Potty Training theOppermom Way

5 Tips and Encouragements for Potty Training

Mom and Daughter on the Street

As a new mom, I remember when my first daughter was 18 months old, and the pressure to start potty training was all around. Even with the influence I held off until about two before starting.

When we began the process, I decided to reward our daughter with candy. Every time she used the potty she got candy. Well as you can imagine she decided that she needed to go quite frequently.

After we had her “trained”, we ran out of candy, so my husband decided that she no longer needed candy. Well needless to say my daughter thought otherwise, and she decided after being trained for months that she would stop. Completely.

We tried several different tactics from there on, and nothing seemed to work. We ultimately stopped striving and gave her time. Eventually, around the age of 3, we decided to have her teach her baby doll how to go on the potty, and success. I believe this idea come from the book “Potty Training in Just One Day.” It worked like a charm; she was trained in literally a day.

As my second child entered the potty training stage, I was dreading the whole process. This time, we had a boy on our hands, and I had heard all kinds of horror stories. As you can imagine boys are quite inventive with their “hoses” and “aim!”

After having such a hard time with my first, I started reading books. Everyone had the best method, and they all seemed plausible. I tried having him teach his “Woody” doll. This time, it was a no go. I tried setting a timer, running around naked, food, and even bribing.

Finally, I decided just to wait. At around three years old he decided one day that he was going to go potty by himself. From that day on we have never had an accident. He was ready, capable, and decided that now was the time to do this.

I have learned my lesson. Now we wait. And Mom, it is glorious. I no longer have little accidents all over my house. I don’t have to set timers to make sure I don’t forget to get said child on the potty before we have a mess.

By the age of three, they are capable of getting themselves put back together and wash their hands with little oversight from me which is a huge help. They are also big enough to get on and off the potty themselves. Mom if you are moving into this period of childhood, here are a few pieces of encouragement.

Potty Training Checklist

Wait Until They Are Ready

I think we feel external pressure to get them trained which causes you and them stress that is unneeded. They will figure it out, just give them time. Start talking about it but don’t push.

Potty Accessories

I find the “little potties” not useful or helpful. I have experienced that they are more work and my kids don’t like them. Maybe your child is different I just wouldn’t spend the money for the amount of time they will be using them. A couple of my kids went straight to the real thing, and other have used the “trainer insert” that goes over the regular toilet which works great.


My kids get super motivated by being able to pick out their favorite “character” underwear. It’s pretty exciting in a little kids world. You could also use this as a reward instead of food.

Don’t Use Trainer Diapers

With my first daughter, I think my using the trainer diapers was to her detriment. They are used to diapers, and so they believe that it’s ok to have accidents. Plus they are expensive. Again if they are ready, they won’t need the go-between.

Passionately Praise

They so crave our encouragement. Be super excited and praise them when they do go. We have done things like sing songs to them and even given them family standing ovations. But don’t reward with food! See the lesson learned above.

I remember thinking this was the worst job that moms had to go through. I dreaded it. A lot of that came from letting other families’ and friends’ standards be mine. I laugh now because if that were my biggest problem as a mom, I’d be set.

This process can be hard and frustrating, but just remember they won’t get married still in diapers. Reassuring, I know! The key is just to be patient, mom.

Additional Resources

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