Have you tried potty training your kids but to no avail? And you become frustrated because no matter how much you try to follow potty training tips from all over, from friends’ advice to internet users’, your tot just don’t want to follow?

Potty training is among the hardest parts of rearing a child. You don’t want to be caught in an embarrassing situation of taking care of your tot who is pooping or peeing in his pants inside an aircraft, for example.

But is there any strict rule to follow when to potty train your child?

This and more will be tackled in this article.

Is It Time to Start Potty Training?

Parents, like me, often want their children to be the first in all things that can give us pride. Say for example we want our baby daughter to be the first among her batch of other babies in the village to utter the word “mama” or “dada”. Or we want our baby to be the first to walk without any support among the babies his age in the neighborhood. This is why we also want our baby to be the first to know how to use the toilet among his peers.

But did you know that there are other factors to consider when is the best time to potty train your child, and not just his age?

What Age to Potty Training


As Dr. Steve Hodges wrote in huffingtonpost.com, potty training a child before the age of 2 usually brings more health damage than do good. This is the main reason why a child become chronic “holders” when they get older. They tend to hold their pee and poo because they have acquired through the years the knowledge of holding them a longer while.

In fact, in his clinic, he observes that more children who are potty trained before the age of 3 visit his clinic because of urinary problems. He cited that the best time to potty train a toddler is when he’s about the age of 3.

But in some studies, they revealed that early potty training can, in fact, give their child the health benefits more than just avoiding diaper rash. They also have evidence to cite that children who are already learned how to walk or crawl are harder to potty train than those infants who haven’t yet discovered mobility.

But to know better when is the best time to potty train your child you should consider factors in assessing if your baby is ready to be potty trained.

Assess Your Child’s Readiness


There’s no requisite for the age of the child to be potty trained. But as a parent, there are factors we need to consider to assess your child’s readiness for potty training. We just don’t push our kid to learn to potty when we want him to. We need to see the “signs” that tell our tot is ready for the training.

There are three kinds of signs that we need to observe to know that our child is really ready to be potty trained: the physical signs, the behavioral signs, and the cognitive signs.

Physical Signs

Physical signs are the signs we observe very often and directly. It involves our child’s physical abilities and motor skills, aside from the physical appearance of his/her stool. These include:

  • Your child’s ability to walk and run unsupported.
  • You child’s ability to sit unsupported.
  • If s/he urinates a good amount at one time.
  • If her/his poo is regular, soft but not too watery.
  • If s/he is able to pull his/her underpants and/or pants down.
  • Your child is dry for 2 or more hours, or if s/he is still dry after a nap. This means that your child’s bladder is developed enough to hold his pee.

Behavioral Signs

These include his behavior towards the toilet, towards you and even towards his environment. These include:

  • The desire of your kid to go to the toilet and do his “thing” alone without you watching him.
  • When she complains of wearing wet underwear or pants.
  • Makes a sign that he wants to go to the toilet, either by leading you to the toilet, pointing to the toilet or even telling you verbally that he wants to go to the toilet.
  • Your child shows happiness and contentment that he accomplished doing his potty in the proper place and did not wet or poo his pants.
  • Your child seems happy and enjoys seeing you praise him for a job well done.

Cognitive Signs

These signs involve his cognitive skills, like verbal utterance, verbal understanding and ability to learn new information. These include:

  • Your child has a term for peeing and pooing, like weewee or poopoo.
  • Your child understands when you use his term like “Do you want to poo?” or “Do you want to wee?”
  • He is able to tell you he needs to poo or wee before he actually does it.
  • He understands that he feels the need to poo and thus he would stop what he’s doing to give you signs or just tell you directly that he is about to poo or wee.

Potty Training Equipment

Different kinds of potty training equipment for you to choose from:

Potty chairs are the transition of your regular potties when your child already knows and accustomed to using the potty since they are a little bigger and higher compared to regular potties. This is designed in order for your child to get easily acquainted to using the toilet in the future.

Usually, potty chairs are used for toddlers.

A seat reducer is a very important potty tool since the size of the toilet is a lot bigger which makes our little child hesitate to use it. Aside from that, this potty equipment helps avoid toilet accidents for our little angels.

Training Seats

Pull-up Pants

This potty equipment looks like your regular underwear but are made with materials used in regular diapers. What differs pull-up pants from regular nappies is that they can be easily pulled down and pulled up by your child without your help whenever they need to pee or poo. In this way, they will feel they are adults already who are responsible enough with their own bodies.

Additionally, pull-up pants are made to be absorbent like a diaper for the “seldom accidents”.

This potty equipment is more like a pull-up pant but also like the real underwear. The materials used are cloth just as the same as a real underwear and a waterproof material for its outer layer to protect your carpet or floor from the “accident.”

In this way, your child will feel wet whenever he accidentally pees and thus he will realize he must use the potty to prevent being wet inside.

Trainer Pants

Toilet Footsteps

This potty equipment is practically a ladder so that you bundle of joy can reach the toilet when he needs it. It is necessary for your little tot to reach the toilet minimizing accidents that can happen without the aid of toilet footsteps. This is usually used by toddlers who are beginning to transition from potty chair to toilet.

This is a potty tool which we can carry even when we travel. This is very convenient for our little tot to use when we are not at home or even when we are inside a vehicle. This is used to prevent accidental peeing or pooping when not at home.

Whether depending on your budget or the need of your child or even depending on the situation, these potty training equipment have one and the same purpose: to help you and your child potty train.

Combined Travel Potty

Potty Training Methods


Since potty training is a process, there are several methods you can choose from depending on the child’s needs and/or wants.

It is important that you select the method which your child enjoys so that he will learn how to potty in a short period of time and will give him the impression that to potty is not that hard at all and in fact, is more fun than pooping or peeing in his pants.

Here, we have rounded up several methods in potty training that you can choose from.

  • The Three-day Method
  • Slow and Steady
  • Deadline
  • Rewards
  • Potty Boot Camp
  • Training Pants Transition
  • Panty Raid
  • The Olaf Potty Training
How it works

The child will know the signs when he needs to pee or poo and he will know that whenever the signs show up he should use the potty as you introduced him to one.

How to prepare

Let your child go naked through the waist all day. You should follow him everywhere to observe the signs that he is about to pee or poo, and I mean literally. And when he’s about to go, take him to his potty. You have to devote three days for this process.

What to expect

It makes your child use the potty instead of a diaper in just a matter of three days.


If it’s the right one for your child then after the third day he already knows how to use the potty alone.


But if you’re a working mom or dad, you have to forego with your work for three days just to follow him around, literally.

Is it right for you?

This method may not work with a child who has an attention-deficit problem or to a child who has special needs, as you as a parent may not notice the signs that he is about to “go”.

Potty Training Do's and Don'ts


Nobody tells you that potty training is a just a walk in the park and that once you’ve tried it to your child you’ll see the results instantly. However, in potty training your child there are things you must consider and things you should never do.

Remember that a child differs from everyone else, so the method that worked with your first child may not work with your second one.

DO give him rewards and lavish him with praises when he does something praise-worthy. There is nothing better encouragement than the praise and reward from you, the parent. "Potty training is a milestone for your child," Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., a Parents advisor and pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital, said. So it’s just and fair to give him praises.

But DON’T give him too lavish rewards that could harm him. Remember that our number one concern is our child’s safety and security more than anything. Experts believe that rewards have two faces. They can either make your child grow up responsibly or make a child dependent on rewards. So be wary of giving lavish rewards for your love.

DO always remember this: anticipate accidents that may occur, thus with this, you may get ready if any untoward incidents that could happen, all the time. So have a first aid kit in handy. Remember that when “prevention” has already failed, the “cure” is your second and only option.

DON’T ever push your child the method you think is the easiest but for him might be too complicated. Remember that our main concern in potty training our child is for HIM to know how to use the potty and eventually the toilet. So it’s all about HIM and not about us.

And DON’T ever spank or yell at your child. This may only lead to negative results. Many experts can attest that spanking or yelling does not pay any good result. In fact, more often than not, spanking or yelling during potty training will make your child be afraid or adamant to be potty trained.

But before trying to introduce any method, always DO consult your child’s pediatrician. Remember again that it’s his safety and security that’s what matters most.

Usual Problems and their Solutions

It’s usual that you encounter some problems along the way during potty training your child. But this should not hinder you from potty training your child as there could be solutions somewhere in a specific problem.

For example, if your son uses the potty to pee but instead of standing up, he sits on it. Let him be, although gently tell him every day that boys should pee standing up. Sooner or later he will realize that boys will really pee standing up.

Here are the other possible problems you may encounter in potty training your child and with them are the solutions.

#1. Bed-wetting Problem


Remember that potty training during the day is different at night-time. Mylittlemoppet rightly explains so that during daytime your child is fully awake and thus he is fully aware of his bodily urges unlike at nighttime.

Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician and author of Baby 411 and Toddler 411, in Parents has this advice to parents who are having bed-wetting problems with their tots.

  • Limit the fluid intake of your child after dinner
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Get your child to use the potty before bedtime

#2. Potty Training a Boy vs. Potty Training a Girl


It is usually hard to potty train a boy than a girl. Alison Mack, author of the book Toilet Learning, as cited by Babycenter, it is partially due to the fact that moms are usually the potty-trainers in a family. Aside from that, experts believe that girls aren’t easily distracted than boys.

Some experiences with potty training a boy led to mess and urine everywhere.

Edward Christophersen, clinical psychologist, says it’s because parents tend to teach their boys to pee standing up when it shouldn’t be.


Let your boy pee sitting down because with this, it will be easier for you to teach him to pee standing up later.

Don’t teach your little boy what YOU want to see in him, let him do how he does it , as long as he does it right, meaning clean and having no mess. This is the first step

#3. Training a Child with Special Needs


Potty training a child is really a challenge and it gets more difficult if the child has special needs. But in an article “Potty Training Children with Special Needs” by Dr. Vincent Iannelli in Verywell, the same thing with normal children, special-needs children must also show signs of readiness. It may not be in his chronological age to consider potty training him.


It’s not only the child that should be ready during potty training, Babble cites. Parents should and foremost be ready as potty training a child with special needs requires your full attention, schedule, dedication and time.

And before anything else, you should always consult with the experts in your child’s situation; his pediatrician, specialty doctors, teacher, and therapist.

#4. Problem with Bathroom in Public Places


Remember that your own bathroom is very much different than the bathroom in public places. So don’t expect your child to get used to the bathroom in public places immediately.


However, experts believe that if your child has already successfully transitioned from diaper-wearing to underwear-wearing child, then don’t put him back to diapers when you go out. Instead plan ahead for outings, let your child go to the potty before leaving the house. But don’t force her. Aside from that, introduce her to public bathrooms and consider entering a public bathroom with your child. In this way, she will have an idea that public bathrooms are okay.

#5. Is it time to Back Off with Potty Training?


Psychologist Christophersen suggests in Babycenter that if you begin to be frustrated for your child’s disinterest in potty training and your child’s defiance then it’s time for you both to take a break.


If there are major changes, whether abruptly or slowly, that you introduce to your child, like having a new sibling or transferring to a new house, then you should avoid introducing your child to potty training.

#6. Dealing with Potty Training Regression


Experts advise that to deal with potty training regression is first and foremost to determine if it’s true regression and not just minor setbacks. Because it is very common for children to have few setbacks once in while.

Some of the possible reasons why your child regress, according to Care, are because the parents lack motivation and consistency, the child becomes too preoccupied with new toys and games and sometimes the child’s diet.


If you’ve been assured that it’s really a regression, then the solution should be to identify the root cause of it. It’s only then that you can face the problem head-on.Remember that there’s “no one reason why kids regress in toilet-training.”

As a parent, you should always be consistent and stick to your plan.If the root cause of your child’s regression is because he’s too preoccupied with watching cartoons, then might as well use this as his reward if he successfully potty.

And of course, change his diet if you suspect it’s the cause of your child’s regression. Make sure to provide him with food rich in fiber and adequate water intake to prevent him from constipation.

#7. Attention is on the Play


Same with regression problem, playing is one of the most common causes of potty training failure. Oftentimes there are a lot more interesting things for a child other than the potty.


Aside from using his favorite toys or movie programs as a reward for a successful potty, you as a parent can help too. In Todaysparent, Elizabeth Pantley, author of No-Cry Potty Training Solution, suggests that you watch for the tell-tale signs of your child when he’s about to pee, like clutching or dancing awkwardly, and lead him to the bathroom, IMMEDIATELY.

#8. How to Handle Accidents


Accidents can likely happen any time, even during potty training. This is normal in the potty training process.


The best solution to this is to always be calm in dealing with your child.

Never yell at him because it will not give you a positive result, so better yet be always prepared for what might come to worse so that with this you will know how to handle that situation without hurting your angel.

#9. There is Monster in the Toilet and Other Troubles


There’s no scarier for a child who is just introduced to the toilet than dark and empty toilet room.


Todaysparent.com suggests that you must find out what makes your child scared to use the toilet. With this, you can deal with the problem head-on.

If she’s afraid of the dark, then try exchanging your toilet lamp with a brighter one.

#10. No Bowel Movement on the Potty


If your child has trouble pooping in the toilet but not in their diapers or training pants, the most common culprit is constipation.


To avoid constipation in your child, make sure he has plenty of dietary fiber intake. The good rule of thumb as cited in Babycenter to know if your child’s food has enough fiber is to equal the grams of fiber to your child’s age plus 5. If your baby is 3 years old, then he should get at least 8 grams of fiber.

The website also adds that it’s good to have your child sit on the toilet without forcing him to do anything. Just let him sit. In this way, he will get accustomed to sitting on the toilet that once he needs to poop he will get to the potty without any trouble.

#11. How to Maintain His Interest on Potty Training


Usually, potty training is not included in your child’s interest, it’s a known fact.


If this seems to be your problem with potty training then the best solution is to be more creative with the reward and incentive! Parenting suggests that you can make a cute and colorful potty punch card which your child can use every time he gets to the potty. After a number of holes he gets you can treat him with a reward!

Babycenter adds that a little encouragement can sometimes do the trick.

But if it doesn’t work, stay calm because if you’re too pushy your child might end up refusing the potty at all.

#12. Becoming Too Assertive and Won’t Sit on the Potty


Children are prone to be assertive, we must understand that. They often say no even if they want to say yes, especially if they sense that you want him to say yes.


If this happens, the better approach is to put the potty away for a few days for you and your child to take a break from potty training.Babycenter suggests that it’s better to give your child a “little while to get out of the refusal pattern.”

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Megan P. Richardson

My name is Megan P. Richardson and I am a mother to 3 lovely kids. I am also the founder of Kudkid- a blog I created as a gift to my kids. I love discussing about fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice and sharing them to help you through pregnancy, birth and raising your kids. After all everybody including Cinderella needs a fairy Godmother to help her get through the arduous tasks of day-to-day life. If not through the swish of a magic wand, at least through my blog you could find a helping hand to make life easier. Thanks for visiting my website and if you have any questions, please Contact me, I’d like to hear from you!

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