Foolproof Potty Training Tips

Potty training can be a stressful and emotional time for everyone involved. Now that we’re almost a year out on our potty training journey with our oldest, it’s easy to look back and think about what went well. I’m not going to lie, it was a frustrating process. These potty training tips worked for us, but feel free to take or leave what you find helpful. Hopefully something in this post will help make your potty training experience less of a s***show.


There are tons of different ways to go about potty training. We decided to use Big Little Feelings’ approach to the three-day method because it resonated with us. These tips can fit into most other methodologies so do what works best for you and your toddler. 

Screenshot of Big Little Feeling's Potty training course.


We started potty training when our son was about 28 months. I think the general recommendation is between 2.5 and 3 years but you know your kid best, so do what feels right. We had a new-ish baby at home and he was showing interest in going at daycare when he saw the other kids doing it. He occasionally wanted to try using the potty at home too, but more often than not, nothing happened. We praised him for trying nonetheless.

For a few weeks prior to the actual training, we prepped our toddler and told him it was coming. “Ok bud, pretty soon we’re going to say bye bye diapers and you’ll learn how to go on the potty.” I highly recommend choosing a date to start potty training and working backwards from there. This helps give you some time to get a plan in place, gather any supplies, and let your kid know it’s coming.

We told our son the night before he wouldn’t be wearing diapers anymore starting the next morning. We still used Pull-Ups for naps and overnight but called them “nighttime undies” which seemed to resonate with him. Once you say the diapers are gone, you have to follow through. If not, this can actually make potty training more difficult and confuse your kid. I know it’s scary, but you can do it!

Clear your Calendar

With the three-day method, it’s recommended to clear your calendar completely for those three days and put 100% of your focus on potty training. The three days worked for us, but you might decide to go with something else.

The more important thing is having a goal time frame in mind to build a little structure into the process. This also helps you track progress (and inevitable setbacks) as you work through the training with your little one.

A toddler runs around without pants during potty training.
Day 1 of the “going naked” phase. We did buy pee pads (as seen on the couch) but we never actually needed them so that’s an optional thing in my opinion.

In the beginning our toddler had a tendency to sit on the potty for five seconds then get up and continue with whatever he was doing. It was helpful to have a potty basket with small toys and books right next to the potty to keep him occupied while we waited for something to happen.

Accidents Happen

I’m sure I’m not alone in this but I struggled to accept that accidents are going to happen and that it’s OK. It doesn’t mean you’re failing, or your child is failing. It’s just part of the learning process. You just have to try your best to keep your cool and reiterate that pee/poop go in the potty.

Once your child seems on board with going potty at home, it’s important to communicate your strategies with your caregivers. This to set your child up for success whenever they are. 

It’s a Process

My biggest piece of advice is to stick with it. It can take a while (I’m talking months) before it finally clicks for them and they begin to have fewer accidents. Just remain consistent and supportive without shaming them. They do eventually get it. Our son is 3.5 now and completely independent with going potty (minus butt-wiping, but that will come with time).

I know you probably don’t need more stuff in your house, but I’m a big proponent of having things that make life easier. These are my tried-and-true potty training products.

Products we Used and Loved

Lansing Mom is here to share our tried and true favorites. This post does contain affiliate links that help support our small business but every product is something we love! 

  • Little potty – This one was perfect for us because it encouraged independence but there are tons of options out there. 
  • Step stool – These stools are lightweight and don’t take up a lot of space. I also love that it has handles and comes in a two-pack. Our toddler still uses it around the house.
  • Travel potty – We keep this one in our car. It comes in handy if you’re in a pinch especially for those emergency roadside stops. This comes recommended from just about every mom on our team! Travel potties are a MUST!
  • Potty seat for public bathrooms – We throw this in our diaper bag and use it all the time. Little guy is so much more comfortable using public bathrooms when we have this.
  • Carpet cleaner – We never actually needed this, but it comes in handy for cleaning up small messes on carpet and upholstery.

Potty training is messy, but you will get through it and your kid will learn to use the potty! Hopefully these tips are helpful! Good luck and don’t forget that we’re all in this mess together.

As you help your toddler become more independent, check out these Tips for Helping your Toddler Get Dressed in the Morning.


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