Potty training is one of those occasions in a parents’ life that takes patience, time and energy.  But with the right attitude and mentality, it can also be very rewarding.  After all, who wants to keep changing diapers for another year or two?  Many parents welcome the idea of not having to purchase or change nappies anymore but dread the potty-training process entirely.  So the aim of this article is to support parents in experiencing a peaceful transition from dirty diapers to clean underwear.

Keep in mind that potty training is a big stepping stone for children.  It is an idea and process that they have to get used to.  They are at an age where they are exploring their independence, they are figuring out their voice, likes and dislikes and the ability to use the potty on their own is just another avenue for them to express this new-found freedom.  So without further ado, here are some tips to help potty train your children.

  • Communicate

Getting your child to tell you when they need to potty depends on the child.  After all, some children are more talkative than others.  However, if a parent sets up a channel of communication where the child not only feels safe to communicate, but is rewarded for doing so then this will only make your job as a parent easier and puddle-free.


  • Get them on a schedule

Some children may go right after meals, and other children might go before bedtime or playtime.  Understanding and knowing your child’s routine will support you in knowing when to take them to the toilet.  Something that may support you before potty training is already knowing or having implemented a schedule in place.  For example, every morning they wake up at 8am, they have breakfast at 8:30am, followed by playtime, etc.  Having a schedule in place will support you in knowing when in the day they go number one or number two.


  • Let them run around naked

Some children, including boys, tend to go on their own when they run around the house naked.  There is one parent at our school, Little Human Scholars preschool and playschool, who has been doing this for a week or two, and her son has been going on his own without even asking his mommy or daddy for help!


  • Go as often as possible… every 15 minutes if needed!

Keep in mind that every child is different and will require different potty training strategies to ease them into this new practice.  While some children may take to the new experience like a duck in water, other children may need to be reminded often.  After all, there is so much to see, and do and touch as a child, that it can be easy to forget that they have started a new routine!  Reminding your child often, every 15 minutes if needed, does support some children in remembering and anchoring the whole potty training process.  This may require one parent taking some time off work if a maid or nanny is not available.


  • Celebrate the little wins.

When your child does manage to go on the big boy or big girl potty, celebrate with them!  Compliment them on the work they have done and do a happy dance with them!  This positive anchoring will support them in looking forward to the potty as opposed to being scared or intimidated by it.


  • Accidents happen! No biggie!

When your child has an accident, don’t make a big deal out of it and don’t discourage them by punishing or yelling at them.  Again, this is a new routine that may take a bit of practice.  They didn’t learn how to walk the first time they tried; it took a bit of time and patience before the right neural connections were made within their brain.  The same goes for potty training.  One of the things my daughter and I did during her potty training days was to say in a sing-song way, “OOPS!  I made a mistake; but mistakes are good because they help us to grow!”  This supported her self-confidence as she got older.


  • Limit bedtime drinks

An old rule but a good rule, limit bedtime drinks…unless you really like waking up in the middle of the night to change sheets and clean mattresses!  Some parents prefer not to give drinks up to two hours before bed.  While this may work in some temperate zones such as the United States and some parts of Europe, this can be difficult in places near the equator such as Malaysia.  If bedtime drinks absolutely cannot be limited, try keeping a diaper on during the night just until they can confidently wake up without a wet diaper!


  • Read the cues!

Every child communicates differently; some children are very good with verbal communication while others may start to do a little “I gotta go” dance, or make an intensely focused face….like they are trying to solve a complex math problem.  Understand the cues your child gives and waste no time to get them to the bathroom!


  • Make it into a game!

Kids love games, at least most of them do.  One cool idea I found while scouring the internet was to create a little table where they can put stickers every time they successfully use the potty!  At the end of the row you can reward them with a fun activity or outing, such as going to the petting zoo or visiting a water park.


In summary, every child is different and not every tip may work for him or her.  Keep in mind that putting these tips into effect may take a few days for the information and process to sink into your child’s consciousness… after all, repetition is a big part of the learning process for children and adults alike!  So give it some time, and see which tips works best for you and your child.  Wishing you a fun and fulfilling potty training experience!


Best wishes,


Jana Moreno