Successful Potty Training!

Part I: Preparation

Preparing! Before you begin, you will need…

  • To block out the entire weekend, meaning you are not going anywhere that requires you or your child to be away from home.
  • An upbeat attitude. Making a big deal about every single potty in the potty chair or toilet are HUGE.
  • Treats. You know your child best, so the “treat” is up to you. Many parents buy a regular sized bag of M&M’s and put it in a see-through Ziploc sandwich bag. Only reward him/her when peeing or pooping occurs. Trying is not enough. You have to be able to see evidence.
  • At least six pairs of LOOSE underwear as well as gym shorts, ideally a full size larger so that your child does not struggle with pulling them on or pushing them down.
  • A potty chair or potty seat. There are many out there, but we recommend the Baby Bjorn chair (you can order it on The potty chair has a guard at the front for boys so their urine doesn’t go everywhere and it’s easy for your child to empty the potty chair’s contents after each potty into the toilet. One of the things that children are scared of is falling into the toilet, so the guard at the back of the seat is important. Now, you don’t have to buy what we recommend. You can always use nothing or try something that fits on top of your toilet seat. Use whatever you think will work.
  • Juice! Give them as much as they want and offer it constantly.
  • A child’s book on potty training that you read to your child while they are on the toilet, like Potty  by Leslie Patricelli.
  • Feel free to put your child in a diaper at night (some children are successfully potty trained but take months or years before they can go an entire night without an accident), but we recommend not using diapers or anything other than underwear for potty training.
  • Rubber pants. Usually parents cannot find these in stores and you have to order them online. Some children don’t need these but we recommend them anyway because when your child pees, instead of feeling it go down their legs and into their shoes (which they don’t mind on average), your child will feel it pooling in their underwear and find the feeling extremely uncomfortable (not to mention they then will not pee all over your furniture). When you take off the rubber pants, do so in the tub.
  • Patience and Free Time. You’ll need to be on hand every 30 minutes to go into the bathroom with your child. For the next several weeks or months, your child will want you to go in the bathroom with him/her – every single time. Eventually, s/he will do it on his/her own, but it’s important that no matter what you’re doing – if your child needs to go to the bathroom, even if s/he just went, that you or a family member ALWAYS go with him/her anyway. One of the main reasons children resist potty training is that they are losing the attention they get from a parent changing their diaper. When they realize that they are still getting attention from their parent, and in fact are getting a more excited, happier parent than before with more quality one-on-one attention (Wow! Mom and Dad read me a book every time I pee! And I get a treat on top of it! This is so much better than just getting my diaper changed. This toilet thing is great!), then the transition will be that much quicker and easier. And feel free to point that out to them, too! Children understand much more than we give them credit for.

Come back next week for Part Two: What to do! and find out when the big morning arrives what your first steps should be for successful potty training with your child!

Sunrise Montessori Preschool has two locations in Round Rock. Interested in learning first hand what we can offer your child? Then book a tour on our website at or call us so you can discover why Sunrise Montessori Preschool is where YOUR family belongs!