The Ultimate Guide to Potty Training Your Toddler
Marissa Fidler shares her experience with potty training her toddler using Moms on Call’s brand new Potty by Design potty training resource.
Potty Training. The words alone can make people run the other way. But I am here to say, “at ease mamas!” because I just potty trained our two and half year old daughter and I promise you, it was not that bad. We did it in only TWO DAYS, and with my 15 month old son in the house!
In this article, I’m sharing exactly what you need to do in order to get your little one out of diapers and onto the potty, once and for all. AND I’m sharing best practices on how to do it with a younger sibling in the house. Read on to learn how to prepare yourself, your house, and your little one for potty training. Everything from what supplies to buy, what method to use, and how to keep that sibling busy is covered! For other baby and toddler tips and tricks (such as, “The Essentials for Flying With a Baby”, “How to Take a Baby to the Beach”, or “How to Prepare for Baby, By Trimester”) check out my motherhood and lifestyle blog at www.fidlinaround.com, and follow me on Instagram at @fidlinaround2!
How to Prepare for Potty Training
- WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE READY. I cannot stress this enough. I tried potty training Annabelle (AB) several times before she was truly ready and I failed miserably. It’s fine, we all lived to tell the tale, but if you don’t want to waste time and energy, wait until they’re actually ready. Make sure your child is showing all the “ready signs” beforehand. Such as being uncomfortable in a dirty diaper, wanting to be changed immediately, telling you when they have to go or that they just went, hiding in private areas to poo, showing interest in the bathroom, the toilet, washing hands, etc.
- Choose the right method! I researched a ton and read multiple resources before potty training AB. Some of which included other potty training books and random articles and blogs off Pinterest. But we ultimately decided to go with the baby and toddler experts themselves, Moms on Call (MOC). We used their newest e-resource, “Potty by Design” (PBD) and it worked wonderfully. It was the perfect choice for our family and I’ll dive into why as you read on. We followed their “Booty Camp” method and had AB potty trained in just TWO days! Click here to purchase and use code MARISSAF for an additional 10% off. And if you buy PBD along with MOC’s online Toddler Course, you’ll receive 30% off your entire purchase (for a limited time only)!
- Once purchased, read through the “How to Prepare” section for details. But I think one of the most important things is to visit their Potty Training Supplies store on Amazon and purchase everything in advance. Once you receive everything, install it properly in your house.
- Prepare your bathrooms. Put a potty attachment in a bathroom on each level of your house, if possible. Place a bin of fun potty training books near the toilet, a stool for the toilet and stool for the sink (here are some pretty customized options), foam soap at the sink (this is my fave), and put out easily accessible hand towels.
- Shop for some FUN new underwear to help incentivize them and get them motivated! These are my FAVORITE- so soft, comfortable, and the cutest patterns! Click here for boy patterns. These are great as well (click here for boy patterns).
- Last but not least, prepare YOURSELF and your little one by exuding confidence and excitement about potty training. Take the stress and anxiety out of it and make it fun! You’re FINALLY getting your kid out of diapers – celebrate it! We started our potty training weekend out by letting AB cut and rip up her diapers. As silly as it sounds, she loved that little exercise.
How to Start Potty Training using MOC’s Potty by Design
- As previously mentioned, buy all the necessary supplies and install them in your house in advance.
- Download the Moms on Call’s Toddler by Design app and take the quick quiz to determine your child’s SMART Design (AB is Movement and Social). This will aid tremendously while using PBD as it provides customized methods and tips for successfully getting them potty trained. Their Toddler Book and online course shed additional light on this.
- Choose your PBD Method (“Triple P” or “Booty Camp”). My recommendation (and what we did for AB) is to start with the “Booty Camp” method over a weekend, and then move to the “Triple P” method the following week.
Why Potty by Design?
Why did we choose Potty by Design? For a number of reasons!
First, it’s short and sweet. Some resources are 300+ pages! And if I need to read a 300 page book on how to potty train, I may as well just throw the towel in now. PBD is only 30 pages but includes all the information and details you need.
Second, it’s digital, so you’re able to access it immediately and have it on you 24/7! You can easily reference or print screenshots as well.
Third, PBD recognizes that potty training is not a “one size fits all” approach, and that every child is different. It provides customized methods AND tips based on your child’s unique character and design.
Fourth, it includes schedules with potty training built in.
Last but not least, it’s written by the baby and toddler experts themselves, Moms on Call. My husband and I have used MOC for literally all things baby and toddler since our kids were just a few weeks old! It’s a trusted, credible source that has yet to let us down.
Our Experience with Potty by Design
We chose to follow the “Booty Camp” method, and that’s intended to be done over a weekend. This was perfect as I wanted to start while my husband was home so I had an extra set of hands for AB’s little brother! We started bright and early on a Saturday morning (would’ve liked to start on Friday but AB was in a summer camp that day and I think it’s best to start in the morning). My husband and I tag-teamed it. He was responsible for our 15 month old son, William (W) and I was on potty duty.
The overall “gist” of the method is to let your child run around without pants or underwear for an entire weekend, while taking them to the bathroom every hour on the hour (excluding sleep times). Which is exactly what we did. And she was pretty much potty trained in two days. Read on for the details!
BOOTY CAMP DAY 1
As luck would have it, AB woke up Friday night with a fever and horrible diaper rash (out of nowhere)! Needless to say, she was pretty cranky Saturday morning. But even with that being the case, we pushed through and stuck with it. We put her in dresses without wearing anything underneath. She kicked off the morning by peeing right on the kitchen floor (mommy’s fault- I didn’t get her to the potty in time). But went on the potty moving forward, roughly every hour, on the hour.
PBD recommends using a potty attachment to the toilet instead of individual potty chairs, so we bought one for downstairs and one for upstairs. I agree with that method instead of the alternative! Who wants to clean extra toilets?! PLUS it eliminates an additional transition from the potty chair to the toilet. This is the potty chair (with built in step ladder) that worked best for us!
For sleep times, we used Pull-Ups and explained that they are only for sleep times, in case we have an accident. We do not want to disrupt sleep with potty training. They will learn to stop going during sleep times on their own, and when they stay dry for two weeks straight, we can eliminate the Pull-Ups (which according to PBD may not happen until three and half to four years of age, so be patient).
AB napped from about 1-3pm that day and actually woke up completely dry! We put her on the potty immediately but she said she didn’t need to go. Five minutes later she peed on the floor, so that was our second and last accident of the day. BUT eight out of 10 times she went on the potty really well so we were still pleased. She went to the bathroom before dinner and before her bath successfully.
We put her to bed with a Pull-Up on and she went to sleep feeling confident and excited to continue the next day (and so did mama!). We could tell she was very proud of herself.
BOOTY CAMP DAY 2
Day two started with a soaking wet Pull-Up. She did not go on the potty since she had gone in her Pull-Up, but I took her again after breakfast and it was successful! Again, her S.M.A.R.T. design is primarily Movement and Social, so it was a challenge keeping her entertained on the toilet in the beginning, but she quickly got the hang of it. It helped to sing songs, read books, and do “potty yoga” to keep her busy while sitting there. As the day progressed, it started to go quite smoothly and she actually did everything by herself! Pulling her pants down, getting on the potty, wiping, flushing, and even washing her hands.
She did have a little accident on the front porch that morning, but that was her one and only accident of the day (and was mainly daddy’s fault because he didn’t get her to the potty fast enough!). We then decided to be brave and go for a little family outing to the grocery store. I put training pants on her just to be safe, and she stayed dry the whole time! I was so proud of her. She went potty as soon as we got home and knew exactly what to do.
She woke up from her nap mostly dry in her Pull-Up and went on the potty successfully around 3pm. We played outside in her bathing suit and she stayed dry then too! She went on the potty before dinner and we had a celebratory dance party. We played “The Poop Song” by David Kisor about a hundred times over the weekend and she loved it. She actually did not have any issues going poo on the potty. I really thought she would as I know it typically takes awhile for them to get the hang of it, but she did it like a pro.
ONE WEEK LATER
Fast forward one week and I can officially say our little girl is potty trained! We’ve had very few accidents, she goes potty on her own, and we are working on staying dry during sleep times. We are now following PBD’s “Triple P” schedule which is similar to the “Booty Camp” schedule, just with fewer trips to the bathroom. She tells me when she has to go or she’ll just run to the bathroom herself.
The only challenge I’m facing is her a) wanting to be in the bathroom by herself and locking me out and b) using the entire roll of toilet paper when she goes. But besides that, girlfriend is potty trained. We’ve been on several outings (to the store, to a farm, to dinner, and even a three hour long African Safari) and she has stayed dry for all of them. I’m so proud of her progress! My baby’s all grown up!
My Best Tips for Potty Training with a Younger Sibling in the House
- Start potty training on a long weekend or when you have an extra set of hands available; that way one person can work with the little one you’re potty training and the other person can be responsible for the sibling
- Ideas for keeping sibling confined while potty trainee is on the potty
- High Chair with toys
- Bath Tub with toys
- Toys/books set up in a nearby area
- Ipad/Screen Time
3) Use the sibling to your advantage! Tell your trainee “let’s show baby brother how you can go potty like a big girl!” or “let’s teach your brother how to poo on the potty like you do!”
I know there are a TON of resources out there that say it’s the best, easiest, and quickest method for potty training, but just remember that EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT! Every child goes and learns at their own pace. Remember to have patience. Make your confidence in them contagious. Let them know you believe in them! And it’ll happen. It may take two days, may take two weeks, it may take two or three tries until they get it. But they WILL get it, eventually! And they’ll have you, or Moms on Call to thank. Cheers and GOOD LUCK! 🙂