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3 Effective Potty Training Methods for Your Child

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Potty training is such a mystery before you have children, isn’t it? When I look at a graduating class of seniors, I think to myself, “They figured out how to manage their bodily functions. Odds are I can teach my own kids how to properly use a toilet before they leave for college.” (OK, so we start a bit earlier than that.) In case you’re in the throes of indecision like I’ve been, take a look at a few potty training methods that might work best for your young child.

Top Potty Training Methods

No matter which of these methods you ultimately choose, a great place to start is to watch for signs that your toddler is ready. It may vary from child to child.

For example, my daughter was much more interested in sitting on her little potty shortly after turning two. My son is approaching his third birthday and spends approximately 2.7 seconds on a toilet before losing interest and running off. Starting too soon may lead to frustration for both you and your child.

See which of these methods will suit your child best.

3-Day Method

If you think your toddler is up for a “cold turkey” approach, try the 3-Day method. According to BabyCenter, this can happen between 15 and 28 months. Two requirements for the success of this method are:

  • The child must show interest in sitting on the toilet.

  • The child must be able to pull up his or her own pants without assistance.

Before you start, get your child excited about the prospect of a “Potty Party.” Set aside the entire day to focus on your child. Designate a room for the occasion with toys, snacks, drinks, and of course, the potty.

Next, let your child pick out some “big kid” underwear and reiterate the importance of keeping it dry. Every time your child goes potty, reward him or her with a prize (i.e. stickers).

Use a timer to help your child get used to regularly sitting on the potty. On days two and three, continue the “Potty Party” with new activities and stay consistent.

Practice Makes Perfect

Perhaps you’re more interested in potty training methods that happen more gradually. I felt that way with my daughter since I was new to the experience, myself. What worked best?

We took multiple trips to the bathroom each day just to get her used to sitting on the potty. There was no expectation for her to eliminate, so we just read books and sang songs until she was ready to get off and go play.

In time, as we talked about the process of urinating, she eventually peed in the potty - which was met with lots of praise. This formed into a pattern, especially once she got to wear her very own “big girl panties.” Sure, she still had a few accidents, but it wasn’t long before she had the hang of it.

Break and Start Again

This third method of potty training is after you’ve tried one of the first two and your child still resists. According to the Mayo Clinic, giving a resistant child a break and trying again in a few months is a great way to help him learn when he’s ready.

This was my second child. As I said, he hasn’t shown any interest to make the switch. My husband and I continue the conversation with him and even let him run around in just a shirt to see if he is more ready for training. Each time, he resists, so we simply take a break.

Now that his third birthday is coming, we’ll be giving him some brand new underwear and will launch a new effort toward potty training. It was uncomfortable to wait at first, but now I can tell it was the right choice for him.

In Conclusion

Don’t beat yourself up if your tiny tot isn’t interested in her potty, yet. The expense of diapers does add up, but signs of resistance and frustration just mean she’s not ready. When she is, throw that potty party, grab some prizes and have fun!

What are some of your favorite potty training methods? We’d love to hear what worked for you in the comments below!

--Laura Harris



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My grandson will be 3 in 3 wks
I started him by saying let’s go make some bubbles in the toilet, I put him backwards and he makes bubbles when he pees, he gets so excited and even tells the bubbles bye see you later. He claps when all done.


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