Dec 1, 2017
Potty Training Expert

How to Potty Train Your Child Successfully

how to potty train

How to potty train your child is a big step in their lives and you need to do it in the right way and at the right time. If it is not done right, it can cause bathroom problems for your child for years to come. When it comes to answering the question of how to potty train your child, here are some tips and hints:

What you will learn:

  • To review readiness/Development
  • To Discuss common problems and possible solutions
  • To provide tips for parents

Let’s face it changing diapers is no fun. It’s stinky, it’s messy, time consuming, and costly as well!

There’s no parenting manual when it comes to raising a child. However, they’re guides and the advice of others which can help with parenting, babies, toddlers, pregnancy, childbirth, and in this case Potty Training. There is no right or wrong, but they’re dos and don’ts. As a parent we are often on a tight and very busy schedule, rather than give an extensive read on how to potty train a girl or boy, here’s a quick guide discussing all the importance, so you can get right back to your busy day!

Every child is an individual. What works for one may not work for another! First things first:

Potty training is something that every parent must go through. It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary. It’s new to the child.

Where Should A Parent Begin?

You must consider the developmental level of each child and plan potty training techniques accordingly.

Observe your child’s behaviour. If you look closely enough, your child is likely to give you tell-tale signs to suggest he/she is ready to begin using the potty. Remember that all children do not develop at the same rate. There are many questions you can ask as you observe your child. If you answer “yes” to a few of the questions, your child may be ready to potty train!

Areas of Readiness- Is My Child Ready?

Can he/she follow simple verbal instructions?

  • Is he/she staying dry for 2 or more hours at a time? After nap time?
  • Is he/she uncomfortable in the soiled diaper and demands to be changed right away?
  • Is he/she asking to wear regular underwear?
  • Having regular bowel movements?
  • Is he/she making verbal or facial cues to indicate he/she needs to use the bathroom?

Able to squat without losing his/her balance

Able to dress/undress his/her self with limited help

Demonstrates imitative behaviors

Plays make believe

Able to sit down or play quietly for about 5 minutes

Able to understand simple requests
Able to show his/her needs using words, signs or gestures
Can name urine and bowel movements

Toileting Skills
Able to stay dry for at least an hour or two
Awareness of what the toilet is for
Aware of being wet or soiled with consistent bowel movements
Not currently experiencing a stressful situation

Common Problems & Solutions

Won’t have a BM on the potty
Was trained but has regressed

Some Reasons Why Children Resist

Too many reminders
Too many lectures
Forced to sit on the toilet against their will

Control – Independence Issues
Too much pressure
Physical Pain

Refusal to Use the Toilet

Possible Reason…

It is big…cold
Makes loud noises
Things disappear in it never to be seen again

How to Help?

Need to increase their comfort level.
Reassure them that is what is supposed to happen.

Says, “NO!”

Possible Reason…

May be discovering that “NO” is a way to exert power.
Control and independence issues

How to help?
Talk to the Parents…
Resist Reminding
Don’t Hover
Be Calm About Accidents
Reward Good Behavior

Won’t Have a BM on the Potty

Very common problem
Fearful of making a mess
Observe and Log
Use a pull up/diaper
Watch for constipation
Talk about body functions

Was Trained…Has Regressed

Even small changes
Be careful not to push
Find ways to reinforce his/her independence

More Suggestions

Establish a reward or incentive for using the potty.

Have the child involved with changing themselves

May need visual references along with verbal directions for the step by step process

Establish a specific routine for children that have many accidents

Some Specific Incentives

Inexpensive trinkets wrapped like presents
Tickets to redeem for rewards
Printable coloring pages

Helpful Strategies for Parents

If they are having trouble…

Books and videos
Monitor fluid intake
Use easy to remove clothing
Share what works at school
Reminders to remain calm and positive

Picking out the Seat

When your child shows signs of being ready, figure out which potty seat best works for your child. Many different seats are available, and the comfort of your child is important for his or her success. Allow the child to make the seat his or her own! Decorating, unwrapping, and/or placing it in the bathroom may make the child very excited about using his/her very own potty seat.

More Advice for Parents

Expect accidents
Do not blame or threaten the child, This is a learning process for him/her.
Explain expectations (“Next time ask for help”)
Do not insist the child stay on the toilet more than a few minutes
Make a chart and allow the child to place stickers on the chart after they’ve used the bathroom.

Continue reading books to your child about toilet training. Many are available at the public library or the child section of the local book store.

  • Talk to your child about the importance of using the bathroom.
  • Encourage bathroom use by role modelling.
  • Avoid negative words such as “smelly”.


If you are looking to potty train your boy or girl in 3 days flat, and you are at the point of desperation, this might well be the best option.

Click here to learn more about the “Potty Training in 3 Days” program and how it can help you and your child


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