Do’s and Don’ts of Potty Training A Toddler

Potty training, oh the fun has begun! This task may seem simple but when it comes down to teaching a tiny human how and when to use the bathroom, it can get tricky, sticky, and downright messy.

At what age did you start potty training your child? Was it an easy task or was it daunting? Did you read the books, or practice the 3 day rule?

I began potty training my toddler at 2.5 years old and although we still use a pull-up from time-to-time at night, we’re almost at the finish line!

There are quite a few concepts and lessons I have learned while trying to teach my oldest daughter how to use the bathroom, I created a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to potty training.

Do’s of Potty Training

  1. Do encourage your child when they use the potty.
  2. Do encourage them to use to sit on the potty and take their time.
  3. Do reward them for using the potty.
  4. Do create and stick to a potty schedule (I gave her plenty of fluids and asked her approximately every hour if she had to potty)
  5. Do watch for cues on when they need to poo, that way you can bring them to the potty.
  6. Do practice patience because potty training can be frustrating for both of you.
  7. Do allow them to watch you use the potty so they understand it’s ok to release their waste into the potty (some toddlers are afraid of using the bathroom and dislike pooping into a huge bowl.)
  8. Do teach them how to wipe every time they potty in the toilet and to wash their hands. It makes them feel like a big kid and in return they’ll be more inclined to use the bathroom.
  9. Do purchase underwear and training underwear, it’s a great incentive for using the potty correctly.
  10. Read books about potty-training so they understand it’s a normal thing to do.

Don’ts of Potty Training

    Don’t scold your child if they didn’t use the potty.
    Don’t yell, scream, belittle, or shame your child for not using the potty.
    Don’t get upset when accidents and messes occur, this is part of any learning process.
    Don’t put pressure on your child to use the potty, they will start when they are ready.
    Don’t slack off or lose track of potty time because they will too. You need to keep a schedule.
    Do not use time-outs or punishments if your child doesn’t use the bathroom.
    Do not use “pull ups” or any underwear that absorbs fluids.
    Don’t create a deadline, potty training is a process and each child learns on their own time.
    Do not expect the nights to be easy, it can be stressful having to wake them. Do not give them fluids before bed.
    Don’t start potty training during a stressful time (moving, divorce, birth, death) it makes it harder on you and your child.

Tips on Potty Training:

  • I did the 3 Day Method which meant I let my toddler run around our apartment without underwear or pants, so when she needed to use the bathroom, the potty was her only choice. It took a week for it to stick, but now when we go to the grocery stores or anywhere outside of our home, she holds it and asks to use the potty.
  • We used pull-ups at first but quickly learned it’s a terrible way to teach them because they become lazy and just use the bathroom in their pull ups.
  • We did not use a portable potty because the mess seemed unnecessary when we could teach her to use the bathroom, one and done.
  • Set your child up for success by stocking up on underwear, a comfortable potty seat for them to sit on, and rewards.

What You Need To Potty Train:

  1. Soft Potty Seat
  2. Potty w/ Step Stool Ladder
  3. Potty Training Reward Chart
  4. Potty Train in 3 Days! (The Book)
  5. Elmo Potty Training Book for Toddlers
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you shop from the links below, I earn a a small commission at no extra cost to you! Each time you shop from one of my links, you help support me and my blog, thank you.


A Potty Training Mama!