Turning 2 is a huge milestone for your little one because this is the age of transitions. Many things are expected to happen after this age, and one of them (and a huge one) is transitioning from a crib to a bed.
Another significant one is eating larger pieces of food, which indirectly brings yet another important transition: potty training.
Parents understandably dread toilet training! That’s right, nobody has or will ever like this period. As your little one turns 2, it is time to learn how to potty train a toddler, and how to do this more easily as this will be a stressful period for all of you. Don’t forget to scroll down for a full infographic on this!
That said, before starting the process, there are several things you need to evaluate before getting started:
- First things first, if your toddler is developmentally on par, then you are good to go.
- The same applies if your toddler is acting unhappy being in a soiled diaper.
- This is the perfect moment to get underwear, extra sippy cups, a potty seat, and toys to use for rewards before starting the process!
- Everything ready and at hand? Good, then let’s get started!
Let’s take a look and see some of the best tips on how to potty train your toddler and make the whole process that much easier:
Recommended Read: Since we are talking about how to potty train your child, you may be interested in checking out and getting a great potty for a toddler before you get started.
What toddler wouldn’t have fun using this model, for example:
1. Let Your Toddler Throw Out the Diaper First Thing in the Morning
As soon as your toddler gets up, their diapers will likely be very wet or even soiled. You can have your toddler take his or her diaper and throw it in the garbage. At the same time, teach them to say “Bye-Bye” to the diaper. This will teach them that they no longer need one and can do without it.
2. Have Your Child Go to the Bathroom in the Middle of the Night
This is among those tasks that parents will most likely dislike doing. In fact, it will probably remind them of the old days when their toddler was a newborn and had to be fed during the night.
Parents will have to set their alarm during nighttime so they can get their toddler to go to the bathroom instead of using the diapers. And, if there is a newborn in the picture at the same time, then they will have to tend to both kids at 3 AM or 4 AM, and so on, and for very different reasons!
Suggested: If your toddler still has little nighttime accidents, then you should give overnight diapers a try, or at least some cloth diapers, so you can cut down on diaper disposal.
3. Make Sure There Is an Extra Sippy Cup in Your Toddler’s Reach
Although it might seem counterintuitive, during the potty training period, you’ll want to encourage your toddler to go to the bathroom more often. An ideal way to do this is having your toddler sip water throughout the day. This will make sure that your boy or girl will be taking a potty break every half hour or so.
Recommended Read: If we’re on the subject, make sure you have enough toddler sippy cups and ones that will be able to bear the brunt of it, at that.
4. Find a New Use for an Oversized T-shirt
One useful piece of advice that just couldn’t miss as you’re learning how to potty train your toddler is to stop putting him or her into diapers. Instead, you can take an old oversized T-shirt, put them in it, and tie it up at the bottom.
This way, if your child does #2, you can simply toss the T-shirt into the trash can or the contents in the toilet. Have your child watch you doing it. Eventually, they will get the message and realize that #1 and #2 must go into the toilet.
5. Don’t Forget to Use the Potty Seat 🚽
Miniature potties are another useful thing to have and use during the potty training period. While they are efficient, another even more useful item to own is a potty seat.
You can take the potty seat, put it on the toilet, and place a stool nearby. Your child can use it to climb up and down and reach the toilet.
Make sure to stay by their side for the whole process during the first tries or until he or she learns how to use the potty seat and gains the confidence and sense of security they need.
You can find a very cute miniature potty here:
6. Celebrate and Reward a Success
If your child does #1 and/or #2 in the toilet, make sure to praise him or her. You can also offer a small toy as a reward the first time they achieve this (and/or for other important milestones). Your toddler will respond well to this stimulus and get the message even quicker.
These small rewards will help drive the message that #1 and #2 go in the potty. But make sure not to overdo it with the gifts. You don’t want to risk their losing their importance.
The potty itself can help with that, especially if you get one that comes in a cute shape and with encouraging messages and sounds.
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7. Be Patient!
Do not, under any circumstances, lose your temper or patience! This could make the situation worse and discourage your toddler from future attempts of using the potty.
It is rather frustrating to see your potty trained child slip up and have accidents in their underwear; or on the contrary, take a long time to learn how to go to the potty, but remember: this is just a phase!
Your baby boy or girl will eventually learn how to use the potty, and both of you will be happy when this happens, so keep your cool and be patient.
If your toddler resists and refuses to use the potty, put the training on hold for a few weeks and give it another go sometime later.
Infographic on How to Potty Train a Toddler
Click to see the large version:
There is no time frame on how to potty train a toddler so don’t despair if it seems to be taking too long. Also, don’t try to start potty training too early, or leave it until too late. Your toddler will likely give you the signs that it’s time to move on to a new chapter.
As it is, you will need to have all the patience in the world while going through this tough transition, but the rewarding feeling you’ll get as you’ve achieved this is priceless. So Good Luck, and may the potty training period be a breeze!
Have any potty training tips of your own? Then don’t hesitate to share them with us!
Editor's note: This post was first uploaded in September 2018 and has received multiple updates, including the most recent one in June 2019.
Miriam Slozberg is a blogger, astrologer and freelance writer. Canadian mom of three, she writes about pregnancy and parenting, mental health, relationships and spirituality. Miriam is an advocator for mental health. She aims to help break the stigma that surrounds it.
“Be patient”? I can hardly remember this when my little sister was potty training. She got through this thing pretty easily and quick.
OR! she got through this thing easier than other babies because she starts late, she was almost 2 and a half-year-old(which I don’t call late at all, but instead early), and it could be that this gave her the ability to quickly adapt to this potty training.
Either Way, I’m glad my baby sister was able to make it through this period with ease.