Your Toddler’s Ready to Start Toilet Learning! Now What?!

So you read this checklist and thought to yourself, “Hey! My child does these things. I think they’re ready to start toilet training. What should I do?” The good news is that for the last several months your child has been toilet learning. The bad news?  There is no bad news!

Here’s what I recommend you do next:

1.  Encourage Independence & Set Your Toddler Up for Success

Create a space in the most conveniently located bathroom in your home that is toddler friendly. When your child starts to make the connection between the signals their body is giving them ( a full bladder for example) you want to make it easy for them to get to the bathroom. I highly recommend you have your child wear clothing that is easy for them to take on and off. It can be very frustrating for a toddler that makes it to the bathroom in time to use the potty only to have their efforts thwarted by a difficult closure on their pants. Elastic waistbands are your friend during this time. You also want a space that promotes their independence. Check out the picture below.

Potty Set-Up Joyful Day Montessori

Bathroom at Joyful Day Montessori. Very young toddlers almost always prefer the floor potty, however, older more experienced-going-potty toddlers prefer to use the seat located on the toilet. Note the books in the basket next to the potty provide bathroom reading.

2.  Establish a Routine

Make using the potty a normal part of the day. An easy guideline: Have your child use the potty before and after waking and after mealtime. Depending on the flow of your day you may consider having them sit on the potty before and after going outside. You may feel that you are spending an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom. You probably are. That’s okay! Your child is learning a new skill that happens to take place in the bathroom.

3.  Be Consistent. Be Kind.

Toddlers are very sensitive to order and thrive on routine and consistency. Your ability to provide consistency for them is a gift that should not be underestimated. Depending on your personality type combined with your level of stress and tolerance for messes you may need this reminder: Be patient. Your child is learning a new skill. Some children have more accidents than others. That’s okay. Don’t compare your child to what other children are doing. With every accident and/or mistake they are getting one step closer to mastering their ability to use the potty.

Next week I’ll give you a more in-depth tour of a toddler friendly bathroom along with a list of things you’ll need to create one in your home. In the meantime, help yourself to the Toddler Tuesday page for more toddler-related reading.

As always, thanks for reading and have a Joyful Day!

xo Whitney





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  • 0 thoughts on “Your Toddler’s Ready to Start Toilet Learning! Now What?!

    1. Mauri

      Whitney, you are the bomb! What excellent insight you are imparting to parents. Much needed learning skills for parents too! Mar

    2. amariesilver

      Hi Whitney! Dr. Meg Sorick sent me here to check out your blog! Your information is great. We’ve been working with our 3 1/2 year-old for months and according to your information, it looks like we’re doing everything right! I look forward to reading your future posts!

      1. Whitney Parchman Post author

        Dr. Meg is so dear. Thank you for reading and commenting (and also for following)! Keep up the good work with your kiddo and let me know if you ever have any questions. 🙂