How to Potty Train a Toddler
This is a sponsored post on potty training, written by me on behalf of Sposie Booster Pads, the number one brand in diaper doublers. All opinions are entirely my own.
There may be nothing more difficult in parenting than potty training your kid. The sleepless nights, the breastfeeding struggles, teething, sending them to college. Nope, trying to potty train is the toughest. But after years and YEARS of practice, I think I finally have some things figured out.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about these links in my disclosure policy.
How To Potty Train a Toddler
Here are my top tips. Give them a shot, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
The kid, not you. In the beginning, it helped to have a potty in plain sight and just let Aren run around with no clothes. We gave her lots of water to drink, and prompted her to sit and pee often.
Being naked made it much easier to get her in position when she felt the urge, without clothes being in the way. It also made for less laundry when she had an accident.
This one is a bit controversial, and some say to not reward (or bribe) your child to use the potty.
Well, I’m all about the bribe. When we need to leave the house and I KNOW it’s potty time but she’s refusing, I will gladly dig up two M&Ms to get what I want. It works almost every time.
And I’m pretty confident she will skip off to kindergarten without needing an M&M to potty. It’s a short term fix that helps bring success. We just make sure we brush and floss nightly.
Every 30 minutes to an hour, prompt your little one to try. Too much pressure can backfire, so don’t force it. But a gentle reminder or even a timer to let him know it’s time to go can help.
Having repeated success (followed by praise or a reward) can be very motivating and make him want to go potty again and again.
Read a Potty Book
All of my kids have enjoyed fun potty books. They can make potty time fun, and can really ramp up the excitement to potty like a big boy or girl.
Aren’s favorite books were Potty and The Potty Book for Girls. My favorite book was the Oh Crap Potty Training Book, not that my kids gave me much time to read – especially since I can never go potty alone!
Related: The Best Overnight Diaper for Babies
Use Extra Protection at Night
Some kids will avoid peeing during the day, only to let it allll out at night. Even more commonly, kiddos will see success with daytime potty training but take much longer to be nighttime trained.
(FYI, even kids as old as 7 or 8 can still have occasional accidents, which is developmentally normal.)
There are some experts who suggest waking your toddler a few hours after bed to help them potty in the middle of the night. This is NOT something I have ever done, for a couple of reasons:
- Bedtime is already a struggle, and I avoid waking my kid for any reason short of an emergency.
- I typically fall asleep immediately after my kids do, so I’m not awake for this nighttime potty business.
To help keep everything dry and contained until morning, we have started using Sposies diaper doublers. My kids tend to be heavy wetters, and there is nothing that wakes a kid (or mom) up faster than a wet bed!
Sposies can hold a lot of liquid, which makes it easy to turn any brand of diaper into a nighttime diaper. They also pull the wetness away from the skin to reduce diaper rash and irritation.
Perfect for both girls and boys, place inside your normal diaper and adjust as necessary. For girls, place in the middle of the diaper. For boys, pull to the front.
Even though Rowen isn’t close to potty training (oh, I can’t wait for that day!), I use Sposies in his diaper at night to help him stay dry. I always felt so bad when he woke up with wet clothes and sheets – but that’s not a problem anymore!
Sposies can be found at Walmart, Target, and Amazon.
Do you have any other tried and true tips? I’d love for you to share below in a comment so other moms and dads can learn from your success! We’re all in this together, right?