Potty Training

#pottytrainingishard is an understatement! It takes a lot of effort, and hard work, persistence, and patience which can be VERY hard when you're dealing with an unwilling toddler. With Oliver now being potty trained for quiet some time, I thought it would be a good time to share some tips/tricks with you in case your next on the potty training band wagon!

Let me start by saying that potty training is 80/20. I completely agree that in order for potty training to be successful, the child needs to be 80% willing and ready. That makes only 20% effort for the adult to put in the work. If you're child is not 80% ready, then don't even try.. you most likely will fail and that's okay, you're just not ready. Wait a couple months and then try again. If your child is ready than continue to read some of my helpful tips/tricks that either worked for us or were recommended to me by other successful mamas!

KNOW WHEN YOUR CHILD IS READY: Look for Signs of Readiness

  • Your child asks you to change his diaper after they've went 
  • They can verbally/physically tell you that they went potty or have to potty
  • They may or may not want to wear a diaper
  • Interested in sitting on the potty, watching you use the potty, or being near the potty
  • May or may not wake from naps or nighttime dry
  • Goes and hides to poop or pee/wants privacy

IF your child is showing signs that they are ready to start potty training there are a few different "techniques" you can use to help the process go a little smoother!

  1. Treasure Box Method: Learned this technique from a dear mama who trained her son before he was 3! She put together a little treasure box filled with dollar store toys and little trinkets for each time he went potty, he could get a new treasure! If your child responds well to rewards, than this could be a great option for you! This can also be done with a jar of m&ms, skittles, or whatever kind of treat they love!
  2. Sticker Chart Method: Many, many, many mamas have used the sticker method and this is actually the method we used as well. If your child really enjoys stickers and putting them on a paper themselves which is rewarding for them then this is a great method. Just have a chart in the bathroom with a bunch of stickers for them to choose from and each time they poop or pee they get to pick one or two stickers out and put them on their chart!
  3. "Oh Crap Potty Training Book": I personally never bought this book, but have heard great success stories through our ECFE class and other mamas. The author is a potty training expert who shares her proven 6-step plan to successfully train your toddler. Plus it's only $5.99!
  4. The THREE day method: I think this is the most popular method I've heard of parents using and it's just as it sounds. Dedicate 3 full days to staying home with your toddler and be committed to training them. Let them walk around naked if that's their thing, set a timer to tell them your taking them potty (never ask, they will say no), and no matter if they go or not, make them sit on the toilet to get use to it! This method can be daunting, but is usually successful after just 3 LONG days so it can be worth it to many!


  • These methods may not work for every child, but just know what your child responds best to and stick with that. Give each method a solid week before trying to introduce a new one to avoid confusion with your little one. 
  • ALWAYS carry extra undies and pants with you where ever you go! I always keep a pair in my truck and then in my diaper bag!
  • If you're worried about them having to go while your driving, I've heard of one mama who would bring their "potty chair" in the back of her truck in case of emergency situations!
  • Look up potty training videos on you tube kids for your child to watch while they go potty or sit on the potty. 
  • Bribery is great. Bribe them with their favorite treat, piece of candy or whatever they get excited about to help them want to go potty. 

The MAIN thing for you to do is to remain POSITIVE. Applaud them, reward them, tell them how proud you are of them for using the potty even if they don't go! Keeping a positive attitude and encouraging them along the way will make this process so much better for you both. You want them to associate using the bathroom with positive thoughts and good vibes, so remember that when you start to get frustrated. This is new to them and can be scary, so be their sense of security through it all.

Keep in mind that you may think your child is ready, but he or she may actually not be. If you try to potty train and it isn't going well, take a couple weeks/months off and then try again. Only 40% off children are actually potty trained at age 3, so don't get discouraged if your child is nearing their 3rd birthday and still not potty trained. It will happen, give it time!

With Oliver, I tried twice before I actually knew he was ready. Key signs I watched for were him going to hide to poop, immediately wanting to be changed once he went in his diaper, he would tell me before he went in his diaper, and he started showing signs of interest in the toilet or wanting to watch anyone who went. He was very afraid of the potty at first, which is why we did end up buying a small one to sit next to the toilet, and eventually only used the big boy potty! The sticker chart and treat reward only lasted about a week or two, and then he was kinda over it and just used the bathroom without having to get a reward. We still wear pull-ups at nap times and bedtime as he does still go pee when he sleeps. We are still working on him pulling up his own underwear once he's done, and we do still wipe his butt.. but no more man shit diapers for him! #WHOOHOOO 

Remember to stay positive, and patient with your little one. Each child is unique and may take longer than other children, or may catch on rather quickly, either way listen to your child! 

I hope you found this post helpful, I know I wanted all the tips/tricks when we were starting to potty train Oliver. If you have further questions or other helpful tips, leave a comment below. Please LIKE this post or come comment on my instagram post to let me know that you enjoyed todays read!