Our Best Tips for Potty Training

November 18, 2019


Our best potty training tips! - M Loves M @marmar

I’m not going to lie…I was very nervous to potty train Augustine. We wanted to wait until after Corinna was born to help make the whole process less hectic, but she was still pretty young when we took the leap. While it was definitely a few taxing weeks, the whole process went so much better {and faster!} than I thought it would. Augustine adapted so quickly and we are so proud of him! To help make the process less intimidating for my mom readers, I wanted to share our best tips for potty training!

Our best potty training tips! - M Loves M @marmarOur Best Tips for Potty Training


Everyone told us that with boys the potty training process can take longer. My sister in law swore by the 3 day method and also said that the sweet spot was around 22 months. Well, when Augustine was 22 months last summer I was thinking he was far from ready. My best piece of advice is not to compare your child to another. Each child is so unique and different that it makes sense that their potty training experience would be too. Knowing that Augustine wasn’t quite ready yet, we decided to wait until after Corinna was born. In retrospect 2 1/2 would have been the perfect time for him, but with a newborn, I couldn’t even think about it. And a lot of my boy mom readers told me if you try too much before 3 the process is very long. So we planned to do it close to 3 but ramped up the timeline by a month or so once he started giving me the signs that he was ready.

Once Augustine started to let me know more consistently that he was going to the bathroom in his diaper, and even finding a spot to hide, I was like “ok this has to happen STAT!” I didn’t want to miss a window of opportunity so over the summer before he was 3 we were like let’s do it! I’d highly recommend this book since it was very helpful for us. I’d definitely suggest getting a book because it gives great guidance and a framework for the whole process. I watched YouTube videos and read blog posts, but seeing it all laid out made me feel more capable. In the book, there are 3 levels that need to be mastered on the way to potty training. For some, that might take 3 days, but for us {and maybe most people?} it takes a little longer. I think it took us a full month to really feel confident but after 2 weeks we were in a great groove. Just note: accidents will happen, even when you feel like you’ve made all this progress. Just keep going!

When deciding when to potty train, try to make sure you don’t have any big events going on. Sorry, the holidays may or may not be the best time if your child’s schedule will be disrupted. Also, make sure to have help so it’s not just 1 parent doing it solo! You need the encouragement and comradery, trust me! Plus, you’ll want someone to drink a glass of wine with after the loooooong first day! We planned a weekend where we had no plans, hyped it up a bit the week prior, and on the morning of we made it a big exciting thing to take off his diaper, throw it away because today we were going to learn how to use the potty! We took the clothes off {per the book’s instructions} and basically hung out in our kitchen ALL DAY LONG. It was exhausting, to be honest! I was so focused on whether he was needing to go, giving him water, and I learned quickly that he could actually hold it longer than I thought.

On the big potty training morning we presented him with this musical potty that his cousins used to. I feel like this potty made the whole process a lot more fun since it plays a song every time it’s used! I wasn’t interested in doing the reward system because I didn’t think it would work with Augustine, but this still felt like a fun element that made him excited to use it. The potty is a little small but it does work for our tall little guy! Even if you just use it for the potty training weekend, I’d recommend it! Augustine would get so excited when it would play the royal song. Nowadays, we mainly use this potty that is much more comfortable for him {great back support too!} and I’d highly recommend it. It’s also super easy to clean since it’s just two pieces.

For naps and bedtimes we did a pull-up which was something new for him so even though it probably feels like a diaper, we didn’t call it that. I think one time he asked why he couldn’t wear his underwear and we said the pull-up is for sleep since his body is still learning how to use the potty. He wakes up dry from naps about 98% of the time {and even did before we started potty training- another sign he was ready}. Probably 5 or 6 out of the 7 mornings he wakes up dry but I’m still keeping him in the pull-up for a little bit longer.

Of course, we had some accidents but I tried to prompt every 2 hours or so to sit and try to go. One of the biggesst reasons why I think this would have been more successful if we tried 6 months prior, was that Augustine was starting to get into an independent phase and didn’t love being as cooperative about sitting on the potty when I asked. But to be fair, I was asking every 90 minutes at first which was probably too often for his age.

Very quickly on the first day, I realized I needed to have a go to phrase. When he did have an accident I would almost say “Aw it’s ok!” and from what I’ve read you don’t want to say “it’s ok,” because that’s like giving permission. Instead, in a kind way, you want to tell them that tinkles/poo poo {whatever your words are, be consistent!}, goes in the potty not on the floor. I’d also start to say “Hold and Hurry” to myself so that I could tell him to hold it if he needed to go and hurry over to the potty. I guess one time I was like “RUN RUN RUN!” and it’s all Augustine could say for the rest of the day. Needless to say, be as calm as you can. They definitely pick up on your energy. Limit yourselves from the rooms you don’t want accidents in or get a bunch of those puppy pee pads. Funny enough, we got them although didn’t use them as much as I’d thought. Holding onto them for when we do transition out of pull-ups for sleepytime.

When we’re on the go we use this plastic potty seat cover {it comes with a carrying bag for cleanliness and discretion!}. We ended up getting another one to use on the potty upstairs because it fits easily onto the potty and we can even close the lid over it.

I think the most important thing to remember about potty training is that it will be over before you know it! The first month is hard because you’re hyper-aware, limiting errands, etc, but then it gets better and even easier. Sure, accidents will happen but just move past them in a loving and understanding way. Remember, learning how to hold it is something so new for them. The diaper is what they’ve known since basically their first hour of birth. Make the potty training process fun and exciting and let them know that you’re there to help them!

Do you have any must-know potty training tips? I’m sure we’ll be potty training Corinna before we know it!


P.S. You can check out Augustine’s latest updates here!

Augustine’s room details

photos by Vanessa Lentine