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5 Things you can do NOW to make potty training easier when you start

Jun 08, 2023

The weather is heating up, your child is showing all the signs they are ready to potty train and you're thinking it's about that time to start thinking about getting your child out of diapers for good.

The first question that'll likely pop into your head is "but where the heck do I start?"

... and the second question that generally pops up in parents heads are: "how to I make this as fast and easy as possible?!"

My answer: the very first step to a fast and easy potty training experience is the work and preparation you do BEFORE you start potty training..something that I like to refer in my course as Pre-Potty Training - the Important First Step.

So in this weeks blog, I'm sharing 5 things you can do RIGHT NOW before you start potty training that'll make potty training an easier, faster experience for your child.

1. Invest in a potty 

A potty is a small, plastic version of a toilet that is size appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers. 

Put potty out at least a few weeks, or if time allows, a few months before starting. The earlier the better! 

At first, this may just seem like a shiny, scary piece of plastic to your child... but the earlier you put the potty out in the house, you expose your child to the potty and give them the opportunity to learn what it is and how to use it. 

So take your child with you to the shops and let them choose a potty they want to use so its exciting and novel to them! 

Let them explore it, sit on it, decorate it with stickers to customize it so it feels like their very own chair.

Be playful with it by encouraging your child to play “potty” with their favorite dolls... teaching them the proces of using the potty through play.

There is no need to encourage your child to sit on it at this point, although they may take the liberty of sitting on it themselves as they begin to model the behavior you are setting for them. At this point, your goal is to increase your child's comfort level around the potty and eventually begin to understand what it is used for.

2. Make reading books on the potty and toileting part of your child's reading routine.

Reading books to your toddler is a fun, visual way to engage children in how toileting and using a potty works... in a way they can understand and comprehend!

Whether its on hygiene, using the potty, poop or saying good-bye to diapers, there are so many wonderful books that you can either purchase or rent from a library to keep rotating and maintaining your child's interest. 

3. Start to get your child involved in the process 

During the toddler years, developmentally your child is becoming more aware of their bodies, they are craving independence, control and ownership.

Maybe you've noticed your child is insisting to brush their teeth... to unscrew the bottle of a lid, to build a tower or get in and out of their car seat....all without your help. 

Children at this age are developing their self-identify and forming their sense of self... recognizing themselves as individuals separate from you.

They are developing decision-making skills, a strong curiosity of the world around them, seeking to explore their environment, try new things and engage in independent discoveries!

  When it goes to successful potty training, when you give your child control they'll feel independent and more willing to sit on the potty once you start and be self-motivated to do so!

You can start giving your child control now by starting to get your child involved in the process. 

Encourage your child to throw their diaper in the trash.

Encourage them to empty out their diaper into the toilet and flush.

Let them explore washing their hands.

Choose their own potty and underwear.

The control you give your child can also extend outside of potty training prep... and it'll likely see less power struggles in your house in general!

4. Prepare for the separation of diapers 

Up until now, your child has only known soft, pillowy diapers from birth.

These diapers are designed to be extremely comfortable for kids as they do an incredible job of soaking up urine. Your child also hasn't worried about getting changed and cleaned because… well, you do it for them!

It is no surprise that a child can develop an emotional attachment to diapers... which can make the start of potty training and removing diapers more challenging. 

How we support our child through the separation from diapers starts before we even begin potty training... by emotionally preparing them for this huge, complex transition!

You can help your child by:

  • Encourage your child to throw their diaper away in the trash 
  • Encourage them to empty their stools out into the toilet and flush!
  • Start a countdown to "no more diapers" the week before you start potty training to help them emotionally prepare for the change
  • Practice bottomless time regularly so your child gets used to the feeling of not wearing them! an easy way to do this is to choose a time a day when your child plays without bottoms on and make this part of their routine! 

5. Use play to introduce toileting

Its no secret that children build knowledge and learn through play... and this has happened since birth!

Think about how your baby interacted with you when you pulled faces, scrunched a piece of paper, splashed some water... The joy and engagement that followed! 

Exploring through play is a natural way of learning. Playing is fun! When children play, they become immersed in what they are doing. 

They become actively ENGAGED in their bodies and minds. It builds understanding. 

Using play helps to meet your child at their level and build connection between bodily functions on the potty and toilet. 

Play can help your child develop a positive and healthy attitude towards the potty, making it feel less of a"chore" and more of something they WANT to do.

It will also help your child feel more relaxed and less anxious about the process... which is often the source of resistance & tears!

A very effective way to introduce toileting through play is to encourage your child to role-play using the potty with their toys. For example, you may say:


"Look's like bunny has the feeling it needs to pee! Let's go take her to the potty."

Take your child to the potty with her bunny and simulate the process of using the potty... and watch your child's interest, curiosity and knowledge skyrocket!




*Disclaimer: No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice or treatment from your doctor or other qualified clinician. 

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