How to Potty Train With Success

After you’ve seen your baby take those first few steps, you wonder when it will be time to start potty training. As with most child developmental milestones, there is a range rather than an age and here we give you a how to potty train guide for success.

Signs that Your Child Is Ready to Potty Train

Most toddlers begin potty training around 15-28 months. Don’t worry if your child starts later. Your child will learn it eventually! Here are a few signs that your child is ready:

  • Shows interest in the bathroom
  • Can pull pants up and down
  • Child is dry after naps
  • Child doesn’t like wet diapers

Gather Potty Training Supplies

Potty training is a learning process that takes time. Here are some supplies you’ll need:

  • Children’s story books on learning to use the potty
  • Potty chair
  • Step stool
  • Big kid underwear
  • Protective mattress cover
  • Progress chart or reward system

Start Some Dialogue About the Potty 

It’s a good idea to start potty training when you have some time to be at home.

  • Have fun reading some story books together about potty training. Explore the bathroom together and demonstrate how to flush the toilet. When your toddler has stool in the diaper, empty it into the toilet and have your child help flush it away. Make merriment with it and wave goodbye to the poop.
  • Ease into toilet training by letting your child sit on the potty with or without clothing on.
  • Model using the toilet including wiping yourself, flushing, and washing your hands. Boys learn best when they learn to sit first—you can teach them to stand later on.
  • Start a routine of using the potty chair. Place your child on it when you think they will most likely have to go. Keep some books and small toys in the bathroom to encourage your child to sit for a while.
  • Set up a progress chart where your child can place stickers on it for every time he or she uses the potty. Mini M & M’s make a nice reward. Give a few for urinating and a few more when they have a stool.

Your child will probably be dry all day before they are dry all night. Remember to be patient and don’t force them to sit on the potty. If they don’t express interest in it, just try it another day.

Contact us for a free consultation on how to potty train for success. We serve families of San Diego County, including Carlsbad, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido and surrounding cities. Our behavioral specialist, Erika Smith, will go to your home to teach you how to potty train in Carlsbad and all San Diego County areas.


About Susan Gehrig, PhD

Susan Gehrig, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and founder of Paradox Psychological Services located in Carlsbad. She has a passion for supporting the wellbeing of children and teens. Her expertise is in child mindfulness and self-compassion, cognitive behavioral therapy, and child development. Dr. Gehrig provides psychoeducational testing and therapy services to help build a plan for success. Paradox provides services for families of San Diego North County and greater areas.

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