25 Potty Training Tips

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Our website was created in order to provide a one-stop-place for parents to find simple, easy to follow tips and suggestions for potty training their toddlers. Hence the website name, Our Potty Training Tips and this post:potty training tips 2014

25 Potty Training Tips 2014 Edition

Not all of these tips will work for every child but they are a great place to start but the most important thing to take from our website isn’t the best potty or pull-up pants product but a sense of empowerment and positive attitude.

Yes, potty training your toddler may well be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to rule your life. Stay focused and in control and above all, be patient with your little one. Remember he or she has only been in this world for a few years!

Here’s a breakdown of all our potty training tips. We’ll add more as we think of them or get them from your suggestions.

Tip 1

Bribery – promise the treats
It no lie that bribing your toddler may sound a bit dodgy, but in reality that’s the primary way for parents to get their toddler to do what mummy and daddy want. Just don’t overdo it. A promise of a handful of their favourite snacks or M&Ms or a trip to the play park may be enough to motivate your little one to go potty.

Tip 2

Kid must be good and ready
There’s two ways your child has to be ready for potty training, biologically and mentally. If your toddler’s body isn’t able to control bowel or bladder movements then there’s really no point trying to get them to hold their pee or poop until they can get to the potty. If they show no signs of wanting to learn potty training, there’s little point trying to force it on them.

Tip 3

Let Dad try (especially for boys)
Kids learn best by following an example, so let Dad get involved by showing your son how daddy goes to the toilet. You’ll be amazed at his reaction and curiosity. Image courtesy of www.aha-soft.com

Tip 4

Target practice
Another one for the little boys. Give them something to aim for. Their favourite breakfast cereal into the toilet or potty is a great way to let your little boy toddler practice getting his stand up pee going in the right direction. Of course, you can buy products on Amazon or eBay, see what works for your toddler.

Tip 5

Lots of praise
Whilst you should be careful not to overdo the praise in case the attention causes your little one to become embarrassed; giving the right amount of praise at the right time will certainly encourage your toddler. Make sure to offer praise when they visit the potty for the first few times, then change that to when they sit down, them again change it to when they’ve done the pee or poop. Praise at the wrong time or too often at a certain time will reinforce to your child that the activity they just did is the desired outcome.

Tip 6

Little White Lies
I once heard a father encourage his daughter to go potty by telling her that her poop feeds the fish and that if she didn’t go the fish don’t get any food. A little white lie helped her get over the fear of sitting on the toilet by giving her something positive to think about.

Tip 7

Naked time
This works so long as it’s warm. Dress down your toddler and let them run around naked for a time. Make sure the potty is close by and visible so your little one can see it as they run around. If they don’t sit down out of curiosity and playing, try the timer tips below.

Tip 8

Fear of losing their poo
It might seem strange, but little boys and girls think their poo belongs to them and when they see it in the potty or toilet are fearful that they’re losing a bit of themselves. Reassure them that it’s perfectly normal and make it fun for them to flush it down the toilet. Little white lies above can also help.

Tip 9

Keeping your potty training consistent or stable can go a long way to successful potty training. Every 20 minutes or so take your toddler to the potty and get them to sit down. At the start, don’t expect too much other than idle curiosity.

Tip 10

This is a motivational tip. Get some stickers and a wall chart where every positive activity is rewarded with an awesome sticker. Each successful day or week is rewarded with a better sticker. Get creative!

Tip 11

This tips isn’t for the little one, it’s for mother and father. Patience, patience, patience. It’s hard on many levels from the first day when you can’t get them to even look at the potty right up to the regression where after several days of success they simply refuse to do anything potty related. Take a break, pop them back into a nappy/diaper and have a cup of decaf coffee.

Tip 12

Just do it!
A common way to do it albeit a bit on the extreme and not for everyone is to just go for it. Get your toddler into big boy or girl underwear and brace for impact! I’ve heard of a dad covering all the furniture in plastic and getting undressed down to underwear with his son and leading by example. Great if you have a spare weekend.

Tip 13

They say that location is everything (I don’t know who says it but someone does). There are some parents who have placed the potty in the living room so as their child plays they are reminded that it’s there. As they get more used to using the potty in the living room it’s slowly move to the bathroom.

Tip 14

Sing a song
Sing to your toddler whenever he’s on the potty. It will help them relax and keep them happy. There’s the Elmo Potty Time Song, “It’s where you sit when you gotta doo doo”.

Tip 15

Make up a song
Not impressed with Elmo or maybe you have a talent for poetry? Why not make up your own song. Include your toddler’s name and make the verses rhyme. Your toddler will love that you sing to him and delight at their name being used.

Tip 16

Read together
Keep a favourite book just for reading to your toddler on the potty. When it’s time for him to go, say something like, “Do you want to go read your book on the potty?” Boys may be more inclined to want to do this than girls, maybe this is a sign of things to come :-)

Tip 17

Use a special potty
Hopefully, you let your little one pick the potty that she’s going to sit on when she goes to the toilet. Getting them involved right at the start will encourage them to be more invested in the process of sitting on the potty that she chose.

Tip 18

Try a timer that goes ding every 20 minutes
If your toddler is too busy playing or just having fun and forgets to go potty, try a timer set at 20 minute intervals. Each time the alarm goes off he’ll be encouraged to go sit on the potty. At the very least, it’s a reminder that he should!

Tip 19

Coloured water in the toilet
Remember those days when your mum put the blue disk into the cistern? The water turned all blue and you’d flush and flush to see it do the same? Well, you can go one step better and add some food colouring to the water bowl.

Tip 20

Make them feel proud
Pride is a strong emotion. You feel it every day your toddler does something new. That emotion can make your toddler want to impress you even more. Praise them (at the right time) when they go potty. Show them their wee and poo and tell them they are a good girl for going to the toilet like a big girl.

Tip 21

Put them in charge
Nothing gives people a sense of empowerment like being in charge and it’s no different for your toddler. Let them think they are incharge. Allow them to reset the timer (Tip 18) each time and let them flush (Tip 22)

Tip 22

Make flushing fun
You’ve probably already noticed this but your little one loves to flush the toilet. If she doesn’t, try to make it more fun by encouraging them to flush a clean bowl and watching the water spiral down the toilet. I don’t recommend letting them watch their poop flush as the splashes may contain fecal content. See our article on bathroom safety for more details.

Tip 23

Girls: dress her in a dress
A simple way for little girls to decide really quickly when they need to go potty and not have to struggle with pull down sweatpants or shorts. 

Tip 24

Don’t use disposable training pants
This may make you feel a bit uncomfortable, but it’s a good technique. Let them get uncomfortable when they get wet. They’re more likely to start to make use of the potty in advance of them getting wet if they can feel it when they do wet their underwear.

Tip 25

Don’t beat yourself up
If your toddler isn’t trained in 3 days or 7 days or 4 weeks it’s not the end of the world. Toddlers will take as long as they need to potty train. Don’t worry about it – they’re not going to graduate wearing diapers.


We hope that you enjoyed reading these 25 Potty Training Tips 2014 edition. If you have any of your own suggestions or feel those above could use a tweak or edit, please don’t be shy. Drop us a message in the comments below.

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