My Toddler Used the Potty! Now What?

Minnesota mom blogger

parenting advice baby dealspotty training advicebaby deals potty training adviceMy son, Haiden, picked up the sign for potty at daycare a few months ago. Since then, he’s occasionally wanted to sit on his potty chair or the regular toilet just for fun. Not wanting to hamper any future potty training efforts, I’ve been indulging him by bringing him to the bathroom every time he asks. Now, I feel really silly because I didn’t think he’d actually go!

Last night, Haiden was fussing right before bed and I asked him if he wanted to go potty, because sometimes that makes him happy (is that weird?). He stopped crying, sat down on the toilet and pooped almost immediately! I called for my husband to bring a treat for him, gave him a few chocolate chips and showered him with kisses and praise.

I was very excited last night, but I didn’t do anything different today because I’m not sure what to do from here! Should I start putting him on the potty more often? Should I wait until he asks to use it again? He’s 19 months old. My mom claims that I, along with my brother and sister, were all potty trained before we were 2 years old, but I’m reading a lot of current articles that are saying wait until the child is ready. What do you think “ready” means? Is 19 months really too early to start potty training? Did you potty train a toddler under 2?

I’m feeling like I brought this on myself, and now I’m desperately in need of advice! Do you have any tips for my husband and I?


  1. I would continue to encourage him. I always take my daughter to the potty first thing in the morning. If she absolutely refuses, I drop it. She is so stubborn, that it has to be her idea or it’s not happening. To prove this point, she will be 3 next month and still not fully potty trained. Continue to encourage, but don’t push. He will eventually put it all together.

  2. Don’t push it. As the pp said, encourage him as much as possible, but if he doesn’t want too, drop it. I tried PT my son at age 2, he went several times and I thought,”this is going to be easy.” Boy, was I wrong! I tried putting him on the potty several times a day and finally he got to the point that he flat out refused to sit on it at all. I tried pull-ups, big-boy underwear… everything. If he wasn’t wearing a diaper/pull-up, he would actually “hold it” as long as it took until I put one on him (for a nap or to bed for the night). What finally worked is that HE wanted to do it. I, too, was showered with the “you were potty trained by 3” phrase by multiple family members. I just tried to ignore all of that. Boys often take longer than girls. More importantly, remember he will eventually be potty trained. I promise he won’t be wearing diapers in Kindergarten. 🙂 Good luck!

  3. I’m sure you are going to get a lot of comments on this one! Definitely train! I trained both of my kids by 21 months, the first was trained in 3 days, the 2nd in two weeks both day and night. I used John Rosemond’s technique naked and $75. He says the best time to train is between 18 months and 26 months. You can go to his website or buy his book (or go to the library), making the terrible two’s terrific for instructions. Sounds like your mom would be a great resource too! You can do it!!!!

  4. courtney says:

    I would offer it up to him maybe a bit more then you were. If he is not in the mood, well just bypass that moment and try again later… But I WOULD NOT go half in and half out. Either you are going to or you aren’t. My neice was half in and half out trained and it took forever because it became a game.

    One thing I did read was is he waking up dry in the morning? When they are waking up dry they are proving that they can make it through the night holding it. But that could be something that comes with time.

    Good luck. Very exciting if he learns!

    • Oh, Courtney, that’s such good advice! I don’t want to push things, I think you’re right. If I’m inconsistent, he’s going to be even more inconsistent with me. Thanks!

  5. Sounds like he is showing signs of readiness!! Don’t be discouraged if you see setbacks, just be patient and keep rewarding! You are doing the right things!

  6. Kelsie started showing she wanted to be potty trained and even went potty on her chair several times but then she seemed to revert and no longer be interested. I would not be forceful with the “Lets go potty” Make it more Do you want to go potty? Mommy’s going to go sit on her potty, do you want to come sit on yours? And so on. We are just now in full on potty training. Kelsie has a potty chair, a poster for putting stickers up everytime she goes potty and we make it a big deal when she goes. High Fives! Stickers! I’m so proud of you! We even let her pick out big girl underwear.

    Good Luck!

  7. Mama Bear says:

    I agree with the others, don’t push things and be consistent. I have heard that if you start too early, you are only training yourself. Can he pull down his own pants? Is he aware of going? Just make sure that he is ready so that it ‘t turn into a battle. Good luck!

  8. I’m no expert here (my dd is 2.5 and still having a few ‘issues’ with it) but she’s trained pretty well for #1. I found that having her be naked and letting her have an accident helped. She was very upset when she peed on the floor and knew it wasn’t the right thing to do. She pretty much trained herself on it after that however she still has issues going #2 on it! Good luck!

  9. My son was a week shy of 4 years old when he pretty much decided he was going to use the potty. He was a pro in 24 hours. Pooping, peeing, you name it. I’m sure we could have done more earlier, but the ease at which it happened, which was when he was ready for it, more than made up for waiting that long. I just kept telling myself, he’ll be potty trained long before college, and let it go at that. So I’m a big fan of waiting. He’ll let you know. If he looks like he’s had it with the potty, let it go for awhile. He’s doing great, and so are you!

  10. I’d say you’re on the right track. Offer the potty more often. Encourage him, but if he’s not in the mood, don’t push it. It may be 2 steps forward, 1 step back, but it sounds like he’s on his way!

  11. Whenever someone asks about potty training I always praise the book Toilet Training in Less Than A Day by Nathan Azrin. We used it with our daughter, and were successful from the first day (seriously with only two accidents after that).

  12. Congrats! What you described is a form of elimination communication. If you google it you will find a lot of info on it. It’s just basically listening to your child’s cues and being attentive to his needs, so that if he feels he wants to go potty or you can tell he is about to go then you just put him on the potty. I have a sixteen month old that we’ve been practicing this with and we’ve been successful several times because we know when she goes and what the signs are that she might go-eventually she will make her way to the potty on her own.

  13. my daughter recently did the same thing- I was shocked! She has had the potty but never really used it, now she has peed in it twice and ‘almost’ went number two in it but got exited and ran LOL

  14. Just keep asking him if he needs to go, or everytime you change his diaper, put him on the potty. If he goes pee or poop in the potty, reward him. It is very exciting when they start doing that.

  15. I found with my girls that it was best to take them out of diapers and pull-ups and into underwear or they really didn’t make the effort because they knew they could go in the diaper. When they have an accident in their underwear they are made aware right away and usually don’t like it. Definitely put them on first thing in the morning that’s the best time for them to ‘accidently’ pee in the toilet and they are usually really proud of themselves and want to do it again later 😉 If you find that your child still pees very frequent (can’t hold it for an hour or more) then they are not ready, they don’t have any control yet.

  16. my mom and sister trained my daughter while i was working for me, she learned in a matter of a few days and she was only a year and a half, they used money, every time she (and my nephew too, there the same age) went #1 she recieved a penny to be put in her bank.#2 she recieved a nickle.BUT if there was a accident SHE had to take money out and pay it back to them, same thing if was #1 she paid a penny , #2 was a nickle, and my meg loves her money lol. she did not like to have to give it back so about twice of paying it back and she learned! i think your doing a great job, hes showing that he is interested so keep up the great work !

  17. I have not potty trained a child yet. However, we are going to start with my 19 month old in one week. Did you know before disposable diapers the average age of potty training was 18 months!!! so i figure if children back then can do it why can’t my daughter (she is also cloth diapered). I am reading 3 books right now. They are all very similar but i want to choose the right concept for my daughter. I am pretty sure i am going to do the naked for 3 days training. I would go for training now. Like someone else said the optimal time is between 15-26(27) months. Good luck.

  18. I am with everyone else… go ahead and try! I started potty training my twin girls just after they turned two. Both of them were different, one could hold it much longer than the other and one was much easier to train when it came to pooping. I don’t think I agree with waiting until they are staying dry through the night though. Right now I have one that stays dry 24 hours and one that still wears pull-ups at night but does great during the day. For me it has been worth it to get her out of diapers during the day, even if we still use pull-ups at night for awhile! If he is showing interest… this is a great time to introduce potty training. Don’t get stressed if he doesn’t get it right away, and ALWAYS be positive and uplifting toward him. Oh yeah… pull-ups during the day did not work for us… my girls just treated them like diapers as soon as I put them on. We actually went naked (around the house and yard) for about the first month or so and then I actually put pants on them for awhile without panties because nobody else knew they weren’t wearing panties and it was much easier for them to get their pants up and down by themselves which in return resulted in less floor accidents from waiting too long and not getting pants and panties down fast enough. Good luck!!

  19. There is so much different information out there today about potty training. It is a bit confusing I think. I recently read a book called “Diaper-Free Before 3: The Healthier Way to Toilet Train and Help Your Child Out of Diapers Sooner” by Jill M. Lekovic. This book made so much sense to me. My daughter is 13 months old and we have already started potty training.

  20. Sounds like a good time to start. I have read recently that parents are waiting too long to introduce the potty.

    I started around 1 yr with my son. I gave him a cup to pee in when in the tub, & he started asking for the cup at other times. (don’t they always have to pee when their feet hit the water?)
    He was *mostly* trained by 2 yrs.

    Good luck!

  21. I have 3 children, all with different personalties. I potty trained them all before they were 2. I think sometimes we have too much information and “muddy” things with it. I think going back to basic (in all things) is the best. The first stages of potty training is more training and consistancy for the parents. Just stick with it. The problem with waiting until they are older, the stubborness is all that much more difficult (more developed). They also tend to be lazier as they get older, it isn’t as exciting and new. At this age almost everything is new and exciting and they try so hard to get it right and get the attention.

Speak Your Mind