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The old-school potty training method

There are 101 products out there that claim to help get your little one potty trained. But sometimes all the brightly coloured seats and interactive games in the world simply won’t get your kid to “go.”

Toilet training 101
Potty training

If you think your little one is ready to be potty trained, it may be time to give this old-school method a whirl.

Determine if your little one is ready

It depends on the child, but many children are ready around the age of 2. Some children, particularly boys, may take a little longer. Once your little one is ready to be potty trained, it shouldn’t take much more than a week for them to make the switch. If they don’t seem to be getting the hang of it after that time frame, they may not be quite ready for the change.

Prepare your child

Instead of surprising your child with the news that it’s time for a big change to take place this instant, prepare them for what they can expect a week in advance. Show them the cool new toilet seat they’ll get to try out next week and the fancy new underwear they’ll be able to put on instead of their usual diapers. By getting your child excited about what’s coming up, you can expect a smoother transition.

Take off the diapers

Taking off your child’s diapers when you’ve relied on them for so long is a scary concept. But taking them off and not putting them on again will make the transition much easier. Diapers will still likely be necessary through the night for a little longer, and that’s OK.

Visit the bathroom regularly

Every hour on the hour, take your child to the bathroom and stay with them until they are either successful or absolutely certain they don’t have to go. If you take them regularly, accidents are far less likely to happen, and your child will slowly begin to make sense of the feeling of having to go and understand when and where to make it happen.

Accept accidents

It’s completely understandable that accidents will happen. Your child has been going to the bathroom in his or her diapers all his life, and making the transition takes time. The feeling of wetting themselves will be upsetting enough and will be plenty of motivation to not let it happen again. So make things easier on your little one by assuring him or her that everything’s OK. Positivity is the key!

Be consistent

Kids need to get used to this change you’re asking of them. It can be confusing if one day they’re asked to go in the toilet and the next day they have diapers on and can go wherever they want. Although it can be tempting to place your little one back in diapers when you have to head out somewhere with him or her, doing so can make the adjustment harder. Instead, bring spare clothes to be on the safe side, and stick to your regimen of visiting the bathroom every hour, no matter what.


Visiting the bathroom every hour can be tiresome and frustrating for your little one, so the best thing you can do is make a really big deal of whenever they’re successful. Cheer, clap and congratulate every time they manage to go in the toilet. You can also consider creating a sticker board where your child gets to place a new sticker for his or her efforts every time.

For more information, check out babycenter’s ABCs of potty training.

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