Potty Training Tips

May 14, 2018

I can officially say we successfully made it through potty training our little boy!  Y'all I couldn't be more excited, as it has taken us three attempts to get to this point. I guess third time really is the charm! 


Here are my tips on potty training a boy:


Timing (this is the most important!)

Don't force your child to potty train because you feel the pressure from family, friends or even the pediatrician.  It is recommended to potty train a boy before the age of three and a girl between two and two and a half.  Apparently girls are easier than boys. I'll let you know if I agree once I potty train little girl (that is coming up pretty soon..she is almost two).  



There is not one potty training method for success.  Every child is different so you need to choose a method that will work for your child and a method that will work for you too. It takes a child and parent to potty train, not just the child.  


If you follow me on instagram, you'll see that I attempted to potty train our little guy just after he turned three and then tried again when he was three and a half.   Of course he showed interest in the potty around 18 month to 2 years old, but I wasn't ready (I was pregnant with little girl) and I don't think he really was either.  


After day one on our first attempt, we decided he wasn't ready.  On the second attempt, after three days I called the pediatrician because I was so aggravated and disappointed in myself that I couldn't get him to even sit on the potty (the picture below was the potty chart and reward method...didn't work for us even with all my prep work).  The pediatrician assured me I was doing everything right and that he just wasn't ready and to try again when we felt he was ready.  

This third time trying has been a SUCCESS and right before he turns four! Yay!  My plan was to start last weekend, but little guy beat me to it..we started on Wednesday (May 2nd).   He kept saying he needed to go potty every few minutes and to change him.  I immediately decided he was going to start wearing big boy undies and no more diapers, because at his rate of "change me" we were going to be out of diapers before we knew it.  Surprisingly when I said lets go to the big boy potty and wear big boy undies, he didn't resist and was excited to use the potty. We have the big boy potty for the floor and a potty seat for the toilet in the bathroom.  We started with the floor potty, but quickly moved to the potty seat, which we also take with us everywhere.  


The method we ultimately used was truly wait for our little guy to be ready and bribery...candy and toys (we used bribery the first two times too but again he wasn't ready).  The first two days we took little guy to Wal-Mart and he was able to select two toys each time.  He was excited and even used the potty before we went to the toy section and before we left Wal-Mart.  


Accidents are OK 

There will be accidents and that is ok.  As long as you are prepared for them, all will be ok and just reassure your little one that it is ok and to not be discouraged.  


When you finally decide to leave the house, make sure to have an additional two to three pairs of undies, shorts, shirts and even socks.  I put the backups in a zip lock baggie and also carry a second zip lock baggie (empty) for any clothing that gets soiled (straight to the wash after we get home).  I also carry the potty seat in a plastic grocery bag and then put that in a reusable bag (that can go in the wash if need be).  I also have wipes in that bag.  


A friend of mine told me she had a potty in the trunk of her car during potty training and even a couple years after for emergencies.  Thankful for that tip...I'm going to start doing that! 


Stick to the Potty Routine

Once you accomplish day one of the potty, establish a routine.  Our routine is: 

  • Wake up and go potty and put on big boy undies.

  • Every 30 to 45 minutes ask if he needs to go potty.  If he says he needs to go potty before I ask, we run to the potty and get on the potty seat.

    • On day 1-5, we had two accidents a day. 

  • Before putting him in the diaper for nap time, we use the potty.  

  • He uses the potty before we leave the house to go anywhere. 

  • Upon arrival at our destination, we go straight to the potty. 

  • Before leaving and heading home, we go to the potty.

  • Before bath, we use the potty.  

  • Before putting him in the diaper for bedtime, we use the potty.  


I am still trying to figure out if we will use pull-ups or skip them all together.  I would only use them for nap time and bedtime, as little guy is already in big boy undies the rest of the time.


Many of my friends who have potty trained say skip them all together...go straight from diapers to big boy undies. Why?  Pull-ups don't feel any different than a diaper and they find it easy just to go potty in them vs. telling you they need to go potty.  The only reason I would use them would be for nap time and bedtime, as they resemble big boy undies when it comes to pulling them up and not like laying down to change a diaper.  I haven't decided yet on what we will do...I would love to hear your opinions and suggestions on this.  Please leave in the comments section. 



My friends have shared that it is more difficult to poop potty train.  For some reason toddlers have a fear of pooping in the potty.  We have not experienced this fear from our little guy, as our little guy is peeping and pooping (as of day three) in the potty (he had two poop accidents on day one and two before he realized he needed to pee and poop in the potty).  I honestly believe this fear wasn't an issue for him, because we let potty training happen on his timeline. If we truly let our children choose when they are ready for different milestones in their life, parenting would be a little less stressful, don't you think? 


We have had a great success, but that doesn't mean potty training is over.  We still need to be consistent and continue to potty train.


Our next potty training goal is big boy undies during nap time and bedtime.  Wish us luck! 


Hope these tips help you in potty training your little one.  Remember, it truly is about your little one being ready to potty train, so don't stress.  It will happen! 






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