toilet training without tears

Toilet Training Without Tears (Yours or Your Child’s)

Dear Mr. Dad: My baby is nearly two. When’s the right time to start potty training and how do we do it?

A: I’ve always maintained that changing diapers is a highly underrated bonding experience—especially for dads. But no matter how fondly you recall the experience, most of us are delighted when we can put that stage behind us.

Although most kids look forward to using the toilet on their own, they’re easily frustrated by inevitable accidents. And navigating that gray area between diapers and underwear can be hard on you, too. Here are some tips to making toilet training as painless as possible for everyone concerned.

  • Is he or she ready? Trying to toilet train a child who’s not ready will likely extend the process. And don’t start training when there are other big changes in your child’s life, such as illness, divorce, a death in the family (even of a pet), or moving to a new home.
  • One step at a time. Forget the stories you’ve heard about children who went from diapers to underwear in a day. Toilet training is a process that usually involves distinct steps learned over time. Start by leaving a potty seat on the floor of the bathroom for a few days; tell your child that the little toilet is for her, and the big one is for grown-ups. A few days later, have her sit on the seat (fully clothed is fine). After another few days, ask your child several times every day whether you can take off her diaper so she can sit on her special seat.

Read the rest of this story on Armin’s blog.

Photo by Gabor Monori on Unsplash

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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