The Art of Potty Training – Tips & Tricks



If you have a toddler who is more than capable of using the potty, but too stubborn to comply, then you have come to the right place. Potty training is as much of a blessing at it is a curse. Having a hard headed toddler sure does make potty training a super ultra-hard CHORE.  She knows what she has to do, she gets the concept, but she just would not go because I was the one telling her to do it.  After tons of attempts and tons of failures, we have finally gotten to a point where she is about 90% potty trained. Hallelujah!  It has been a power struggle, but we are making ground.  Here is a list of things that I have tried and what did/didn’t work for us.  


Pull Ups – They work the same way as a diaper.  It is only convenient for the parent so they can pull them up and down easier.  It gives no incentive for the child to use the potty.  My daughter figured this out quick, so needless to say we only tried this for a few days before calling it a bust.

Forcing – This just makes kids retaliate, especially if they are as stubborn as my daughter. It makes for a very negative experience and that is something you should avoid all together.  I mean, how would you like it if someone was forcing you to do something you didn’t want to do?  You would probably be pretty pissed off.

Starting Too Soon – I thought I would start before 2 years old because I know of other kids who have been fully potty trained by that age.  Even though those kids might have been ready, mine wasn’t and I should have waited before trying to introduce that to her.  All kids are different, so wait until yours is ready.  Some signs include:

  • Pulling at their diaper
  • Hiding to go pee or poop
  • Showing interest in other people using the potty
  • Waking up in the morning with dry diapers
  • Telling you they are going in their diaper or
    that they have to go

Playful Potty – I bought a cute little training potty.  It was green with little eyeballs on the front.  My daughter did not want anything to do with it.  It actually freaked her out more than anything. We still have it, but it is currently collecting dust in a storage closet until I get the motivation to get rid of it.

Not Being Consistent – This one is entirely my fault. I would try potty training and when something didn’t work I would just give up for months at a time before trying something else.  I wasn’t consistent and I’m sure it confused my daughter because one minute I’m telling her we need to use the potty, and the next I’m telling her just to use her diaper and it was fine.

Sticker Charts – I thought this one would be a no brainer because of how successful other parents have been with it.  Basically, if your kid goes potty they get a sticker, or some kind of present.  Mine did not care about this at all.  She would want the sticker, but if I told her she had to use the potty first to get it, she dismissed it all together and played with something else.  Stubborn to the max.

WHAT WORKED (for us)

Start When They Are Ready –  As listed above, when your kid is showing the signs of being ready, that is when you should start your potty training journey. This makes all the difference than starting too soon. 

Cold Turkey – This worked way better than pull ups.  It took about 2 weeks of accidents, but she finally got the reality of “if I pee in my pants, I will get wet and uncomfortable”.  This one was hard to be consistent with because all I wanted to do was not clean up pee and poop every day for 2 weeks, but I held my ground and it turned out to be worth it in the end. 

Realistic Toy potty – The playful potty didn’t work, so I ended up buying the My Size Potty, which is much more realistic looking than the last one I purchased.  It actually looked like a potty and it even makes flushing noises!  My daughter loves this one and she primarily goes on it instead of the regular potty with the seat cover. 

Make It A Positive Experience – The more positive you make this experience the better.  Every time my daughter goes on the potty I tell her how proud I am of her and we give each other a high five. My daughter is also obsessed with school busses, so whenever she goes on the potty I tell her she is a big girl now and can ride a school bus. She gets over the moon excited about that. Positive reinforcement works wonders!

Keep Asking & Reminding – Frequently ask if they have to go potty. I would dillegenty ask my daughter every hour or so if she needed to use the potty. 9 out of 10 times she would tell me no, but after seeing her down water earlier makes my mommy senses tingle. Sometimes I let it slide and then ask again a bit later, but other times I tell her that we need to try anyways and we go.  Usually she will go, even if it’s just a little bit.  A lot of the times my daughter is playing and doesn’t want to stop what she is doing, which is why I like to break her away from it every so often to avoid accidents. 

Consistency! – Consistency is key.  No matter what route you choose, make sure you are consistent with it.  Don’t try going cold turkey one day and then put them in a pull up the next. It will just confuse the heck out of them. If something is not working then of course switch it up, but if something is working make sure you are following through with it.  

Please remember that every child is different.  What works for one may not work for another. The biggest thing you should take away from this is no matter what you do, be consistent and only start training when your child is ready.  The rest is trial and error.   No matter how frustrating it can be to potty train, I can promise you that your child will get there at their own pace.  Be patient, be positive and be consistent.