EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Summertime Potty Training

Posted on: June 4, 2012

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Summer is a great time to concentrate on potty training!  Bathing suits, shorts, sundresses and casual play lend themselves to quick trips to the potty, easy clothes to handle and lots of chances for success!  If you have an older toddler or a 3-year-old still in diapers or pull-ups, now is their time to shine!

Here is some information and standard tried and true tips for potty training:

Typically, children in good health have potty success by the time they are 3 or are in their third year.  Potty success delays are typically due to illness, inconsistent adult support and/or mixed messages and life’s busy schedule that makes it “easier” to continue diapers or pull-ups even after children are ready, willing and able to use the potty with success.  The cost of these products is astronomical over the long run; a family’s time is worth so much more.

  • Once started, don’t go back on forward potty progress.  It has been my experience and my training that mixed messages don’t work.  When children start to wear underpants, diapers are gone. Children, at this point, know that cloth underpants are to keep dry as best they can.  Pull-ups, while parents find these convenient for bedtime and older toddler play, are diapers in the shape of underpants.  It was ok to soil a diaper but now children know that they should keep underpants dry – and they want to!  So what should they do? Pull-ups send mix messages.
  • Daytime potty success precedes nighttime success.  Many children will have nighttime / sleep accidents long after they use the potty with complete daytime success.  Everything takes time.Set up success – have a potty chair or potty seat in your home bathroom if you think your child will use it and keep it clean.  Keep toilet paper in easy reach.  Teach children to wipe carefully and wash their hands after using the potty.  Childcare and schools typically do not allow potty chairs from home.  Work on bathroom toilet success.
  • Routines are helpful.  At wake up time, after snacks and meals and before bed are critical times to set up for a visit to the potty. Make this a fact of life.  Watch your child for their body timing.
  • Eliminate drinks and cereal with milk before bedtime.
  • Girls typically potty train faster than boys.  Urinating is successful ahead of bowel movements.
  • Help your child in all ways.  Celebrate effort as well as achievement.  Be patient.  Never scold or belittle a child when accidents occur (and accidents always occur!)   Always work with your childcare center or babysitter and make sure the same message is being sent.
  • Buy underpants that your child wants. Cinderella or Spiderman can be very motivating!
  • Expect the unexpected.  Have extra everything in your car, at grandmas and at childcare.

“One day you’re a superstar because you pooped in the toilet like a big boy,and the next day you’re sitting in the principal’s office because you said the word “poopy” in class” Dav Pilkey, Captain Underpants

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


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