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TIPS: Potty Training Ideas, Links and Suggestions

Potty Training Tips:

(tweeted out on Friday, August 7, 2009)

– Compiled by Shara Lawrence-Weiss (owner of Mommy Perks)

I’ve taught several children to potty train during my nanny and parenting years. Hopefully my tips will help. Here we go…

*Please remember that these tips are simply based on my personal experience with children and may not reflect all possible training tips available.

  • All children learn @ different times & @ different paces. Be patient. Your child may be ‘typical’ or might need ‘unique’ ideas.
  • Boys LOVE to aim at Froot Loops. They are more colorful than Cheerios & boys think it’s hilarious to aim and shoot. Make it a game for them.
  • Girls like positive reinforcement (verbal and stickers). Use candy sparingly (dental visits/sugar). Girls are typically very VERBALLY motivated.
  • Set a potty in the living room or family room. Right there in the open so they get used to seeing it, sitting on it, b/coming familiar with it.
  • Set a potty in the bedroom or outside on the patio if needed. Make it fun – kids thrive on games and playfulness.
  • Some kids train better if you use cloth diapers so if you feel inclined, give that a shot (I used cloth with PINS for 13 months!)
  • Buy “big girl” or “big boy” underpants as an incentive. Go shopping w/child & make it FUN! Yay! Big boy/girl pants just for YOU!
  • For kids who refuse to train, it might relate to a power struggle. Use reverse psychology on these kids. Can work wonders for them.
  • For the power struggle kids, offer “big kid” rewards such as staying up 10 min. extra at night or a trip to the park, zoo, etc.
  • Fill a jar with marbles. Each time they go in the potty, one marble is dropped (by the CHILD). Fun. Clink. When full, give reward (it will take a while for the jar to fill so the reward should be something pretty big like a day at the Zoo, a fishing trip, etc)
  • Some kids won’t poop on toilet for fear of water splashing. Reassure them; it’s not to fear. Can easily be wiped off, etc.
  • Some kids won’t use big potty b/c it’s too high and they are scared. Purchase a ground model that can be moved from room to room.
  • Some children WANT to be on the “grown up” potty so allow them that freedom. Don’t force a ground model on them.
  • Some children respond well to simple behavior mod books about potty training. Find free ones at your local library.
  • Other children respond better to custom stories making them the “Superhero of the Loo!” (or princess, etc). Check out:
  • Idea from @Louiseasl : Use food coloring in the toilet bowl water for ‘magic water’! Potty training & color recognition in one!
  • Don’t be afraid to try variations of ALL methods until you find what works. No ONE WAY is ever the ONLY way with potty training.
  • For boys…check out for the mom invented toilet shield! Can be wiped clean & flips up or down. Way cool.
  • Very important: never get angry. That will delay & scare your child. They WILL learn. I have yet to meet a 40 yr old who isn’t trained.
  • Check out and for TONS of articles on training, tips, guides, charts and more.
  • Jon & Kate Plus 8 endorsed this potty training chart: $9.99 (she is one of my advertisers, too, BTW)
  • For kids who want to use the big potty, simply purchase a seat cover for them. Walmart, Babies R’ Us. Usually runs around $6-10.

Last thought for now: Just make it fun. Make it personalized. Make it work for your child whatever you need to do. Every child is different!

Oh…also! Our daughter LOVES to have a book in hand when pretending to use her potty. Reading…like daddy does (sorry honey).

Really, though…pick what works best for your own situation and just ‘go with the flow’ :-)

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7 Responses to “TIPS: Potty Training Ideas, Links and Suggestions”

  1. Great tips! I’ve been doing a whole bunch of potty training posts lately on my blog,
    Seems there’s a whole lot of Moms (and Dads)looking for potty training advice!


  2. Erin says:

    This is the first list I am behind 100%.

    I have trained two boys. And I did my best to accomodate their style and needs. It peeves me off when I read most how-tos. My own how-to will probably peeve people off too! LOL! Because I am positive training boys is not harder than training girls. And I think we should motivate them to be potty trained quicker. I’d rather have a child that needs to be reminded than one who is sitting in soiled waste.

    Oh well, on my high-horse as always. Honestly, I love your list and will link to it.

    Happy Buzzing!

    Erin T.

  3. admin says:

    Hi Erin: Well, that is quite a compliment, so thank you :-) Thanks so much for linking to the list!! I’ll check your site soon to see where it’s listed and then promote the page (along with your site) on twitter and facebook.

    Thanks again for the feedback! – Shara

  4. Abbey says:

    Shara, These are some great tips. I’m hoping to have my daughter potty trained around her 2nd birthday. I recently talked to a friend of mine who uses the 3 day potty training method and I’m thinking of incorporating your tips and hers to make this goes as smoothly as possible.


  5. admin says:

    That’s great, Abbey. Let me know how it goes!!

  6. Sarah says:

    Hi Shara,

    Thanks for some great tips, I’ll be taking your advice on being more verbal with my daughter when she’s ready for toilet training.

    As for my son who is almost two, just thought I’d let you all know about this little godsend – he loves them and they really helped improve his aim. Even better, they’ve made it fun for him, try it!


  7. Rossy says:

    so worried and scared about training my first :) I know it’ll be fine, just new for everyone involved. Thanks for the tips!


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