POTTY TRAINING - 5 ways to make it easier

Here are 5 hints for those parents who would love for their kids to have an easier transition from diapers to the potty (or toilet, for that matter) but have no idea where to start. These simple ideas have helped a lot in the so-called potty training in our home and I hope to make it easier for you too.

potty training - make it easier

First off, I need to admit we've been incredibly lucky with our first kid getting off diapers.

Just into his second year of life he only used diapers during night (and even that one stayed dry most of the nights) and by the time he was three we had long forgotten about them. I feel like he was potty-trained practically BY HIMSELF. Possible? Nah, I don't know. What I do know is that I have been spared the hundreds of soiled pants moms talk about. OK, there were some tens of wet pants, but this is no issue at all, is it? (No cleaning, you just change the pants and you're done, right?)

I know we were just lucky. Apart from an occasional accident when the bathroom was too far or the game played too interesting for the toddler to notice he had to go, life was and is ..normal. :D
I'd love you to have the same pleasant experience in potty training though I know not everyone has it easy.


What I can do is give a few hints to those who would like to have an easy transition from diapers to the potty (or toilet, for that matter) but have no idea where to start. I had no idea either. But these basic ideas I believe have helped a lot in the so-called potty training in our home:


1) Timing - is the child ready? 

I did not know for sure. But a potty caught attention of our toddler when a slightly older playmate used it. And another one. So I guessed it was just about time to offer him an alternative to diapers (who'd like to soak in a diaper on a 90 degree F in the summer, anyway?)


2) Timing - time of the year

We went for it during summer, our toddler was 2 years old. It's warm during the summer, clothes are stripped to the minimum, especially if you're on vacation at the seaside (I don't know how it is like in the USA, but toddlers run around mainly naked at the seaside camps at the Adriatic..) accidents go nearly unnoticed, everything is much easier than during winter.


3) Comfortable clothes ...and good toilet equipment

Pants should be easy to take off, no buttons or belts please. Just an elastic waistband will be perfect.

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Oh, and it doesn't hurt if your kid likes his potty - be it in his favorite color, having a favorite cartoon hero on it (Bonus hint: you can simply get a sticker to add to a totally regular potty, it works just as well as those potties that are expensive just because they have a Disney cartoon character on. And you can exchange it regularly, it will be even more interesting for the toddler!). But choose the potty model wisely: from what I've seen in the market, some potties are really small, some look quite uncomfortable, so choose one you think will fit. In fact, I've come across one that is quite affordable and it looks just lovely (affiliate link)! You can check it out if interested.

4) Accidents are no big deal.

Off course they will happen. What I did was I tried to make them go hardly noticed. In my honest opinion, what's the fuss?  Wet pants, so what? I merely calmly and discretely suggested to the kid that we change the pants, so he doesn't need to have wet pants on. OK? 'OK.' was his calm response. Calmly and privately. No need to advertize it. Why do I state this? How would I feel if someone bluntly and loudly announced my failure in something? Uncomfortable, right? I wouldn't want to confide in that person anymore. I'd rather go to someone who'd maybe notice I made something wrong and would just help me. Quietly, with understanding. Having said so, I need to state that this is no expert opinion, just a feeling and a personal decision, It does not need to be your opinion. But I firmly believe that being calmly supportive is still a major step towards a successful potty training.


5) Success is a big deal.

Praise, be happy about every achievement, each dry diaper in the morning (we still use diapers for during the night, at least until the winter is over...). Some parents use candy as reward, we didn't need to do that. But the choice is yours. If candy works and nothing else does, so be it. (In my humble opinion, the kids will have had a lot of candy in their lives, so what the heck if some of it is eaten for a good cause ;)

As we didn't need any sweets, that doesn't mean there was no reward. Oh, there was! We made a lot of fuss over successful toilet time. And still do sometimes. Games, competition who get's the first to the toilet, or including toilet into the daily plans ('We'll have breakfast, then you'll go potty, and immediately afterwards we can go to the park, OK?')


6) Make it FUN. 

This applies to two phases:
- at the start. Playful and cheerful goes far.
- later when the novelty has become routine (and is not so much fun itself to a kid)
 Later (but this is no training phase anymore, I need to say), it might not be so interesting anymore to go to the toilet in the morning, especially if the kid would like to sleep just a bit longer.. So we make it a competition. I start slowly, stating I need to go to the toilet and recognizing 'I might be the first one to manage to the toilet!' No need to say more, the toddler jumps up, fighting to get out of his bed as quickly as possible and off to the toilet. This has been working for weeks, I believe we'll need to figure out something new when this competition-effect wears off.

I hope this helps making your life as a parent at least a bit easier. However, if you lack time and have no intentions to wait for the summer (it's still half a year away, I must admit!) you might also want to try an incredibly efficient and successful approach Becky used with her kids. She is a mother of four, so I'd say she KNOWS how to do it. She wrote a bestselling book to make it easier to parents. I didn't use her approach with my kid because I had no idea the book existed, but I think it would be great if you were trying to potty train EFFECTIVELY and QUICKLY. Check it out, if you want!


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  1. My oldest potty trained SO EASILY it had to be a fluke. I'm weirdly terrified for my second. She's nearly two and I know the time is coming soon, so I'll keep these tips in mind. Thanks!

    1. Jen, keeping my fingers crossed ;) Thanks for your comment, Damjana

  2. Potty training can be challenging. They definitely must be ready! Good tips!

  3. I have been very blessed that all three of my children were easy to potty trained. Great tips!

    1. Kim, you were lucky, thriee children and no problems with potty training! But this must also
      mean you were doing something right :D Have a great day, Damjana

  4. Great tips, and that is such a good book! My youngest will be at this stage before I know it. I hope she's as easy as her big sister!

    1. Sarah, thanks for the comment. Yes, I loved the book too because it is hands-on: made for moms to ACT on it, there's not just theory. Looking forward to hear from you how your youngest will be coping with leaving the diapers behind.. Wish you all the best :) Damjana

  5. I will have to save this. I will be needing this soon! ;)

    1. Thank you for dropping by. Keeping fingers crossed :) Have a great day, Damjana

  6. One of my goals for this summer is to potty train my three year old. You would think it would be a no brainer for me (he is my 4th child) but he has been hard. He is interested in the potty but will only sit on it for a few second and has not done anything in it at all.

    1. Sheena,
      thanks for your comment! I believe it must be frustrating when you do everything right but the child doesn't seem to be ready yet. I see you've got tons of potty-training experience, and like to see you've postponed it till summer - I agree that it's the best time of the year to potty-train - since it is hot, I hope your toddler will be happy to sit on the potty for a few additional minutes, to be allowed to run around diaper-free :) Keeping fingers crossed, Damjana

  7. My son had started going potty back in December, but things tapered off and now I hear "But I love going pee pee in my diaper" or "I love going poopy in my diaper" whenever I say we should try to go potty because that is where it belongs. What worked for the girls, is not quite working for my boy. No big surprise there, just a tad frustrating as he is 3 now. Thanks for these tips. Always willing to try something new.
    This would fit perfectly with my Littles Learning Link Up. It is a weekly post filled with craft and activity ideas, tips, guest posts, and round ups all revolving around young children (infant through young elementary). I invite you to stop by and share.
    Have a great day.

    1. Thank you

      for the invitation, I've just visited your blog and love the crafts you do with your kids! Hope your three-year old will change his mind regarding potty soon :) Have a great day,

  8. My 2-yr-old pretty much trained herself this summer while we were camping - we'd just had the potty available and let her do whatever she wanted on it, when suddenly she just started using it all on her own! I feel lucky, but at the same time, feel like our approach let her do it on her terms, which is a positive thing.

  9. Great tips. My daughter might use them for her second little one. You never know how kids respond to it. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Thursday Favorite Things blog hop.

  10. I really appreciate your 4th point of making accidents no big deal. I have tried a few times to potty train my toddler only to stop because both of us became to frustrated, I blame mainly myself. I am going to make another go of and if I can have that mindset, I know we will succeed this time! Fingers crossed! Thanks for the tip!

    1. AJ,
      thank you for higlighting this aspect of potty training. Though I think you did your best (we parents beat ourselves up too often for things we THINK we're done wrong!), this little trick about ignoring accidents might help you and your child. Thumbs up to your perserverance - and fingers crossed for the next round!