A no-stress guide to potty training

Jun 24, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. ET
Image: Steve Wisbauer/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Overwhelmed by potty training advice? Take a step back and focus. We have everything you need, from potty training must-haves to helpful insider tips, right here in one go-to place. Follow this guide and say good-bye to diapers forever.

Potty training is a big deal — for both you and your child. Having access to the right tools can simplify the process and make the experience more fun for everyone involved. Veteran moms take full advantage of effective potty training essentials that help you and your child tackle this challenge head-on.

  • Kids' books on potty training: Children learn so much from imitation. They like to do what Mommy does, what big brother does and what a favorite book or TV character does. Use this to your advantage by introducing potty training books to your toddler. Show him or her how to take a book into the bathroom. And stock up on books like Everyone Poops and Flush the Potty to help take the mystery out of this important milestone.
  • Potty training seat: It's not uncommon for a little one to fear that big, scary hole that is the toilet. Their curious minds try to wrap around the fact that their pee and poop flush away, yet they somehow don't go down the pipes with them. A potty training seat featuring favorite friends like Dora or Elmo fits your child's tiny bottom and makes that black hole a lot less frightening.
  • Potty training reward chart: Everyone, especially a toddler, likes to be rewarded for hard work. Encourage potty training progress with a rewards chart. Buy one, download a free template or make your own — the idea is to have a way to consistently acknowledge your child's efforts to get rid of those diapers once and for all.
  • Flushable wipes for toddlers: Flushable potty training wipes promote good hygiene. Your child is trying to master the art of going on the toilet, and then we add another skill on top of that. Help him or her master the clean swipe with toddler-sized wipes that work far more effectively that basic toilet paper.

Inspired self-help materials

You've provided fun potty books for your child, but where is your potty training guide? Parents can use just as much encouragement as their toddlers when facing this daunting task. How can you resist a book that promises potty training success in just four hours?

Super-simple insider tips

Your child is different from every other child and will learn to use the potty in his or her own unique way. But there are some tried-and-true tips that can help every potty training family. From bribing to celebrating to letting your toddler run naked, some advice just makes sense.

Extras for children with special needs

The task of potty training has added challenges when you're working with a child who has special needs. One of the most important steps you can take is to evaluate her readiness. When she is ready, equip yourself with patience and some truly terrific potty training tools.

True stories

Thankfully, you're not in this alone. Countless parents have successfully potty trained their youngsters (how many diaper-clad first graders have you seen), and the vast majority of them encountered bumps and bruises along the way. Take comfort in the fact that you'll one day have your own success story to share with other frustrated parents.

More potty training help

5 Best potty training bribes
Dealing with potty training regressions
Differences between potty training and poopy training