Potty training is a big new process for your toddler — and the steps include far more than simply going to the bathroom. As our downloadable potty training sequence cards show, they’ll need to recognize when they need to go, get their pants off and sit on the potty before they actually pee or poop. Then they’ll need to wipe, flush and wash their hands. It’s a lot to remember for a little one. But with these printable potty training flash cards, keeping track of each step is easy.
Other easy potty training games and tools
- Build-a-Bathroom Puzzle. While you visit the bathroom many times each day, there’s a good chance your toddler isn’t as familiar with all the potty essentials. Sure, they’ve been in the room for bath time. And they probably pop in plenty to interrupt your few moments of “alone time” each day. But how does a toilet flush? And how does toilet paper work? The Build-a-Bathroom puzzle can help them identify all the essentials in the bathroom and give you a chance to talk about what’s coming next in their potty training adventure.
- Can You Do What I Do? Kids love to mimic their parents and big siblings, and this easy potty training game invites them to do just that. You’ll guide them through the steps of the pottying process and ask them to copy you as you say “Can you do what I do?” and your child responds, “I can do what you do!”
- Hand Washing Poster. When we’re in a rush, it can sometimes be hard to pause and remember to scrub our hands for at least 20 seconds — the length of time recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Remind your little one and yourself about the five steps to getting hands clean with this poster. And be sure to figure out how long 20 seconds is before you start teaching your child about hand washing.
- My Potty Book. Many kids love to look at books while they’re on the potty and have Mom, Dad or another big person read stories to them. Imagine how much they’d love being the star of the story! Creating a My Potty Book is a fun potty training idea you can do together. Or you can do it on your own and surprise your child.
Start with a small spiral artist’s notebook or another blank book. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You could also just use individual sheets of paper and put them in a binder. Then, start outlining your story. Once you’re ready, write in the story and then add pictures: your own drawings, your child’s drawings or pictures you print out.
Tips for potty training
- Create the right environment for success. Our Potty Training To-Do List includes simple steps you can take before your child starts using the potty including choosing easily removable clothing, practicing potty praise and talking with Potty Partners like grandparents or babysitters. If your child goes to daycare, you can probably get some good tips from their teachers too. Daycares have a lot of experience with potty training!
- Be consistent. Once you make the big switch from diapers to Pull-Ups® training pants, you and your toddler are officially on the potty training journey. It’s a big step for your child and one worth celebrating! Explain that diapers were made for babies and your child is now learning to be a Big Kid. Then, make sure you keep the message consistent by using training pants every day.
- Help your child get comfortable on the potty. Don’t expect your child to sit down and instantly pee or poop on their first try. Instead, you may want to introduce the toilet or potty chair to your child while they’re fully clothed so they can get comfortable with it. If you have a portable potty chair, set it in the living room or play area for a bit. Your child might want to try sitting on it while they play or have their doll or stuffed animal sit on it. If you’re using a child-size seat on the regular toilet, have your child sit there while you read a book or sing a song together – just to practice using a sturdy stool to climb up and see how it feels.
- Be patient. Potty training isn’t going to happen overnight — although that’s certainly what every parent wishes for! Know that your child might take a couple steps forward only to take a few steps back. With the average potty training journey taking eight months, it can feel like a long process. Your child will be potty trained eventually, and showing patience and kindness as they learn to recognize the urge to go and have accidents is key. Remember that you’re setting the tone each day not just for potty training but for your relationship for years to come!