Common Indicators, Your Potty Training Essentials and Checklist

Potty training your child may seem like a daunting process, but if you stay calm and positive throughout the process, you can easily help your child transition from diapers to the potty in just 3 days! Keep in mind that during this time, all waking hours will be with your child, so clear your schedule. If you’re working, take your Friday off and see it through over the weekend – you may even want to plan playdates for any older children at their friends’ houses so you can focus all your attention on the child you’re going to train.

Before jumping into potty training, let your child tell you when they’re ready. This is often when they’re around the age of 3.

Common indicators of your child being ready for potty training include:

Physical Signs

  • Regular bowel movements at relatively predictable times. If they have prolonged (1-2 hours) of “dry” periods or during nap time, this is a good sign!
  • Such observations mean that his or her bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine and are ready for potty training.
  • Developing the ability to walk and to pull their pants up and down, following simple instructions and feeling uncomfortable in a soiled diaper or communicating that they have urinated or had a bowel movement.

Cognitive signs

  • If your child understands physical signals and is able to tell you before going or even holds it until he/she gets to the potty.

Behavioural signs

  • Your child is likely to be ready if they show interest in independence and the toileting habits of others (wants to accompany you to the bathroom).
  • Another sign of readiness if they are able to communicate to you when he/she is having a bowel movement. Examples of such predictable signs are squatting, or going to a corner to indicate their need to poo.

Your Potty Training Essentials

1. Firstly – No Pants!

For the 3 days that you potty train your child, dress them in long T-shirts that cover their private parts. The idea is for your child to feel that there’s nothing to catch pee or poop, so they need to go to the toilet when they feel the urge.

2. Accidents Are Normal

It’s all part and parcel of potty training, your child is bound to have a few accidents before they get used to the idea of going to the toilet whenever they feel the urge to urinate or pass a bowel movement. The long T-shirts will come in handy here – you’ll have fewer pee-stained clothes and you’ll be able to identify any accidents immediately.

3. More Drinks

Encourage your child to drink more, so that they will pee more. The more familiar they are with the urge that comes when they need to pee, the quicker they’ll learn to head to the toilet.

4. Gentle Reminders

If they don’t pee after drinking a lot, gently prompt them to use the toilet. If they say no, just tell them to give it a try. Remember to be patient with them.

5. Rewards Go A Long Way

Give your child a prize each time they successfully use the toilet, or tell you that they ‘need to go’. Using positive reinforcement will help them better remember to use the toilet when they need to.

Keep these 5 essential tips in mind throughout the 3 days you potty train your child to maximize effectiveness. Ensure you choose the appropriate time to potty train your child – do not begin potty training during stressful periods such as when starting daycare, moving to a new house, when your child is sick, etc., as a stable environment is essential to the potty training process.

6. Establish A Routine

Decide on a routine that your child can recognize as a ‘must-do’ during each visit to the potty. Here’s an example you can use:

i) Go toilet

ii) Pull down pants

iii) Sit on potty

iv) Get off potty

v) Pull up pants

vi) Flush toilet

vii) Wash hands

Day 1

Say goodbye to the diaper.

When you throw away your child’s soggy diaper in the morning, say goodbye to it and encourage your child to do the same. You can even ask your child to throw it away himself.

Change your child into an oversized T-shirt.

Explain to him how without a diaper, his pee and poop will make a mess on the floor unless he goes to the toilet.

Give your child more to drink at breakfast.

Then, take him to the toilet and encourage him to pee – which should happen after drinking more.

Always keep water within your child’s reach.

Take your child to use the toilet every 15 minutes to familiarize them with the process. Praise them each time they use the toilet, even if nothing happens. Otherwise, proceed with the day as you would normally do.

Do not give your child anything more to eat or drink after dinner.

Bring your child to the toilet one last time right before bed.

Bring your child to the toilet halfway through the night.

This is to prevent your child from having any accidents in bed. However, if an accident does happen, don’t react – simply clean it up and change your child’s underwear. Then, remind them to use the toilet next time. If you scold or punish them, you can cause your child to form a negative association with the toilet, making it more difficult to potty train them.

Day 2 and 3

Follow the same steps as Day 1.

Essentially, the potty training process will be the same over all 3 days. Focus on helping your child recognize the urge they get when they need to pee or poop, and familiarize them with the process of using the toilet.

If you leave the house, don’t go too far.

Some people prefer to stay at home for the 3 days of potty training to make the process easier. However, if you would like to bring your child out during the 2nd or 3rd day, ensure it is a short activity that is near to your house. You can continue to potty train your child in public restrooms, however, you may want to bring a small portable potty with you as some children resist using public toilets.

Your Potty Training Checklist

1. Sufficient oversized T-shirts for the 3 days of potty training, as well as a few extra in case of accidents.

2. Plenty of water kept within your child’s reach.

3. Rewards for when your child successfully uses the toilet.

4. A small portable potty for any outings.

5. A calm and positive mindset.

Final Tips

When your child has an accident, you may feel pessimistic and unconfident in the potty training process. However, you must stick with it for the full 3 days – your child will learn from his mistakes and give you the results you desire. You can do it!

It is also important to inform anyone who is responsible for the care of your child (teachers, babysitters, etc) about the signals your child uses to indicate their need to go to the toilet. Also inform them of the language you use with your child (ie. pee, potty, etc) so they can use the same and refrain from confusing your child.

If you’re still having problems with caring for your child, don’t worry! Feel free to let us know so we can help you with your child needs.