Written by Moms on Call

We are jumping right into potty training with positivity and patience. As we go through our journey, we thought we would share tips of the trade.

How do we know when they are ready? 

  • They tell you when they have to go, are going or have peed or pooped in their diaper/Pull-up.
  • They are showing interest in others’ use of the potty.
  • They are able to dress and undress themselves.
  • They are grossed out by a dirty diaper OR hide to pee or poo in their diaper. 

What do we need to get started? 

  • Prep the bathroom with books to keep them interested. We’re going to try to keep them sitting and engaged for at least 3-5 minutes. 
    • Moms on Call’s Super Duper Pooper eBook is a fun, rhyming potty book that helps toddlers to see real faces that show the potty is safe and non-threatening. It helps to familiarize a toddler with the process in a fun and supportive way that sets them up for success.
  • During the day, have your toddler wear big kid underwear or waterproof training pants. 
    • Nap and nighttime are excluded from potty training. We are looking for them to wake up dry for at least a week in a row before tackling nap and nighttime. 
  • The potty should be the one that sits right on your toilet seat (like this one). 
    • For the home: Let your little one pick out their potty to keep them involved and get them excited to start! 
    • On the go: They actually make foldable/portable potty seats to keep in your diaper bag.

I’m ready.  Now what?

  • We do not ask “Do you need to go potty?”
    • I’m still biting my tongue on this one! It’s a process to get used to, but we need to remember that we are building a new structure and daily activity that they are still figuring out. 
  • We are taking them to the potty 4-5 times a day, as well as when they ask or tell us that they need/want to go. 
    • Morning 
    • Before nap 
    • After nap 
    • After supper 
    • Before bed
  • Positive attitude! Keep our words and actions positive.
    • We want to stay confident, positive and try not to “stress face” (you know, that face you make when you realize your kid pooped, seconds after getting off the potty).
    • We do not shame, spank, insult OR “stress face” for not peeing or pooping in the potty.
  • We do not reward with stickers, candy, etc. Life is unpredictable and so is going potty! We can’t rely on incentives to keep them interested and learning, it’s also a hard habit to break. 

What do we do in the moment? 

  • Stay calm and Confident! 
  • When they go, try saying: 
    • “I knew you could do it!” 
    • “You’re doing great!”
  • When they don’t, try saying:
    • “We’ll try again later; you’re so smart, you’ll figure this out!” 
    • “You’ve got this; let’s try again later!” This is a household favorite-my youngest repeats, “I got this!” 

We are shooting for about a 60% success rate for the first week or so, then 80% and before we know it, we just have the occasional accident.

Peeing is much more successful than pooping at first! 

  • Once we are at that 80% success rate of peeing, tackle pooping. 
    • Encourage them to tell you when they have to poo. 
    • Look for signs.  This will sometimes be when they hide, make a poo face or are standing still and focusing. 
  • Encourage them to stay on the potty for that 3-5 minutes, but don’t get to a point where they are crying or you are forcing them to stay. This takes the fun out of it. 
  • If unsuccessful with poop, have them try again in 5-10 minutes. If they are showing the signs, it sometimes takes 2-3 tries before they actually poo in the potty. 

Remember, going potty is an activity of daily living, we just have to help them manage it! Stay consistent and don’t give up, they WILL learn to do this. 

For more resources with practical advice (that really works!)  for parenting newborns through toddlerhood, visit momsoncall.com.  Our Online Video Courses are like having a pediatric nurse (who believes in you!) at your fingertips.  We’ll walk with you step by step through each stage of the parenting journey with our bite-sized, value-packed videos that coach you through schedule transitions and developmental milestones, all while addressing the most common questions, topics and concerns that we’ve heard in our 20+ years of pediatric (and parenting) experience.  Our courses are designed to perfectly complement our books, swaddle blankets and apps.  At Moms On Call, we are dedicated to providing positive, practical and effective ways to help parents feel more confident and, at the very least, have to clean up less poop.