Tips on Potty Training from a Grandma

tips for potty trainingPotty Training tips from a Grandma


I can not stress enough the importance of patience. Remember just because YOU are ready for your little one to be potty trained, doesn’t mean that they are. If you have tried and tried and it has become a stressful thing, take a break and try again in a couple weeks. Sometimes a little time for them to mature a bit is all that is needed and at this age, a couple weeks can make a huge difference in understanding. Remember also that #2 will take a bit longer then #1. Just concentrate on #1 for the first couple weeks. #2 in potty chair will come in time as they start understanding the difference. And some kids will be ready at 2 1/2 and others 3 1/2. Not all children are potty trained by 3.


When you first start potty training, you have to go “all in.” You can’t just do it here or there, as that is confusing for your youngster. I know young parents are tired from works and all the stress and obligations of having a young family, so make a plan. Each of you (whoever in the family is around such as mom, dad, older sisters, brothers aunts, grandmas…)  take a shift and stay as consistent as you can. Toddler’s learn from repetitive actions, so  keep in a consistent pattern of putting them on the potty chair, Of course noone is perfect so rule number 1 applies to you too, be patient with yourselves and just do your best.


My little two year old grand daughter has coined the term “nakey boo” for any state of undress. 🙂 For our girls, we put on a dress without a diaper. That way we can be discreet yet have easy access because usually potty comes quickly and unexpectedly, especially in the beginning. But in a short time you start to notice a pattern, for example after she eats lunch and drinks her juice, in twenty minutes she is likely to pee. For boys we use a long tshirt and just go “Free Willy” while in the potty training stages. So being at least partially “nakey boo” is helpful to have quick access to sitting them down in time or “mostly” in time to make it into the potty chair.

Be Prepared

Have proper supplies. Besides the potty chair you will need some other supplies. If you are not into “nakey boo” then have easy to pull down quickly shorts or pants. And put a supply of them in a couple rooms because there will be accidents, in many places. Make it convenient as can be for yourself as this time is stressful enough. Make sure to have a couple pairs of extra pants, shorts, dresses available on each floor. Have extra paper towels on hand too for accidents, in as many easy to grab locations as possible. Make sure to have a roll or toilet paper next to the potty chair. Having more then one potty chair is helpful too. Have one in their room, one in the bathroom and in the main area you usually are in for convenient access for your child. You can slowly move it towards the bathroom in time as they learn to “hold it” until they get there.

Every Hour Rule

The first couple days of potty training you will want to take some time periods where you set them on the potty every fifteen minutes just so you might accidentally catch one and begin the pattern of “reward” for peeing in the potty chair. We don’t want to overwhelm them as toddlers resist what we try to make them do sometimes, so just try to get them on the potty at the beginning about every half hour to an hour. Don’t demand that they sit there too long, that will encourage resistance.

Try to make it fun and be excited about, “Do you want to sit on your potty again?” The first couple days you might want to try every half hour then move to every hour. After just a couple days you will normally find a pattern in your child’s potty schedule and you’ll instinctively know when she is about due for a pee or poop.

Potty Together

Make sure there is a potty chair in the bathroom next to the toilet. When you potty, they potty. Sit them down next to you and you can potty together. Children love to mimic their parents. That is pretty much how they learn everything.

So when you pee, sit them down next to you and happily say, “potty time” and make a game of it. This is also a good way to teach wiping and washing hands after too.

Encourage, Don’t Punish

There is likely going to be some stress with this new venture in your and your toddler’s life. Don’t make it a terrible time for either of you. Just try your best and if they are not ready, try again at another time. Make sure to be encouraging. When are you more likely to put in extra effort at work? When your boss offers incentives, or when you know if you don’t do something you will in trouble, ridiculed or fired? Which option feels better for you?

Offer them treats for a potty well done. Offer them a “special” toy to hold while they are sitting on the potty. Never make them sit for too long, only a minute or two at a time. That is their attention span. Many time they will get up after being on their potty chair and have an accident right after, that is ok, it’s normal. Don’t yell, don’t get mad. Just say smile and say uh oh and clean it up without incidence. Don’t embarrass or shame them. But when they do pee, offer them hugs and kisses and special treats.  Over time they will start to realize that they will get rewarded for going in the potty chair. It will take a little time for them to understand and see the connection between peeing in the potty chair and getting the reward so again, be patient.

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