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As we went through our potty training journey, I logged all of our details (minute by minute) on these daily pages:

Official Potty Training Day 1 
Official Potty Training Day 2
Official Potty Training Day 3
Official Potty Training Day 4, 5, 6 and Beyond

We’ve learned a lot now that Caroline is officially potty trained, so I wanted to go back through and write down our full method so we remember for next time!

Since we made some tweaks along the way, I figured that putting together a nice concise list of what we learned to work best, would be a great way to summarize our journey!

Our Potty Training Method in 10 Steps

1. Introduce the toilet early– 

By early I mean as soon as your baby is sitting (5/6 months old). We did this and it made actual potty training at 18 months so much easier!

Plus, due to this genius idea from my husband, she ended up poop trained before we even started our official potty training!

2. Potty train between 18-20 months- 

From our experience thus far, and from reading others’ accounts as well…this seems to be the sweet spot for potty training early. You’ll be happy to have it out of the way!

3. Use a regular toilet with a potty seat attachment (or just hold your child on the toilet)- 

This will eliminate the need to transition to the regular toilet later, it eliminates the mess of cleaning a
separate potty, and ensures that your child’s transition to using the public restroom will be MUCH easier.

This potty seat is our favorite. It stands up on the floor next to the toilet, has handles for your child to hold onto, and isn’t fixed to the regular seat!

4. Wear underwear- 

I was going to use the naked baby approach at first, but quickly decided against it. I don’t want to train my child to use the potty while naked. I want my child to train under “normal” circumstances.

They need to get a feel for underwear. This also gave a visual to me and my daughter to see if she’d had any accidents- no matter how small.

We did “dry underwear checks” every 15/20 minutes. She knew what that meant and by the third day she was patting her underwear to check if she was dry.

She’d say “YAY” and she’d get a treat for dry underwear (see below for information on treats)!

Pick underwear that they’ll be excited about (we bought boy underwear for our daughter because they had dogs on them and she LOVES dogs).

Get them excited about it starting on day 1 and every day after! Tell your child “you get to wear underwear like a big girl/boy! Like Mama and Daddy!”.

5. Place on toilet at regular intervals to begin- 

When starting out, place on toilet every 20-30 minutes. Gradually work your way up to 1 hour intervals.

This will give your child a feeling of success and will allow for a lot of positive reinforcement. I did this for about 4 days.

Then I started to place on the toilet for events only (before eating, before a nap, before an outing, and before bed)- the rest was left up to her.

More accidents will start to happen, but it will resolve quickly as they catch on to what it feels like to have to go.

6. Leave on toilet for 5-10 minutes- 

Babies are used to peeing little amounts, all of the time, whenever they’d like to. Just because your child has stopped peeing, doesn’t mean they are done!

Wait it out a bit (5-10 minutes) to make sure there isn’t more to come. As they get used to the toilet (hopefully you’ve done step 1), they will take bigger pees and be done faster.

If they aren’t used to the toilet yet, consider giving a treat (see step 7) simply for sitting on the toilet!

7. Positive reinforcement- 

Click here to download this reward chart

Use lots of praise, clapping, high fives, etc. Also use treats (this made a huge difference for us)! We used our favorite treat- Cocoa Puffs!

They are small and have lots of vitamins and minerals LOL (but they actually do). Give positive reinforcement every time your child pees or poops on the toilet!

Sticker charts are also a great idea! Also use positive reinforcement for dry underwear checks! I had removed treats completely by day 6.

Also praise for saying “potty” and if your child lets you know in any way that they have to go!

8. Expect accidents- 

Your child is learning something new.

So, just like with learning how to use a fork or ride a bike, there will be accidents. It is ok. Just say “uh oh” and remind them that pee/poop only goes in the toilet.

When they do have an accident, rush them to the toilet to finish.

9. Go out on short trips- 

Day 1 stay home all day.

Day 2, put pants on and go outside at home for your outing (no car rides yet).

Day 3 take a quick car ride and have a quick outing to a store (no more than 30 minutes).

Day 4 take a slightly longer outing. Goal is by day 7 you are doing life as you usually do.

10. Always have your child pee before you leave the house- 

This is a rule in our house now. We all try to go potty before we leave the house. Again, this sets you up for success.


Stock up on essentials before starting-

Waterproof mattress pads (2)
Car seat liners (2)
Underwear (14)
Cloth diapers for clean ups (10)
Pull ups (see below for naps and bedtime)

Save naps and bedtime for later- 

For these, it is important to wait until they are ready so they have success. Wait until they are having dry diapers most of the time, or close to dry. 

Then, have them wear underwear with a pull up over it. The underwear will give them the feeling of wetness (which they won’t like), and the pull ups will save you from cleaning the sheets too often. 

All of our potty training posts:

Start as you Mean to go on (5 months old)
My Daughter Refused to Poop in her Diaper (7 months old)
Caroline’s First Trip
Potty Training Continued (11 months old)
Potty Training  (the plan)
Potty Training Update (17 months old)
Potty Train is Still Going (18 months old)
Potty Training Survival Tips (from a pro)
Potty Training On the Go (my guest post on another blog)
Official Potty Training Day 1 
Official Potty Training Day 2
Official Potty Training Day 3
Official Potty Training Day 4, 5, 6 and Beyond

Today is Pinterest Day for the Babywise Friendly Blog Network and the ladies in the group are discussing topics about hygiene! Be sure and check out our Pinterest Page and check out the other posts today!

Hygiene Posts:

Valerie at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: 

Must Have Products for Doing Your Daughter’s Hair

Kimberly at Team Cartwright: 
Hand washing- Time to Stop Being Lazy

Carrie at Wiley Adventures: 
Taking Care of Mama: How 15 Minutes Can Radically Change Your Day


Hi there! I’m Katrina (aka Mama). I am a former engineer and chemistry teacher, turned stay at home mom and mom blogger. I have been blogging since 2015, and have taken my love of engineering and science, and tried to applied many of the same methods to my parenting adventure.

I have a huge passion for Babywise and prioritizing sleep for our children. I am mom to 3 (including one angel baby that had trisomy 13). A huge mission of mine is to share her story and legacy. I am a big believer in being real and doing what works for YOUClick here to subscribe to my weekly newsletter to follow our story. 

This blog is intended to be our story and our ideas- including successes and failures along the way. You can also find me published at Today Parenting, Her View From Home, and VitamedMD. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for more parenting tips and to hear more about our journey!