Toddler Bathroom Checklist

Let me first start by saying that when your child starts using the toilet your life is going to revolve around using the bathroom. There will be lots of talk about poop and pee. There may be days where it seems that all you do is clean up accidents. Of course, you may have a child that masters using the toilet in 2-3 days. These children do exist (I’ve seen it first hand). Realistically speaking and more often than not, however, children that are toilet learning will need more time.

Once your child starts showing interest in toilet activities you should provide a toddler friendly environment in the most conveniently located bathroom in your home.

These are the items I suggest you have within reach of your toddler:

  1. Potty (small and sits on the floor) and/or
  2. Child-sized toilet seat (This seat fits on top of your existing toilet. In our classroom I have both options (potty and toilet seat) available so that each child has a choice. Children new to toileting usually prefer the floor potty.)
  3. Small step stool in front of the toilet (see picture below)
  4. Basket with change(s) of clothes
  5. Diapers and/or underwear (remember: Once your child starts wearing underwear you do not want them to go back into diapers. The exception is during sleep times.)
  6. Books
  7. Stool in front of the sink so they can learn to wash their hands independently
Potty Set-Up Joyful Day Montessori

Clean dry clothes are available in the low basket. If a child has an accident they may pick out what fresh clothes to wear (including underwear). Books are available to read when they are sitting on the toilet. Diapers are available too yet out of this shot.

Toddler Sink Stool

I have each child wash their hands after any toilet activity to instill good hygiene habits. The sink is for hand washing and not for playing with bubbles. If your child loves bubbles I recommend providing them with a bubble activity outside of the bathroom. I’m particularly fond of this step stool. It’s sturdy, has anti-slip strips on each stair and also provides handles for extra safety. Your toddler will need a lesson from you the first few times they wash their hands after which they will become more independent. 

Friendly reminders from Ms. Whitney:

  • The toilet is not a toy. Flushing the toilet is a privilege for those who have peed and/or pooped in the potty. One flush is enough.
  • Make sure your child is wearing clothes that are easy to take on and off independently. Pants with challenging closures can thwart your toddler’s attempt at making it to the potty in time.
  • Accidents happen. If you child is wearing underwear and has an accident state the obvious (“I see that you are wet. Let’s go into the bathroom so you can change your clothes.”).
  • I would not recommend asking your child if they need to go potty. Chances are they will say no. Don’t give them that option. Instead say cheerfully, “It’s time to use the potty.” If they resist you may tell them that they are not able to participate in the next activity until they do so. Example, “We are not able to have lunch until you use the potty.” This doesn’t mean they have to pee in the potty before they get lunch. In the beginning you want them to get comfortable sitting on the potty for more than 2 seconds. You want them to get acclimated to the routine of using the potty.

Pro Tip: Once your child is old enough to stand up on their own it’s time to start changing their diaper while they’re standing. If they have pooped: Do yourself a favor and give them something to hold with BOTH hands so they don’t put their hands in their poop. If you forget, that’s okay! If it happens once you’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.  🙂

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of this Toddler Tuesday post.

Thank you ever so much for reading and have a Joyful day!

xo Whitney

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  • 0 thoughts on “Toddler Bathroom Checklist

    1. Mauri

      Great advice – makes complete sense when you spell it all out. I’m thinking there are many parents who have completely made their kids nuts with wrong potty training 🙂

    2. Suzi Whitford

      Hi fellow mommy blogger!

      I have to change my toddler’s diaper as she’s standing? I’ve never heard that, what a tip. Does it help with potty training later? She is now 18 months old, when should I start? Thanks for the article and tips!!

      If you’re interested, I wanted to invite you to a mom blogger community that will have specific advice for mom bloggers like yourself! Helpful tips on how to manage cooking dinner for your family while pushing out a post during the day. Or if you’d like to get more in depth with your blog, how to monetize it and stand out in the sea of 14 million other mommy blogs. If you’re interested, I’d love to welcome you! Please check it out here: http://www.startamomblog.com

      Have a wonderful holiday season! Hugs, Suzi

      1. Whitney Parchman Post author

        Hi Suzi! Thanks for reading and commenting. If you are curious to know if your 18 month old is ready to start toileting I recommend reviewing this checklist: http://oprflife.com/2015/11/10/toddler-tuesday/
        And yes! Changing your toddler standing up will help with toileting. You are welcome to visit our Toddler Tuesday page (http://oprflife.com/toddler-tuesday/) too. It lists lots of tips for families with toddlers and is updated with a new topic weekly.
        Thanks for inviting me to your mom blogger community. I look forward to checking it out! xo Whitney