I Potty Trained My Toddler in Just ONE WEEK Using These Potty Training Tips!

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Are your kiddos ready to use the toilet? Follow my potty training tips!

a bethroom toilet with footstool

Wondering how to potty train?

Maybe you’re in the thick of potty training your toddler right now. Or maybe you’re trying to soak up as much information as you can. Whether you’re wondering how or when to start potty training, you’ve come to the right place. As a mom of three potty-trained kiddos, here are all the potty training tips you need to stay sane.

My top potty training tips:

1. Know it’ll happen when it happens.

child standing in bathroom by potty seat

Potty training for the wrong reasons will lead to frustration and discouragement. Don’t rush to get your kids potty trained so you don’t have to buy diapers anymore, or because you know a mom who potty trained their 18-month-old and you don’t want your child “falling behind”.

What are some signs your child might be ready to potty train?

  1. They’re hiding when they do their business: Whether behind a curtain, squatting in a corner, or leaving the room to be alone, this is a strong indicator that they’re embarrassed or need privacy.
  2. They have a clear understanding: It’s important for your child to understand what the potty is for and the difference between wearing a diaper versus underwear.
  3. They’re waking up dry: If they’re waking up from naps and bedtime without a wet diaper, chances are they’re going to transition very well overnight and during naps.
  4. They show an interest: Yes, all kids normally follow you to the bathroom (and it’s always when they need a snack or a drink most), but if they’re following you and express curiosity, this is a great time to talk to them about the potty.
  5. They’re uncomfortable: If your child is telling you when they need to be changed, is getting their own diaper, or seems uncomfortable after they go, they’re more than likely at a good potty training age and ready for this big change.

2. Retire all the diapers.

A drawer full of diapers

When your child is ready, donate all your unused diapers to a local shelter. Don’t keep diapers to fall back on for convenience. That just confuses the kids and may make potty training take much longer.

3. Be patient when potty training.

sad toddler girl sitting on bed wearing a pink shirt

  • Know that accidents are normal and expected.
  • Don’t yell at your child when things aren’t going to plan.
  • Make them feel comfortable telling you when they do have to go, rather than being scared of having an accident.
  • When an accident does happen, talk to them and tell them it’s okay and that these things happen.
  • Use encouraging words. There’s nothing a little wash can’t fix.

4. Be homebodies for a while.

man holding a remote with coffee table in the background with magazines and messy toys

In the beginning, kids won’t give you much notice that they need the potty, so stay close, with a set, ongoing schedule. Consistency is key! 

5. Spend time on the potty.

girl at potty training age sitting on a white training potty reading an orange book

Put them on the potty training toilet frequently to become familiar with it. Knowing your child’s daily routine is also helpful, so you can catch them before they typically go in their diaper.

6. Ask them frequently.

mom and baby sitting on a window sill bench talking showing affection

To not get distracted, set a timer for regular, short intervals, all day, to ask if they needed to go potty. Your natural instincts will also kick in, and you’ll pick up on clues that they need to go.

7. Try the “over-under” trick.

mickey mouse huggies diapers and trolls theme underwear undies still on beige tufted bench

Put a diaper OVER their underwear. That way when they have an accident, they still feel wet and uncomfortable. It was my saving grace because, after just a few days, we didn’t even need the diapers anymore! 🙌

8. Don’t give liquids before bedtime.

boy drinking water outside with parent holding stainless steel mug cup

Eliminate sleeping accidents by nixing fluids about three hours before bedtime. Once you’re confident your child can go all night without accidents, you can introduce more fluids.

Hip Tip: Have them sit on the potty before bedtime. Even if they don’t go, they get into a a routine to use the bathroom before they sleep.

9. Make potty training FUN!

johnny potty training chart full of stickers

Here are three ways to make the process more fun:

  • Use (or create) a potty training chart: Kids love stickers! On our potty training chart, my kids earned one sticker for peeing and two for going 💩. This also helps them visualize how well they’re doing!
  • Take them shopping for underwear: I loved letting each of my kids choose their own underwear. This also adds to their excitement when wearing them.
  • Scoop up some new books: Bathroom books are a great way to introduce potty training to your child.

holding potty book full of potty training tips

Some of my favorite highly-rated potty training toilets:

potty training toilet collage

For more potty training tips, check out these highly-rated books:

holding Oh Crap! Potty Training Book with potty training tips

If your older child is still wetting the bed, you need to read this!

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 8+ years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.

Join The Discussion

Comments 91

  1. Queenjen87

    My tip for rewards: the first and last potty of the day is a gummy vitamin 😂 regular fruit snack gummy the rest of the day.

    • Sara

      Gummies are a great idea, thanks for sharing, Jen!

    • Saydee

      Hahaha! Love it…the treat is a gummy VITAMIN 😆 such a clever and sneaky mommy con. I bet you have other neat ideas up your sleeve too.. 😂

  2. Beth

    Moms, don’t be discouraged if your child just doesn’t seem to get it. Potty training doesn’t always go quickly despite doing everything right. There are certainly some great tips in this post, so try them. But, as a mom of eight, I’d like to share my personal trials with potty training. Kiddo #1 was potty trained in two days. Yep! Two days! What was this nightmare called potty training that so many moms dread? My kid was no problem. Kids 2 through 5 trained more on the normal spectrum which is several weeks (honestly, a few were several months) to really get things down pat. Then, along came kid #6 to rock my world. Three years, you guys. Three YEARS. The last two kiddos definitely fell in the normal spectrum for training. This particular kiddo just wasn’t interested. He was literally over five years old before he was finally trained. So, keep in mind that all kids are different. Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t happen right away. Every child is different. I’ve used nearly every trick in this post, but they’re not magical. It will happen when it happens. Hang in there mommas! You are doing great!

    • Sara

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Beth! You are so right, every single child is different and will be ready for the potty when it’s their time. 🙂

    • Cristine

      Thank you. Been working with my two year old for months now and he is so resistant. His older two siblings were out of diapers by now and easy to train. This one is making me work for it.

      • Jen

        My son was the same. I abandoned ship until he was 3 and showed interest and it was a breeze. Maybe take a break?

        • Cristine

          Thanks. We have taken a break recently. I don’t want to force it to the point that he avoids the potty.

      • Angela

        Just had our 30 month check up and doctor told me for boys it will generally happen around 3, but more likely four.

    • Shawna

      I love this post.

    • MOMof2

      Thank you for this post because I’m in the process of trying to potty train my 3 year old and he is not going for it. He understands and mown what I am asking of him but just refuse to go😩

  3. Heather

    I’m currently potty training my 22mo. old & having a bit of a hard time. I work full time & feel like I’m not putting in a lot of effort to potty train my baby. I’m not consistent & I often fall back to the diaper (for convenience). Thanks for this helpful post, I think it will greatly help.
    Any momma’s have tips for weaning baby off milk bottle? I have tried just about everything I’ve read & I know it’s not healthy for them to still have a bottle at this age, any tips would help.

    • Sara

      I’m so glad you found this post helpful, Heather! Best of luck during this transition and remember, you’re doing the best you can and each child is different, so try not to get discouraged if things aren’t going as quickly as you hoped. You’ve got this! 🙂

    • Mrs. G

      NUK makes sippy cups that have a soft nipple and handles. We used those to transition!

      • Nicole

        My 1st child looovveeed her tommee tippee pink bottles and when she was around 22 mos I came across the munchkin spout cups for $2.99 @ Target and told her this is her new pink bottle and it took! Maybe try something that looks similar to the current bottle?

  4. Nicole

    Too funny as my 3 year old is on day 2 of potty training. She has been deathly afraid of sitting on the potty and all it took was food coloring and sprinkles in the bowl to make it fun and have a break through! Food, toys, stickers, etc. didn’t work with her. I’m elated after over a year of working on this fear 😆

  5. Casey

    I’m potty training number 6 and my approach has always been they will go when they are ready my 3 girls literally it was overnight they just woke up started going and that was it my 3 boys though it was a bit harder and longer my older ones are 7 and 9 now and didn’t fully train til they were 4. My youngest boy will be 4 next month and he’s going at the same pace of my older boys. It will happen when it happens.

    • AP

      Sorry, I disagree. There is no reason for a child to wear a diaper until 4 (unless there is a special need). Im not trying to parent shame, it’s an individual family choice and I’m glad it worked for you; but telling new parents to wait until it happens is bad advice imo. Especially for working parents who send their children to daycare. A lot of daycares don’t want to put up with that.

      • AP

        I see a mom above said her son wasn’t potty trained until 6. But at least she was trying. I just wanted to clarify my comment was only in response to the “it will happen when it happens” way of thinking.

        • Jes

          I think she is saying she is on her 6th child, not a 6 year old.

          • Casey

            Yes 6 children lol and if you must know my brother was killed right around the time my oldest son was potty trained but because I took on his baby son and trying to grieve his loss my son fell out of routine and that was my fault. Never said we didn’t try I just wasn’t that mother that made everyone miserable trying to potty train every time so I think I did pretty well my almost 4 year old son now does fine in the day but nighttime is a struggle

            • AP

              Makes sense. That’s not what you said the first time at all.

              • Rama

                Be kind, show some grace and sympathy.

        • Nisha

          Your comment is condescending. ALL kids are different and unless you come and train my child, I don’t really care what you find acceptable. I have two kids, one was easy and completely trained by 3 and the other isn’t ready and I am going to wait until he’s ready. Stop shaming moms!! I don’t think most parents want their kids in diapers until 4, but sometimes it happens and your judgement is unnecessary.

          • AP

            I agree with you, but that wasn’t how her comment was presented. I was responding to what she wrote.

            • Heather

              It’s exactly how her comment was presented-reading comprehension will take you far…

              All children hit their developmental milestones at different times-potty training is a perfect example of this. If they are “ready,” it will go quick-if they are not “ready,” you can force it, but it will not go quickly or easily. We have 4 children, and i can safely say that potty training is THE most dreaded part of raising children for me. I also spent a few years working in childcare-there were some kids in pre-k not completely trained-not common, but it happened. I never saw any go to kindergarten still in diapers, so people take heart-they are eventually potty trained!

          • Amanda

            I agree, it annoys me when people mommy shame me on potty training my son. I started once he turned 3 but I never understood why he would not grasp the concept until he got diagnosed with autism. Last summer he was going on the potty until he regressed back to diapers. Can’t tell you how many rude and unsolicited comments I get from other parents about him still wearing pull ups. If it’s not your child and you don’t change them or buy them diapers keep your comments to yourself.

            • Correy

              Amanda, same thing happened with my son. He was almost 5 until fully trained. He was diagnosed autistic as well. People were so rude to me, and I didn’t understand why he regressed at first either. He’s 11 now and thriving. Don’t even sweat it, just keep being the awesome mommy you are!

              • candace

                I’d love to hear potty training advice from mommas with kids on the spectrum. Although I’m sure its different for all. My eldest pee trained right away at 2.5 but full bm trained was more like nearly 4 since he had issues with the sensory of pooping and he held it in. When it did happen it finally just clicked one day. He’s 5 and still says ugh why do we have to poop every day! His little brother just turned 2 moderate autism and has 0 understanding let alone interest. I’m wondering how hard it’s going to be and if ABA might need to help us.

        • Casey

          And I also forgot to mention I’m fortunate to have a husband who works hard so I’ve been able to stay home with my kids no need for daycare so my approach worked 6 times for me but might not for someone else sorry

      • Shannon

        My kid potty trained at 4. For him that was normal. He was slow to meet all milestones and still takes longer to do things kids his own age do. Don’t put all kids in a box. Yes most kids potty train around age 3 but not all.

      • Lucy

        Build mommas up! Parenting is so difficult without passing judgement on a situation you know nothing about.

    • cassie

      4 kiddos and always found if we went at their pace, when they were ready, it was a lot more positive experience! Forcing a child to do something they aren’t ready for makes a frustrating, unpleasant experience, and lots of messes! Totally in the same camp as you Casey!

    • Christina

      Since she’s already timid around potties, be very careful around self-flushing public toilets. One public toilet terrified my niece when she was a toddler and it messed her up for YEARS after.

      • Christina

        My comment was supposed to be for Nicole, above ⬆️

        • Nicole

          I am concerned about that Christina since we haven’t left the house yet. Fingers crossed talking about it will work😁

          • V

            We always put a little piece of toilet paper to cover the sensor. Then when he was done, he would remove the tp and the toilet would flush. Not sure if someone already suggested this for the self-flushing public toilets. Oh, I should also mention, I think my son thought public restrooms were like museums. We had to go and use every single one. I laugh thinking about it now.

    • AP

      I knew people wouldn’t like my comment, I’m okay with that. Not going to argue on an opinion. I know all kids are different. She presented it like she let them wait until they felt like using the potty, which in my personal opinion is bad advice to new parents. I’m allowed to give my thoughts just like everyone else here. If she tried and it took a long time, that’s different. Or if she had personal circumstances that prevented her from starting the training process, that’s different. Letting a 3 or 4 year old urinate in a diaper “just because” is bad advice, in my opinion, and that’s how I read it.

      • rama

        There is a way to give your opinion; yours was worded very judgmentally and sounded as if it was the ONLY way. Glad it worked for you; it doesn’t for some of us and if we have a laid back approach to when it is the right age to be out of diapers, let us!
        In Asian countries they would laugh at you to hear that you wait till age 3! there they have kids potty trained by age 1. It’s all relative. Please get off your high horse!

  6. Monica

    I have four kids and I waited until they were three years old plus to start and all got it right away. No need to force it or play around.

  7. AP

    I did bare bottom potty training for my two girls (a year apart), worked in one weekend. I setup the kitchen with tv, toys and games, and a potty seat, took off their diapers, and let them hang in the kitchen bare bottomed. That way any accidents would be easier to clean. Plus turning the kitchen essentially into a playroom was a fun experience for them. I piled them with tons of juice (normally they’re water drinkers) to give us lots of opportunities to “practice”. I fully endorse this method. 🙂

    • Kate

      I think bare bottom is great if you can spend the time outside in the summer. It did not take long for my daughter to get it.

  8. Debbie

    Both my boys were 3 years old before they were off diapers.. BUT I NEVER EVER changed a pissy sheet. They woke up dry in the morning. so be patient, i know people who rushed it and said their kids were trained at 1 year, but they had accidents every night… That’s not trained

    • Cristine

      Some kids also have conditions with over night. My daughter potty trained early but now at age seven we deal with overnight problems. We did not rush her originally, she actively wanted to use the potty. Sometimes it’s a medical condition. Consider yourself lucky that none of your kids have had this issue, it’s not extremely common but also not uncommon.

      • Kate

        Same. Daughter day potty trained easily, but we had issues at night until SHE WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD. 🙁 Her dad’s family has genetic issues with weak kidney and bladder.

  9. Jes

    We had success with the 3 day method. Waited until my daughter was ready, we tired a few times before, but she was not ready. We decided to on Mother’s Day weekend. I took off on a Monday, we went to the store on Friday night, and let her pick out her big girl panties. Washed them and started Saturday morning, by Monday night she was good to
    go. She has a few accidents at night over the next couple weeks, but never during the day. We had a treat bag for her to pick a treat every time she used the potty. Dollar Tree items work great. Best Mothers Day gift ever!!!

  10. Ashley

    That “over under” trick is genius. I’ve potty trained two children before but never heard this tip. I’ll have to try this with my 3rd. Thanks!

  11. Shannon

    Get a potty watch. It helps keep the adult and child accountable based off how frequent a song goes off. One of the best things ever for potty training.

    • Jenn

      This! My kid refused the first time we tried. My reminders made him upset after a while. On our second go round we’d start the potty watch in the morning and he never questioned sitting when it went off. Took the pressure off me to remember too!!

  12. cassie

    Can someone help with this:

    2.5 yr old girl, bought her a potty and she just kind of played with it the first few months. Then one day she was naked and she peed on it. After that, she pees on it all the time and does great! But, only if she is naked! If I put clothes on her, she pees in them. She knows when her body tells her to pee bc she is doing it all on her own, no timers or reminders. She also asks for a diaper to poop, doesn’t want to poop on the potty. We are ok with that but I would love to be able to take her outside in the yard or to the store without a diaper/fear of wet clothes. Do I just let her pee in them enough that she will figure it out? We aren’t in a huge rush but it would be nice!

    • Amy

      Have you tried putting her in a dress with no underware? Not sure I’d go to a store like that, but it might work in your yard until she gets the hang of things a little more.

  13. Amy

    Love the “over under” trick. I waited until the summer months, when we spend most of our day outside, to potty train my son so I wasn’t having to clean up inside so much. If I knew about this trick, I would have had the courage to try a little sooner with him.

  14. Thao

    At what age is the perfect time to potty train? I’ve heard/seen some parents “train” (most likely force) their babies/toddlers to start at 16 months.
    My daughter just turned 16 months and I’m shocked at how soon that is. I would rather she learn her ABCs – or rather just learn to talk first – before potty training. She knows how to take off her diaper before bath time and likes to wipe while I’m changing her. After reading the comments, some are starting between 2 – 3 years old. Pre-schools (3-4 years) around my area request toddlers to be potty trained before attending so…. *shrug* I feel 16 months is too early.

    • Ginger

      My middle child was 19 months both day and night when she was potty trained. My mom always said if a child can specifically ask for something like a cookie they can tell you they have to go to the bathroom. I do feel parents are a little laxed when potty training because it is work. It’s hard to potty train when you’re on the go. I see 5-6-7 year olds who have accidents all the time. It’s surprising how they act like it’s no big deal anymore. Once you decide to take the diaper off- then it’s off. Never put it back on again. You got this.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Go with your gut, Thao! You are her mom and know best.

  15. Jangel

    Just introduced potty to my 27 month old. He will sit but won’t let it flow. New baby is due in 2 months so not rushing it. Will keep at it and hopefully one day it’ll just click.

    • Erika Maxwell

      Try running sink or tub water while on the toilet.

  16. Ashely

    I would recommend letting your child see you go potty so they’ll want to do the same. Encourage them to sit on the potty even with clothes still on if they want. Cheer for them once they go in the potty and give rewards if that is something they’re used to. It is something they have to be ready for. Also, girls usually potty train earlier than boys so to those making judgmental comments and shaming others for not forcing their kids to be potty trained earlier, don’t comment unless you’ve potty trained girls and boys. All toddlers are different and if you have any concerns you should get reassurance from your pediatrician, not a rude person online.

  17. Kristen

    Oh Crap! Potty Training…this book is a must read. It’s straight forward, easy to read and best of all, it works!!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the recommendation, Kristen!

  18. Debbie H.

    Both my kids (girl, boy, now 36 & 32) were trained around 2. Didn’t see a difference between boy/girl effort. The waking up dry was the biggest clue they were ready. Accidents? Lots! But being prepared with extra clothing, limiting liquids at night helped. Being consistent in potty times and offering potty frequently also. Neither of my kids were in daycare. I worked part-time days & my husband worked nights so we had that advantage of a parent being around & dad was on his game. It will happen. Just don’t lose your cool over it. 😉

  19. Debbie H.

    Oh! Forgot to add when your child wakes up dry, getting them on the potty right away works wonders. They will normally pee right away & with lots of praise & a reward, they will soon get it. Poop is another matter!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh, the poop! That’s the hard part!

  20. Mel

    With my first son I tried to force the potty training and it was a nightmare. He was just over 4 by the time it happened and it probably would have happened a lot sooner had it not been so stressful. My second son decided on his 3rd birthday that 3 year olds don’t wear diapers. From that point forward, day and night, there were no more diapers. He may of had a couple of accidents, maybe (literally) For me, when they are ready it is less stressful on everyone. My two were day and night at trained at the same time because they were ready. It doesn’t matter when someone else’s child potty trains, do what’s best for YOUR child and YOUR family. Unless there is some sort of underlying issue, they won’t go to school in diapers.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      I remember being pretty stressed out over potty training. Each was totally different as you said. By the time I reached my last one, I just let him figure it out when he was ready (not me). He did and it was the easiest ever – no stress!

  21. Maria

    I’ve found great potty training books for kids cheap on ebay — I searched “potty training book lots” and found some really good deals!

  22. C

    Having a small potty and giving rewards did NOT work on my kid. She did it when she was ready. We knew it when she had a pull up on and refused to go in it. She was 3.5. She also knew she had to be trained to start pre-K and that helped. Every child is different. Trust your gut!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Absolutely! Thanks for sharing, C!

  23. Coupon Katie

    I’ve heard really great things about the book you mentioned in the last part of this post… Potty Training in 3 Days. I’m a nanny and one of my families tried this method. I’m still astounded at how quick the transition went!

  24. alissaross

    Hah! I JUST put my toddler in panties today after being fed up with a poopy diaper. So far it’s been a big fat fail.

    We have the same potty books in the picture and I just pulled them out to read to her. Hopefully she gets the hang of it…

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Good luck, alissaross! I’ve been there and I’ve got my fingers crossed for you! 🙂

  25. Jtaylorsmith

    As a mother of 3, and a “Gran” to seven, I would say, don’t stress. All three of my children were different. And as I have watched each grandchild be potty trained, they are all different. There is the physiology of it, after all. The funny thing is, I only remember how old my oldest child was when she was potty trained because I had an aunt who mom shamed me. With the other two kids, I can say it was probably sometime between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2. Kids learn, and in the big scheme of things, 20 or 30 years from now you may not remember exactly how old you child/children were either. Coming from a grandparent, relax. 😊

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Congrats to having seven grandkids! I truely believe that grandparents have a lot of experience and wisdom. Thank you so much for your wisdom with us, Jtaylorsmith!

  26. MrsFelix1004

    All kids are different and most importantly they are individuals. Many people think that because they are siblings from the same parents that the same reward or punishment should work for all the kids and that is simply not true. I am an identical twin and I can not stand to be compared because I am my own person. So do not give up if what worked from child #1 doesn’t work for child number #2 or whatever. You have to find what works. All my kids were trained by 2 and a half years. It might sound silly but I would put my babies on the toilet seat before bath time just to get in the habit. My youngest son would always poop in the tub during bath time so I would actually put him on the toilet then in the bath for a few minutes and then back on the toilet for him to poop. It made it less of a struggle for me. Some liked stickers, some likes praises, some like treats, etc. I have never been successful with showing anger with my kids with potty training. Good luck and happy flushing. Lol

  27. shop4mybabies

    I potty trained my son in a weekend – sent him to my aunts house to do it and she did it in a weekend haha. my 2nd child, first daughter, was tiny, and has aspergers, so she was anxious but had it down at 2.5 years old, with no accidents after. My 3rd child, 2nd daughter was completely potty trained at 1.5 years old, in a weekend. AND THEN WE MOVED!!!! we bought our house and it has a small 1/3 bath. My son told her winnie the pooh lived in the toilet. She was terrified. She would not go on the toilet. She was brilliant, reading and saying in complete sentences “mommy, i’m going to go poop in my pants forever” and i believed her. Luckily, the “you can’t go to school if you poop your pants” worked and she finally started using the toilet again at around 4 years old. I’m still mad at my son. She still has trouble pooping at 20 years old, seriously, he damaged her for life HAHA. My 15 year old, 4th child, last child, 3rd daughter, is a stubborn mule like her mama, so she was almost 3 and only by threatening no more mint milano cookies ever did she use the toilet. Unfortunately soon after she was diagnosed with Celiac disease so the no more mint milano cookies ever wasn’t a lie.

  28. MP

    All kids develop at their own rate. I have 6 children and each child is very different. My oldest son was potty trained at 2 while my daughter (2nd child) didn’t even need to be potty trained. She started using potty all on her own before she turned 1! And never had an accident since, not even night wettings. Btw, she started walking the earliest of all my kids at 9 months and is highly gifted (she skipped 2 grade levels in elementary school. My oldest son is also gifted…knew his entire alphabet before he turned 1 & had an IQ of 156 in 3rd grade, but his motor skills were normal). Not sure if that has anything to do with it. My 3rd child, a son, is still having night accidents at 6 years old no matter what we do (we are seeking medical help to rule out any medical issues). The strange thing is that he was fully potty trained at around 3.5 years old which lasted for about a year. Then he started having night wettings out of the blue, which I thought were temporary but it’s still continuing. My current youngest daughter has a severe developmental delay so I don’t expect her to potty train any time soon. She doesn’t sit on her own yet at nearly 2 years old and doesn’t communicate at all and that’s with weekly physical therapy, occupational therapy, special instruction, and speech therapy. She just started reaching for objects at around a year so we put so much effort in order for her to reach each milestone. I always took basic developmental milestones for granted until I had this special child and we really work hard daily to help her achieve basic goals that comes naturally to other children. If I only had my first 2 kids, I probably would’ve thought potty training is a breeze. But now I’m definitely more understanding & never ever say anything negative about anyone’s child no matter how old they may be & not be potty trained. Please be considerate of others.

    *in case some of you are wondering why my daughter skipped 2 grade levels & my gifted son didn’t is mostly because she was physically & emotionally way above her grade level. She fit right in with the older classmates. In fact she was on the higher end of the height spectrum in the new grade level! My son is short-average height and we decided it would be best for him to stay in his grade level but get extra enrichment material. Plus he is very shy and not as outgoing & confident as my daughter.

  29. Laura

    I tried so hard with my first son, and even trying all of the above mentioned methods and then some, the thing that finally worked for him was a reward chart. He got a star sticker for every time he went on the potty and not in his pull-up (when he went in the pull-up, a sticker was removed, but not till later when he started getting the hang of it better). The goal he was working towards was a trip to McDonald’s, his favorite thing ever (we rarely go, so it really was a prize to him). He was 3y 9m when he earned his reward, but when we got to McDonald’s, as I unbuckled his carseat, I discovered he had peed in his pants! I couldn’t possibly fulfill the reward then since he’d just had an accident (though he’s now 9 and with his personality, he probably did it on purpose lol). He threw the biggest fit ever, since he had been so close yet didn’t get McDonald’s, but that was the only accident he ever had!

    With son #2, we just went straight to the chart, it took significantly less time, and he “got it” sooner than his brother had. Neither one has ever had a nighttime accident.

    But we shall see what son #3 has in store for us in a year and a half or so!

  30. sara

    I waited and my 3.5 year old just recently trained herself. However, she was hesitant to go #2 so I wrapped a “poo poo present” which she was very happy to earn.

  31. mackyjane

    We’ve been working on potty training my little girl. We introduced the little potty when she was around 16 months old, mostly to get her used to it and not be scared of sitting on it. She is now 21 months old and we’ve been really practicing with her sitting on it when we’re at home; before she goes to school, in the evenings, and weekends. By little girl is small and so finding underwear to fit her was not possible at Walmart, so after googling I found Tiny Undies. We are using the pull up still underwear. They are cotton and are just thrown in the wash. If anyone else has small kids that don’t fit into traditional toddler sized underwear I highly recommend their website!

    • Sara

      Thanks for sharing, mackyjane! Glad you found something that works so well for your daughter. 😊

  32. Ihearthip

    Started my kids as soon as they began walking, just getting them used to the idea. Nothing happened for a while. Early and often. Then, toys from the pirate chest when they accomplished their more “difficult” hangups, like doing #2 in the potty.

  33. Kay

    I was a PA (Physician Assistant) in pediatric urology for 9 years. Many of the older kids I saw with day and/or night wetting were potty-trained early, like 18-24 months old. There seemed to be a pattern that there was stress and frustration and force with these kids, and years later, they regress someway. I’m not saying all early-trained children have later issues. I don’t even mention this as professional medical advice. I just practice in my own personal life. Now that I have 4 kids, I let them train at their own pace. I encourage and reward etc. No stress nor negativity. I don’t want to risk them having issues later on as older kids cause their potty training was traumatic. Within my kids, I do see that it was easier with my girls than with my boys.

  34. MrsG

    We loved and swore by the padded cotton training undies. It helps them to feel wet without making such a big mess. Plan for a few days stuck at home with lots of messes. If they are ready, they will get it quickly!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the recommendation! Good to know those worked so well, MrsG!

  35. Nkiser

    I can say all kids are different, so keep the stress low on yourself and your kiddo or kiddos. I only learned this with time, my now new 6 year old and 3 year old are both potty trained. My 6 year old is a very deep sleeper so they wear overnight diapers, on the other hand out 3 year old is day and night trained. So in my experience, my 2 are very different. Keep the conversation and concerns between you, your kiddo or kiddos, and their pediatrician or specialist.

  36. Nkiser

    I totally forgot to add, I read this entire post and did most of these things. So this is all great advice and books to follow. I made my comment more for the discouraged parent having trouble or trying to compare kids.

  37. Erika Maxwell

    We used Once Upon a Potty. It had a book, doll and, VHS. That song is still stuck in my head.🤣

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      😆 Love when there are catchy songs to go along with a product. Thanks for letting us know what worked well for your kiddo, Erika! 🤗💓

  38. Melissa

    Potty training has been made such a big hassle and very child centered . Our grandmothers and mothers had us trained by 18-24 months and it was no big deal …no prizes , treats etc …it was expected and developmentally normal for the age …I had my daughter full potty trained at 18 months …I didn’t give prizes and candy …I took a long weekend and we worked on it and didn’t give up or give in … their is no excuse for a 3 or 4 year old to be in diapers unless of course a disability …but it is true some parents are lazy and sometimes the parents just don’t want to hurt their kids feelings or make them do anything they don’t want to do …I have worked in both daycare and head start so have plenty of experience in the field …we worked on potty training all day to have a parent bring the kid back in a wet diaper the next day and not do anything for their child …my pediatrician said the potty should be introduced no later than 2 years old to avoid further defiance and difficulties …some will prob be all worked up about my comment but ask your grandma , aunt or mom…it wasn’t like this for them with their children

  39. Kate

    I believe you mean “there is no excuse,” not “their is no excuse.” Just a lesson in basic grammar. Oh, you think my comment is condescending? It doesn’t feel so good hearing someone talk down to you does it? Think before you type next time. I appreciate that most of the comments on this post (and the post itself) are positive and encouraging, along with the reminder that not all kids are the same. Thank you hip2save (and most of the commenters 😊).

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