Thinking about starting to potty train your toddler? Here are 7 things you can to do get your toddler excited about potty training!
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Want to know two words guaranteed to give any parent anxiety?
Potty training is such a huge, difficult, stressful, important milestone for kids. Every kid handles it differently, and every kid gets potty trained on their own schedule. Our oldest son was potty-trained by the time he was three, and our daughter didn’t get potty-trained until she was almost three-and-a-half years.
Our youngest son will be three in January, and now that we’ve settled back into our school routine and feel pretty normal again, we’ve started thinking about potty training him.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, it still stresses me out.
Fortunately, I made myself a lot of notes and wrote a lot of posts while my other two were potty training, so I have been doing a lot of reading and studying up to make sure that we’re successful and I know what I’m doing.
One of the most important things (and also potential roadblocks) for potty training is getting your toddler excited about potty training. If your toddler isn’t excited and on board, I can almost guarantee you that potty training isn’t going to be pleasant or successful.
Today I wanted to share seven tips to help you get your toddler excited about potty training so that when you actually start, you’ll have a better chance at success!
How to Get Your Toddler Excited About Potty Training
1. Talk it up.
Talk all about how cool potty training is, how their favorite characters use the potty, how their friends and family use the potty, how they can pick out big kid undies when they get potty trained, and how they can get a big reward when they get potty trained (if that’s your thing). Just make it seem like the coolest thing and remind them how important and awesome it is. I know “everybody’s doing it” isn’t generally a good reason to do something, but potty training is an exception!
2. Make a potty chart.
Every kid loves getting to add a sticker to a special chart when they accomplish something, so use that for potty training! You can either buy a potty chart on Amazon or draw one yourself on some posterboard. I drew my son a big train that he got to put stickers on, and my daughter had a castle chart that she put stickers on every time she went potty. Either way, hang it up on the wall by the bathroom so they can see it and get excited about starting every time they walk by!
3. Read about using the potty.
If you don’t want to buy books about potty training, check some out from your local library! Our oldest son loved My Big Boy Potty (and there’s a girl version, My Big Girl Potty), and there are tons of others out there. The key is to keep potty training at the front of their mind and remind them how great it is!
4. Watch shows about using the potty.
Our favorite potty show is from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. In the episode Prince Wednesday Goes to the Potty/Daniel Goes to the Potty, both Prince Wednesday and Daniel Tiger learn about going to the potty and how important it is to stop and go right away when you need to go. And I promise you’ll be singing the song years later.
5. Be positive about potty training.
If your child senses that you’re dreading it, they’re not going to be excited. So try to stay positive and don’t talk about how hard it is or how hard it was for someone else or for older siblings. You want your child to associate good feelings with potty training so they want to try it!
6. Don’t shame them.
One thing I’ve learned is that kids aren’t going to get excited about potty training just because they think that pooping in their diaper is what babies do. Don’t tell them they’re a baby for going in their diaper, don’t tell them that they’re yucky or stinky because they still wear diapers, and don’t make them feel bad about not being potty trained yet. If you’re going to tell them anything, focus on how big kids wear undies and use the potty. That way they’ll want to be a big kid instead of feeling shame about wearing a diaper.
7. Let them pick out a potty seat.
I speak from experience here. Don’t buy a portable potty that you have to clean out every time your child goes. Instead, get a potty seat that goes directly on the toilet. Even better, let your child pick out what potty seat they want! Our daughter picked a pink and purple Paw Patrol seat, and it got her excited about going to sit on it. Involving your child in every step is going to help increase their excitement about potty training!
One more quick tip. If potty training doesn’t work the first time, don’t stress. It’s okay to take a break and try again. Your child might just not be ready, and that’s not on you or on them. Every child potty trains at a different age and at different speeds. Our son took a few months and was accident-free by his third birthday. After several failed attempts, our daughter finally potty trained over a weekend and was accident free at three-and-a-half years.
Don’t push potty training until your child is ready, because if it’s a negative experience for you, and especially for them, it’s just going to be harder!
Now, fellow mamas in the trenches, I wish you the best of luck! We’re definitely in this together and our kids will all get potty trained eventually, right?!
Christine Bell says
These are great tips! Potty training never gets easier, unfortunately. I’m so happy to be done potty training kids! One tip I would add is to wait until they are ready or at least showing signs of being ready. Starting potty training too early is no fun for mom or the child! My kids were all almost 3 when they were ready. And they potty trained pretty easily because of it.
Chelsea Johnson says
Yes! I absolutely agree about! Thanks, Christine!