Potty Training Tips from the Experts: Moms!

Potty TrainingWhen I heard that June was National Potty Training Awareness Month, I have to admit that I LOL’d.

Actually, it wasn’t so much as a laugh but a loud, barking HA!, which come to think of it is the same thing I say when my kids tell me that they’ll never ever ask me for another toy in their lives if I just buy them whatever the heck is on their minds at the moment.


So yes, regarding National Potty Training Awareness Month, I’d like to say one thing: I am aware. I don’t think I could be more aware of potty training if I tried. When you have a three year old who refuses to wear Pull Ups but who’s not completely trustworthy in her underwear, you can’t help but be aware.

When you can’t leave the house without stashing a tiny pair of Yo Gabba Gabba undies in your purse, you can’t help but be aware.

When you have a a child who tells all the guests at the fancy dinner party that she just pooped in the potty and isn’t that great? you can’t help but be aware.

For me, if we’re having National Potty Training Awareness Month we should also consider having the following awareness months:

National Whining Awareness Month

National Breathing Air Awareness Month

National I Need to Lose 10 Pounds Awareness Month

And my personal favorite: National Dora the Explorer Scream-Talks Awareness Month.

These moms are aware of potty training, too. They’ve agreed to spread awareness of this parental struggle by offering some expert advice. Some are bloggers. Some are child development experts. But no matter their credentials they’re all professional potty trainers! (We should put that on some type of certificate.)

Share your potty training tips in the comments, and contact me if you’d like to get in on the ground floor of any of those important social causes I’ve listed above. We can organize a rally or something.

  • Charting Success 1 of 10
    Charting Success
    The thing that really encouraged my son was his potty chart. Each time he used the pot and actually poo'd or pee'd we gave him a star to stick on his chart. We told him once he filled all the spots we would convert his crib into a big boy bed. That was all the encouragement he needed. He filled his chart, got his big boy bed and continued on with great success. We are trying the same tactic with Olivia and so far she is really into the idea of having a big girl bed. I created a simple chart for her and we will begin the process of filling the 70 spots so that her crib can be converted. Here is hoping to great success!
    Kim, blogger and mom of 3.
  • Three Days to Potty Trained 2 of 10
    Three Days to Potty Trained
    I had really great success with "3 day potty training." we followed it exactly and it really worked!
    Sheri Silver, blogger and mother of 3.
  • Let the Child Decide when She’s Ready 3 of 10
    Let the Child Decide when She's Ready
    I let Abbey drive it; she's the one who asked for underwear, and we basically stayed home for a few days until she got it. At the beginning I had to remind her all the time, but I think that helped with accidents. Dylan, however, isn't interested at all (at almost 2 1/2) so I am going to be reading the other tips to see how to deal with a reluctant potty trainer!
    Angela Amaan, blogger and mother of 2.
  • Consistency is Key 4 of 10
    Consistency is Key
    Once we start the process we stay very consistent - not undies one day but then pull-ups the next because it's more convenient. We commit and stay in undies even if it means staying at home more and maybe some messes.
    Tracy, blogger and mom of 3.
  • Just a Little Patience 5 of 10
    Just a Little Patience
    My daughter, on her third birthday, toilet trained herself while we were in a hotel in NYC. My son brought me down a pair of underwear (also at three) and asked me to put them on him. I never cleaned a single "accident" off of a piece of furniture or a rug. Poop stained couches just aren't how I roll. No stickers, no candies, no pull-ups...just patience.
    Haven, mother of 2.
  • Don’t Stress! Your Child Will Get There. 6 of 10
    Don't Stress! Your Child Will Get There.
    My best advice is no pressure and no crazy routines. No one grows up not learning this. It happens when the child is ready.
    Elizabeth Gaucher, blogger and mother of 1.
  • Going Old School 7 of 10
    Going Old School
    Our "method" (if you can call it that) has worked amazing wonders - thanks to our old school pediatrician and advice from the mommy posse (Click for link).
    Nicole Sergent, Child Development expert, blogger and mother.
  • Don’t Start Too Early 8 of 10
    Don't Start Too Early
    Your child will potty train when they are ready. They won't potty train at the same time as you best friend's child, just as your child and theirs did not walk at the exact same time, or get their first tooth on the same day. Don't start too early unless you like doing laundry and making the process even longer than necessary. If they are having multiple accidents in one day, they are not ready. Think of how your child feels. First, they are not aware of how to control themselves. Second, they now are in wet clothes and know they have done something wrong, again and again. If you try and it doesn't work, then there is no harm in stopping for a little while and trying again later. It doesn't mean you are less of a parent. One last thought: use the resources you have available to you. If your child goes to a daycare, talk to the providers. They have been potty training kids for much longer than you have and with many more kids than you probably will ever have (unless you are a Dugger).
    Jenny Hill, Blogger and mother of 2
  • Give them a Sense of Control 9 of 10
    Give them a Sense of Control
    Allow for choices: pick the potty seat, do you want to try now or in two minutes, pick the soap for the bathroom. A little control goes a long way for a toddler!
    Katie Hurley, Blogger, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, and Mother of 2.
  • Triple the Fun 10 of 10
    Triple the Fun
    I think persistence and consistency are critical to success; little treats/rewards work well and listening to your tot is really important... in one way or another, they will tell you when they have to go and when they are ready!
    Kerry Lyons, Blogger and mother of 5, including triplets.

Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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