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It’s a scary time for moms and kiddos alike. Luckily, some simple tricks can make it less scary for both of you. 

Know when your kiddo is ready!

For some, that’s 18 to 24 months. For others, it can even be 3 years old. But catching signs can help you know when it’s time to start trying to toilet train. Things like wanting to do stuff on their own, understanding and following directions, being able to walk to and get onto the toilet, or interest in using the bathroom and wearing underwear are good indicators. 

Get them pumped up about using the toilet

Use positive words when talking to your kiddie about using the bathroom. Read books about potty training. Talk to them about being able to use big kid underwear (and mention that underwear can have princesses or power rangers or whatever they’re into on it!). 

Get a good potty chair--and get them used to seeing it

Finding a potty chair that works for your kid can be a gamechanger. Keep it in a room they spend a lot of time in and let them sit on it in their clothes. This gets them accustomed to it, making it fun rather than freaky. 

Schedule a potty time

Taking a trip with the kiddo first thing in the morning, about 30 minutes after meals, and before bed is great. If you feel more frequency would help, go for it! Some mommas have even found taking a potty break every 15 minutes has helped their kiddie get the habit of going. 

Have them tell you when they need to go!

This helps them better recognize when they feel like they need to go to the bathroom. All you have to do is pay attention to that little dance they might do every once in a while. 

Praise praise praise praise praise!

This is the most important part. Tell your kid “Awesome job!” when they go on the toilet and reward them with a sticker, a stamp on their hand, blowing bubbles, or whatever else works for you. Big kid underwear after a few weeks of successful potty training can also be one of the best rewards. 

Be ready for accidents

They will happen. And when they do, make sure to chill out. Getting angry or shaming your kiddo can make it even worse and stress them out about it. So keep your cool and tell them that it’s ok! Always keep extra underwear at your house and in the car so you’re prepared for when you need it. 

Potty training is intimidating, but it almost always ends up working out in the end. If things are still tricky after several months or longer, talking to a pediatrician can help you find a solution. And just keep at it! Patience might be the hardest part of this entire process, but it’ll be needed. And after it’s all done, reward yourself, because you deserve a reward and some praise too.