What do I know about Potty Training?

When I originally decided that I wanted to write about potty training I kind of laughed at myself a little. So I can understand why some people might look at this and say how does she have any advice? She’s got one child trained and the other one still in diapers.

The truth of the matter is I have potty trained numerous children. I don’t have an exact number but I say at least 20, probably more!

Prior to becoming a mom, wife and business owner, I was a preschool teacher for many years. For one of those years I was the teacher of the two-year-old room. Many moms with children already in daycare know that one of the deciding factors whether or not your child goes to the three-year-old room is being potty trained.

I don’t recommend standing between a parent and their child’s chance to move to a more advanced classroom, so obviously everyone wanted their child ready! I quickly realized I needed to work with the parents of the children that were ready in order to have a cohesive and successful training environment.

During this time I created my own way of what works. Part of my technique is NOT having an exact way. Just some basic tips and signs that I try to follow and we have been very successful!

I wrote already about the signs and skills needed for potty training here.
I think this is where you should get started to see if you’re child is ready to begin the process.

Step one is making sure your child is ready! It’s not a good idea to start unless you child is really showing signs of readiness and eagerness to train. It’s vital they feel successful and confident while learning this new talent!

Once you decide they are “ready” it’s time to get dirty. Literally. 😳
Even the quickest & easiest trainers have accidents. So be prepared and be patient.

The good news is, if they truly are ready it will be over before you know it and you’ll be on your way to a diaper free house!

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CoCo’s Potty Readiness

When do I potty train my child?

This is a question I think most moms and dads ask themselves.

I find that everybody always obsesses over the age of the child. Especially when they refer to their child’s age in number of months still. This perhaps may be too early. 😉

I look at potty training as a frame of mind and a readiness skill. There are certain skilled components that are required in order for the child to be successful in potty training.

potty readiness blog 1

When the child is truly ready it shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks *most cases within a week*.

If the child is resistant and having issues, or perhaps not hitting all the components, it is vital that you wait and try again another time. Potty training, like a lot of things your children will learn are fueled by confidence.

It’s so important they feel successful and happy in the process. Trying when they are not ready can cause delays in training and frustrate your child, and you.

Would you rather be done in a week when they are ready or have it take MONTHS just because your child is 23.5 months old!?

Work Smarter, Not Harder.


1. Staying dry throughout the night.
This one is huge to me. This is the one that keeps the parents buying diapers or *GASP* pull-ups for far too long into potty training in order to spare the sheets, spare the mess & spare the bed!! If your child can go 8+ hours at night chances are they are close and may be ready! If they have such a wet pull up or diaper that it immediately needs changing or leaks, chances are they are not, and that’s ok.

2. Staying dry for 5 or more hours during the day.
Staying dry means they can hold it when they need to go. Once this is mastered, training will be easier. If they urinate frequently still and diapers are often wet they may not have the bladder control needed yet. Believe me, your sanity will thank you later. If you notice most every morning your child is dry til nap, this is a great sign. Try letting them go before they lay down. Staying dry for long periods of time is key! If they can’t hold it *most of the time*, they can’t train, yet.

3. No BM at night.
This is 3rd on my list but might be the one you notice first. As your child’s diet and stomach matures they don’t go nearly as much as when they were babies. If your child frequently has dirty diapers during naps and at bedtime you may want to wait for this very messy and smelly skill to be mastered first.

4. Has a word or sign for potty, can communicate to you they need to go.
I’m not going to lie, my son was potty trained before we took his binky away. (Post for another day) but his verbal and commutation skills were amazing. He was able to clearly let me know at home and in public when he needed to go. This is vital, especially if your child once trained will be with another caregiver or daycare.  If your child can’t tell you, they are not ready. Of course we all need to remind them at times. But to not be able to tell you at all, this skill should be developed before training.

5. Can undress & dress themselves.
I mean really, guys?!
Isn’t the point of getting rid of diapers to actually STOP having to do all the work? Practice these things with you child so when the other components are ready this part will be the breeze. Dress them for success! Easy off and easy on. Make it as painless as possible. No belts or fancy buttons. Not unless these are articles your child is good with. Once you’re training *if you can* I recommend going naked or as close to naked as possible. I’ll explain more on that and more of my training tips in my next potty post.

6. Dislikes being wet & dirty.
This one may be the least important in my humble opinion. My oldest would be dirty or wet all day. He couldn’t care less, and he was a very easy child to train. This was because his verbal and understanding were beyond his age so I was able to use motivation for him! (Which leads me to #7) BUT if your child is telling you they are wet or dirty and don’t like it… This is a very good but not the only sign!!!

7. Can be motivated.
aka BRIBERY. What’s your child’s currency? I like to describe it as children’s currency. We all know every child is different so every child has something different that makes them tick and makes them more motivated to do something. Are they an instant gratification junkie like my son? Mini M&M’s as rewards are best for him! He doesn’t care for a sticker or a chart, however many kids are amazing at working towards a goal with a chart. Some children will take the sticker that minute and be as happy as can be. Some, girls especially, keeping their princess undies clean is all the reward or motivation they need! Find out what works for your child and motivate, motivate, motivate!

These have been the most helpful signs for me in my experience with potty training children. I plan on posting later this week my tips on my training process. Once these skills and signs are there, let the training begin. If the child resists. Its best to back off and try again another time. Its ok!! No child  I know went to college in a pull up. (Oh and Ill explain my dislike of pull ups in my next post too.)

Happy Training. Even fully ready, It will be messy. Good Luck!

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