Oh the joy of potty training…This short-lived stage in your motherhood journey can feel like an eternity of frustration, failure, and fatigue….in addition to the pee and poop of course!

But what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be such a struggle…and that you can potty train your child with ease?! To help you get closer to your dream of dry pants and eliminating diapers from your monthly budget, I have identified the top 6 potty training mistakes I see parents make in my pediatric behavioral clinic. Avoid them and you will be on your way to potty training bliss! In addition, be sure to download our 25 Potty Training Hacks Guide for even more potty training solutions.

The 6 most common potty training mistakes:

1. Starting too early

Before starting a potty training program, ensure that your child is truly ready! Are they showing interest in the potty? Do they seem to notice or feel uncomfortable when they are wet/soiled?

Want to know the other readiness markers you should be looking out for? I got you covered…Download our Reality Check-List to determine if your child is ready to begin a toilet training program.

2. Failing to Consider if You are Ready

Family readiness is so important when trying to determine if you should start potty training your little one. However, often times families will embark on a toilet training journey without thoroughly considering their current family circumstances. Toilet training requires a huge time commitment and a lot of effort. Therefore, it is best to hold off on potty training if you don’t think you are ready to commit to it. Also, consider if you have any major changes or life events coming up? Moving? About to have a new baby? Traveling? These things can disrupt toilet training progress. To help determine if it is the best time for you and your child download our Reality Check-List.

3. Inconsistency

Inconsistency across environments (i.e., daycare vs. home), people (i.e., mommy, daddy, grandma, etc.), potty training protocols and expectations often makes failure inevitable and sends mixed messages to your little ones. Consistency is the key! Create a plan, stick to it, and be sure to get everyone on the same page.

4. Losing Your Cool

Far too often, parents get upset when their child begins to have accidents. I get it and understand first hand that accidents can be frustrating. However, accidents are bound to happen and its okay. In fact, early on in the toilet training process accidents are teaching opportunities. Your child is learning when, how, and where to void appropriately.  Keep calm, grab a mop, and potty train on!

5. Using Diapers & Pull Ups

Toilet training programs also unravel when parents switch back and forth from underwear to diapers/pull ups. In my clinical practice, this is one of the top mistakes I see parents making. Parents often feel the urge to put their child back in pull ups or diapers when their child is having accidents or during moments of convenience (i.e., when out in the community, visiting family, etc.). However, those moments of convenience will likely set your child back long term. Diapers and pull-ups are “wearable toilets” and give your child a green-light signal to pee and poop in them. This goes back to the inconsistency and mixed messaging that were mentioned previously. Ditch the diapers, address why the accidents are occurring, and stay prepared with extra clothes if accidents occur.

6. Over-prompting

The ultimate goal of potty training should be for your child to self-initiate and independently use the toilet. In other words, your child should be getting up and walking to the bathroom (or requesting to go) and completing the toileting routine on their own (of course the level of adult assistance that is required varies by age and child). However, this independence is often undermined when constant prompts and reminders are provided (i.e., asking “do you need to go potty?”). Too many prompts will result in your child being dependent on your reminders to go potty rather than the sensation of a full bladder. This will result in frequent accidents. During the early stages of potty training prompts are necessary but be sure to quickly fade (decrease) your prompts as soon as you can.

Remember, if you want even more potty training solutions, download our 25 Potty Training Hacks Guide. Just click the link below!