12 Tips for Potty Training from a Dad

Potty training your child may sound easy. It’s not. It’s like any other form of art. You must be creative, imaginative, patient, and dedicated to the craft.  And just when you think your canvas is fully complete, you look up and you’ve got poop all over yourself. In other words, it sucks.

The first question parents ask is “when should I start potty training?” If you have to ask this question, your child is not ready and it doesn’t matter how many different types of plastic toilets you’ve ordered off Amazon. It will commence whenever they are ready. Some adopt early without issues and others work at a slow pace. Some parents get lucky, but most have to implement a strategic plan.

What makes me such an expert? Because you learn more from failing, that’s why. Learn from my failures with these tips:

  1. Don’t be too proud for bribery

A reward-based system is great, as long as it’s not habit-forming. Chocolate, stickers, and toys work great, just to name a few.

  1. Flush party

The best part about using the potty is the flushing. Keep this ritual for after use to provide some incentive.

  1. Be proud

Make sure they know what a great job they’re doing regardless of how many sweaters, carpets and pets they’ve soiled during the process. Be a proud parent.

  1. Color the water

There are colored pellets you can buy for baths that colors the water. Put one in the toilet before peeing time and they’ll love to see what color they’ve created.

  1. Practice patience

If they’re not ready, pushing them into it could delay the process more. Often you’ll have to sit in the bathroom for a while with no results. Don’t get discouraged, it will happen eventually. I think. I only hypothesize this because I’ve never met an adult in baby diapers.

  1. Talk to them

Children are funny. It can be difficult to comprehend the world through their eyes. This piece of advice came from a friend of mine who was having trouble potty training her son and finally asked him why it was difficult. He thought a monster was going to grab him through the toilet and pull him in. Naturally, I too, would’ve been scared to death to hop on that toilet. Once she discovered the reason she was able to assure him that wouldn’t happen. Because monsters can’t swim, of course. Everyone knows that.

  1. Don’t worry what others will think of you

It’s ok if younger friends are potty trained. There is nothing to be ashamed of.

  1. Sing together

When all else fails, turn to the gift of song. Pick a song to sing when doing the deed. Old McDonald. Justin Bieber. It doesn’t matter. It will make it fun and likely distract them.

  1. Read

Take his mind off the task at hand and read some of his favorite books. There are potty books, too. Removing the pressure might help things move naturally, literally.

  1. Sit backwards

Sitting normally on the toilet for a smaller human can be somewhat uncomfortable as their legs don’t touch the ground. If you turn them around they’ll have the back of the toilet to lean on and a natural playing surface. A tip to add: bring in toys or coloring books so he can comfortably play until he’s ready to go. This prevents boredom which will typically encourage him to get off the potty.

  1. Pull the safety shoot

Get rid of your diapers and warn him that the diaper fairy is no longer delivering.  Put him in training diapers, underwear, or any other item of clothing – just don’t plan to see it again.

  1. Go naked

Your child. Not you. This method works for some parents as the lack of safety from a diaper leaves your child with no choice but to use the potty. It’s also a great method if you’ve been trying to convince your mate that it’s time to replace the carpet.

I hope at least one of these works for you. Good luck!


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