thing.  You start training them in every other at a young age so why not this area, too?  It really is a mind thing, though.  Because if you go a couple months and think it should be long enough you are going to frustrate both yourself and your child.  Iknow this is completely different from other advice and it really is all about personal opinion."  - Amanda from Quiet Workings

"I was a stay at home dad with the first 2 of our 3 kids.  (8 years between each.)  I just did whatever they showed an interest/ability in doing.  My son did like making a game of hitting "targets" like Cheerios.  Going with the flow is the best advice.  Stress makes everyone upset, so just do what comes naturally.  Everyone learns eventually or we'd all know several who wore diapers in high school because even the laziest of us learns that it's more comfortable being dry and stink free." - Larry A.

And Paula's stress-free approach.

Thanks so much, readers!  Would you like to add any additional potty training advice?  

~ Annette W. {This Simple Mom}
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  1. For those curious, we started training yesterday. Before the day was out Little Sister was refusing to sit on the potty...same thing today, despite the promise of chocolate chips.

    So...the three days of more intensive training won't be happening this time around.

    1. That happened with two of mine - first day they just flat-out freaked at the sight of the potty! So I waited about 3-4 weeks and started again, and they were trained in 3 days. I don't know why, but maybe just cause it was so new? Anyways, I hope she catches on fast, for your sake. :)

    2. I think it may be a good idea to stop for a while and follow her lead. Disappointed!

  2. Great post. I love hearing the collection of wisdom from so many experienced moms. I will forward this to my siblings, as I now have six nieces and nephews ages three and under! My wisdom is for little boys learning to stand up like their daddies. We kept a little bowl of Cheerios on the back of our toilet for 'target practice'. Kept messes to a minimum! ;) Good luck everyone!

    1. Thanks so much, Ida Mae for sharing. My son was much too short to stand initially, but it makes sense to start that way.

  3. I try not even to THINK about potty training. :D

    Thankfully our littlest had a smooth transition once she decided to go for it.

  4. Great advice! Grasshopper just now potty trained at 5, but he was horribly terrified of the potty for most of our attempts. It was a *long* battle, but we never forced it on him. Now he's trained "pee" wise, but he's still scared to "poo" in the toilet. :S We could tell that Firefly(just turned 3) was ready for several months, but due to his frequent accidents we kept returning to diapers. We've now went all or nothing with him in hopes that he catches on completely. He just has to go so often that he still has frequent accidents, but he's improving every day. We just carry lots of extra underwear and clothes when we go anywhere right now! I hate to admit, but I'll just be glad when potty training is over! ;)

  5. Potty training was so long ago for us, but we had a velcro calendar with princesses and x marks. If she stayed dry all day she got a princess if she had an accident she got an x. She hated the X but couldn't take them off for a week. The calendar was Sunday to Saturday and we changed the princesses etc daily.

  6. Thank you for all of your encouragement! We're taking a break for now...


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