Potty Training Logistics

Archived Q&A and Reviews

How to protect floors when toilet training?

March 2009

We are ready to begin thinking about toilet training. Regardless of the method we use I anticipate there will be wet floors in the house while we are in the learning process. Any suggestions on how to protect wooden floors (urine eats through the finish). Thanks anon

Wipe it up right away! anon
I just mopped up as soon as possible. We have hardwood floors and as far as I can tell, the urine did not eat through the finish. I actually found urine to be pretty easy to clean up on the floors. You just need to do it right away. anonamom

Tips for getting started

April 2004

I have successfully potty trained two kids (my boy at 2.3 and girl at 2.5) and have tips for potty training in 10 days. Here it goes:

Please don't waste your energy training children much before the age of 2. It is the rare child developmentally who trains at 18 months.

Buy a seat reducer or potty chair (I bought the simple baby Bjorn one piece seat that sits on the ground for the beginnng. Going to the potty is then so simple as it can be taken to the park,etc. and they both rapidly moved on to the seat reducer after) I didn't buy any gimmicky things with music, lights, etc. keep it simple.

When you decide to train, set aside 1 week when your engagements are really limited and everyone feels well and rested (I know, ha ha )so that you can concentrate on this issue.

Do not waste money on pullups for the daytime (we used a night diaper for our boy for awhile). Buy cloth underwear that you can throw away if it gets poop in it. There are some training pants made of terry cloth and cotton that Target sells that are wonderful.. Do not switch back to disposable diapers once you begin (keep some for night if you need) Guess what? When your child pees, cloth gets wet! It is uncomfy! Your child (if they have been in disposables, will find this a new sensation and not altogether pleasant!

Sit your child on the potty every 20 minutes. Do not ask if they actually have to go. This is non-negotiable as they will always be too busy playing at this age to answer whether or not they really have to go. Do this the whole week until they really get the hang of it.

Always put child on potty before leaving the house. Check your watch and do it again while out. Little people have little bladders.

When they poop, drop it into the toilet. If its in the pants say OOps! Hot and yucky. Next time we'll make it to the toilet. Or, oops, cold and wet! How uncomfy!

Spend naked time duing the week to save your sanity and cut down on all the peed on clothing.

Always remember to keep potty training light and humorous (although it is a big pain in the rear to do, the payoff is huge for both you and your child) Scolding, reprimands, negative and frustrated comments only prolongue the process. The goal is to make your child feel like the are accomplishing something, which they are.

Flush or don't flush, depending on your child. Our boy did not like to see the stuff going down (so unknown, maybe scary) so I didn't flush with him in the bathroom.

Finally, use the language Mr. Rodgers used when talking about potty training to his t.v. audience. When a child pees or especially poops in the toilet, exclaim ''Wow, look what you made!!!!!!'' That line is so understandable to children, it works like a charm. Your child will feel proud and accomplished.

Good luck!
a happily retired diaper changer

I think the key to potty training is doing it when your child is ready and willing -- not when you want to do it. Both of my kids were pretty easy to potty train because I waited until they said ''I want to wear underwear.'' I put them in underwear, made sure they sat on the potty on a regular basis, and gave them little rewards for a job well done. (stickers, M, etc.) For months before the actually potty training, the toilet was available to them and they would occassionally sit on the toilet. (Really dirty public toilets seemed to be the most desirable ;-))

I never understood those stand-alone potties. The kid goes on there and then you're left with a pot of poo to clean up. What's the point of getting them out of diapers? I prefer a nice comfortable seat you put on top of the toilet so they don't feel like they're going to fall in. And a good stool so that they can get up on the toilet themselves and they're feet don't dangle.

As for books, my kids liked ''Once Upon a Potty''. A friend's son saw the Bear in the Big Blue House potty time video and was all set to sit on the potty.

Finally, don't sweat the nighttime potty training. That has little to do with 'training' and alot to do with their body's maturity. Good luck!