This is your one-stop potty training resource! In this article, you will find potty training tips, the low down on potty training girls versus boys, the best and learn about the most helpful training products. I also dive into common problems when it comes to guiding kids to own the toilet and offer solutions to get you through the obstacle.
Finally, I will answer frequent questions such as when to start and is it really possible to do in 3 days?
A Parent's Ultimate Guide to Potty Training
This post includes lessons learned from 11 years as a parent to my three kids. With that said, I researched and spoke with many experts in the field to bring you all your potty training resources into one place!
When to Start Potty Training
As with many aspects of child development, the pace from one child to another child often varies greatly. In other words, maybe your child is ready at 18 months, or maybe not until 3 years old. There is no optimal universal timing. You simply have to watch for signs of readiness.
Signs of Potty Training Readiness
- Pulling at or simply being cranky about a wet or dirty diaper
- Hiding behind a couch or somewhere in the house to pee or poop in a diaper
- Telling you she is about to go, are going, or have just gone is a good sign she is becoming aware of her body's needs. She is learning on her own and expressing it to you.
- Showing interest in others' (such as a sibling or parent) use of the potty, or copying their behavior
- Going hours and hours without a wet diaper
- Napping without a wet diaper!
Related Read: 11 Essential Potty Training Tips for Parents
Other Ideas to Help Assess When Your Child is Ready for the Toilet
With that said, here are a few ideas to help you assess if your child is ready for the toilet:
- Create the environment and he will get there. Get a stool for the toilet and a child-sized toilet seat to make going to the bathroom more accessible.
- Observe your child for signs of interest
- Begin to create a routine around toileting even if your child shows little interest in going on the toilet yet. Using a visual schedule is a great idea!
- Invest in training pants or pull-ups
- Consider a waterproof mattress pad
- Prepare for setbacks
- Put many positive phrases in your back pocket to say during challenging moments
- Adopt a naked time
- As with any Montessori lesson, explain & demonstrate (this one is worth repeating). If the child isn't quite getting it, then try again.
- Make it fun with cool and exciting underwear
- Celebrate even the smallest victories!
Is It Possible to Potty Train in 3 Days?
Umm…not in my experience. I believe 100% it is a process, however, I have heard rock star stories about 3-day potty training that WORKED well for some families. It all depends on your circumstances and your child.
If your 3-year-old is refusing to train that quickly then take a step back. Either try a different approach or choose another time to make it happen.
Toilet Training Problems 101
You will undoubtedly run into some problems along the way such as reversion, holding it, and constipation. All serious problems except for reversion, in my opinion.
The latter two issues are big deals and can negatively impact a child's body and mind. If you want to read the journey of one of my sons' check it out in this post: Why You Should Act Fast If Your Kid Won't Poop.
Reversion, on the hand, happens often with a change such as starting school or a new baby in the family (raises hand). My advice is to take it in stride and don't stress. If you manage your expectations, you'll handle the situation much better. It is not about you failing or your child having a serious developmental issue, it just happens.
Of course, your child may be defiant, too. Think about Dr. Montessori and her ideas around developing at their own pace and discovering (fill in the blank) on their own time will work best. For example, a child who is pushed to read may not enjoy reading or lack comprehension skills. Whereas a child who finds his way to reading in his own time most likely will fall in love with reading for a lifetime. Make sense?
Potty Training Girls Versus Boys
Good question. As a mom of three boys, I can't entirely answer this question. Boys are little devils and their parts are different. I have heard rumors that girls are easier to potty train than boys but I can't really assert that point as the mom of boys.
So, there are functional differences in terms of wiping oneself and cleaning the toilet seat (ah-hem).
Helpful Potty Training Products