Potty Training Essentials & Tips

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It’s been almost two and a half years since I potty trained my daughter in four days at 26 months.  Once we finished those four days, she never ever looked back!  With that total success, and with my son (22 mo) on the brink of being ready, I’ve devised and revised some of my favorite potty training tips for other parents.

Potty Training EssentialsHere’s what I consider potty training essentials and/or what I’d recommend when undergoing the process:

  • Foam hand soap – it just makes hand washing more fun, and makes hand-washing easier.  You can always check for coupons to print before you head to purchase!  😉
  • Keep towels for drying hands on counter in reach, if your towel holder is too high; I still keep hand towels on the counter for my now 4.5 year old daughter.
  • Potty seats for the big potty, as well as little portable potty chairs, because you never know what might interest him most!  When you’re on the go, consider a foldable potty seat.
  • Step stools — for the sink, for the potty, for each bathroom he’ll be using; some portable potties double as step stools.  If your child uses the big potty, you’ll definitely want something to plant his feet on, to make going a little more comfortable.
  • LOADS of paper towels. No explanation needed.
  • Throw in a good pair of gloves, preferably disposable.
  • You’ll want to invest in at least a few packs of toddler underwear. I think I started with three packs for Carol: one with princesses, and two generic packs. On the first day, I constantly reminded her to keep the princesses dry.  Here are some girl panties and here are some cute boy undies.
  • panty liners – yep.  You read that correctly.  Place one towards the back of the undies (where the fanny lies) to help minimize -um- skid marks.  Thanks Lady Poppins for sharing this tip!
  • Lots of fresh, juicy fruits. We lived on cantaloupe, watermelon, and milk that week!  This is essential if you utilize Three Day Method.

Robbie Potty w Blankie

Not necessarily things you’ll need, but my additional two cents on potty training essentials and tips:

  • Make sure your child has the physical skills.  Well before you start potty training, begin working on, and encouraging child to pull pants up and down – when undressing and when changing diapers.  Getting them involved in the steps also helps her feel more independent and in control of the process.Potty Training Essentials - Motor Skills
  • Keep your laundry room available. You WILL be washing those cute li’l undies at least a few times during the process.  This means you may need to shuffle your laundry schedule a bit.
  • Have as much prepped ahead of time as possible. On day one with Carol, I turned my attention to preparing our (simple) lunch, and that’s when she stood on her little chair in the kitchen and peed all over the seat, because she couldn’t tell me in time, and because I didn’t pay attention to follow her cues.  (Remember what I said earlier about paper towels and gloves?)
  • If you use the Three Day Method, you’ll want fun activities, but you can’t get *too* involved in activities because they’ll forget to go potty! Pull out puzzles she hasn’t seen in a while (or new ones), introduce new library books, dolls, trucks, etc – things that could even be brought in to the bathroom while she goes potty.
  • Incentives.  Of course, it’s always best to start something like this with non-tangible rewards (verbal praise, high fives, phone calls to loved ones, “happy dance and song”, etc.), but just in case that doesn’t fully motivate your tot, have small tangible rewards  at the ready.  M&Ms are popular, as are animal crackers, stickers, and other small trinkets.  Consider creating a rewards chart.  Sometimes, the simple act of placing a sticker on a chart is rewarding enough, but pair it with an additional small prize after so many stickers, and you’re golden!  Check out these cute potty training charts here.


Keep your eyes on the prize: no more diapers!!  Commit to ditching the diapers, and don’t look back.  Investing in this time with your child, in taking this big step will pay off HUGE in the end!

Got any additional tips to add on potty training essentials?  I’d love to hear from other seasoned potty trainers what’s worked. Leave a comment here on the blog, so others can see.  🙂

Keep on saving!  :o)

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**


  1. Too cute!! My son is still too young but we are already looking forward to it!!

    • Barbara says:

      Bernetta, Me too! As soon as everyone is well, and I can carve out 4 days to stay home, we are going to potty town! 😉

  2. These are awesome tips. Love it!! This will help out a lot of parents.

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