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Most Effective Way to Potty Train a Toddler

Potty training is a rite of passage for toddlers. Between the ages of 2 to 3, most children are ready to begin potty training. With the right tools, tips and tricks, effective potty training can be accomplished in as few as three to five days. While there are many ways to potty train a toddler, the most effective way results in less frustration for both the parents and the child.

Step 1

Assess the child’s readiness. While most toddlers are physically ready to begin potty training between their second and third birthday, age is the least important factor when assessing a child’s potty training readiness. A child may be ready to potty train if he is able to stay dry a few hours, expresses interest in using the potty, communicates when he needs to use the potty or has just soiled his diaper, and he is able to pull up and pull down his pants on his own.

Step 2

Get the right tools. For potty training success, it’s essential to have the right tools. Parents will need a potty chair, cotton training pants, underpants, rubber pants and disposable training pants. At first, the child should be placed on the potty every 15 minutes and encouraged to void or have a bowel movement. When training at home, cotton training pants and underpants covered in rubber pants can be used. When out and about, disposable training pants can be used until the child is consistently using the potty.

Step 3

Offer rewards. Some children need to be rewarded for both sitting on the potty and performing. If a child is hesitant to sit on the potty, offer him a reward for sitting. Allowing a child to pick one piece of o-shaped cereal, the color of his choice, as a reward can help eliminate any power struggles over using the potty. This method works because allowing the child to choose a color of cereal on his own can provide an alternative outlet for him to exert control. When a child performs, encourage his efforts by offering verbal praise in addition to a reward.

Step 4

Be consistent. During the potty training process, it is vital to be consistent and insist that the child sit on the potty regularly. Being inconsistent will lead to confusion and can lead the child to believe that using the potty is optional.


  • Potty training before a child is ready, and before the parents are prepared to commit to the potty training process, can result in failure.
  • Children should not be punished for having an accident. Accidents should be expected during the potty training process.
  • Using disposable training pants can confuse some children because they absorb urine like diapers and don’t allow the child to feel wet.

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