How Do You Potty-train a Toddler?

I’d like to start potty-training my toddler. Any tips on getting started?
profile picture of The Bump Editors
ByThe Bump Editors
Mar 2017
Hero Image
Photo: Rob & Julia Campbell

How do you potty train a toddler?

Unfortunately potty-training a toddler doesn’t happen when you want it to happen, but when your toddler decides it’s time. And most likely, at the beginning, she’ll be interested in the idea one day and disinterested the next.

How to tell your toddler is potty trained

There are a few ways to tell if your child is on her way to being potty-trained though — for example: She’s comfortable enough with walking that she’d be able to take herself to the bathroom as needed. Dirty diapers make her uncomfortable, and she requests that you change her. She tells you she wants to wear “big-kid” undies. And she expresses curiosity about the toilet habits of grown-ups.

Once you’re seeing those signs, it couldn’t hurt to suggest the potty whenever you notice in her facial expression or behavior that she needs to use the toilet.

Related Video

Potty Training Dos and Don’ts

Sona Charaipotra and Elena Donovan Mauer

Potty Training Resistance?

Jeanette Sawyer Cohen, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City
Pediatric Psychologist

This Hilarious Hack Is the Potty Training Secret Weapon You Need in Your Home

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor

Mom's Toilet Post Is Proof That Potty Training Never Ends

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor