5 Things You Can Do with Your BABY to Make it Easier to Potty Train Them Later

5 Things to do with Your Baby to Make Potty Training later on Easier

With my first child, I approached potty training in the typical post-modern American way. Babies wear diapers, and you change out those diapers periodically. Duh. Then, when they’re toddlers, usually around two and a half, you introduce the potty and “train” them in a new way of life. Potty training is something you start thinking about when your kid can run and climb and talk, and it’s an event, one that usually lasts anywhere from a day to a few weeks.

But when that potty training didn’t go so easily or quickly, I knew there had to be a better way. My first son would occasionally pee in the potty with ease from the time he was 19 months old, but didn’t go number two consistently in the potty until about a month before his third birthday. It was a long and challenging process.

Why are so many kids so resistant to having bowel movements on the potty? And what can be done to change that, other than crossing your fingers and hoping your kid “gets” it before they’re three or four?

With my second child, years later, I had heard a lot about “elimination communication” and decided to try it. While elimination communication may not be for everybody, I discovered a lot of practices that very easily can be for everybody, and in fact I believe should be.

These are simple, easy, and nearly effortless practices that you can use with your baby that will make potty training later, easier.

They are not difficult, complicated, or stressful, but they do go against certain preconceived notions we have about babies. If you can get past that, you can have a lot of success both now and later on, and hopefully potty training will not only be a lot easier and more natural when you decide to do it, but it can also happen a lot earlier than the current “norm” of 2.5 to 4 years old.

5 Things to do with Your Baby to Make Potty Training later on Easier

1. Acknowledge when baby is having a bowel movement and associate a word or phrase with it

When your baby is having a bowel movement, it is almost always obvious. Grunting, a look of concentration, stopping whatever they were doing, getting in a certain position, a reddened face – whatever it may be, all parents know when their child is going, and it’s usually clear from the day of birth onward.

Whenever you see you your child going number two, say a word or phrase. We simply have always said, “Poo poo. Poo poo. You’re going poo poo. Good job, go poo poo.” and continue to repeat while he goes. Your baby will learn to associate the word (“poo poo”) with the action / sensation. This will be helpful later by:

  • Helping him to know what you mean when you will later put him on the potty and want him to go, or when you’re teaching him that “poo poo goes in the potty”
  • Keeping him aware of the sensation, instead of learning to ignore it (most kids learn to ignore it by toddlerhood, which makes potty training very difficult as they don’t even pay very much attention to when they’re going)
  • Keeping pooping a “social” event between you and him. Many toddlers, even babies, will begin to poop in private (by hiding, etc), and it becomes very difficult to accustom them to sitting on a cold potty, with you hovering and encouraging them, and still be able to let it go if they have become used to solitude
  • It prevents the “stigma” that many parents accidentally associate with bowel movements, such as by reacting with “eeww, gross” or similar phrases, or showing their disgust when they hear their child pooping or while changing them. This can be counterproductive to potty training if the child’s whole life you have shown your aversion and disgust, then all of the sudden you are encouraging it and trying to praise them for it.
Difficulty level: no-brainer

5 Things to do with Your Baby to Make Potty Training later on Easier

2. Let your mobile baby watch you go to the bathroom

Another no-brainer activity is to let your child watch you go to the bathroom. Especially when they start crawling and walking around and become interested in playing in the toilet, let them come watch you go and tell them what you are doing.

“Look baby, Mommy is going poo poo. Do you see the poo poo in the potty? Mommy goes poo poo, see? Look, there is pssss [sound to describe urinating]. Pssssss. Mommy is going psssss. Ok, now poo poo and pssss go bye bye. Say bye bye.”

Now I’ll admit, this is not a conversation you probably want to be having with your baby when company is in the other room. Nor is it really something you’re going to want to be discussing at the local mother’s group. But, it’s your baby, here, people. They don’t care. Really.

Here is how it will help later:

  • Reinforces what the words for bowel movement and urination mean (be sure to use the same words that you use when your baby goes)
  • Reinforces the concept of toileting as a “social” event (see first tip), preventing the “stage fright” many kids feel when you try and get them to have a bowel movement on the potty after a lifetime of going in private
  • It creates the definition for “normal” from the beginning of their life. If all the child knows is going in a diaper, and is oblivious to the concept of toileting (and that the whole family does it), it can be met with some serious resistance to the “newness” if you wait until they are older.
  • Babies love to mimic, and to be like Mommy and Daddy (or big brother and sister). The desire to copy and mimic can be later lost to the desire for independence and autotomy.

Difficulty level: super simple

5 Things to do with Your Baby to Make Potty Training later on Easier

3. Buy a small potty and keep it around, long before you plan to use it

Sometimes, when potty training, parents can get a lot of traction by introducing a “brand new potty!” and making a big deal about it.

While this might work for some, for others it just doesn’t, and for many it can actually backfire.

Why having a potty around essentially the child’s whole life can make it easier to potty train later because:

  • There will be no fear of newness later on. It will be an object the child will be very familiar with and comfortable with.
  • Your child can explore it, look at it, and when he is strong enough to sit up, sit on it – an important line that you won’t have to cross with a resistant toddler.

You can either keep the potty just in the family living area, where your baby can see it and pass by it every day, or you can keep it in the bathroom, where you baby can either look at it every time you take him in with you to go, or he can sit on it while you go. Either way, just have it somewhere where you baby can see it (and preferably sit on it – clothed or naked) often.

Difficulty level: very easy

5 Things to do with Your Baby to Make Potty Training later on Easier

4.  Have your baby sit on a potty sometimes while he goes – even with his diaper still on

Remember in the first tip where I talked about how parents pretty much always know when their child is going number two?

Well, this is an extension of that tip (tell your baby a word, such as “poo poo”).

The thing is that pretty much as soon as your baby has a bowel movement, you gotta change them. For one because you don’t want your baby sitting in it and getting a rash, and secondly because, quite frankly, it stinks, and you want to get rid of the offending aroma as soon as possible. Thirdly, leaving it to sit leaves the potential that it is going to get squished and leak out and you’re going to have a mess on your hands – gross, I know, but we’re talking about potty training here, you had to expect a little poop talk, right?

So one thing is clear for parents of diapered baby – if the kid poops, you have to stop whatever you’re doing to change them.

However, most of the time parents will wait a minute or two from the time they notice their kid starting to poop before they change them. Why? Well cause you gotta give them some time to finish, of course. So the parents just sit there are and watch while their kid poops, waiting for them to be done, then change them.

I am proposing that you do something a little different, though. It’s not going to take any extra time. You already have to jump into action when your baby goes. But instead doing that pause and watching while they go in their pants, why not just pick them up and sit them on the potty while they finish the deed?

You don’t even have to take their diaper off if you don’t want to. You can seriously just pick them up, take them to the changing table (I kept a potty on my changing table), sit them on the potty while they finish going (don’t forget to say “poo poo” or whatever words you choose), and then when they’re done you can change them. Or do the above except as soon as you get your baby above the potty, unhook the diaper and set it down on the changing table, then sit them on the potty naked (you don’t have to wipe yet, as they will ideally go some more in the potty).

I have found that this practice has actually saved me time and work, since by responding to my baby as soon as I notice him going rather than waiting a couple of minutes until he’s done, it is less mess to clean up on his bottom (as he doesn’t have the chance to sit in it) and it also means it pretty much never leaks out of his diaper.

Here are some ways this simple tip will make potty training later easier:

  • You are preventing your baby from ever getting used to (and even comfortable with) sitting in a poopy diaper, and they will keep that inborn aversion to soiling on themselves
  • You are establishing the place to have a bowel movement (on the potty), rather than teaching the child their whole life that the diaper is the place to go, then all of the sudden changing the rules for everything they have ever known
  • You are getting them used to and comfortable with having a bowl movement in the sitting position. Often times children become accustomed to squatting very low, or some other position to poop, and it can be very difficult for them to relearn a new position. Imagine if you had to relearn to have a bowel movement from another position – it wouldn’t be easy.
  • If you take the diaper off before you put them on the potty, you are accustoming them to the sensation of pooping without a diaper. This is often the biggest hurdle of potty training, as many children are unable to poop without the feeling of a diaper secure against their bottoms. But by taking this simple little step you can prevent them from ever having that fear.

There is really no need to become consumed in always catching when your child poops. Sure, there are going to be times when you are busy, or maybe not even in the room, and you don’t notice that your child pooped until after it happens. That’s not a big deal. The point of this tip is to just do it as much as you can.

The goal is to simply accustom your baby to a more healthy sense of “normal” and prevent him from getting used to and attached to something that we are later going to tell him is all wrong.

Difficulty level: simple

5 Things to do with Your Baby to Make Potty Training later on Easier

 5. Let your baby go diaper free every now and then

Newborns are born being aware of when the pee, and having a natural aversion to eliminating on themselves (as all mammals do). This is why they so dislike having a wet diaper, and for the first few months will pee as soon as their diaper is off.

However, because of the nature of disposable diapers, they often lose this awareness. Disposable diapers pull the wetness away from the skin, and a lot of times by the time a child reaches toddlerhood (or even before), the child can get in the habit of just urinating without even thinking about it, and their awareness can be difficult to regain.

Letting your baby go diaper free every now and then will keep them aware of their own bodily functions. They can keep that connection between the sensation of needing to urinate, the decision to let it go, and the resulting effect.

This is, obviously, not an activity for sitting on the couch while reading a story. Let your child go diaper free while playing outside in the summer, or, if it’s in the winter, let them play on a tile floor. Another option is to put them in the empty (water free) bathtub and let them play with a few toys – if they’re sitting in water, they aren’t really going to feel the sensation.

How this will help later:

  • It will prevent your child from loosing their awareness of their own urination, which can be a significant hurdle if the child learns to simply urinate without even thinking about it, they won’t be able to make it to the potty.
  • Many times babies can become uncomfortable with being naked, not as a modesty issue (as babies are obviously oblivious to modesty) but as a sensory issue. Since they always have a diaper on, the sensation of their naked bottom on a cold, plastic surface can be very uncomfortable for them, which will make it difficult to get them to sit on the potty. By giving them early exposure to the sensory experience of a naked bottom sitting on various surfaces, it won’t be a shock to them later.

Difficulty level: easy, but can be a little messy. Doing this activity in the right environment will make the messes simple. This will be an area where you are exchanging one small inconvenience for another – a little mess now can mean a lot fewer messes (and diaper changes) later.

5 Things to do with Your Baby to Make Potty Training later on Easier


Toileting and elimination awareness, exposure, and habit forming can and should be established very early in life, rather than ignoring it for a lifetime and then simply introducing all of the concepts at an “event”, expecting your child to take the transformation in stride.

Whether you adopt one or all of these tips, I hope that they can put you and your baby on the road to success from the beginning and, hopefully, make it so they can be diaper free long before age three!

Damien is currently  13 months, 1 week old, and is in the process of being casually potty trained

Update – Damien’s potty training progress at 22 months old. Click photo to read post:


p style=”text-align: left;”>Potty Training Update 22 Months Old


  • Sharlene July 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Thank you for the great tips! And im going to remember and try these. My daughter is 9 months old. When would you start setting her on a little toilet?

    • domanmom July 12, 2012 at 12:05 am

      Many parents choose to start putting their little ones on a potty once they are able to sit up with support, so nine months should be just fine!

    • Sarah October 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      We started at 6months setting my daughter on a low travel potty from buy buy baby. (Perfect size esp for 9months. Plus it closes tightly so they can’t accidentally open it. [we kept blue mouth wash & water in it for easier cleaning, plus it turns green if they pee] & has a handle for easier cleaning/travel.) it was a little before she could sit on her own, but Since she had heard “go poopies” every time she had strained since 2months, by 6mo it was a joke that she would go on command. This method has really worked great for us! Minus step 5…. Maybe we’ll try this at Grammy & Grampys when they get back in town!

  • Ann July 11, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    I think putting baby on the potty when they are pooping is THE best way to start potty training early. It worked for my daughter. She was poop trained by the age of 14 months and completely potty trained by right after her 2nd birthday. We have been doing the same with my son since he was 7 months old and he is almost poop potty trained and he’s only 10 months old. I can ALWAYS tell when my kids are pooping (they are not sneaky poopers, lol), so I just took advantage.

    • domanmom July 12, 2012 at 12:08 am

      That is great to hear about your success! It is always very encouraging to get more and more confirmation that early potty training can be successful. I agree that sitting on the potty while pooping is a very important step – and one that I discovered was so easy and common sense, I just had to share. I still can’t figure out these type of tips aren’t more common – oh wait, I’ll bet the diaper companies have something to do with it. Haha. Thanks for your comment.

    • laura April 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      How did u train her for the night time? My 23 month daughter goes #2 only .. I’m planning to start serious training at the end of April (we have a big trip coming up).. Night time is what I’m worried about.

  • Ann July 11, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    I never used a baby potty either. We have a special toilet seat from Home Depot that has a child seat built in and folds down on top of the normal seat. This way you can flush, no little potty to clean, and one less transition to make. They get used to the big potty from the beginning. One of my favorite products!

    • domanmom July 12, 2012 at 12:13 am

      That is great, I have seen those types of toilets and always thought it was so genius! I originally planned to just use a toilet with my little one (so there would be one less transition), but ended up using a potty instead because, since I do home child care, I was kind of grossed out by the toilet in the main part of the house, thinking of all those different kids’ germs on my little newborn! I do clean that toilet often multiple times a day, but not necessarily after every use, and rushing to the toilet with a pooping newborn didn’t leave much time for a spot check!

      • Sara November 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm

        We have the flip-down toilet seat on our thrones, but I bought a small potty so my daughter could get onto it herself. My thinking is that it would encourage her taking ownership of the process. Plus, at least initially, I don’t think she’ll have time to climb a step stool, flip the seat down, and get her pants off all before she has to go. As an added bonus, we can both go at the same time.

  • Jessica July 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Wow! I wish I had seen this earlier! My daughter whom is now 2 is completely potty trained! She too had been poop trained first before she was actually pee trained. I was wondering if you ladies had any tips for the night time?! I do put on a pull-up on her at night but I need to get her out of this habit cause I dont want her to regress in the potty training. I usually give my daughter a cup of milk right before she is about to lay down but I also make sure she sits on the potty before she falls asleep. She has atleast peed once during the night. Any tips I would greatly appreciate!

    • Jess July 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      Hi Jessica I Don’t have a baby yet so I don’t know if this can apply for baby’s as well as children, but what I know worked for me as a child and what works for my youngest step daughter is these two things,

      1. make sure they have plenty to drink before a couple of hours when they have to go to bed, like for a child 6pm. no more drinks after 6pm, which is fine as long as you make sure they have been fully hydrated all day and don’t eat any thing after 6pm, (but I’m not sure if that is o.k. to do with baby’s my instinct tells me no cause they prob get dehydrated easily, not sure, but great advise for kids)

      2. put them in a warm bath before bed cause then they will get it all out before they go to sleep.

      • Amberr May 3, 2013 at 8:35 am

        Hi there,
        when my brother was wearing his night time pull ups and it was time to get him out of the habit my mom just told him that mommy wouldn’t be buying anymore and that after the package was done

    • domanmom July 13, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Jessica, that is great that you had such success with your little one! Congratulations! In regards to the night time training, I would do what you can to try and phase out that before-bed cup of milk, perhaps just giving it a little bit earlier and earlier each night, and making sure she gets extra water throughout the rest of the day (to ensure she is getting proper hydration). Eventually you will want to try and establish some sort of boundary, like no drinking after 6:00 pm (as the previous commenter mentioned), or whatever time, it depends on when your child goes to bed.

      I would also do away with the pull ups, as they pull the moisture away from the body instantly, and in my experience and hearing from many others, it can really prolong the night time awareness.

      • Tek July 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm

        Night training was personally the hardest for me when I was a child (and was also hard when my mom was a child as well). It was something that we thought was just hereditary. However, I will never forget two nights that stick out in my mind. The first night, I woke needing to go to the bathroom, and in my little mind thought, “I have a diaper on, it’s okay.” The other night I remember is the night I was “night trained.” It was the first night my mom had forgotten to put a diaper on me. I lasted all night, and never needed a diaper again. Something about wearing disposable diapers made it harder for me to be trained.

        • GI May 10, 2015 at 11:38 am

          i am pregnant and i don’t know to change his diaper

      • Bernie KittyCat January 26, 2015 at 10:45 am

        My pediatrician recommended putting underwear on under a diaper. That leaves the wet sensation next to the skin but protects the bed. I haven’t tried this at night yet as we’ve just started with serious potty training. We have hit a wall with my 31 month old with pooping in her diaper. I’m hoping Frozen stickers will help her want to go on the pot! I will definitely be using these suggestions with my 6 week old.

    • Heather July 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      Hi Jessica, my thoughts on night time training is to buy plastic sheets. They sell them at walmart for about $6 I think. I put them under the regular sheets for obvious reasons not to get the mattress soiled. My Daughter only peed in the bed one time with the plastic sheets on there. My thoughts behind this are: she had to learn what the sensation felt like after having gone in her bed and become aware thats what was happening. She always wore pull ups before that and most of the time they were soiled come morning time and I don’t think recgonized the sensation. Good Luck to you! I hope my comments make sense!

      • Charlene Buvel November 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm

        Yes, do not diaper or put on a pull up for overnights unless your pediatrician has determined it medically necessary due to small bladder or other issue. It only delays learning the sensation/wakefulness connection. Accidents WILL happen, and plastic or rubber sheets are a must. I would also like to add a great trick someone shared with me and I have used with all of my children. Double make the bed!! So when a night time accident occurs it’s a quick presto change and you both can get back to bed.

    • sadie September 10, 2012 at 6:56 am

      Hi Jessica,
      My middle child was out of diapers during the day by 20 months old, and now that she is 2 1/2, she still wears a diaper at night, and it is always wet! I was getting frustrated that she does such a good job all day long, but couldn’t make it through the night. I recently started using a cloth diaper at night rather than a disposable, and she is now almost always dry in the morning! IT’s a different feeling for her, and she can definately feel the wetness in the cloth diaper much better than while wearing a disposable. I hope to have my youngest potty trained early (he’s 8 months now).

      • Sarah October 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm

        Thanks! Do the little ones wake during the night to go, or can they hold it all night? Our daughter is about 15mo. Poop trained, & likes to go tinkle as often as I would put her on the potty. Just curious what to expect, I know she dislikes the sensation in a regular diaper sometimes… So I can only imagine in a cloth!

        • Sondra October 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm

          My daughter is almost 11 months and is nearly poop potty trained. She goes every morning – as soon as she wakes up I take her to the toilet and she pees and poops. She is capable of holding her pee all night (which makes for a very long pee in the morning), but she usually doesn’t.

          I’m going to switch to a plastic cover under the sheet with a cloth diaper. When she does have to go at night, she wakes up crying and I take her to the toilet. It can take her a little while to calm down and pee, but she eventually does and I just rock her back to sleep. My mom started potty training me when I was a newborn and I was fully potty trained by the time I was 15 months old, with only a few accidents from drinking too much water before bed. My sister was 14 months old when she was trained as well!

    • Jill October 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      As for the milk at night- that’s the first thing a Dr will tell you if you have an older child wetting the bed- no dairy within 2 hrs of bedtime. My friends son would wet the bed everytime they had ice cream at bedtime, but when they stopped that, so did the bedwetting.

  • Eve July 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    This is great info- and perfect timing, I was just thinking about this for my 13 month old. Thank you!

  • Kassi July 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I started potty training my son when he was 10months (he is now 11months) I started putting him on the potty and ran the bathtub water and waited and it never took longer than 30seconds for him to go (there were a few times where he didn’t have to go so I didn’t force it) Every time he went I praised it and he seemed to enjoy going and watching himself go. He likes to play with his wiener too, which the first few times I was hesitant on letting him do that but if you really think about it, he will have to learn to control it someday why not let him figure it out. It does get all over sometimes and then I just kind of show him how it needs to be pointed down.. I have praised him whether it went in or not. It took 2 weeks of running the bathtub water just so he would get used to going potty on the toilet. Now I don’t even run the water anymore. I set him on the toilet and he goes within 5seconds. I suggest starting earlier than the “normal age” for potty training. It gets them used to sitting and going before he can say no or can hop off himself and throw fits. I have yet to get him to poop but that will all come in time. He is not even a year yet but he is potty trained 🙂 at least for pee

    • domanmom July 13, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      That is great, Kassi! Thanks for sharing about your success with your little one. That is a fantastic idea about running the bath tub water. And I agree, introducing the concept and habit of pottying before they are so set on saying “no” and running off really does help!

      • Amy Morris Shalosky August 13, 2012 at 8:01 am

        Ha! I just gotta say that my mom did the same with me, running water to help potty train me. I’m 36 now…and STILL have to pee whenever I’m around running water.

  • Momof2boys July 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    My boys are those “sneaky poopers” — I have never known when they were going until it was too late. My son is now going through potty training — I started casually with him at 15 months – he never had an aversion to the potty and would pee whenever I sat him on it, BUT – he is almsot 4 and STILL is not consistent in his potty habits. Some of what you are saying totally makes sense. In some ways, he is not even aware of peeing – he pees freely when his bottom is covered. I know diapers (and later, pull-ups) made it more convenient for us – and allowed him to develop the habit of peeing without even knowing he was doing it. Now we are working on ‘naked’ potty training, and he is finally getting it. But I know I am definitely going to try some of your suggestions with my 10 month old so I am not in the same situation 3 years from now. My first suggestion for anyone going through the frustration I am — DITCH the Pull-ups! Nothing more than a glorified diaper. I won’t use them for my second son!

    • domanmom July 13, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      I agree, Pull Ups are really counterproductive to potty training. They really should get a new name – they call pull ups “training pants” but in reality the only training they are doing is to train the kid to keep going without feeling it or caring about it! Such a deceitful product in my opinion. Same with the “good nights” bed wetting pants – all they are doing is helping the kid NOT feel the wetness when they wet the bed, making awareness impossible. Such a shame this stuff is being sold and marketed as something helpful, when in reality it is doing more harm than good to the process.

      • Elizabeth October 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm

        I would agree that pull-ups make training more difficult, the funny thing is the cheaper the pull up the better they are at being more helpful because they don’t do as good a job at keeping the moisture away. As for the goodnights those are intended I think more for kids like my daughter who sleeps so hard (like her father) that she will wet the bed and not even wake up. It does no matter how much we limit her liquids she still wets the bed 3 or 4 nights a week at the age of 8. We don’t use the goodnights at home but when she spends the night or has others spend the night at our house we use them so that she does not have to worry about wetting and then being embarrassed.

        • Lynne December 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm

          My younger brother was a lot like your daughter; he wet his bed well into high school due to simply not being able to wake up. Our doctor gave him a device that goes in the underwear at night and makes a loud beeping sound when wetness is detected. It really made a difference for him.. I hope your little girl gets through it! 🙂

        • Sue December 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm

          My daughter had a similar issue – we tried the alarm to wake her as well as other ideas – but I read an article about a nasal spray that some kids need for night wetting. I spoke to my pediatrician and he said we could try – and it worked like a miracle. My daughter was missing a hormone and her body just didn’t wake her up for urination without it. No side-effects. Once she went through puberty years later, the issue corrected and she was off the nasal spray.

    • Tiffany W August 24, 2012 at 6:20 am

      I keep trying to tell my friends who are potty training to DITCH THE PULL-UPS!! but they won’t listen. Some have even started using those easy-up diapers which seem even more counter productive to potty training later in life. It’s been a process for my daughter (who I started training at 2 years, 1 month). I started her out with padded undies but they seemed too tight on her little thighs so I ditched those too and got regular ‘big kid’ underwear. She was pee trained for the most part in 3 days and poo trained in about 8 and I would have her stand there and watch me put the poo in the toilet. “Poo poo goes in the potty, see?” Another plus I see about cloth diapering (I used disposables with her) is that you can stand your child there while you put the solids in the toilet from the cloth diaper if you didn’t catch it all in time.

  • Amanda July 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    My son will be 4 months this Sunday and goes to daycare 5 days a week, as both myself and husband work. Any advice for early potty training while at day care?

    • Kaitlin July 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      Well, I don’t have a daughter in daycare, but I know plenty of children who are and one thing I’ve heard is just trying to practice at home. Especially since your baby is so young, practice at home early on might be the best way to teach your child so that later you can just start saying, “Remember when we you need to go potty at home? Ask a teacher (or whatever the caregivers are called) and he/she can take you just like Mommy and Daddy.” It might not be without incident, but it might help.

      Another tip, if your daycare will allow cloth diapers (and I’m NOT trying to do a big plug here) but using organic or natural fibers like cotton will let your child still feel wet/poopy even while at daycare, thus reinforcing the idea that potty is a better choice.

      • stevi September 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm

        As a former day care teacher of 1s & 2s, I say tell your daycare teacher what you’re doing. I actually started potty training several 2s who were just begging for it, even though their parents were making no effort at home.

        If you’re doing the work at home, let your teacher know what you’re doing and keep them updated on progress. Not all techniques work at day care (can’t let them run around naked!), but knowing what words you’re using, whether they’re coming to day care in underwear, how often you’re putting them on the potty… can always help the teacher, even if they can’t put as much time into it as they want.

        Believe me, when you’re changing diapers for 8 kids, having any of them start making progress towards potty training is a blessing!

        • shirley December 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

          haha love your comment! great point!

          also LOVE this article. makes complete sense and was extremely well written which made it so easy to understand. thank you for writing such a great article!

    • domanmom July 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      I think the most you can hope for is to do what you can while you’re at home. The daycare workers are very unlikely to be able to work with you in this area, as they already have their hands so full, but you can establish a routine, habits, and understanding at home and it can still be helpful to your baby.

    • Tonya October 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      I am a child care provider, I have recently started putting the 18 month old I care for on the potty and mom freaked, she doesn’t want her baby to be potty trained yet, she wants to keep her a baby as long as she can….as I am also a good friend I told her to get over it.
      I say to talk to your child care provider, she might be okay putting your child on the potty if time allows her to. I wish I had started putting this same child on the potty earlier. She has peed twice for me now and of course we make a big deal of it….even the big kids cheer for her.

  • holly July 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    this is so encouraging..i have been doing most of these things for the last month with my 18mo old and -everyone- has told me to just not bother- “he’s too young so just keep the diapers on.” i was going to just pack up his little toilet and forget about it, even though he is really taking to it well..i had no idea what to do because the info for training a 2+ year old won’t work on him (like stickers or rewards or praise..etc) he just doesn’t connect the reward with the feat.. but he does come up to me and say ‘poopoo’ and acts like a banshee when his diaper is wet. and when he sits on his toilet he says, ‘pss pss pss.’ but still hasn’t ‘gone’ on it. so i have been looking for some information on being in that not-quite-ready phase and this post is great! thank you!

    • domanmom July 13, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      I’m glad this post was helpful to you! That is great what you are doing with your little one, it is really difficult when everyone around you is discouraging you in your parenting efforts. I know that feeling WAY too well. Just try not to worry about it, and I find it helps to not even discuss “controversial” things with doubters. Then surround yourself with encouragement and success stories! Thanks for sharing about your progress with your little guy!

  • Scarlett July 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I actually used some of these methods myself starting when my daughter was about 12 months old and she is two now and we are in full blown potty training right now. I think it is going remarkably well because we used some of these methods early on.

    • domanmom July 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      That is great, Scarlett, thanks for sharing about your progress with your little one

  • Samantha July 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Some great tips here. We always acknowledged my boys going “poo-poo” from the time they were newborns and we always allowed naked time outside in the summer. Both my boys were poop trained before they were pee trained and were completely trained by 2 1/2. One other tip I would include is, if you’re not ready for your child to be completely naked or the environment doesn’t allow for it, put underwear on your child and a pull-up over them. That way, they feel the wetness, but you don’t have nearly as big of a mess to clean up.

    • Hannah July 15, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Great idea about the underwear under a diaper! My son is 14 months and I’ve gotten nothing but negativity when mentioning that I’m starting to potty train him. These tips are great. He’s not a shy pooper, so next time I catch him in the act, we’re going to the potty! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • domanmom July 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      That is a great tip about putting the underwear on underneath the diaper. Thanks for sharing that!

  • Lindsey July 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Great tips, I have two girls 14 months apart. We trained oldest around 20 months. The biggest helping with putting her in big girl underware so when she went she felt the wetness. It only took about 3 to 4 days of this before she got it and started using the potty all the time. after about a month of using the potty we stared making her wear underware at night. After about 3 nights of peeing in the bed she started waking us up to go. After about a week of that she started going all night without needing to go! Our youngest is now 14 months I plan on starting to let her run around diaperless this week. Im happy to see other that see the advantages to starting early!

    • domanmom July 15, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks for sharing your success, Lindsey! That is great that you had such success with the night time training. I think using pull-ups for very long at night time will create more of a problem than it will help. It is great to know that by just letting her sleep in the underwear early on you had so much success. Good luck with your newest addition!

  • Seagie July 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I feel like I am getting a late start as my son is 21 months old! But I have been talking to him for quite some time while he goes “poo poo”. We have also started taking him with us (my husband included) to the bathroom and talking to him about what we are doing and watching the contents go down. These are really the only two steps we have taken. Have I messed up by not starting sooner? Tips for late starters?

    • domanmom July 15, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      Hi Seagie, even though your son is a bit “older”, it will still be much easier to break the bad habits with him than it would be if you waited until he was 2.5 or 3. My advice would be to just dive right in.

  • Deb July 16, 2012 at 10:09 am

    One of the solutions to a diaper at night is underwear inside the diaper (also suggest for car trips). This way they can feel the wetness and there is no mess. Also a drop or two of food coloring in the toilet water never hurts ~ it changes color! I always, instead of giving treats i cannot keep up with, gave one skiddle…this worked great as a reward that could be given frequently. I hope some of these tips help,I worked as a childcare provider and potty trained well over 30 kids.

  • Shelby July 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    This is so refreshing to hear! My 15 month old son has recently begun to tell me “poop” as he is going in his diaper. I have been telling friends and family that I think it is time to start potty training, but most have assured me that it’s waaaayyy to soon; however, I know in my gut that he’s trying to tell me that he’s ready, and I don’t want to miss my window. I’m really greatful for your post and all of the follow up comments! When am I going to finally learn to just trust my maternal instincts???

    • Alika January 24, 2013 at 5:48 am

      Yes! Every child has a window of opportunity to learning new things. I wish more people knew this and, followed this line of thinking. I have been working with my 3 mo old in both English and Spanish as well as sign language. I’ve been given quite a few stares and don’t know why. Almost everyone acknowledges early childhood is when kids learn language, but for some reason our schools wait to teach it in high school!

  • Nadia July 17, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Merci! Super intéressant comme article! C’est certain que je vais essayer pour mon prochain bébé!
    Thanks for sharing us!

  • Megan July 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Although I never saw this blog when I was pitting training my son, I did most of what us in the lists. My son was potty trained in about two weeks ( very unstressful) when he was 2 1/2. He will be three next week and has one accident and none at night :). I highly Reccomend doing what is in the list or ease!!

  • Kirstin July 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I’ve heard that babies can sign before they can talk, so by teaching them the sign language for potty or toilet (or whatever you use) early on, they can tell you that they have to go much sooner than they would otherwise.

    • domanmom July 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      That is a great tip, Kirstin. I have done sign language with both of my sons and it is a great way to communicate!

  • Amanda July 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    I really like your ideas about starting fairly young. My mom had 3 kids in the ’60’s, one in the ’70’s and me in the ’80’s. Believe it or not, with the exception of one lazy brother (last of the 60’s bunch), she had us all completely potty trained by 18 months old! night and day, pee and poop.

    She had to use cloth diapers on her oldest (brother #1), and just continued on the rest of us. Her philosphy was (and is), if a kid is old enough to tell you what they did in their diaper (“mommy, poop”), then they are aware enough to begin training. Since all 3 girls were early talkers, we began training early too.

    I had one accident, I was 5 years old and couldn’t make it home from the bus stop in time. Never wet the bed and never, ever had a bm accident.

    Mom was horrified that my sisters both waited to start training their (4) little ones at around 2.5 years, and both sisters confessed that it was really gross to change a diaper on a kid who was big enough to have an intelligent conversation while being cleaned up. Both say they wish they would have started younger, and I am certain if I had kids, I would start pretty young too 🙂

    • domanmom July 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Thanks for sharing that story, Amanda. It is interesting to me that even though throughout all of history, and even as recently as most of our own parents, potty training happened at age one or earlier, it is still so “novel” and “impossible” for most of us today! It is good to be reminded that “early” is the “norm”, even though most pediatricians (and diaper companies) nowadays tell us otherwise.

  • Teresa July 18, 2012 at 4:59 am

    Thank you so much for this info! I have an 8 month old daughter and I am currently 3 1/2 months pregnant. I have been considering elimination communication to help make things easier. All of these tips and all of the feedback will make life easier For Sure!! Thanks!

  • Amy Caroline July 18, 2012 at 6:58 am

    This has got to be one of the best articles I have read on potty training. I have 8 kids ages from 17 to 6 months. Wish I had read this years ago!

  • Beth July 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I love love love what I have read here. I have a 9 month old and a 2 year old, and the baby is extremely interested in his brother’s potty chair. For sanitary reasons, I have kept him away from it, but I will mend my ways and let him explore. I Clorox it every time it is used anyway.
    I do need some help though! My 2 year old will use the potty every time if we are in the house, but if we go visit family or go to the store, he pees his pants every time. (And of course, I’m getting the usual ‘he’s just not ready’ line from the family.) I think it’s because he’s too excited to stop and pee. I know he can do it because when we are home, he will stop playing, come get me, and make it all the way to the potty before he goes. Any advise on how to get him to take his home skills with him?

  • Kim S July 18, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    My Husband and I started putting our baby girl on the potty at 5 weeks old. When she starts to sqirm and show sings of needing to go we drop everything and rush her to the potty. She thinks it’s hillarious. (She laughs at us everytime) It really cuts back on the poopy cloth diapers and makes laundry easier/quicker. She’s only 10 weeks now and can go days without going in her diaper. We are working on teaching her an audible cue when she needs to go to be more efficiant. I’m hoping complete potty training will be much easier down the road. Thanks for the extra tips!

  • mrs.iHB @ iheartbudgets.net July 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    These are great tips! We have a 7mo and I hadn’t even thought of buying a potty but I might have to get one now! It would definitely be nice to have an easier potty training experience.

  • Janelle Phinney July 20, 2012 at 11:03 am

    This is a great article and exactly what I’ve been trying to do for the past 2.5 years with my son – I think it probably would work for most kids. I know several Moms who have had success with similar ideas. But, I am not one of those and I wanted to share my experience especially because this is NOT working for my son and I’m sure I’m not the only Mom out there who has done everything right and still does not have a potty-trained child. It’s frustrating to hear about all the easy-to-train children when your child is definitely not one of them. I have done everything right: we bought a potty when my son was 10-months-old and one of those small seats for the big potty, too. My husband and I both talk about “poopies” and “pee-pees” with him all the time – we take him into the bathroom with us almost daily and from the time he could sit up put him on his potty while we were going. I have frequently caught him in the act of pooping or peeing and carried him to the potty to finish. I did cloth diapers for 1.5 years (kind of fell of the horse with that one, which I’m sure doesn’t help) – purchased underwear so he could go diaper-less on occasion. I bought the Potty Scotty doll and we have Potty Party days where all day we make Potty Scotty go in the potty and we sit on the potty every 15 minutes all day long whether we have to go or not. Now that my son is 2.5 we have a sticker chart by the potty to reward him every time he pees. We have a funny pooping cow jellybean dispenser for rewarding him when he poops. We’ve told our family about our potty-training efforts when he turned one – everyone is in support and is glad to receive phone calls about potty success when we have it. For over a year now, my husband has had potty dates with our son – the “men” will go sit on the potty and read books and talk, sometimes for 20 minutes, sometimes for over an hour. In fact, my son LOVES his potty. He helps me clean it – he carries it around the house – he often ASKS to go sit on it but not because he has to go potty, just because he likes it – I think he thinks of his potty as his favorite chair. I feel like I’ve done everything (aside from 100% cloth diapering) and my son is still not potty-trained, in fact, not even close. He just “doesn’t get it”. He still hasn’t learned to feel the “poopies” and “pee-pees” before they come out and is not entirely sure what happened after they do. In fact, even with all the potty talk and the potty parties and the potty doll, he will still not recognize what’s going on. The other day we were outside in the backyard – I had him running around naked to encourage the pottying. While he was running around he peed all over himself – only after he peed did he stop, turn to me, and ask “Mommy, what just happened, I’m wet?”. And, don’t get me wrong – he’s a very smart kid. He has been talking in complete sentences for months now – he knows all of his letters and phonics sounds and is beginning to sound out words. He can count to 20 with no help, 100 with assistance and is beginning to do simple addition and subtraction problems. He just doesn’t get the potty thing – AT ALL. It’s been a long 1.5 years of this and I am expecting at least another full year. I would love to hear from other Moms who have had difficult to train children.

    • Janelle Phinney July 20, 2012 at 11:13 am

      I should add that my son never fussed about a dirty diaper as an infant. Maybe he just doesn’t feel the potty sensations as strongly as other kids do.

      • Robin September 27, 2012 at 11:31 pm

        I know it might be frustrating hearing all of these parents, but are you in a rush for some reason? My daughtrr potty trained on and off for a year and she just decided one day she didnt want pullups anymore and hasnt had one since. I’m amazed at the pressure we put on kids to grow up!

        • domanmom September 28, 2012 at 12:11 am

          I don’t believe it really has anything to do with making kids “grow up” faster. For example, letting your three-year-old still use a pacifier does not “keep them” a baby – they are still, in most every possible way, a three year old. They talk and walk and run and play pretend, they just happen to use a pacifier. In the same way just because an 18-month-old is potty trained, that doesn’t mean that they are all of the sudden transformed into a four-year-old. They are still a little, toddling 18-month-old, they just happen to know the skill of pottying. To each their own, of course, but teaching little ones new skills can be fun, rewarding, and beneficial, and contrary to popular belief, it does not make them “grow up faster”, just grow up a little bit differently!

          • Rose January 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

            Maybe it isn’t pressure to “grow up,” but the original commenter seemed really frustrated that her 2.5 year old isn’t potty trained yet, and the question “why rush” is valid. Although these are great tips and tricks, a LOT of kids aren’t potty-trained until much later, and for many of them, it’s a quick and easy process because they realize it’s uncomfortable. There isn’t a reason to wait until a kid is 3 or 4 to try, but there also isn’t anything wrong with a kid who’s just not ready until 3 or 4.

        • Gina February 18, 2017 at 10:45 pm

          It seems very strange that lowly pets can be housebroken in a matter of weeks but superior babies/toddlers must remain in diapers until the age of at least 2.5 years or risk trauma. I’m not impressed with a 4 year old boy running around the house with a loaded diaper, sorry.

      • meg logan July 1, 2013 at 6:11 am

        Hi Janelle,

        I have potty trained 5 kids before their second birthday, and am working on kids #6…. (qualifier). I also have a child with sensory processing disorder. It made learning the sensation of peeing and pooping take longer. (NOT saying that is what your kid’s problem is… you’d have to look at a whole lot of other things to determine that.)

        Here are a couple things I noticed, that might help you out.
        1. It may be that he sits on the potty too often, for too many OTHER things besides going potty. He is therefore comfortable with the seat, but not relating it’s true purpose.
        2. You’ve got a great idea keeping him naked in the yard. With my sensory child that was an absolute necessity. By keeping him naked, and letting him get all wet, and then pointing out “YOU PEE’d” or, if at all possible, WHILE he is peeing, point and call his attention to it. Typically peeing takes longer than a couple seconds.
        3. I think if you try keeping him naked for long periods of time, and noticing how often and how much he is going, you should be able to discern if he has any control whatsoever. If he is just trickling a bit every hour or less, he may not have ANY control or sensation. Alternatively, if he is going a good full long stream every 2-4 hours, he is already holding a full bladder, and therefore has SOME sort of sensation. He may not recognize it yet… so to encourage recognition refer to point 2.

        I just want to encourage you, some kids do take longer. Some kids can really frustrate your efforts! 🙂 But chances are very good, almost certain, that he will attain the ability to regulate this himself. (I suppose it may be possible that he has a physical problem that makes regulation impossible… but he’s too young to guess that yet!)

    • Jenny October 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      My daughter was 3 when she was trained. I tried to train her at about 2.5 years old. We had gotten a potty chair about a year before and used it casually. When I decided to start training though, it was nothing but a fight, it was awful. After a few months I gave up, it just wasn’t worth it. Then at 3 years old on the dot she asked for underpants while at Target (fancy character print ones) and I told her she had to go on the toilet if she had underpants. She agreed and we’ve never looked back. I think some kids just aren’t ready younger and there is nothing wrong with that. I wish I hadn’t stressed out so much about it, when she was ready (and she is still very stubborn in other areas) it just clicked. She is 3 and 3 months now and doing great. Try not to worry or stress too much, no one goes to college wearing diapers. 🙂

  • Charlotte July 21, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Thank you for sharing these tips. I have 3 kids, ages 4.5, nearly 3 and 15 months. I happened to buy a potty when my oldest was 10 months old(great sale) and began with some of your tips due to his interest in the potty seat. He thought it was so cool & would sit & go without a problem if I put him on. We tried cloth diapers for about a year, tried every sure-fire method out there and to no avail my son continued to have accidents maybe three times daily from the age of 2. Now that he’s past the 4 yr old mark, we’re down to once a day, but it can go to 4 times and more on occasion. He just doesn’t get it sometimes. He is also extremely smart, knew letters & sounds before 18 months, etc. We actually took him to a pediatric neurologist who introduced us to the signs of Sensory Processing Disorder. For the poster above, it may be worth your time to read through some descriptions or checklists for it online. For our son, it really clicked on many levels. Though he is a mild case, going pee is just one of those sensations he was unable to recognize even when naked and watching what was occurring.
    On the other hand, I didn’t start with my second son until he was 2.5 and it’s been smooth sailing. I would have started sooner but I was so downright scared.
    So here I am, potty training all 3 of my kids at the same time. My 4.5 year old needs lots of prodding (and has lots of dirty laundry), my nearly 3 yr old is doing it on his own & staying dry thru naps, and my 15 month old is telling me when she needs to go with sign-language. It’s crazy, but I am going to use your tips to just get it over with all at once!
    Thank you to the poster above, because they are not all easy to train, but sometimes there is a reason and you are not alone out there. Sending a virtual *hug* because I’ve been there and I know you need it. 🙂

  • Tara Raymundo July 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    We just got our 15-month-old daughter a potty chair after reading your tips. I can’t wait to start trying out your tips. I just wish I would’ve seen this when she was younger so she could get used to seeing the potty and I would’ve let her go diaper-free a lot more often. My goal (wish) is to have her completely potty trained by her 2nd birthday which is in about 9 months. I hear girls are easier to potty train, so hopefully that’s true. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!

    • domanmom July 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Would love to hear about your progress. Good luck and thanks for sharing!

  • MyOatmealKisses July 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Love this post! I am currently starting to train my 2yr old, and these give me tons of great ideas to help him on his journey!

  • Dawna July 22, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Oh, I’m in for it. I NEVER know when my daughter is pooping. I have never been able to tell when she is going until I smell it or, more recently, she tells me! She’s 19 months.

  • Sara July 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    This EXACTLY what I did with three of my children and am in the middle of doing with my fourth. It works great! My boys were fully trained around 2, and my daughter was fully daytime trained by 18 months! Do you have any idea how many diapers you save? Also, it is way easier to wipe a bum that has pooped on a toilet than one that has pooped in a diaper and then sat in it!

    When I tell people my method of potty training, I usually get the response, “It’s not your baby that is trained, it’s you.” That can be aggravating. I would much rather be “trained” to take my baby to the toilet to do his business than be “trained” to change a whole lot of stinky diapers!

    Well written article! I agree wholeheartedly!

  • Carissa July 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    We started potty training our daughter at around 16 months and she was doing great. She loved sitting on the potty but we have been battling constipation issues for most of her life (we’re seeing a specialist now). One day she was having a particularly hard time going and my parents (who watch her while we’re at work) thought it might be easier for her sitting on the potty and made her sit on it. She was in excruciating pain and cried and cried. She is now 22 months old and TERRIFIED of the potty and doesn’t want to use it. I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried so many things like letting her sit on the potty clothed, watching me go, etc. we have finally gotten her to the point where she will sit on it but won’t use it, not even to pee.

    • Mary Cosper December 22, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Carissa, She associates the potty with pain, and extreme pain at that. You may have to go back to the beginning and do the training gently to replace that association in her mind. Also finding the cause of the constipation is crucial. Only when going doesn’t hurt can you rebuild the positive association between going and the potty. My son , who at the time, wouldn’t pee or poo anyhere but a toilet, (I guess we did too good a job, lol.) had a similar experience. He was 18 months and potty training had been going really well, one day on a long trip, we couldn’t get to a bathroom soon enough, he had held it until it hurt. When he did go, we had no choice but put him in a diaper. It set us back to minus square one. Only with much love and gentle guidance did we regain the ground we lost. By age three, we were back on track. So hope this helps, also assure your parents that it was not there fault for your daughter’s negative experience. They were doing what they knew to do. I speak from personal experience, as I also suffered from probs with constipation as a child amd my mom did all kinds of “pushy” things to quickly eliminate (pun intended) 🙂 the problem. I eventually out grew it. Good luck.

  • Rhiannon July 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    My son is nearly 7 months old and I am so excited I read this. I pinned it probably a month ago, but just decided to sit down and read it. He is in daycare and we don’t have a potty, but I think maybe we will start out using the bumbo, since it’s the same basic shape. We already talk to him when he goes. “Are you makin’ a poopy? I think you’re makin’ a poopy!” Glad to hear this will be helpful in the future! Potty training was such a dark cloud on the future, now I see the sunshine! THANK YOU! 🙂

  • ABMom July 31, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    This article is spot-on! I have two daughters so if/when I have a son I hope it works for me. My eldest was potty trained by 3 but her sister was fully trained (even at night) by 18 months. We did all of the above. It also helps to put a thin washcloth in a diaper/pull up if you don’t use cloth, so kids can feel the sensation without having much of a mess to deal with on floors and furniture. The “big girl/boy” underwear is great for absorbency but harder if they have a bowel movement you have to clean up. We also recognized sensations with sound and the potty sign. If your kids are wiggle worms like mine were sometimes they were off the potty before they were done. We kept special potty books next to the potty that they could read/write in on the potty. We had three or found and I would switch them up to keep it interesting. We kept a potty on each floor of our house at first then in their bedrooms. I would rinse them when filled and spray with the 7th generation non-wipe antibacterial spray.

  • Karli August 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    But what do you do if you have no idea when your son is pooping? I’ve never been able to tell when he is going and he has never cared at all if his diaper is dirty. Even when he was a newborn I never changed his diaper in the middle of the night because a dirty diaper has never bothered him. How can you teach him about the sensation if you don’t know when he’s going?

    • domanmom August 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm

      It might be helpful to try and keep track of when he goes for a few days (keep a written log) and try and see if you notice a pattern (for example, does he tend to go after meals or naps?). Then you can watch him at those times and start communicating with him or putting him on the potty when he does go.

      You might also try to start trying to watch him very carefully (when you think he is about to go) so you can start learning what his “signs” are. Generally children will change their behavior at least a little bit while they are having a bowel movement. Some are more dramatic or noticeable than others, but in the very least he might have some subtle signs such as stopping what he is doing, perhaps grunting quietly.

      Good luck and I hope you are able to find something that works for your little one.

  • Mickey August 9, 2012 at 8:08 am

    This is just awesome, some really great tips here. I have 4 children 10, 7, 5, and 6 months. I did a lot of these tips when training the older ones and they were potty trained by their 2nd birthday. I did get a lot of crap from other parents saying they were too young and I was pushing them. But I feel like when you make it a fun everyday thing, it’s not so scary. I tell people I have not been to the bathroom by myself in 10 years. hahaa Thank you for these tips, great read.

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  • Heidi August 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I have 2 older children, but they are 20 and 16 now so it’s been a fair while since I have had to do the potty training thing- and now I have 16 month old twins! Every time I have started looking into potty training and thinking about the process with TWO of them, I am filled with this sense of impending DOOM lol!
    After reading your post (And thank you so much for sharing your wisdom!) I have realized that I already DO a lot of your techniques, and I feel so much more relaxed about it all! I was planning on starting next spring when they turn 2, but have now decided we’re buying potty chairs now! Sitting them on the potty and letting them run naked are the only things I have been lacking in, so now’s the time 🙂
    I know things will be a bit different with two at the same time- but I feel like the no pressure approach and the natural transition you have lined out will fit in with us just fine.
    I have also linked your page back to a new parenting board that I moderate for, hope you don’t mind, just spreading the love! <3

    • domanmom August 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Good luck with your two little ones, Heidi! I hope the journey to potty training goes well for you. And thanks for sharing the link, I appreciate it!

  • Kristy August 16, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I have been doing all of these, aside from giving just one word/phrase for eliminating. I am just curious about my son, who just turned one. He tends to poop more often in the car, I think it is because he is finally made to sit still. Is there any practical advise for working with him to poo more at home? Thanks for your post.

  • KimberlyB August 17, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I am trying to stay ahead of the game on this but don’t know how soon to start. My baby is seven weeks old. I know I can start to acknowledge when she poops but when would it be appropriate to put her on the toilet when she going?

    • domanmom August 25, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      Many people begin holding their babies over a potty from birth onward, some people wait until their babies can hold their heads up first. It’s really up to your personal preference and what seems to work well for you baby.

  • ivy August 17, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Wow! this is amazing. I read about elimination communication when my baby was 3 months old. I tried it while on my family leave but gave up because I am now a working mom. I thought it would be all or nothing, so i stopped. This post has given me hope and they are all steps I can do!knowing that it’s okay sometimes if I can’t catch every potty helps it be less stressful too.
    My baby boy is 9 months and I want him to have a positive potty-training experience as early as possible.

  • Mickenzie August 21, 2012 at 6:20 am

    This is how I started my daughter on the potty! I nursed and she was very regular. One day (@4months old) she didn’t have BM right after her feeding. I took her in to change her and thought well she is due so I held her in the toilet and asked where is the poop. She went right away! Thinking back, I did always tell her “push all the poopies out” while she was going so that I could change her. Since that time I always held her on the potty and if she had to go pee or poop she would go within a min. It made diapers last that much longer so I continued to do it. She started signing ‘potty’ when she had to go around 13 months. She is now 16 months and stays dry for most of the day. While I know her blader isn’t developed enough to hold it for long periods, I do know it won’t take much to be fully potty trained : )

    • domanmom August 25, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story, it’s very inspiring to hear about others’ successes!

  • Amy August 25, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    My daughter is 12 months, but still not walking yet. Should I wait until she is walking or is it okay to begin now?

    • domanmom August 25, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      Most of these tips can be used from birth onward 🙂

  • Christine S. August 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    My son is 11 months. I have been doing EC with gim since 2months. It started out as only part time and increased to full time by last month. He has not had a poop diaper in over a month. He now stays dry most of the day( wetting only 1-2 diapers , during nap) . He cant walk yet but r crawls and can sign ASL “toilet” . He signs most of the time wen he has to go but isnt 100% cbsistant yet. His bladder cant hold it very long yet so I make sure to take him frequently , especially if he doesnt sign when. Think he has to go. I noticed the more i take him, if he doesnt anitiate frst, it actually keeps it in his memory longer and he ends up communicating MORE to me when he does have to go. So he HAS and IS learning. I beleive he is well on his way yo sctually bring potty trained very soon even though we ste only doing ec and im teaching him n a gentle gradual way. It just progreased this far , fast i beleive brcause i didny wait till iys too late like most people do when their kid is 2 .

  • brandy September 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Our daughter was very regular in going poo…she would go each night in the bathtub at a year old. I pulled out the potty chair and I would put her in the tub give her a few minutes to relax and pull her out and sit her on it. after 12 months we seldom ever had a poo accident. She’s 8 now and I still find her with the shower water running and she’s having to go poo. Pee training with her was another thing all together. We put her in panties pretty early during the day at home and she did not like the wet panties…but naps (2 hours at a time) and night time were both hard to overcome. She finally stopped regularly having wet naps at about age 3 but night time was still a problem even up to age 5 and still today if I give her certain medications she’ll have an accident…it’s like it makes her sleep so soundly that she doesn’t know she’s gone…I mean litterally she’ll sleep in it all night. I have a newborn baby boy and I have bought cloth diapers to use with him…as soon as he’s big enough to fit them…hoping to help him stay more aware of his bodily functions. I do believe disposable diapers and daycare (most only check them every 2 hours..unless they can smell them) play a huge role in the “late” potty training of so many kids.

  • Christy September 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Hi there LOVE this article so much and i would love to start applying a lot of these tips. My son is 10 months old and he has been the epiphany of easy street when it comes to introducing ANYTHING [sleeping in his own bed, taking away the bink, starting solids, using the sippy cup & the regular cup] He has been a breeze…So my only question about the article is how do you apply the ‘you know when he’s going poo’ & changing the soiled diaper soon so that he doesnt become accoustomed to a soiled butt tips if your child only has a bowel movement when he is sleeping? My son used to have a bowl movement within 10 minutes of waking up, but for the past 3 months he has been soiling himself shortly before he wakes up? Any ideas or advice?
    Thank you!

  • Rachel September 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    My son is almost 16 months old and I would love to start training him now! I am just wondering how the child began to let you know they needed to go? He is starting to say a lot of words so maybe he will just pick up on it but was there a certain way they let you know? Also, he pees SO much at night. Like we had to buy the night time diapers so that he wouldn’t pee through them. I am wondering if you have any ideas to change that?

  • Rebecca September 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I did all of this with all 3 of my kids and they were all potty-trained well before 2 years old. And I never EVER had to force them – they just knew when they were ready. 🙂

  • Rachelle September 6, 2012 at 9:10 am

    My sister is having a hard time potty training my stubborn 2yr old niece, and now she has a newborn to take care of. I have given her the tips I use to potty train my son, but they seem to not work at all. They still have her in diapers. any suggestions to how to potty train a 2yr old with a newborn around?

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  • Craebuch September 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Love these tips, we’ve already been doing the talking to our daughter part when she is pooping (because we can ALWAYS tell lol) and I think I’m going to start using a few more of your tips. 🙂 Thanks for sharing these!!!

  • treehugger September 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    These are all great ideas. But, i can’t seem to get my almost 3 year old to poop on the potty. she jumps when she poops, and we have NOOOO idea what that’s about. Anyone have ideas? Blessings…

  • Leslie September 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you for the great advice! Great website <3

  • angel September 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    By pure chance (or maybe due to cultural reasons), I manage to hit all your points, and it’s true: come 2 years old, my daughter was very aware of how everything worked, what went where, and how normal the entire process is. I added one last element: because of the nature of the daipers to ABSORB liquid, one day that I was sure she was ready, I simply put panties on her instead of a diaper. She loved the lightness of them, the no-bulk. I also bet on the fact that if she did wet herself, she would not like the sensation of being wet, having liquid run down her leg, and knowing that a mess was made. Well, it worked. Even though I had explained to her that that she was wearing underwear and now needed to go in the potty, she did forget, began to pee, and then immediately called to me once she felt wet! I rushed her to the toilet (she prefers the toilet to the children’s potty, which in the long run, makes it better for me in public spaces), she finished there, and really, that’s all it took. She was able to put together the “cause and effect” of the entire process. She still wears diapers during naptime and bedtime, but is fully able to be out and about in underwear.

    …oh, and I did try putting her on a potty as young as 5 months. From the age of 5-9 months, I would read her cues, put her on the potty, and she would pee and poop there. It was wonderful, but she was not the trained one here– I was. All this was lost once she went to daycare. =(

  • Bonnie September 26, 2012 at 5:52 am

    I’ve heard about EC training and it sounded like a good idea, I wasn’t really sure how to do it though. But what you’ve written sounds so simple and totally something we could do! My baby can’t even sit up on her own yet but I think I’m going to get a potty for her soon

  • kay September 26, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Thanks for this great post! Very practical and doable advice. Im happy to see acknowledgment that EC is not possible for everyone but that that doesnt mean you cant incorporate the underlying principles! Its just the kind of reasonable, “everybodys different and chooses the best mix for them” kind of parenting writing I LOVE and crave to see more of. Thanks!
    P.S. also happy to see this is pretty much what we have done anyway with #3 and therefore hopeful it will be relatively smooth. My first time trying this with a lil guy after 2 lil gals 🙂

  • Farha September 27, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Such good ideas, I will definitely start trying them on my 17 month old, I’ve been thinking of potty training him but haven’t actually started to yet. Great job all you ladies who have already done it.

  • vanessa October 7, 2012 at 3:06 am

    as far as night time training goes I have always put the pull ups on top of the regular undies so my child still feels the sensation, feels the wet undies and I don’t have to change bedding ever day. It usually takes 3 or 4 days but I find I can handle that

    • Anne October 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      We did this for if we had to go out too. It worked great for church or the store.

  • Yari October 7, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I did this with my almost three year old daughter. I started sitting her on the potty everytime I went to the bathroom, I started at 15 months old. Eventually I went to sitting her naked on the potty before bath time. I always told her if she did, pee or poo, at every diaper change until she started telling me what she did. After a couple weeks of letting her tell me while she still had a diaper on, on a Wednesday at 2pm I took away her diaper, she went to panties only and by 11am the next day she was accident and leak free. Has had an accident since. This is for daytime only.

  • Kari October 7, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Love this! We started potty training my now 3 year old a few months before his birthday. It’s been a long summer but we’re finally getting there.

    I have a newborn though and am hoping to use some of these tips this time around. I have a friend who has always been careful not to let her kids get “used” to sitting in their dirty diapers. They’re always trained really early. I think that might just be the trick! 🙂

  • BrownNative October 15, 2012 at 6:51 am

    While reading this, I had the biggest smile on my face! My mom started potty training my twin brother and I at 6 months, and I was out of nappies day and night by 13 months (a fact of which I’m extremely proud! :D). I am now 30 and looking forward to having my own children and learning to put into practice what both you and my mom are so knowledgeable in! Thanks for this

  • Tulip October 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Awesome tips! I always hear that boys are harder to potty train. My boy is 9 months and I can’t wait to use some of these tips and prove those people wrong. Thanks for sharing these. I would love for you to join me at my link up, Mom’s Library! Hope to see you there.

  • Umsuhaib October 19, 2012 at 5:54 am

    These are great tips. I started putting my son on the potty two pass stool when he was 6 months. He is 10 months now and still doing it on the potty. I’m afraid of leaving his diaper off, he loves to pee on my rug. lol But if I take it off and put him on the potty I know he will pee in it. I’m thinking to start letting him pee in the potty more, but have read they can’t really control their movements until they are 18 months. Im afraid to start to early and to have months and months of potty training.

  • Jen October 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    My daughter is 16 months now and I started this when she was 13 months old. I started off by leaving her potty in the restroom and pointed to it when we’d go in for bath time every evening and said that’s your potty, that’s where you poopoo and peepee. I started sitting her on the potty while I got her bath ready and to my surprise she did poopoo and peepee the very first time! To this day I still do this and each time she either poops or pees. I also got her a Sesame Street potty book that I read to her every night. Now if I ask her if she wants to sit on the potty she gets all excited! 🙂

  • Felisha October 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    My son is 3 yrs old. We did the naked method and in 2 days he was completely potty trained so we went and bought underwear that he picked out and now we have problems. He wets his undies or pants and doesnt tell us. He sees potty time as his time. He doesnt tell em he has to go he just goes in the potty on his own. But how can I break him from going in his undies. We have to put diapers on him when we go in the car or out of the house. HELP!!!

  • Allison October 28, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    I’m 33 years old, no kids, but I recognize here everything that my ‘hippie’ parents did (cloth diapers tho back in that day) allowing me to see them both go and understand that everyone does it, and talking about it with real words. Impressed and amused all at the same time to see it being outlined online. I know if I have kids this is pretty much how it’ll go though. Nice work!

  • Maybebaby October 29, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Great tips to employ even if you feel your baby isn’t ready to fully train. Just wanted to share something I read in Parent’s Magazine a few months ago. That alot of kids age 5 and older who wet the bed turned out to be constipated whether they were showing symptoms or not. The pressure of the ‘poo’ behind the bladder prevented them from having full control during sleep. That once they were treated for the constipation, 86% never wet the bed again. That would be enough for me to look into if it were my child.

  • Julie October 30, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Hi, I have a son who is kind of behind when it came to crawling and he is now 18 months old and just started actually walking more then just steps at a time. I just read the article and was wondering. Is it too late to start this with my son? And, if not. Since he is just now getting to the walking stage, would it be ok to start potty training him now? I have not done anything other then talking about it to him. So im not sure what order to do first. He also isnt really talking a whole lot. He does say things but a lot of the time i dont understand too much of it. So, Again. What is your advise of starting now? I hope i am not too late in having a easier time potty training! 🙂

  • Annie November 5, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I love your advice for early training – my daughter is 6 months and I will totally be using the tips. My son just turned 2 and has been day-trained for a few months. He thinks his bed is a free zone – nap times he wears undies and always wakes up wet, night times he still wears a diaper. Peeing never wakes him up and I don’t know what to do

  • Anne November 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Thank you for this advice! It really helps to break it all down – not nearly as overwhelming as other EC advice I’ve read!!

  • April Fortner November 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I would love to try this with my 9 month old but my main concern is that she does not make a poop face. She doesn’t strain and the only way we know she pooped is the smell. I am a stay at home mom and am very vigilant about catching that she pooped right away and changing her but I never know when she is actually going. Any advice on that?

  • Bonnie November 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I’ve been doing this now for almost two months and it makes us both so happy!

  • Mary Cosper December 22, 2012 at 9:28 am

    To those who say don’t push the issue, there are situations where society norms force the issue for us. I have a daughter who was not potty trained until she was past her fifth birthday. The church ,I attended at the time, would not let her leave the infant nursery until she was completely trained and in regular underwear, even though she was otherwise developmentally ready to move up. We tried everything, the one day method, the no clothes method, ( my landlord was not happy about that one) so we had to quit. Even her pediatrician was baffled as to why she was having such a hard time. So I can relate to those of you who struggle with this. Now that she is six and a half, she has only been PT for a year. The thing that worked for me was to focus on her completely. I quit the church, because they insisted she be in a pull ups at all times, or be trained. quit going out, and just watched her non stop. Any time I thought she might have to go, I put her on the potty. And praised her when she went. Soon she was telling me as she went, then before, so we could get to the potty first. Now she goes on her own, can hold it longer than my 12 year old, and is completely trained. All that happened in the space of a month. I know not everyone can “drop out” of life to do this, but if you can, it worked for me so maybe it will work for those of you who are dealing with the same pressures I was. BTW, I did wait until she was six years and three months to put her in school, so there was plenty of time for her to get accustomed to the feeling, as I know most public schools want the kids PTed or in pull ups. Check your state laws, many don’t require school attendance at five as society pushes. In my state, Missouri, the mandatory attendance age is seven. Some kids just need more time and attention than society allows these days. Don’t give in and don’t give up. My daughter is proof that even the hardest case is not a no win scenario. 🙂

  • Audrey December 29, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I will admit I did not read through ALL the comments, so I’m not sure if this was said or not, but I worked at a child care center for a while and not in the nursery but in the waddler and toddler rooms when it was potty time all the kids went down to the potty so that even the kids that were still in diapers could see the kids that go on the potty and eventually the diaper kids would WANT to go on the potty because of the big deal we made about going on the potty.
    Also, I did in home care for a couple who I believe did the traditional way of potty training but then when it came to just the overnight issues instead of pull ups they picked up a pair of the vinyl panties, like the cloth diaper outer liner sort of things and let their kids sleep in those. They said it only took one accident and that was it. It may seem kind of mean but as long as its a short term thing and it works it’s not any more “mean” than ignoring a child while they have a fit.
    Just my thoughts, I’m in my second trimester with my first now so we will see if all my observations make good for me…

  • Blogging Mom Kelly January 4, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Oh man could I have used this a few years ago! we just finished potty training and he turned 3 today – whew! But we have a 7 month old so, there’s always a chance to do it right!

  • Karla Duran January 6, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Excellent article. Thanks

  • Arwen Robertson January 7, 2013 at 5:30 am

    I have an 10.5 month old, and we’ve been putting her on the potty since she was 5-6 months old to poop. Not because we’re trying to train her, but because she has such a hard time pooping. I think strait up fiber would constipate my child. But the potty made it so much easier for her to go. I can’t remember the last time we changed a poopy diaper.

    I haven’t tried to put her on for pee, but she did pee in the potty a couple weeks ago while she was doing her business. I clapped and told her pee-pee. She just cried. She hates pooping. =( I might try letting her be diaper free when she starts walking, see how that goes.

  • Barbara January 7, 2013 at 5:32 am

    This is wonderful since our girl has Down syndrome we find routine is crucial to skill development. Happy to have seen this!

  • Hilda January 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Hi and thank you soo much for your tips! i do have a question my oldest is now 2-1/2 years and doesn’t want to use the pottty. She began speaking around 10-11 months and can very well explain everything in detail to me; however, when it comes to going to the potty she refuses refuses and refuses. she sees me using the potty i will ask her where she has to go pee pee and poo poo she proudly says the potty but she will never let me know. When she is going she doesnt hide and hardly pauses what she is doing. I am hoping you have some tips for me on how I can get her to go and sit on her potty and finally potty train her!
    Thanks so much

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  • dorothy March 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    This is a great article. I am a mother of two and a Montessori certified Toddler teacher. I would like to add one thing to the list: Stand Up Diapering. As soon as my babies were able to stand, and for all children in my class, we change their diapers while they are standing up, at least for urine, not always for poop. This enables the child to help push pants down and pull them up, so that, when you move into potty training, they already know this important step. This also makes it easier to invite the child to sit on the potty with each change as they are already standing on the floor and can just walk over to the potty or toilet. Lastly, it is more dignified and they feel more grown up, which also encourages them to use the toilet. Well written article, I will share it!

  • LJacobs March 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Very nice article. I like the idea of EC but it would not be for me- just too difficult for my temperament. These are nice compromises.

    I would like to add a warning- remember that these are meant to be, and must be used in, a child-developmentally friendly way. That means the responsibility for ‘mistakes’ should lie with the adult, and there should not be pressure on the child to ‘train early’. That attitude led to a lot of unhappy kids – and moms- and resulted in the more current ‘no hurrying’ approach. What is more important than when your child potty trains is how- and it should be gentle and as stress free as possible. What I like about EC is that it places the expectations for being aware of when baby needs to go on the adult, not the child. What I like about the suggestions above is that they are geared to a gentler transition from diapers to potty.

    Parents should always keep in mind that this is not a race, you are not a good- or a bad- parent because of the age your child trains, and except in extreme cases (where other symptoms would be present) it is not a sign of your child’s future abilities!

  • Kimberly April 29, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Mine is more a question than a comment. I REALLY need advice.
    I am at a loss as to how to help my step-daughter.
    I have been in my “new family” for almost 3 years now. I am trying to potty train, believe it or not, a 10 year old… (sigh) Her mother does not care if she goes poopoo in her pants, she just tells her to throw out her underpants and get new ones. I and my husband have been trying to undo this habit ever since we got married. (if your wondering why he didn’t train her before it’s because he was not allowed to be involved in the process)
    My step daughter is a sweet child and has had times where she will stay clean for us and go to the bath room. Last summer in fact she was going to the bathroom all on her own then something changed around thanksgiving time and the messes started back up. We have tried everything we can think of… her response to when we ask her why she stopped going to the bath room is “I just don’t want to”
    My step son seemingly just out grew it… he is now 12 and stopped messing himself at age 10 but I think the idea of not being able to do things he wanted when he messed himself helped there, but we don’t know how to help my -step daughter.
    I really need help… I am not a birth mother yet (I am 25) and not had experience with this. my husband and I only have his kids on the weekends.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • domanmom April 29, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      Oh my. This isn’t really my domain and I don’t have any experience with anything like that, but it seems to me like there is an underlying issue you might need to deal with and it would be best to talk to the child’s pediatrician (to rule out any health causes to the problem) or possibly have her start seeing a therapist (to discover her underlying thought process and why she is doing this). Besides seeking that professional advice, the only advice I could offer is to start instituting natural consequences for the actions. The key word in training children in behavior problems is to start making the undesired action (in this case, going in her pants) COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. Meaning when she does something, it will have the OPPOSITE effect of what she was hoping for. For example, going in her pants is obviously more convenient and comfortable to her than going in the toilet. So in order to make it counterproductive, you would need to create an environment where going in her pants is INCONVENIENT and UNCOMFORTABLE. Some ideas I would personally try: going in one’s underwear would not only dirty the underwear but also make the pants she was wearing smell, and also if she was sitting, dirty wherever she was seated. So as soon as she goes in her pants (NOT later or she won’t relate going in her pants with the inconvenience), to make her solely responsible for hand washing her pants, washing the location she was sitting, hand washing her underwear (don’t let her throw it away), taking a full shower (do not just let her wash her bottom area, have her wash her entire body), and then have her clean and sanitize the shower (as well as the sink where she washed her clothes) afterwards because she has contaminated it with human feces which is very dangerous to spread. Having her go through this time-consuming process will hopefully cause her to rethink her actions: is it REALLY worth it to keep going in my pants and have to go through this hour-long cleaning process, or perhaps it would be in my best interest to simply walk into the bathroom and squat and wipe? I would also stop buying the new underwear: have her hand wash it thoroughly and sanitize it with bleach or some other alternative so it is CLEAN and sanitary, but it will still likely stain, get old looking very quickly because of the constant washing and sanitizing, and she will have to deal with having the gross underwear (it’s not a sanitation issue as it will be clean, it will just look unpleasant). Be prepared for resistance on her part, for sure, but hold your ground calmly but firmly, and ensure her that from this point on this is what will happen whether she is happy about it or not. I would recommend her father being the enforcer on this, as depending on your situation she might be resistant to you, and try to get mother on board. As long as you are allowing her to continue doing what is comfortable and convenient for her, you are ENABLING the behavior. It may stop one day on her own accord, but it might not, and it can be a really strong interference with her life as she gets older. She may learn to hide it in public but continue to do it in private, which could be very disturbing to any future relationships and cause her a lot of insecurity, poor self esteem, and depression – not anything that any parent wishes on their child, and if there was something that you could’ve done to prevent her from suffering, of course you would want to do it. Your best hope is to get rid of the environment where this behavior is convenient and replace it with an environment where the behavior is counterproductive, having the opposite result of what she was going for. Best of luck working out this issue with your husband, step-daughter, and her mother. [for anyone else reading this, I would only recommend this type of cleanup responsibility for older children: it would be inappropriate for toddlers and I am not advocating such steps for parents seeking solutions for their little children]

      • meg logan July 1, 2013 at 6:21 am

        I just want to support this method. I think it would really work. One point, you will probably find that if her mother continues to allow this, she will still do it at Mom’s house, but she will learn to control herself at Dad’s house.

        What a bizarre situation. The effort of cleaning up should be sufficient, even if you can’t keep the underpants (because her mother might keep buying it for her). Furthermore, I would not hesitate to instill a sense of shame (don’t go overboard relating it to HER being a BAD PERSON). Shame is thought of as a bad thing in our culture, but IMO, it is a natural feeling to help dissuade us from doing things we shouldn’t. and this is something she SHOULDN’T do. Not only for social issues, but for health! Shame can go a long way here… Apply it to the action, not the person, and always express that she can control this, and doesn’t have to do it. I’m sure you have already pointed out that OTHER people don’t do it,and will think it is gross.

  • Kimberly April 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you for your input.
    We are using this method and have consulted Drs. and other professionals, with no result.
    My husband and I do not allow her to throw her clothes and underpants away, as we are on a tight budget. We make some progress getting her to go on the weekends. But as we can not control what happens when she is with her mother, the few steps forward we make are undone as soon as she goes back over there.

    I did not mean to cause any trouble if I did, I am sorry. I am aware this was meant for mothers with infants. Was just hoping maybe someone may know how to help me get through. Thank you again.

    • mary cosper May 1, 2013 at 7:39 am

      I am so sorry for your situation. As you state, it is difficult to control things when the child is not in your care. I worked in a day care at one time, and I had a child come in every Monday with a horrid diaper rash. I would show the administrator, who would have me treat it. by Friday he was cleared up. come Monday he had a rash again. Why this continued I can’t say. Surely the administrator should have contacted CPS. Does your step daughter go to public school? If so, how does she do at school? Surely the teachers don’t allow this kind of behavior at school. Not to mention her peers. I had an accident once in the 3rd grade, my peers were merciless in their teasing. I never went to school sick again.
      This is an issue I would not let go. No child of this age should be allowed to be like this, unless there is a physical or developmental reason for it. To me, this sounds like the biological mother is being neglectful. If I knew more, I could offer more advice as I have a 12 yr old and a 6 yr old. I’ve also met many developmentally challenged children who have been potty trained. Hope I can help.

      • Kimberly May 1, 2013 at 9:45 am

        Thank you so so very much! I really appreciate having someone to talk to.
        Yes, my step-daughter does go to public school.It pains me to say this but she does it there as well. She has never truly been potty trained…. As I mentioned in my first post she did great last summer (on the weekends) up till thanksgiving time. She recently admitted she is always makes messes over there. She just takes off her clothes throws out the messed up underpants, gets a new pair and continues to do what ever she wants. When she is at school, she just puts underpants in her book bag and does the same there. However usually on Fridays , when we pick her up she is a mess because she has no extra underpants in her bag because her mother takes them out. So she sets in her mess all day. Not sure how no-one notices…

        If there is a way I could talk with you out side here let me know.

        • mary cosper May 1, 2013 at 9:59 am

          my email is mnorth94@gmail.com

        • meg logan July 1, 2013 at 6:26 am

          How does she feel about sitting in it all day? Is she comfortable with that?

          How can you get her on board with WANTING this? She must have some sort of self desire.

          I mentioned shame before, but motivation would be good too. Perhaps, you can find a way to reward her if she makes it all week at mom’s house, without messing. How you would know if she was telling the truth, well… I’m not sure…

          I’d love to chat with you more too, if you are interested. I have a degree in Psychology, and 6 kids… potty training and behavior issues are some of my favorite things to talk about. (I’ve helped many people with potty training and behavior issues via email.)

          meg at meg logan dot com

  • Potty Training Update: 22 Months | DomanMom.com May 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm

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  • Edlira May 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Very nice article. It works great and every mother should follow this.I started with this method when my son was about 5-6 months old. As soon as I saw him about to have a bowel movement i would hold him over the toilet and mention “poo poo”. By 8-9 months old he would tell me “poo poo” and I would take him to the bathroom right away. He never went on the potty as he got used to the big toilet so I use one of those over the toilet seats for kids.
    I’m very thankful and greatful to my mom who taught me this method.I haven’t had to change a dirty diaper since when my son was 9 months old. Even when we were in a shopping mall he would hold it till we would get to the bathroom.
    Again, great article which every mother should read and start with this method really early.

  • sunshine June 8, 2013 at 1:53 am

    I know this has probably been said already, but these tips definitely work. I did all of these with my son and he was trained around 14months.

    The one I think should really be stressed is letting your baby watch you go. I always let my son watch me go potty and would chat with him about what I was doing, even when he was too young to understand. I wasn’t even trying to potty train him at the time, just going into the bathroom with me made him happy. I thinking that watching really enforces the idea and, since toddlers like imitating mommy and daddy, it becomes something they want to do, rather than something they’re being forced to do.

  • Moriyah Shalom June 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    GREAT article! Thank you. So glad I came across this (through pinterest). My daughter is 21 months and I feel like I am starting late reading all this comments! A lot of what you suggested I am already doing it but not consistently. Actually, I was waiting for summer and until after we move, which will be in about a two weeks. I always heard not to potty train when there are big events. Thankfully, we are moving to a house that my daughter is familiar with as we have stayed there often so there won’t be a huge transition period. Thanks again! I am going to share your article on FB. And will start to follow you too.

  • meg logan July 1, 2013 at 6:32 am

    I wanted to let you know that I have used this method, or a very close resemblance for all 6 of my babies. My last baby (#6) is only 8mo, but he likes to go on the potty. I did use disposable diapers with most of my kids, and each child’s path looked a little different, but ALL of them (all 5 so far), were potty trained in the day time by the time they were 20 months old. This amazed all my friends, and annoyed some people who thought I must be sitting the child on the potty all day and “making” them go. HA… or the ever popular argument “Its the MOMMY who is trained”, non-sense. My 8mo knows when he goes, he even tries to hold it. Sometimes I find him in his bed, having taken his diaper off, but he is all dry… so I set him on the potty and he goes. He has gone both pee and poop in the potty, I suspect he may end up being the earliest trainer of them all.
    So far, my earliest was my first born son, I started trying to train him on his 1st birthday, he was daytime trained (diaperless, but needing help with pants), by the time he was 15 months old. It was fabulous!

    This is one of the best written articles on this subject I have ever seen. I have long wanted to write a potty training book… but, I think you’d be a better candidate! So clearly written, succinct, and simple! Excellent. I will be saving this and referring people here anytime they ask me questions! All wrapped up in ONE POST, instead of an entire book! awesome!

    Meg Logan

  • Damodar August 2, 2013 at 11:47 am

    My baby boy is 3mthns old now. He is not doing toilet for 15 days..and he feeding the milk nicely and also playin please advise me it is normal or I shld take him to the doctor.

    • Kirstin August 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      If your baby is not going on the toilet, that’s normal (most children don’t learn until 2 or 3 years old), but if your baby isn’t peeing or pooping at all, definitely see a doctor as soon as possible.

  • Pari September 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    My child is 3 years running boy .Before He used to have potty like in 1 year hardly but now nt more.He dnt like to potty and he usually have his stool hiding in the corner.I am too much worry about his this types of work.

  • Potty Training Mom’s Panel Pt. 1 – Real Potty Training Stories from Real Moms | Sow Sprout Play September 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    […] What was some of the best advice give to you about potty training?: Long before thought of potty training even crossed my mind, I came across this article. It has a lot of principles from “elimination communication”, but seemed less messy, more practical, and easy to implement. https://domanmom.com/2012/07/things-you-can-do-with-your-baby-to-make-it-easier-to-potty-train-later/ […]

  • Melanie Brady September 22, 2013 at 10:19 am

    We have been potty training our 20 month old twins for the past 7 days to some success. They understand the concept and the reward. But they have a problem getting there in time. We leave their diaper on for bed and nap, and we’ve given them underwear, and let them go naked. My question is: which is better, underwear or naked? Second, because the training has taken longer than the much talked about 3-day bootcamp, we’ve given them releases at the playground and kept them diapered; I’d say 2-3 times, also because we didn’t want a mess in the car. The playground is a zip down the street. We’ve thought it shows them that they can play as usual as we learn this new skill, not to hate it because they associate it with this strict routine of sitting every 15 minutes and/or listening to your body and stopping by the potty while running around to think, do I need to go? But, it could backfire in the way that they don’t think of it during their most carefree play / sleep. So, should we do the undies in the diaper idea if we go to the playground? Thanks!

  • Melanie Brady September 22, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Another tip: with boy / girl twins, we let them choose whatever undies, the girl wore boy Toy Story or boy Cars if she wanted to. The girls’ selection isn’t that great at this young of age, Buzz and Woody and Lighting McQueen are more interesting – with movies and books! – then Hello Kitty.

  • Meaghan September 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Bang on! We started putting our daughter on a potty at 10 months old to accustom her to having to sit before she was mobile enough to get up and leave on her own. Our next step was letting her know that our intention was for her to pee on the potty. We tried several ways which included a potty in the kitchen and a bare bum because she hated how the pee splashed on her when it hit the floor. I agree too on the idea that if you try and prevent pooping in the diaper, they don’t become comfortable with the feeling of sitting in it. I believe this is why she was potty trained to poop long before she figured out the pee thing. We finally cut out day diapers completely at 18 months, which was the final push everybody needed to finalize the process. We met a lot of negativity from people who said it was too early, which we did not agree with. It was a lot of work, especially when you just felt too lazy to be consistent after a long day. I read somewhere that before disposable diapers 95% of kids were potty trained by 18 months. But just for reference, it was not an easy, straightforward process. We got frustrated and had to modify what we were doing many times to what worked for her!

  • Kate Bishop October 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Some great tips there. Basically I think that modern society’s notions of what’s “right” or “clean” or “correct” get in the way of actually dealing with the fact that we’re all built from the same template and all poop every day!

    I re-posted an article recently that said that 90% of toddlers were out of nappies by the time they were 2 in the 1940s/50s but now it’s more like 4 years old… this is what we call progress!

  • Lindsay October 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Any advice for those who want to train their kids and you can never tell when they are going. We put the potty out a while ago and my daughter likes to sit on it but we can never tell when she is going so I am not able to take her there to show her. She has a lot of food sensitivities that give her BAD diaper rash. I feel terrible when she gets a rash, we’ve tried everything including cutting out dairy which has helped a lot. I feel the issue will not be fully resolved until she is potty trained. She is now 17 months and I would like to start training her ASAP. Any advice? I am thinking of just taking the weekend and staying mostly in our kitchen so she can be with her diaper off and figure out what the sensations are. Then I will for sure know when she is going and can have her sit on the potty. She is very smart and I think she will pick up on it quickly.

  • Babies, Who Knew? December 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm

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  • Brandi January 8, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Wow. This blows my mind that people don’t already know this stuff … Wait no it doesn’t because most people are beyond stupid these days. Seriously, how dumb can a person be?? Hmmm let’s see… Early association with words and then sitting a baby on potty instead of watching him crap himself, naked time spent learning his body and watching adults potty, shouldn’t this all go with out saying??
    Americans are dumb and weird.

  • kristen January 10, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    any suggestions for if your not home but out and about and trying to do this? obviously may not be close to toilet to put them on if you catch them starting to go…….

  • Erin August 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I have to tell you that I credit this post with the success we had in potty training my son. He pooped on the potty sporadically (sometimes pretty regularly, other times not) from about 18 months, increasing in regularity until we finally decided to ditch the diapers at 28 months.

    He has had two poop accidents ever. Two. Potty training was simple. It was never a battle or a struggle. It was just a natural progression, thanks the the (very simple!) steps we took when he was younger.

    I share this post with all of my friends (with babies) regularly! Thanks for taking the time to write it out for all of us moms muddling through these early years.

    • domanmom April 24, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience! Good news like this is great to hear.

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  • Bhargavi April 24, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Amazing post. I was wondering how to get my baby girl started she is already 9 months. YOu have covered almost every aspect I was looking forward tog et info on.

    Great going Elisabeth.

    • domanmom April 24, 2015 at 9:37 am

      9 months is a great age to start with the above-listed tips. Good luck!

  • Love Shak, Baby » What To Do Now To Make Potty Training Easier Later July 8, 2015 at 12:44 am

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  • Valerie August 16, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    These are great tips! My daughter is 7 months old & once she started sitting up on her own I started sitting her on the toilet naked every time I went to the bathroom & before I change her. She goes potty a lot & always looks down to see what’s going on. I’m thinking at this rate we will have no issues with potty training! Thank you so much

  • Rachel November 17, 2015 at 5:53 am

    Hi there im a mother who needs help my 8/1/2 month old baby boy is screams and panics everytime he goes for a poo ive been to the doctors and to city doctors and to the hospital and they keep telling me he is fine,im getting really worried that it could be something to do with his bowels please help me and I’ve ask for a referral to check his bowels to see if they are ohk and they haven’t got back to me i need some answer for what to do

  • Gina November 28, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Oftentimes they are little different than small animals and harder to train. Naked time is great until baby cuts loose with a bm on the new couch; it happened to hubs and me. Then they shriek and scream for reasons unknown…

  • Kristin December 12, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Amazing article! Genius, this makes total sense! Thank you!

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  • carla April 23, 2016 at 4:51 am

    Thanks for the tips!!! I’ve been living in Japan for the past eight years and just had my first baby. I’d never even heard of elimination communication until today!!
    I’m still not entirely sure what it involves but your tips seem reasonable and almost a bit too obvious! Like why do we teach babies diapers are right, then suddenly they are wrong.
    So I appreciate your post and will try these with my boy. He just turned 9 months old so I think I’m just in time!!
    I can’t wait to try these tips! I gotta go buy a potty!

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