Potty Training Prep is Not Just for Your Toddler. Here’s How to Prepare YOURSELF for Potty Training


Do you like to dive in and go when it comes to new things, or do you prefer to think things through and prepare? 

When it comes to potty training – and most other things in life – I prefer the think, plan, and prepare method. 

We can spend all day talking about how to best prepare the child for potty training, but what I think is more important is to talk about how YOU can best prepare. That is, prepare for potty training both physically and mentally. 

Yes, I’m talking about making sure you have all of your needed supplies – plenty of pairs of underwear, extra clothes, cleaning supplies, rewards, preferred beverages, step stools, toilet insert potty seat, activities to do in the bathroom, a timer, 

etc. – but I want you to also make sure that you prepare your mind and you prepare your heart for this next big step in your toddler’s life. 

Step One is to get your needed supplies. That’s important, and you have to have those. So check that box when it’s done. 

Step Two begins the process for preparing yourself mentally. You need to know your method, your how-to of potty training. While I have my favorite method – and FYI, this is the method that I’ve taught hundreds of parents and what I use in my own home – you can jump on the internet and find plenty of different options for how to begin.

 But let’s break it down more simply. Ask yourself, “How will I respond when _____” and fill in the blank.  

It’s one thing to have a method, and it’s an entirely different thing to KNOW your method, and for you to best prepare, I want you to KNOW your method. 

I want you to know how you will respond when your child goes pee pee on the potty. 

I want you to know what you will do when your child has an accident. 

I want you to know how to respond when your child isn’t going on the potty; maybe she’s holding it. 

What will you do when your child is just playing during potty training? Will you follow her around? Ask her if she needs to go? Prompt her to ask for the potty? Or wait for her to make a move? 

I imagine that there are plenty of parents out there who just wing potty training. They jump in somewhat blindly and hope the best happens. This is not my recommended way of doing potty training because at that first accident you’re suddenly in a panic with what just happened, how to prevent it, and how to get your kid to actually go pee on the potty… and you find yourself not knowing how to answer any of those questions. 

But when you have a method and when you KNOW your method, you know how to respond, or at least you can reason through it and prevent your own crisis moment. Staying calm and in control is one of the important keys of potty training. Trust me. 

And Step Three, I want you to watch your expectations. 

Your child will likely not be potty trained in three days. Your child will likely have accidents, and this is actually a good thing. Your child may make progress and then take three steps back, and that’s okay. Your child may have good and bad potty training days. Your child is learning, and learning takes time. You can still be in control, even if things are not happening perfectly.

When we have the right expectations, the process is easier for us mamas. The weight of the process that we carry becomes lighter.

Sometimes when we see our children struggling our first response is to panic. We don’t like to see them struggle. We want this potty learning to come easily for them. We want it to be a breeze for them, because when it’s a breeze for them, it becomes a breeze for us. 

Give yourself the right expectations. Give yourself that mental pep talk at the beginning of each potty training day. It’ll bring so much more ease to your process.

Trust yourself. Trust your child’s learning. And trust the process. If you need to, be open to reaching out for help. I’m here for you.