How To Start Potty Training
Parenting, Real Life

How To Start Potty Training

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5 tips and tricks for how to start potty training, may just be the thing to get your little one out of diapers and on to being a big boy or girl!

4 Sneaky Places Urine Smell Hides in your Bathroom--4 Sneaky Places Urine Smell Hides in your Bathroom

Any Tips on Potty Training?

My good friend messaged me last night and asked if I had any good tips on how to start potty training her son. When she asked, my mind started flowing with ideas, and she replied, “You should do a blog post on this.” Well… heck. Ok. I guess a toddler will have accidents from time to time, and at least I may be able to help people get started with the whole potty training thing.

Now while I STILL don’t think I’m a potty training expert, I’m hoping the things I tried with my little boy, helps you a little bit.

I personally don’t think there was ONE potty training tip that made my son want to start going on the potty, instead of his diaper/underwear. Or maybe that’s because I was trying so many different things at once, that I’m not sure what finally “clicked.”

How to Start Potty Training

1. Print off a “potty training chart.”

You can use the one I created for my kiddos if you want! Other potty charts that I found online were too “long,” and I felt my toddler lost the whole aspect of the reward at the end, because it took a while to get his reward. So I kept mine short, and only had 10 potty boxes, so he would get a reward faster and hopefully catch on sooner. You can put a sticker on each box {maybe 1 for pee pee and 2 stickers for #2?}  The reward of course can be anything of your choosing, but I wouldn’t make it a huge and costly surprise, because 10 potty breaks can add up quick. Maybe a favorite cookies or candy that he/she loves. {I do want to mention that I also tried giving him an M&M every time he went pee pee on the potty, and an Oreo cookie every time he went #2. I did this for a LONG time, and I don’t really think it helped that much. I think the potty chart worked better}  Download it here:

Free potty training chart

How To Start Potty Training

2. Potty Seat Insert

I chose to go with a potty seat insert, rather than a little potty. I wanted my son to get used to sitting on the big potty, instead of having to transition again later to something new and possibly scary. Also, I never liked how my son could go pee pee or #2 in the little potty, and be able to touch it, because it sits so close to the rim, and it doesn’t really “flush.” Then, I wanted my toddler to be able to find joy in being able to “flush” for real and watch the pee pee go bye-bye. Besides, when you’re in a public place, odds are you are going to use a big potty, and I didn’t want my toddler to freak out when the toilet flushed really loud, instead of his little Elmo potty saying, “Yay, you did it!” 🙂  I used the potty seat insert, shown below. You can buy it here at I especially liked this one for my son, because it had the splash guard. (Seriously… it saved a mess so many times!)

3. Take away diapers completely. Well… ALMOST.

I bought really cute “big boy” underwear for my son, and made the switch. I told him that diapers needed to go “bye bye,” and he was going to be a big boy and wear big boy underpants now. (But I think that conversation flew right over his head.)  Anyway, I took the diapers away completely, all at once. Be PREPARED to wash a lot of underwear/pants. But I thought that by letting him wear underwear sometimes, and then putting a diaper on him at bed time and naptime would just confuse him. He’s so little that he doesn’t know how to keep track of which one he is wearing at what time of the day. So I just took diapers away and put up with washing and rewashing his underwear and clothes.

Now what about bed sheets, right?

I bought bed pads, that have a non-slip backing, and put those on the top of his sheets. So if he had an accident, it only got on the pads, and that’s all I had to wash. No, pulling sheets off, and having to wash his sheets a million times. Totally nice. You can buy non-skid mattress pads here in different sizes!

4. Talking & Explaining

Even though I’m not sure which one helped my toddler, I feel this one played a HUGE part in it. I was (and still do) constantly talk about going on the potty with him. Explain what each and everything is, like:



How good it is to go on the potty

Honestly, the poor little guy is so afraid of disappointing me. (I know, sweet right?)  When I told him that it makes mommy happy when he goes on the potty, and not in his underpants. That MAY have been what made it click. I mentioned to him one day that it makes mommy “sad,” when he goes pee pee in his underwear, and he’s been doing so much better ever since. He even says, “Mommy is so happy,” when he goes on the potty! So that MAY have been it. But that would depend on your child’s personality I’m sure. Now my second boy? He probably won’t have a care in the world if mommy is happy or not. Haha!

5. Wait until they’re ready

I know, I was that mom too. The one that wanted her child to be potty trained super early so I could stop buying diapers, and could have the satisfaction that my kid was potty trained, and I didn’t have to deal with changing a this “huge” kid’s diaper anymore. But I should have listened the other moms. “Wait until they’re ready.” I think it’s true. We should wait until we think they can at least understand what going on the potty is.

I noticed with my son, that one day he just seemed to communicate better. He was starting to actually tell me things, and not just one word here and there. He was making sentences. This was right about the time that he was initiating that he had to go potty himself. So wait Mom. Just wait. (But don’t stop talking about it.)  Just take the pressure off of you, your little one, and I’m sure he/she will be out of diapers before kindergarten. 🙂

I know it’s Stressful…

I remember the days of being stressed to the max during potty training. Searching high and low for tips on “how to start potty training,” and I couldn’t wait to find new ideas to try. So I truly hope that you found these helpful, and your son or daughter is close to that super awesome thing we call, “potty trained.” 🙂

If you’re here reading this, that means you probably have a toddler at home. You just may find comfort in my other toddler posts that I’ve spilled the beans on. Like:

Turning that crib in to a dressing room

Turn your crib in to a dress up, dressing room!

Toy Timeout – A positive parenting tip

Toy Time-Out! Brilliant! I love this direction of parenting, with child discipline!

Why I Had a “Yes,” Day for my Kids

Why I Had A Yes Day For My Kids

Until next time…

how to start potty training

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 5 tips for potty training and a free printable chart

8 thoughts on “How To Start Potty Training

  1. Amy Morgan says:

    Girl I am so glad that I do not have to worry about
    Hope you are doing good

    1. Jessica says:

      LOL! I can’t wait until I’m at that point with both of my boys too! Whew! Doing great, thank you! Hope you are doing awesome too! XOXO!

  2. Zan says:

    I started training my 1st kiddo when she was 13 months old…she was not interested so we put it away and waited a few more months. By two, she was completely potty trained! I agree about the big toilets in public places frightening the small kids – my daughter when through a phase where she despised it; especially the loud ones on airplanes. Another thing, I agree with you is that you need to go diaper free in order for them to learn fast!

    1. Jessica says:

      That is excellent! Yes, when you can tell they’re not interested, it’s best to wait a while. I totally agree. Oh gosh, the airplane potty is horribly loud! You’re so right! Lol!

  3. Eden says:

    I use a “sticker board”. Poster board on fridge with bubbles drawn on it and when my daughter does something ive asked her to or uses the potty, she gets to put a sticker in a bubble. Dollar store has books of 500 stickers for cheap. When she fills her bubbles, she will get a prize. She has responded so well and it keeps her away from expecting candy. She is almost fully potty trained!

    1. Jessica says:

      That is so awesome!!! I’m not sure why I haven’t thought to snag some stickers from the Dollar Store! Brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing! XO

  4. Holly says:

    My issue is my son is in the biggest size diapers at 15 months old. I almost have to potty train early

    1. Jessica says:

      Oh you’re right! You may want to start early!

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