Potty training: Positive & No Pressure Method (Part II – how to begin)

As promised, this is part II of the potty training series and will into details of the actual training process and ours and other mums experience of the training process.

With the Potty Without Pressure (PWP) method, the biggest thing is that your child is already showing an interest in using the potty before you take them out of diapers and begin the training process.

You may choose to wait till you see the interest in potty use, start the Potty Preparation stage (explained in Part I of the potty series), and then move on to actual training. The other option is to start the potty preparation stage in order to purposefully expose your child to the world of potty/toilet use and arouse that desire to try it in them.

In any case, with this PWP method, potty use is not something you just start as a surprise to your child, the ground work of preparation must have been done first!

Miss3yo Potty Training Process in summary?

My daughters potty-use curiosity peaked when she saw peers at school and PoPPLagos using the potty. She would see potties being carried around at PoPP in particular and ask me ‘is XXX potty training’? And I would say – ‘yes’. You know when you can just see the wheels turning in their little heads after they ask you a question, lol.

Also at school, some of her peers were trained or potty training and their toilet set up meant she would see their potties lined up in there, every time she had a diaper change. The world of potties became more ‘real’ for her and she started connecting it with peeing & pooing and something children her age did.

I started the potty preparation steps from about 19/20 months. I actually also tried to get her to sit on the potty which she was happy to do, but she had no interest in actually doing number 1 or number 2 in it. This meant I had to wait longer to start training stage, but I continued with the preparation steps.

One day after many potty discussions that week, she simply said, ‘I don’t want the diaper anymore’ or something to that effect. My friend whose daughter was already trained was there, so I looked at her like does this mean what I think? She said – ‘yes, time to start’! The next day was a Friday – no work for me, so we stayed home and did three days at home. On Monday she went to school and I told them to support my efforts, which they did. Now school is outside of the house where we had trained, so she was re-training to the school setting. That’s a slightly new process that everyone has to be patient with! It may be the same if your child is trained at school and you have to mimic their efforts at home – you need to let them get used to the process a gain. She was 2 years and 3 months old.

For nap times and sleep times, I continued to use diapers. She dropped all her naps, so it became only diapers for night time.

Night training we achieved four months later. I forgot to put the diaper on at night and she woke up fine and dry. And we continued. There were a few accidents here and there so I learned to: limit water drinking before bedtime, insist on peeing before she goes to bed and sometimes wake her up to ask if she needs to pee at night. In the summer with my being pregnant came potty regressions. Again this is normal and very common. I focused on not shaming over these accidents (however frustrating it got), just encouraged the right behaviour and put reminder measures in place so we could catch the pee in the toilet before it happens on the floor or bed.


Potty training – the actual steps

Let the training begin:
Day 1 – 4
– I would suggest dedicating a long weekend 3/4 days or if possible a week, at home to the process.

– You don’t go out, you just stay home and have you child run around without bottoms on if the weather permits, just their top on. This is to remove the difficulty in taking anything off anytime they need to do a pee or poo.

– You give them plenty of water in a bottle, it might be easier to have the potty right there beside wherever your child is playing initially so they dont have a long way to travel. So sit close o the potty.

– Give them a bottle of water or diluted drink so they are drinking lots of fluids and will feel the need to go often.

– Encourage them to sit on the potty every 30 minutes. A mum reader suggest every 45 minutes for boys.  – –

– While on the potty you can sing, read, let them watch cartoons, put music on, let them draw/scribble – anything that would keep them seated for a little while till pee pee comes.

– You will need rewards – some stickers on a wall chart, or sweets. You know your child best – something they love and would be a treat. You can also praise them with clapping, high-fives and a song, as a reward. I suggest hyping them up for sitting on the potty alone for a stretch of time, even if nothing comes out, then perhaps more hype and a song or reward if pee or poo comes out.

– For nap times or sleep times consider putting diaper on after they fall asleep.

Day 5 – 8
– You may at this point introduce a big boy or big girl pant. Or a thomas or peppapig pant. If you haven’t already. If you feel your child is getting into the routine earlier, introduce the pants earlier – day 2//3. There should be something that makes this pant quite special, so giving it a name like ‘big girl pant’ can make it seem very special even if it’s not a cartoon character themed one.

– Now help your child pull down the pants before they use the potty.

-You may start to leave longer gaps before you make them sit down – e.g. 40 mins for girls or 55minutes for boys.

– If you start leaving the house, go out with the same potty to keep things consistent. Whatever you do, do not go back to putting on diapers or pull-ups for your child again during the day when they are awake. Just keep going with the pants, if you’ve come this far.

– Just have them wear their pants, no pull-ups or diaper for going out. Keep the momentum going.

– You will need plenty of change of clothes and pants, a bag to put wet/dirty clothes, hand sanitiser, and can bring your stickers/rewards along too. And continue whatever songs/celebration you did while you were at home.

When accidents happen:

Please prepare yourself for accidents – there will likely be many. Your child will wee/poo on the floor, on themselves and on you! Do not expect this to be some magic process, although for some it can be quick. Remember your child is learning a new routine and will need lots of practice. You in turn need to show patience. Choose a room that has no carpets, so that you’re not tense about accidents that definitely will occur.

When an accident does happen, don’t make too much noise or fuss. Clean up and then explain that you will try for next time to put all the pee or poo in the potty.

What else do I need to know:

Standalone potty vs toilet booster seat: Buy a standalone potty and use this because it is made to seat your child’s body comfortably and it’s very convenient to place it in the room. However one or two Mums report that their child didn’t seem to like the potty. In this case you can put a potty child booster on an actual toilet and use that instead of the potty.

You may even choose to have both set up in your home. Eventually, you want your child to start peeing on the toilet (+ booster), so you don’t have the extra step of emptying the potty anymore. This may be a few months down the line when they can hold the pee in a little longer to get to the bathroom, take clothes off and sit.

Be open to your own family potty training quirks: You will soon find your own rhythm with potty training. Your own style suits you and your child best, and may look slightly different to the notes outlined above. I’ll give you an example – I could not get my child to sit on the potty every 30minutes. She moves around a lot (kinesthetic -tactile – see yesterday’s instagram post) and she just could not! That meant I had to keep asking her if she needed to go and also meant quite a few more accidents in the first days. But I deliberately did not fuss for each accident, just kept explaining that when she needs to go she is to tell me or run to the potty (it was two three steps away in same room, but I said run for emphasis on quickness). So she would then quickly sit on potty and sometimes miss the potty, but at least she knew what she should be doing. By the end of the weekend at home, she had more in the potty than on the floor and we counted it as progress.

Praise & rewards: If they work for your child use them, but they may not work. We mostly used a song and dance routine as offering sweets would have likely meant battles with having to keep giving them even if potty hasnt happened.

Special potty vs cheap potty: Some Mums have reported they bought a flashy potty, with flush and flushing sounds or music. Again if you think this will help make the process easier for your child – why not. But it’s possible to use just a basic potty, too. I used a cheapie Ikea one with an insert you can remove to throw out pee/poo and wipe clean. The baby bjorn one is the same – also has an insert. I think this makes cleaning a bit easier, so consider  this design when buying your potty essentials.  I found that helpful. I also had a potty inside the car (cheap one from GAME), a booster one on the toilet in her room and an easy fold one for public toilets. Looking back now, I didn’t use the foldable one that often because it was fiddly, but depends on your OCD levels for public toilet use. I have found lining the public toilet seats with toilet roll or paper towels works.

Pants: Consider buying basic ones that are comfortable and plenty of them, too. Especially for the early days when there might be many accidents and you may need to throw some out! Consider buying a pack of  character or more interesting ones, too, to add to the fun of it all.


Some other real mum experiences with potty training from Mummyfix Instagram page:

bolanle_hqFor us , showing excitement and cheering Teni has helped a lot , we do a sequence of activities when we go potty I.e. Potty->empty in toilet-> cover seat -> flush -> rinse potty -> wash hands and give ourselves hi fives! Also have a song.We also go potty every morning as part of her routine

akosuakate During my time in early childhood classes in college, we learned that a child needs have three things to be potty trained. Needs to be cognitively ready (understands the process and reasoning), needs to be emotionally ready (have they any major life changes, moving, new baby? Things that could set them back emotionally), and needs to be physically ready (can the child’s pull down their own pants? Take off there own diaper? Get up and down off the toilet on their own?). Out of my seven children, a few of them were probably trying to closer to three years old, if you were potty trained closer to two years old. I never rushed it. This should happen naturally, the child should show interest, and you should try to keep it a positive experience for everyone. For some kids, you can reward with one m&m after each time they go on the toilet, this helped for one of my children. I started placing all of my children on the toilet right around a year old, just to get them used to it a few times a day. I always made it into something happy and exciting (clapping, using exciting voices, saying bye-bye when you flush).

nneka_thefirst3rd try at commenting…ok i potty trained my son just before he turned 2 (22-23mths). I had another baby on the way and just couldn’t imagine buying and changing diapers for two kiddos. My biggest tip is to read the book: “oh crap! Potty training” by jamie glowacki. Everything I did was from there and it worked like a charm! I dedicated a full week to potty training…as in no distractions, no diapers (diaper only at night or naps), no outings, no work. He had shown some signs of readiness. I let him walk around completely Nude from the waist down and watched him like a hawk. Lol. I didn’t give sweets to reward him but I made EVERYONE (and I mean every one) give him high-fives every time he used the potty. He was so proud and so happy to get highfives that he would announce it loud and eagerly run to the potty. There were accidents (both poo and Pee) and he was embarrassed but I responded with hugs, kisses and encouragement that he was doing great!. During my one week, if I had to go out, I still didn’t put on a diaper. I tried to make him Pee before we left and I had a portable potty for the first few weeks (my mother in law thought I was crazy but became a believer very soon!). I didn’t use training pants. After our one week boot camp, we went commando (no diaper and no underwear under his shorts) for like a month and then I just got regular underwear. Another big tip is to get every one to buy in and support the process. I made hubby read the book and I explained to grandma that no he can’t wear diapers and no he won’t be a nudist because he’s running around naked! It worked and it’s still my crowning achievement all summer before 2nd baby arrived!!!!! Just read the book and follow through!

rukky_inikayI think i started potty training before 2 then stopped because #dudewasnotready Tried again at 2 and he started getting better…but would tell you after he already pee-d or pooped.#frustrating Then I realised he won’t go to the loo if he’s got training pants on so we went cold turkey and transitioned to boxer shorts and it got better for about 6 months then we moved and #regression. At this point I decided I cannot come and go and kill myself and that one day one day before he turns 18yrs old, he would be potty trained. Now retrospectively I see that over the past 6 months he has improved greatly. He uses the toilet himself now and hardly has accidents. However, I haven’t got around to waking him up at night time to use the loo. So to summarize this my long epistle, I have a boy and he’s 3yrs old now and with my experience I would say start potty training a boy between 2 and 2.5yrs old and if you feel you’re getting frustrated then just stop and start again after a few months.


Hope this is helpful to someone who is about to begin the potty training process. Feel free to ask me questions below in comments. If you prefer to be anonymous, you can contact me via the contact form on the site or DM on Instagram. More Mum discussions on potty training here on this Insta-post.

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