Potty Training tips & what worked for us!

PottyTrainingTipsIf you had of asked me two months ago, would I be sitting here with a potty trained toddler I honestly would have laughed at you. We tried a few times since she turned two back in January {15′}, both were failed attempts, so we vowed not to try her again until we knew she was ready {and we’d also cracked her speech which was a little delayed}.

You might be saying to yourself “Surely two years old is too young to potty train!”, well, it’s not if the child is showing signs of being ready. Annabelle showed signs here & there that I clearly took to heart and ran with, only to hit a brick wall. My bad. But I learned from it.

People would say to me “She’ll do it when she’s ready!”. But you get so flustered don’t you? Impatient almost. Half of you wants them to stay little but the other half is so desperate for you to say goodbye to day nappies, but I’ll be the first to admit that those people were right. So one day, low and behold, a very unexpected opportunity reared its head at the beginning of October and I took a chance. I brought the potty back down and the rest is history. So I thought I would put together a few potty training tips for you guys {I am in no way claiming to be an expert!} but this is what I personally learned and what worked for us.

Our Potty training timeline: 

– Introduce the potty
– We bought books about using the potty.
– Watched youtube videos about Princesses & Pirates using the potty.
– Got her to go bare bum {the toddler, not you!}
– Gave lots of encouragement to do her wee-wees in the potty.

– Once weeing in the potty was achieved {we waited 7 days} before we introduced underwear. {we took her to choose & buy her own}. 
– We introduced underwear and taught her to pull down & up her own underwear. {we also put on loose trousers, such as leggings/tracksuit bottoms}.
After a week of successful wee-wees in the potty, we took the downstairs potty away to encourage her to hold it in and use the upstairs potty which we placed into our bathroom.

– After a few day,s we upgraded her bathroom potty into a seat for the ‘big toilet’.

This all resulted in our toddler being potty trained in about three weeks. It could have been done faster but I felt more comfortable taking each step at their own pace. No rushing or adding any additional pressure.

Going for the number twos, however, have been {and still are!} a different matter altogether. A trickier hurdle to get over and something we’re still working on. I wrote a “Going for a Potty Poo” poem {like you do} recently and we’ve had 1 successful ‘potty poo’ and a lot of accidents. But she’ll get there when she gets there.
Potty training tipsWe learned…

…not to rush it. I made this mistake and it does no good for anyone and if anything, sets the potty training back further than you hoped or expected. Listen to those wise words of other people, “they’ll do it when they’re ready!”. This is so so true. So whether you want to hear it or not, try to listen.to them. Feel free to introduce the potty to your LO, add a few around the home. Let them get acquainted before going any further.

…that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Potty training won’t be conquered overnight as it isn’t just about doing wee-wees’. It is about building their confidence, conquering doing wee wees in the potty, then the number twos, showing them how to pull down & up their underwear and more. We were successful in potty training due to taking on each step and conquering it before going onto the next one.

…to do it in stages. Achieving each step before moving on really worked for Annabelle. There was no pressure and she was allowed to get to know the urge to use the bathroom etc on her own.

…to give loads of praise. I’ll never forget Annabelle doing her first wee-wee in the potty. At first she wasn’t happy that she’d just soiled her ‘chair’ but once she saw us all cheering, dancing & clapping, she loved it. Every time after that she absolutely loved us all joining in to make a big deal of her potty successes.

So this is how we potty trained our daughter, what worked for us and what we learned. No two children are the same and potty training journeys can all be different, but hopefully sharing what worked for us could help one of you.

Do you have any great potty training advice for Mums & Dads about to embark on it? 




  1. Janine
    23/11/2015 / 1:51 PM

    Great advice Debbie. To me that means I won’t try Matthew yet. She only tells me when he makes a poo and most times he doesn’t even tell me and just hides and makes it.he’s 3 years and 3 months. I wanted to give it a try at Christmas but might be not a good idea.

  2. Victoria Cunniff
    23/11/2015 / 2:19 PM

    My little girl was 2 in February and we’ve tried it once without success. We have the potties scattered around but she’s just not interested. She went through a phase of using the toilet before her bath but she grew bored. She knows when she’s doing a poo but cries if you ask her to use the toilet and just isn’t interested.
    Can I ask – while you were getting her to do wees on her potty did you go out anywhere? As in – if you were going out somewhere did you then put her a nappy on and did that not confuse the issue?
    I’m wanting to give her another go but thinking how do I not confuse the issue as once I start it with her I don’t want to put nappies on at all bar at bedtime

  3. Jennifer
    25/11/2015 / 3:31 AM

    I really needed to hear the advice about about taking our time — my oldest is 3 1/2 and still struggling with knowing when to go. It’s definitely been a marathon! So glad to hear your tips!

  4. Christine Kenny
    25/11/2015 / 6:32 AM

    Great tips!! Will be doing our potty training soon. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Rebecca U
    25/11/2015 / 9:46 AM

    The praise is so important, I completely agree! #MMWBH

  6. 25/11/2015 / 10:24 AM

    Thanks I need all the tips I can get we’re starting potty training in full swing after Christmas. Potty has been around for a while and we’re taking it very slowly #MMWBH

  7. 25/11/2015 / 12:03 PM

    Thank you for this post, Debs! My daughter is showing signs of being ready, but like your first suggestion said, we’re not rushing it. I love your idea of doing it in stages. It makes sense–we can’t expect them to do everything all at once (they’re just a toddler after all), but doing it in stages will probably guarantee more success. Thanks for sharing this with us and hosting MMWBH! Hope you have a great rest of the day 🙂

  8. 26/11/2015 / 1:25 PM

    Oh it is most certainly a marathon and not a sprint. I know my wife wanted our youngest to satay in nappies that bit longer so she remained small. I, however, wanted her out of them ASAP! We got there in the end a few months before she turned three. Thanks for hosting #MMWBH

  9. 26/11/2015 / 2:44 PM

    Some great tips! My son has just turned 3 and isn’t interested in potty training at all – he says “I can’t do it, it’s too hard!”. I’m trying not to stress about it, I’m sure he’ll get it when he’s ready. Gotta keep plugging away I guess! #mmwbh

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