36 answers

Potty Training My 2 Year Old

I would like to get my son into Preschool in September. The only way they'll accept him is he's potty trained. Any tips? Thank you in advance.

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i just started potty trainning my 2 year old son too. Pull ups don't work. I had to go straight to briefs. He did have a few accidents the fist few weeks. but after being consistant with taking him to the bathroom and him feeling how uncomfortable it is to be wet, he is now pretty much fully potty trained.

I don't have any magic advice, except pass on some hope that my cousin shared with me when I was trying to potty train my 3 1/2 yr old son--no one goes to 1st grade in diapers! I think the key is to be consistant and not give up. When my son would go in the toilet we called everyone on the phone and make a huge deal out of it. Good luck!

I just finshed potty training my 2 yr old daughter and a sticker chart is what worked best for her. You can find printable charts online, some with their favorite characters on them. She would get a sticker in the begining just for sitting on the potty. I had to take her about every 20 to 30 minutes to get her used to the toilet. The also like the idea of having big girl/boy underwear on. You will have some accidents.. Good Luck and I hope this gives you a start to potty training.

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Hi B.! I just potty trained my youngest child about a week ago (she is 2.5) so the process is still fresh in my memory. What I did with her was to wait until I thought she was ready to do it. By that I mean, she is not quite as "terrible" of a terrible 2 as she used to be - she is fighting me less and less on every little issue. I think potty training a child who is going through a very negative phase just doesn't work!

Anyhow, so once I decided she would be ready, I took 2 days off work before the weekend. (Or if you can't take off work, whoever watches him during the day could do this.) I told her the day before, "Isabelle, we have run all out of diapers! I don't have ANY more! So tomorrow you will have to use the big girl potty." And then the next morning, I actually let her run around without underwear or diapers. (At first she cried and begged to have a diaper on, but I stood firm that we were ALL OUT!) With her bottom bare, she could feel immediately if she had to go to the bathroom. And I just kept on her every 20 minutes or so until she went in the potty. I offered her lots of water and juice so she would have to go a lot, and then would really heap on the praise whenever she would go in the potty. We had a few accidents the first couple of days, but by day 4, she stayed dry all day! (With the accidents, I tried not to make a big deal of it except to say, "oops! Next time when you feel like you have to go, run to your potty!" When she went back to preschool the next day, she did not have any accidents either. (Not even during naptime, which surprised me.) I still do put a diaper on her at night. For me, the real key is the bare bottom - for some reason when they are first learning to use the potty, underwear can confuse them into thinking it's fine to pee-pee or poo-poo there. But with the little bare bottom, they don't want to pee on their legs so they make it to the potty.

With my older daughter, potty training was much easier. The day she turned 2, I told her that going pee-pee and poo-poo in her diaper was yucky, and pointed out that mommy and daddy do not wear diapers, we use the potty. Then I showed her the potty chair, took off her diaper, and I swear the child potty trained herself in about 4 hours. (It's like she was born 40 years old though, that's just how she is.) So you can imagine my surprise when that didn't work with child #2, LOL!

Anyhow, good luck in your potty training adventure! It is hard at first but you just have to stick to it and let your little guy know that there's no turning back! He will be so proud of himself when he is using the potty and is a "big boy."

1 mom found this helpful

I don't have any magic advice, except pass on some hope that my cousin shared with me when I was trying to potty train my 3 1/2 yr old son--no one goes to 1st grade in diapers! I think the key is to be consistant and not give up. When my son would go in the toilet we called everyone on the phone and make a huge deal out of it. Good luck!

Hi. I am not a mom yet but I have worked in preschools with toddlers for 6 years now. i recommend taking a long weekend to let him run around naked and take him to the potty often (every 1-2 hours). So many parents tell me that this is how they were able to get the process started and once they get it the appeal of "big kid" underwear is a strong motivation. Good luck!

I have a boy and girl. What I've learned (not just from my kids, but from other moms) is that boys take longer than girls to potty train. So, I'd start as late as possible. That being said, one method that you could try is "going commando" during the summer. Start in like July and just let him run naked all the time (mostly outside of course). That way, he gets used to what it feels like when he pees and poops and you and he can both become aware of his patterns. A word of caution, however - if he's not ready, he's not ready. And you definitely don't want to make it a power trip. If he knows this is imporatant you you he likely will resist. So make it fun and light-hearted. Also, enlists the help of his dad. Boys identify strongly with their dads. So, make a plan and try to be consistent between the 2 of you.

Hi B.,
September is not around the corner yet, so don't worry too much. My son did the same thing, we registered him for preschool and a week before he started school, he started going to the bathroom by himself. We started giving him rewards every time he went (little hot wheels cars,) and he responded to those. He enjoyed getting them. We also told him that he couldn't go to that school if he didn't go to the bathroom by himself. We had taken him to see the school and what he would be doing when he got there and he wanted to go, so that was a motivation too. Just keep it positive and fun and have everyone involved in taking care of him to do the same thing. Good luck and don't worry! E.

As some of the other gals said, 2 is a little young, as he may not know he's going until after he's gone and the diaper is wet. Schools for children 2years 9 months and above are reqired by their licenses to only take potty trained children (at least in California), so finding a daycare or preschool licensed for younger children may be a better idea.

When my sister potty-trained her 2.5 boy (now 30 and coming home from Iraq soon!) she said very little about "accidents" and rewarded successes with a sticker in a little book of spiral bound index cards. When I would stop by to visit, he and I would count the stickers together and I would encourage. As a long-time preschool teacher, my advice to moms was always that they get trained first. Take him to the toilet or potty chair (sometimes the lower potty chair is a more secure place to sit than up in the air on the toilet with feet hanging down) every half hour or so when you are home. Get other care-givers on the plan, too, so it's a joint effort. Praise a lot when he succeeds, but just say "what a bummer - let's get you dry clothes" when he has an accident. Make it a matter of training rather than a matter of discipline. Also, watch him so you see the signals that he needs to go - at first, you will know he needs to go before he does. As he matures, he will know before he has to go - right now he probably only knows when he is going or has just gone. You can count those stickers together (start a new page every day)and reward when he reaches 5 or 10 - keep the rewards simple and inexpensive. When he has some degree of regular success and can go a whole day without accidents (nights will take longer to accomplish), plan to buy big boy pants when he makes a certain number of days. On those discouraging days, remember that very few kids start kindergarten not potty trained. Another idea - visit the preschool - don't leave him there - and leave before he's really ready to go. Then explain in just a few words that big boys and girls who go to preschool have to be able to use the big potty there. Just be matter of fact and don't bribe or threaten. God bless.

We brought a potty into the house at 15mos, and we went through a few weeks of potty use and a few months where my son wouldn't go near the potty. He just decided one day ~27 months after changing to a school where a few kids were potty trained that he wanted to use the potty.

My suggestion is that if you have a friend of similar age who is potty trained - peer pressure worked for us.

Boys can take longer to potty train than girls - and it's one thing that you don't want to make an issue out of. Your son may not be ready/interested now, but over the next several months, you can suggest sitting on the "potty" to him, and put him in underwear on days that you will be at home with him so that he can feel what it's like to be wet. If he doesn't take to it, just drop it and try again the next month.

I was able to place my son into the YMCA preschool at 2 years 9 months, not fully potty trained, although it was a requirement. I talked to the director and she told me not to worry about it - just to bring extra clothes/underwear as they do not do diapers. When he first started he wet every other day and they just changed him and put the wet clothes into bags. As they are really scheduled when they have the kids go to the bathroom, my son soon learned to become potty trained at school. It was gradual - he'd have a couple of accidents a week for about the first three months. And now that he's 3 years old, he does not have accidents at school anymore. So, be sure to talk to the director of the preschool and see if they can accommodate your son if he doesn't get fully potty trained by Sept.

Hope this helps -- good luck!

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