Potty Training: Tips for the Journey to Big Boy/Girl Underpants

Allie Ticktin, OTR/L - July 31, 2020

Potty training is something that all parents experience, but let’s face it, it is stressful for both you and your child. Between timers, star charts, M&M’s and cleaning up accidents, it keeps you on your toes and can be extremely frustrating. Parents come to us asking for advice on potty training almost daily and the truth is, no two children are exactly the same, which means one method is not going to work for every child. 

Here are a few tips to help guide you through the journey to big boy/girl underpants (and no accidents!):

  • Wait until your child is ready: Some kids might be ready at two, but others won’t be ready until closer to four years old. Don’t rush it, instead wait until you notice that they are interested in the potty, seem to notice or feel uncomfortable when their diaper is dirty and they are aware when they are going potty – they have to be able to feel that they need to go for potty training to be a success! 
  • Take the pressure off: This is a big one, many kids do not like feeling under pressure. Act cool, calm and collected. Do not make them feel pressured to go to the bathroom. If grandma is calling and asking how the potty is going, that might be too much. Instead, make them feel more in control. This means if you have a fight to go sit on the potty, there might be too much pressure. 
  • Place potties throughout the house: When potty training, a potty is not just for the bathroom. Put one in the play room, living room, back yard and anywhere else where you might spend a lot of time. This way they don’t have to travel far to go to the bathroom in a pinch. 
  • Get them involved: Let them come to the store and pick out their own potty and big kid undies. Read books about going to the bathroom and make it fun and exciting without the pressure!
  • Don’t be afraid to take a step back or try a new method: Sometimes you get going and realize your little one just isn’t ready. Don’t be afraid to take one step back or take a break and come back with a new method. I don’t have to tell you how many ways to potty train you will find with one google search, but you know your child best and what they need. Don’t be afraid to try your own method, or stop and start over with a new method.

These are just a few tips to get you started… I can go on for hours about transitioning out of diapers and into underwear! If you want any more tips or to problem solve some of your potty woes, join us for our potty training workshop or office hours!