Ages: 2-3 years
When it comes to parenting, mom knows best! We asked moms across the country for their best potty-training tips. Read their tips below!
“Consistency is the name of the game. Once you start, you must follow through. No going back!” —Tamar Magnes, New York City
“Stay home for a week or two and work on it. When you’re home, you can be more observant and build a routine.” —Patty Corn, Allendale, N.J.
“Let your child gather up all of the diapers from your diaper bag, changing table and closet, then have him throw them in the trash. (Use a clean garbage liner so you can give the diapers to a friend.) When they get rid of their own diapers, it really sends a message that ‘This is it! There’s no turning back—it’s potty or nothing!’ The strategy has worked well for all three of my kids, each of whom I potty trained on their second birthday.” —Leah Higgibotham, Orem, Utah
“Have potty parties! Immediately after each meal, put your child on the toilet for five minutes. Read books, sing songs, play music—make it fun! Have a timer that dings so everyone knows when five minutes are up. If there is no pee or poop, no big deal. The potty party is over and you go again after the next meal. After only two weeks of potty parties, my daughter finally started going poop in the toilet!” —Kate Raidt, Austin, Tex.
“Keep your child naked as much as possible. For whatever reason, my daughters didn’t mind peeing in their underpants, but they hated it when pee started trickling down their legs.” —Jenna McCarthy, Santa Barbara, Calif.
“Don’t ask your child if he wants to sit on the potty when it isn’t optional! Instead, say, ‘It’s time to sit on the potty. Do you want to use the little potty or the big potty?’” —Michelle LaRowe, Hyannis, Mass.
“Buy a few cheap plastic mattress covers. Put one on the mattress followed by a cloth bed sheet, then repeat. When you’re awakened in the middle of the night with ‘Mom, I peed,” just change his clothes, rip off the top two layers and then go pass out again. It’ll save you 30 minutes of searching for clean sheets and changing the bed at 3 a.m.” —Amy Weirick, Worthington Hills, Ohio
“Slow down and take the time to train your child 24/7—not just before and after naps or in the comfort of your own home. It’ll be quicker in the long run.” —Kerri Schoonyoung, Chicago
“Go shopping with your little one and pick out underwear with her favorite character (Little Mermaid, Diego, Spongebob, etc.).” —Jessica Salmon, Farmington, Utah
“We got a travel Magna Doodle and let our daughter play with it while she sat on the potty. She loved it! Then, her BIG prize for doing number two was a giant little people farm Magna Doodle, which sealed the deal.” —Judith Santana, New York City
“Relax! More than likely, your child won’t go to kindergarten in diapers, and eventually, they all want to be like their friends who are potty trained.” —Lisa Manning, Hilton Head, S.C.
Experienced moms reveal their best potty-training tips.