19 Brilliant Hacks That Will Make Potty Training So Much Easier

Pretty soon their business won’t be your business.

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1. Use Cheerios to improve your son’s aim.

Put the Cheerio in the toilet bowl and tell your son to aim for it. He’ll have fun and learn how to pee in the toilet at the same time.

2. To stop your kid from freaking out when a public toilet flushes, put a Post-It over the sensor.

This will stop it from flushing while your kid is trying to go.

3. If your little one likes to unwind the entire roll of toilet paper, put it in backward (with the end facing the wall) — it’ll make it harder for them.

You can also put pre-ripped toilet paper into an empty wipes box to keep them from overusing it.

4. A “you shall not pass” sign can also serve as a good visual aid.

Though only older kids will be able to read the words, younger ones can color it and tape it to the wall.

5. If they do end up flushing too much paper and the toilet clogs, drizzle in a bit of Dawn dish soap, then slowly pour in a bucket of hot water from waist level.

The weight of the water can often help unlodge the clog.

6. Make a progress chart of times they’re successful, and let them put a sticker up when they do it right.

When they get enough points, they can win a predetermined prize.

7. Get a potty training kit together before you start, with the sticker chart, juice boxes, some candy and small rewards that they’ll love, their big kid underwear, and a potty training movie.

Show them the underwear before they start training, and explain that it’s special and that they’ll get to wear it when they learn.

8. This ingenious time saver for bed-wetting.

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Put a layer of puppy pads under their sheets, with another sheet underneath. If they have an accident, you can just peel off the soiled layer and throw it in the laundry.

9. Set a “pee-pee timer” for every 30 minutes to help remind your little boy or girl to try to go.

Just be ready for a Pavlovian effect — they might have to pee every time they hear the microwave go off!

10. There’s no shame in resorting to bribery. When your child sits on the potty on their own, start out with big rewards, like a little toy or ice cream, and gradually decrease to small awards, like M&Ms or jelly beans.

“The key is that when she goes to sit on the potty, and her pants are dry, that’s when she gets rewarded,” one mom writes. “If you start to reward for making pee/poop, that is when it can turn into a power struggle/control issue.”

11. If you prefer not to use candy, hit up the dollar store: Try stickers, stamps, coins for their piggy bank, or a toy set with multiple pieces for the bath, and let them have one or two for every time they go one or two. Hugs and songs can work too.

Be sure to make a big show of whatever their reward is. If it’s stickers, keep the poster near the potty. When their piggy bank is full, let them trade it in for a special reward: Watching a special movie, going to the park, etc.

12. Another incentive recommended is to let them pick out a poster they like, hang it in the bathroom, then cover up the good parts with a post-it note.

When they go, their reward is to remove a post-it or two.

13. Sing “Wipe, seat down, flush, wash your hands” to any melody to help them remember all of the steps.

You can even come up with a little dance to do along with it!

14. If they have an accident, have them help with clean up.

Have them rinse out their underwear, bring it to the laundry room or hamper, and change themselves. The chore will often stick in their mind as a tedious activity they want to avoid.

15. Save yourself some back strain by letting the little one wash their hands with the bathtub faucet (just make sure it’s not too hot).

16. Pantyliners can be a cheap alternative to Pull-Ups or potty training pants if they’re still having occasional accidents, or have been potty trained but are leaking once in a while.

17. For kids who are resisting wearing underwear, they’ll be extra excited to wear a pair custom-made for them with iron-on paper.

Print out their favorite characters using iron-on transfer paper, then iron them onto plain white underwear. Ta-da! Their own personalized collection.

18. Stick a disposable changing pad on the car seat to avoid constant cleaning up while accidents are still happening.

Huggies makes ‘em, but puppy pads work too and will often be cheaper.

19. Like everything else with parenting, don’t stress too much about it. Just remember: You’re not going to send your kid to college in diapers.

Elyse Lewin / Getty Images

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