Potty Training: How To Easily Potty Train Your Toddler In 1 Day
Learn how to potty train your boy or girl with these easy tips that had my daughter potty trained in 1 day! This method of potty training for a girl or a boy will successfully help your toddler to go potty at the most appropriate age. Learn more.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Sounds absolutely impossible to potty train a child in 1 day, but it really did happen. It recently just happened with my third born after months of initiating potty training but inevitably holding off on potty training after realizing it wasn’t the right time. I learned a lot from the past two experiences I had with potty training my older two girls; now with my third child, I feel confident enough to share with you my tips and tricks on potty training a toddler.
I hope by the end of this post you come out with confidence in your ability as a mom to teach your child to use the potty without the headaches and frustration. My goal is that you enjoy this time you spend with your toddler by using these fun and creative tips while ultimately successfully training your child to pee and poop on the potty instead of their diaper (or the floor)! There’s always the possibility that potty training your toddler isn’t accomplished in 3 days…. but instead 1 day! It is possible.
What Age Are Toddlers Potty Trained?
This is really relative and different for each child. Typically, potty training can start as early as 24 months and as late as 4 years old. Don’t be discouraged if you are at the far end of this range. If you happen to have serious concerns regarding your child’s development I always advise you to speak with your pediatrician since he or she knows your child best.
In the 1940s, the average age for potty training was 18 months. Averages today, according to a 2001 study by Schum, show baby boys in the United States give up diapers at 39 months and girls at 35 months. – Web MD
When Should You Start Potty Training?
The simple answer is: When Your Child Is Ready!!
This is really what you, mom, need to start thinking about first before even mentioning potty training to your child. When is your child ready?
Reasearch shows that your child needs to be able to recognize the sensation of peeing and pooping by either mentioning it to you (even after the fact) or feels the need to hide in a private place to perform the act.
A lot of toddlers walk away to a corner or another room all together to pee and poop in private. This is a good indicator that they are recognizing the feeling of it coming on.
Also, another good indicator that a child is nearing the time of potty training is whether or not your child knows how to and is physically capable of pulling his pants on and off. This could include long pants, shorts or diaper covers. You will start to notice your child wanting to pull down his pants before diaper changing time.
It is also important that your child is able to comprehend your words. Does your child understand the words pee pee and poop? Does he know what the potty is when you ask “point to the potty?” If he does not understand these simple words and commands, it will be much harder to successfully potty train.
What Are Signs Of Potty Training Readiness?
- your child can verbally express wants or needs
- being able to sit on and rise up from a toilet or potty on his own
- your child has the desire to please (for example, enjoying praise)
- your child imitates adults or siblings
- has bowel movements that are more regular or seems to go on a natural schedule
- regularly has longer periods of a dry diaper
- easily follows one-step instructions and commands
- has a strong desire to be more independent
Potty Training A Toddler In One Day
Like I mentioned earlier, I successfully potty trained my 2.5 year old within one day. Now this was not my first attempt at potty training my daughter. This was actually my 4th attempt. I started when she was 22 months old because I thought I could train her at the same age as my other girls. I was wrong.
Then I attempted again when she turned 2 because I thought 24-month-olds should be able to learn by now!
Nope, I was wrong. My girl was not ready, she was actually afraid of the word “Potty”.
I tried again, around 27 months because she started to show signs of potty training readiness because she was excited to actually sit on the potty for an extended period of time. But when it came time to actually peeing she wanted to put her diaper back on, hide in a corner and pee. She was too uncomfortable sitting and letting the pee come out into mid air and drop in a potty. I didn’t force it, and I waited again.
Now, at 32 months, she was ready, she wanted to wear her undies -her brand new Minnie Mouse Undies from her Grancy (my mom). I told her that she needed to go pee on the potty before she could wear them. And soon enough, she did. After lots of liquids and fun quality time sitting by the potty, she went and went and went again.
Eight times in one day with no accidents, and let me remind you, this was the first day. She went in her pull-up during nap time and at night time, but the entire day around the house was a success. No messes on the floor, lots of praise and lots of joy!
Day two was just as successful, and she continues to be potty trained from that point forward.
16 sTEPS TO potty training success
I want to help you have success like I did when it comes to potty training your toddler. The following tips are widely practiced and are known to be the best techniques for potty training your boy or girl (when and after they show signs of potty training readiness of course!)
1. Find A Potty Training Book That Your Toddler Really Enjoys
There are lots of potty books that are great for teaching kids how to go potty in a fun way. Get a book and read it for at least a month, every day to your child in a fun and enthusiastic way.
2. Buy A Potty Training Potty
Purchase a potty training potty and have it out for your child to see. Explain what it is and look at it every day saying “there’s your potty”
Start educating your toddler on what pee and poop is. When your child goes pee or poop in his diaper, explain that he just went pee pee and say “pee pee goes in the potty” or “poopy goes in the potty”
3. Watch And Learn By Example
Have your toddler watch you go potty and teach him what it sounds like and looks like. Teach him how we sit and wait for pee pee and poop to come out, then we wipe, flush and wash our hands. This is a great way to introduce the concept of going potty.
4. Pick the Right Time To Start
Based off what we discussed earlier in the post, make sure you pick the right time to start potty training your child. Is he showing signs of readiness? Is he in the appropriate age range?
Hopefully your answer is yes and you are one step closer to beginning potty training.
Also, are you ready mom? Do you have the time to commit to the training? Are you available to give your toddler the attention he needs during this important phase in his life? Don’t pick a day when you are busy with lots of errands. Definitely don’t pick a time when you are about to go on a trip or spend time away from home due to a holiday coming up.
Pick a time when things are more relaxed at home, you have nowhere to go and you just plan on keeping it low key for a few days. Potty training works best with consistency and staying consistent in the home with the same potty is definitely the best way to start. And that leads to the next tip.
5. Use The Same Potty
Using the same potty training potty is more accepted by your toddler because he is more comfortable and familiar with it. The potty as a whole is foreign so make sure you introduce the potty in a fun and exciting way. Maybe give it a name. We call our potty training potty “The Blue Potty” (even though it’s green, haha! My toddler still doesn’t know her colors quiet yet :-))
When it’s time to use the potty, we say “Let’s go find The Blue Potty!” and it turns into a little adventure
6. Have A Potty Station Somewhere Convenient In Your House
No matter what size house you have, having a potty station in the middle of your home (hopefully on hardwood, laminate or tile floors for easy clean-up) is best so no matter where you are, your child knows exactly where to go to find his potty.
At this potty station, set up some necessary potty items:
- Potty book
- Entertaining toys
- Extra undies
- Toilet paper or wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Paper towels
- Grocery bags for messes/trash
- Reward chart
- Reward snack (if you choose to do so)
Having these items close to the potty will be handy when you feel like you need them quickly. You have a little dribble on the floor, grab your paper towels. Maybe you have a big dribble on the floor, plus wet undies. Put it in a grocery bag for quick clean up. Your child had a successful aim in the potty and deserves a sticker on her reward chart. YAY! Show her the chart right away for immediate positive reinforcement.
7. Positive Reinforcement Tool
Parents have many different techniques for giving positive reinfocement. My prefered method is a reward chart. I like to add stickers to a chart for each time my toddler pees or poops on the potty. It’s simple and very rewarding for the child.
My toddler, however, wanted a check mark and a sticker, so that’s what we did! She felt extra special getting both.
Some parents give an M&M every time their child pees on the potty. I try to stay away from candy, but for some reason my child out of nowhere asked for a cracker as a reward. I had never mentioned that to her ever before, but since she felt like she deserved a cracker, I thought there wouldn’t be any harm in rewarding her with a wheat Ritz cracker.
So, maybe three things is a bit overkill, but it worked for my child.
What’s most important is that you find a reward system that works best for your child.
The most important thing with reward is doing it immediately right after she pees or poops in the potty. At this age, immediate positive reinforcement is the most effective technique (rather than waiting for one big reward after the entire day goes with 5 successful pees).
8. Follow Up With More Positive Reinforcement with Excessive Praise
Praise is so appreciated by little ones when they do something right. Never scold or put down your child when they make a mistake, have an accident on the floor or can’t pee as quickly as you want them to.
But what really works with potty training is pouring lots of praise all over them once they successfully peed or pooped in the potty.
Shout, cheer, clap, jump, hug, kiss and giggle with praise once your child successful went in the potty. Your child will definitely recognize that he just did the right thing and mommy and daddy are proud.
9. Teach Potty Training Routine
Now that your child went on the potty and was rewarded and praised, it’s time to teach your child the routine after going pee or poop in the potty.
Teach wiping, pulling up undies and then pants.
Teach how to dump the contents into the big potty to be flushed away.
Have your child flush the potty and watch it go away.
Teach your child to shut the potty lid
Next it’s time to wash hands (and wash the inside of the potty out as well).
Dry hands and return the potty back to where it belongs.
Praise them again for a job well done!
Jena’s Tip: Make sure to teach the lesson of no pee or poop in the undies and to tell Mommy “I have to go potty” when it’s time to go again.
10. Drink Lots of Water
To encourage a day filled with lots of potty breaks, I have my toddler sit on the potty while drinking a large cup of water with a splash of juice in it (my family doesn’t drink a lot of juice but for this occasion it was something special for my child).
When my toddler was drinking cup after cup of liquids, my daughter had to go to the potty 6 times in a matter of 3 hours. It just makes it easier to train when you have more chances to go. Repetition is key!
11. Eat High Fiber Foods And A Balanced Diet
Having a healthy, balanced diet filled with high fiber foods will definitely help your toddler go to the bathroom more regularly and without difficulty. If you notice your child does not poop once a day, try increasing fiber into his diet.
12. Wear Little To No Clothing
Dress Your Child in a t-shirt and undies, or you may want to stick to undies only. But I would definitely advise you to avoid dresses or long shirts because your child ends up focusing on her clothing and holding it up from the potty – this can be a bit distracting.
You want to make it as easy as possible for your child to pull undies up and down each time your toddler attempts to go potty.
13. Avoid Electronics
Don’t get into the habit of having electronics and devices as a way to entertain your child on the potty. It’s actually more of a hindrance because he ends up being distracted from the sensation that cues him that pee and poop is coming. Also, it would be rather hard to always bring a device into a public restroom every time your toddler needed to go. Have your child learn the normal way, without the assistance of a device to coax him.
14. Use Pull-Ups For Naps And Bedtime
Don’t expect for your child to be perfectly potty trained during the day and night. That is setting your expectations a bit too high.
Potty training in its entirety (day and awake hours, nap and night time) typically isn’t accomplished until age 5 and 6 (this is not the case for all, some may be earlier).
Go ahead and stock up on some pull-ups that are specifically to be worn only while sleeping in bed (for nap and night time). Explain to your child that these are not diapers and pee and poop do not go in the pull-up. Teach them to try not to pee in the bed if they can. Explain to her to let you know when she has to pee at night.
15. Teach A Verbal Command
Your child needs a simple way to easily communicate with you that he needs to go potty. Use one word or one simple phrase that your child should say to get your attention.
Some ideas are
“Have TO GO Potty”
“Have To Go”
16. Have your Car Packed With Potty Training Supplies
Have a spare potty in the car, with extra undies, wipes, clothes, socks and shoes just in case your child has some accidents while out. Have some extra plastic bags for dirty clothes to go in. Stick all these items in a basket to keep in the trunk for emergencies. Accidents will happen even when your child is potty trained, so having a stash of extra things in the car helps everyone to stay calm during possible times of frustration when out for the day.
The Final Take-Away
The final tip for successful potty training is: don’t rush it! There’s no point in attempting potty training if your child is unwilling. Let your toddler decide when to start.
Accidents can be frustrating, but punishment or scolding during or following an accident may lead to regressions and make potty training take longer overall. Be patient with your toddler. Eventually he will learn to go on the potty.
If your child does not seem interested, never force it but wait for a time when he is ready. When he is willing and ready, he’ll get excited about becoming a big boy or big girl.
Your toddler will be more successful with potty training if he is rewarded and given positive reinforcement. Make sure you reward your toddler with something that you know he will enjoy and be encouraged to try going on the potty again.
As the mom, try to devote all your attention and time on accomplishing this milestone. Just for one day. Be by his side and have fun while he sits on the potty.
Let me know how your potty training experience goes with your little one. Comment below and let me know what tip(s) worked best for you and your toddler.
Next up, continue reading “17 Expert Tips For Cry Free Shopping With Kids“.
Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
About Dr. Jena Bradley
Jena is a mom of 4 darling little girls, a physical therapist and founder of Live Core Strong, a blog focusing on motivating moms to live a life that incorporates fitness and fun throughout their motherhood journey. She aims to be the friend you always wanted to have who could guide you through the “fog” when faced with an “I don’t know what to do” mommy moment. At the most inconvenient time of her life, she embarked on a journey of sharing her story and expertise to inspire the next generation of healthy moms. You can learn more about Jena by visitng her ABOUT page.