9 Essential Potty Training Tips For Toddlers

Sep '22 — 6 minute read

Whether it’s your first time potty training, or your third, it can feel overwhelming or stressful…and not just for you, but your little one too! While different strategies work with different kids, we thought it might be helpful to share a few tips to help make this a positive experience. 

When Should I Start Potty Training?

Have you noticed that your little one is having much longer stretches of being dry throughout the day? Is your child telling you when they’ve gone potty or are they asking to be changed? These are just a few of the signs that it may be time to try potty training. Something to keep in mind is that even with these signs, your kiddo just may not be ready - and that is okay! The process will be much easier on you both if you wait until the interest is there. 

How Do I Potty Train my Toddler?

Every parent has their own way of doing things, so make sure you find what works for YOU! We talked to a few moms on staff here at Freshly Picked and here are a few tips from them:

1. Start with the basics: Take time to introduce the basics of going on the “big kid” potty. Practice grabbing toilet paper, flushing the potty, washing your hands. 

2. Pick a potty: Do you want them using a little potty of their own? A seat that goes on top of the big potty? Whatever you choose, have them help you pick it out so that they feel comfortable.

3. Location is key: It may be best to keep potty training to one spot in your house, preferably an area that is not carpeted. This makes accidents easier to clean up and helps your toddler become familiar with the process. It also will give them quick and easy access to the potty. In the beginning, they probably will not give you much notice that they have to go.

4. Plan for a day at home: Potty training is not the time to run errands or have house guests. You’ll want a distraction free day and environment so that you can focus on potty training.

5. No diapers, no training pants: If you can, go diaper/pull-up/underwear free. Remember, there will be messes to clean up. Get the process of going on the potty down first, and then you can incorporate underwear later.

6. Try and try again: It will take some time for your toddler to figure out when they need to go. You can try setting a timer for 20 minutes - each time it goes off, take your toddler to the potty and have them sit on it. If they go, great! If they don’t, you’ll try again in another 20 minutes. Consistency is key.

7. Use a reward system: It doesn’t have to be costly! It can be as simple as putting a sticker on a chart. A visual cue can be really helpful to remind them of what a great job they did by going potty. You can even take them to the store to choose their own ‘big kid’ underwear!

8. Patience, patience, patience: Did your toddler not make it to the potty in time? That’s okay! While you may get discouraged, be sure that your toddler knows that it is 100% okay to have an accident and that they’re still learning. The more positive and worry-free you are, the easier it’ll be on your toddler to try again. 

9. Most importantly, CELEBRATE: Celebrate all of the wins, no matter how small. Make sure your toddler knows that what they’re doing is amazing. 

Potty Training on the Go

All toddlers are not equal - some will pick up potty training really fast and others will take some time with a more gradual approach. If your toddler is not quite 100% potty trained, make sure you have the essentials on hand when you’re not at home. Pack extra clothes, underwear/socks, pull-ups (if you choose to use them), wipes, a wet bag to keep the wet items isolated, and even a portable potty seat. You’ll be able to store these in your Freshly Picked Diaper Bag so that you’re prepared. 

Embrace Potty Training and Cherish Each Moment

Everyone says “they grow up so fast” and it’s true! In the thick of potty training, you may feel like you’ll never see the other side. Try to take a step back and enjoy the process. This is another momentous occasion in parenthood and it’s quite a big step for your little baby growing into a little kid! Before you know it, the potty training woes will be in the past and you’ll be looking back wishing they were that small again.

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