Let’s Chat: Potty Training 101

Is it just me or did you dread potty training? I would always hear all the negative things about training your toddler on the potty. I would hear about the accidents, the mess, the constant laundry, and the frustration of it all.

So I was NOT excited in the slightest to start this journey. I did some research and nothing felt right. It all seemed strenuous and complicated. I wanted my kids to understand why we go on the potty, and I wanted them to have a positive experience.

We recently potty trained my youngest, and I found a method that I loved. I used this method with my older daughter too. You can read about it in this ebook on Amazon. I love the way she approaches this journey. Along our journey, I compiled some great tips from my experience, but also from fellow mamas. These tips were very helpful as we prepared and went through this potty training journey. 

Let’s Chat: Potty Training 1011. Do Your Own Research 

We know how loud things can get when it comes to people in our lives giving opinions on our parenting decisions, but the most important thing is to do your own research! Potty training will work differently in every family and with every child. So look into all the methods, and ask trusted friends for recommendations. Read up on them and decide which route you want to go. A lot of moms swear by a lot of different books but find what fits your family. 

2. Say Goodbye! 

It’s time to ditch the diapers and pull-ups completely! For us, it was so much easier to rip off the bandaid. Children can get confused going back and forth between underwear and diapers. The morning we start potty training, we have them go around the house and round up all the diapers and then they throw all the diapers away. Tell them they are a big kid now and this is what big kids do. It’s important to get them excited for this new journey! 

3. Find Their Motivation

Every child has their very own extrinsic motivators. Whether it be prizes or treats, find what they love and use it as a reward! They deserve to have a treat for all their hard work. One of the best motivators for children is a boost in their confidence. Throw a dance party for every success and make them feel accomplished! 

4. Long Weekends Can Work Magic

No one wants to stay home an entire long weekend, but having 3 days to stay at home and get a handle on things can be a game changer.  Consecutive days with full attention can do the trick when it comes to potty training. Consistency is a big key to their success. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be cleaning accidents at home for a few days than be cleaning countless accidents when you are out and about. So if one weekend is what it takes, it’s worth it!

5. What to Wear 

This may seem unimportant, but it’s a good idea to think ahead. We bought lots of pairs of underwear since we expected lots of accidents. We even bought bigger and smaller sizes so we could use them longer. I liked ones with a moisture-wicking liner, but they aren’t absorbent because you want them to feel their accidents. I suggest not getting toilet training underwear with the extra padding. It takes away some of the discomfort when they have an accident. I found that when my kiddos felt the sensation of wet underwear, it makes them uncomfortable. They need to feel that discomfort to learn that they need to go on the potty. Here are the ones we enjoyed, and they also have a boxer brief version.

For clothing, on day one, we did just underwear so it’s easier to catch accidents as they are happening. On days two and three, we added easy up and down pants. We try to avoid any complicated or bulky clothing while we are potty training. Even in the first month or so, use easy up and down clothes. It helps avoid the accidents that happen because they weren’t quick enough to get their clothes off and onto the potty.

6. All the Supplies

It doesn’t take a lot of things to potty train, but there are a few things that I have found to make the process easier. We loved a little potty for the car to keep in there at all times in case of emergencies. We found one we love on Amazon. Whether it be no bathrooms or just gross bathrooms, we can grab the potty wherever we are! You can also find great things to help motivate them. You can get potty charts, stickers, training seats for your toilet, and even fun books to talk about potty time. It all just depends on how your child responds to things.

7. Let’s Go! 

Out and about can be hard. I was so nervous about accidents in stores and other businesses in the first few weeks after starting potty training. My biggest tip is to always go potty before you leave the house. If you can take the time, don’t leave the house until they go potty. Put off heading out until they can fully go pee. In the beginning, when they are still learning, they have a hard time going potty on command, so if you can wait around, do it! The first week or so after you start potty training, do short trips. Don’t stay out too long the first few outings. Go potty wherever you are before you leave too! This helps prevent those car seat accidents. 

8. Know Every Child Is Different

Remember, each child has individual needs, and just because a method worked once doesn’t mean it will with a second child. I try to keep in mind that all kids take their own pace and learn at their own speed. Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you were expecting. Just be persistent and keep going!

Stay positive and support them! You can do this!

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

Emma Dorsett
Emma is a mom to two beautiful girls, Alice (2018) and Avery (2021). She loves all things Taylor Swift and picking up new hobbies. Embroidery, reading, and sourdough are her go to, but she is willing to try just about anything. She has a background in early childhood education and has worked with children since 2018.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here