Toilet Training Tips for first Time Parents

Potty training is a highly anticipated but dreaded time in the life of a new parent.  Parents have conflicting feelings about potty training because it marks their toddlers making their first steps towards being big boys and girls.  However, it also marks the end of buying diapers, changing your child on those horribly uncomfortable public changing tables and having to throw out stink bombs every day.

There are a few simple tips to make potty training less stressful on both you and your child.  The process can even become fun and exciting instead of shaming and criticizing your child all day.


Candy incentives are a great tool in potty training, but it’s important to adhere to a few simple rules when it comes to bribing.  Make sure to keep candy incentives small.  Two or three small candies will suffice.  Giving your child a long lasting candy like bubble gum or a large sucker can work against you because the incentive can last longer than you’d like.  It can also hinder their regular eating routine. 

Also, make sure to limit their treats for only when they correctly use the potty.  Giving them treats throughout the day won’t make the act of getting candy a special event.  Also, make sure to hide the treats out of sight.  A visible candy stash can turn into a screaming and pointing temper tantrum.  Hiding the candy will limit stresses and hinder the event of your child grabbing candy periodically through the day without your knowledge.

Candy is not always the right bribe for your child.  Sometimes kids are simply uninterested in treats or chocolate.  However, an incentive isn’t just limited to candy.  Depending on the child, the right bribe is catered to each individual.  Bring out that favorite toy you hid because it was just too noisy or obstructive and it can become a great incentive for potty training.


Sticker charts for potty training is a great way to give your child the feeling of achievement.  There are different charts with stickers, stars, Velcro pieces or favorite cartoon characters.  Another way to use stickers for potty training is to attach the sticker on their shirt.  The stickers will become badges of honor that they can be proud of. 

Make it a game

Potty training doesn’t have to be stressful for your kids.  Making it a game is a great way to make it less scary for them.  Babies R Us has a Potty Watch Toilet Training Timer that reminds kids to use the potty with music and flashing lights.  It comes in pink or blue and is a great alternative to pleading with your child to sit on the potty. 

Little boys tend to have a harder time potty training, but making it into a game can be very appealing.  Piddlers Toilet Targets are dyed, flushable rings that can be used as little targets for your little boy to aim at.  Another great trick is to use a Cheerio, Fruit loop or a dot of red nail polish.

Show them

There are a variety of different products designed to show kids the process of potty training.  Depending on your child’s preference for learning, there are potty training dolls, books and videos. 

Little boys can sometimes feel intimidated standing to use the potty.  It can help them to actually see another male to show them exactly what to do.  This is when you call on Daddy to help teach your little man how to stand to use the potty.

Regardless of the method you choose to toilet train your child, it’s important to use positive reinforcement throughout the process.  An abundance of praise and love for each time they use the potty is the best way to further encourage their use of the potty. 

The process can be an extra bonding time between you and your child.  Although it may be a struggle in the beginning, it won’t take long before your child starts to use the potty all by themselves.  This is a pivotal moment in their lives so it’s important to make it a positive experience.