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Potty Training Secrets From a Mom of 8

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Potty training. These words often strike fear in the hearts of parents all over the world, but they don’t have to. As a mom of 8, I have potty trained six kids thus far. And, I’m more than willing to share my potty training secrets with you because no one wants to struggle with potty training.

This next summer I’ll be putting them to use again, at least most likely, as we embark on potty training our beloved number seven.

I’m going to keep this short, sweet, and to the point because if there is one thing we don’t need when looking for secrets it’s a long-winded explanation of anything.

And, I’m guessing if you’re looking for potty training secrets it’s most likely because you’re already a bit frazzled.

So with that, here are my potty training secrets from a mom of 8!


(this post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you)

Secret #1

First, know that everyone is ready at a different age. Potty training is a physical thing, and there is a physical connection that needs to be made within the brain prior to being able to be potty trained. Because this happens at a different age for each and every kid, the timing will always be different.

Secret #2

Second, potty trained means that your kid can recognize when they have to use the bathroom. Then, they can get there without having an accident along the way.

Secret #3

Also, if it is anything other than #2, your kid isn’t really potty trained. This means that if you are asking your kid every 10 minutes if they have to use the bathroom, you are the one who is trained whether they are keeping their underwear dry or not. Because I’m guessing you are already potty trained, you don’t need to practice on your kid.

Secret #4

Potty training starts long before any attempts at using the potty are made. Potty training starts when your kid starts exhibiting any of these major indicators:

  • hiding to do their business in their diaper
  • only going a little at a time in each diaper
  • asking to be changed
  • staying dry for longer stretches of time on a regular basis

Secret #5

When a few of the above indicators are present, it’s time to get them some really cool underwear that they’d love to wear. Show it to them, and that’s it.

Secret #6

Then, every few days, ask them if they want to wear the underwear. Whatever their answer is, be cool with it.

If they say yes, you say something like:

  • great, we’ll work on it soon
  • ok, well we will wait just a bit longer

If they say no you say something like:

  • ok, that’s cool with me

Secret #7

Leave it alone. Seriously, at this point, don’t mention it anymore for a few days. Then, just repeat secret #6 until…

Secret #8

Wait until your kid asks begs you to wear the underwear, more than once. Try it sooner, and you’ll most likely have a disaster on your hands.

Secret #9

When you’re ready to try it, make sure your kid knows that they are to use the potty and that only one accident will be allowed. Then, you stand behind that statement. If there’s an accident, they only get one.

Secret #10

If there’s more than one accident, they go back in diapers. But, you DON’T scold them or make a big deal about it. Really, this needs to be ok with you.

Secret #11

Start back at #8. If you try to do anything different, rush it, or force them into it, you’ll again have the disaster on your hands.

Secret #12

There can’t be any time length that is too long to wait. Don’t force it, don’t be frustrated, and certainly don’t let your kid know that you’re irritated by the diapers. Secret #12 means that patience truly is a virtue.

Secret #13

In potty training all 6 of my kids, I’ve only had one who needed to go back in diapers. When following these secrets, each kid was potty trained within three days. For the one who did have more than once accident, there was only that one time that he went back in diapers. After that he was a pro.

Secret #14

Your kid won’t be graduating from college in diapers. Really, I promise. Let that thought keep things in perspective for you, it really helps.

Secret #15

You can do it

Secret #16

Furthermore, your kid can do it

Secret #17

Patience is key. Thus, if you remember nothing else, let it be this!

It really can be this simple to potty train your kid.

As a mom of three teens these days, I can tell you that the opportunities to have things to fight over will be many.

Do yourself a favor and don’t make potty training one of them. There’s just no need for it.

Even better, by following these secrets you’ll come out on the other side with a potty trained kid and a relationship that hasn’t been compromised in the process.

The truth is:

Potty training is not a fight, it’s a biological process that your kid must be ready for in order to complete. If you didn’t yell at your baby for waiting too long to smile, it’s really no different. Don’t yell at them for being a bit slower on the potty training spectrum if that’s where you feel that they fall.

These potty training secrets are just what you need to have a kid who is fully potty trained in just a few days and without tears, frustration, or a damaged relationship.

If you discover that you’re somewhere in the middle but your child just isn’t ready, no worries. Just step back and start with these secrets, leaving whatever you were doing by the side of the road. After all, it wasn’t working, was it?

And because sometimes having things right where you need them when you need them, I created a printable version of these secrets.

Just fill in your email below to have them sent right to you!


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