How to potty train your toddler and not go insane

Our oldest son (now 2 years and 4 months) is now potty trained.


A first try at daycare and at home, left him confused, upset, constipated and wrongly focused on his bodily funtions: a clear indication that he was not ready yet.

So we left him alone for a while and put the diaper back on.

He would pee in the potty from time to time but we were not pushing him. Every result was congratulated and celebrated with a special Potty Calendar.

Each time he peed in the potty he was allowed to glue a sticker on the calendar.

And when one page of the calendar was full, he was allowed to send a special potty postcard to someone.

He liked the concept of sticking labels but it was not enough incentive to actually pee on the pot. But they say people are creatures of habit and after a while, the stickers stuck to him and it became a habit.

So we took up the potty training again by removing the diaper. And wonder above all wonders, no more ‘accidents’. Peeing was the easy part of course. The Poo level is more impressive to the child, but generally happens right after :-)

A few more tips:

  • Wait until the child is at least 2 years of age. They say the child should be able to walk up and down the stairs on his/her own one foot after the other like adults (not two feet on the same step)
  • Talk to the child. Explain what pee and poo is all about. That it’s natural. That everybody does it. That food and drink go in and poo and pee come out. They are toddlers, but do understand a hell of a lot more than we think.
  • Start by taking the diaper off during the day. Keep it on at night. You may keep it on during naps and long car rides as well. You have to persevere here and arm yourself with patience.
  • Get everyone involved. Family members, daycare staff… all need to be on the same potty training focus here. And in line with the point below.
  • Do not scold the child but be supportive. Accidents happen. Try to use non-violent, non-reproaching language. Explain what happened, clean it up together.
  • Stop when it doesn’t work. If your child refuses to go, hides the potty, says no-no-no everytime you even mention the potty, just forget about it. The kid is not ready. Go back to diapers. Do not make a big fuss. No need to frustrate your child.
  • Go back to the diaper life.
  • Wait a few weeks.
  • Try again. Usually the second time around is a winner.

For those who are looking for a ludic way to get your toddler to become potty trained, I can only recommend the use of a calendar. It is not the solution, but an aid.

You can get the potty calendar we used here. But there are lots of other options out there:

Potty training rewards
Free Dora the Explorer charts
Kaboose potty trainind calendar
Potty training printables at
Potty training tips
Keep kids healthy

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One Response to How to potty train your toddler and not go insane

  1. Angella says:

    My boys were not trained until they were three.

    You might be onto something :)


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