Potty Training!

to Gather

Potty Chair
Potty Seat

Step Stool

Disposable Training Pants, Cotton Underwear & maybe Plastic Pants

Salty Snacks


Bear or Doll


Toys (Flashlight, FM Radio Headphones, Noisy Cell Phone, etc.)


You may want to use this unit on potty training in place of a Toddler Theme It will put the child's and parent's (or teacher's) focus on mastering the potty. This unit is suitable for the mom at home or for the toddler teacher traing one or more students to use the potty. In a child care setting other children who are not yet potty trained may get their interest sparked in using the potty and those who are using the potty will get all the steps to using the potty reviewed and reinforced.

This week will take a lot more thought and planning than my other Toddler Themes. You must have the appropriate equipment, supplies, drinks and snacks, and most importantly, you must have the plan in place BEFORE you begin. It will be important to block out the whole week for only potty training: no field trips, no company coming, no big changes in the home or school, no new baby, or other major changes in the child's setting or life.

I'm no expert on potty training, but I have done research and have experience with this. It's important to remember that the experience for each child is different (different pace, different motivations, different time-lines, etc.) These suggestions are a starting point. If you find something that works, by all means, do it! The best thing is to give it a good try for at least a week. If the child isn't "getting it". Try again in a few months.

If you are a child care provider, you will need to be in agreement with the parents. A good starting place may be my Potty Training at Pamm's House flyer (please feel free to use it, but change my name and the information to suit your needs).

If you are a parent and your child is in daycare, you will have to enlist your child care provider.

I'm sure you see what I'm getting at...consistancy for the child. Talk with the parent/child care provider and ask if she will at least try having the child wear underwear or disposable training pants for at least a day, if not a week. The two of you can come up with a plan to try for a pre-determined period of time.


Before you begin, you will have to make a few decisions:

Is your child old enough?

    Doctors at The Children's Hospital in Philadelphia found that parents who tried to potty-train toddlers before 27 months of age ended up spending a lot more time at it than those who waited. It took 10 to 14.5 months to fully toilet train children younger than 27 months, the researchers discovered. Toddlers over 27 months mastered the bathroom in an average of 5 to 9.5 months, suggesting there's little to gain in tackling toilet training too early. (From Better Homes & Gardens, July, 2003.)
    If your child is at least threee-years-old, Click Here.

Do you want your child to have his own potty or use a potty seat?

    Maybe you want to have both on hand. They come fancy and plain, expensive to non-expensive. (Thrift stores and yard sales are a good place to look for second-hand equiptment). You may want to have a potty chair in every room your toddler plays in.

What kind of training pants or underwear would you like your child to use?

    After the child has some success with disposeable training pants, I really like the thick, cotton training pants. You may want to use regular-type underwear and you may want to start with a pair of plastic pants over the cotton underwear. Go shopping with your child and allow him/her to help choose the underwear--that will make them really special. I avoid "Pull-Ups" even at nap--stick with either diapers or underwear.

What kind of snacks or rewards motivate your child?

    Snacks are used for rewards and to increase thirst. I would encourage salty snacks such as pretzles, chips, crackers, etc. Shop together with your child for the special snacks a few days before the training is to begin and set the snacks out in full view, but out of reach as a reminder of the upcoming big event. (If you are caring for more than the child/children you are potty training, then don't put out the rewards ahead of time.)

    I have found playing with flashlights, noisy toy cell phones, FM radio headphones, and other electronic toys to be a great reward. Find out what your child values and gather those toys. (The Dollar Store is a great source for these types of toys and batteries.)

Do you have relatives or friends you can call to rejoice with your child?

    It is very helpful when the child has a success, that he/she call someone such as Grandma, Daddy at work, a neighbor, or other special friend or relative to share the joy with! If you are a child care provider, find out if it's okay to call Mom or Dad at work a few times throughout the day.

Ready to get started?
Go to: Potty Training In Action!

A note about older toddlers not yet potty trained If you have tried and tried potty training with no success and your child is at least three-years-old, here are a few things to consider:

Something I've found helpful is to reward the child if he/she is dry.....Every 30-45 minutes, have the child check to see if they are dry, if so, give a reward (I found playing with a flashlight, noisy toy cell phone, FM radio earphones, or other special toy a great reward!) If the child goes in the potty, they earn a double reward (play with a toy and a special snack, for example).

Also, going to the bathroom is one thing a child can completely control and they use it to control you. Sometimes, turning all control over to the child may help ("I know you're old enough to figure out when you need to go potty, so I will let you handle it....you will also need to change your own underwear and put your wet ones here.")

As a last resort, there may be a physical problem that needs medical attention (It turned out my neice had a bladder problem and that's why they had no success with potty training).

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All praise and glory go to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Apart from Him, I could do nothing. (John 15:5)