Simple Potty Training

Simplify potty training - skip it and go straight for toilet training, this worked brilliantly for us

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Not looking forward to potty training?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to do it… that’s right, you can skip it. Jump straight to toilet training instead.


Because it’s all very well potty training your child, but problems can start once a child is potty trained…

They don’t want to pee or poop anywhere other than their own potty.

They get used to having the potty brought to them.

They certainly don’t want to use a toilet… Not at home. Not anywhere else.

Cue parents lugging a portable potty around. There’s also those super fastidious kids who will never poop in the potty… but are fine once they start using the toilet.

The things you’ll need for toilet training…

1. Trainer toilet seat
2. Step up
3. Pants!
4. Portable trainer toilet seat

I never liked the idea of potties, so when my then 18 month old daughter started showing an interest in the toilet, I decided to get her a trainer toilet seat and skip the potty stage. 

At 18 months old she wasn’t really ready for real-deal toilet training, but we got the seat so she could ‘play at using it’. If we were near the bathroom, we’d pop her on and sometimes she’d pee!

Toilet training wasn’t without its trials – our dry-clean-only sofa covers have been machine washed on several occasions (but see below for a great way to avoid this) – and there were some frustrating moments for both our daughter and us as parents.

But on the whole, our little girl felt incredibly grown-up using the toilet and we really valued never having to slop out a potty.

Here’s a quick list of some of the things we learnt along the way with toilet training…

  • Have toilet/s set up and ready with training seat and step.
  • Try to spot the signs that a pee or poop is imminent… you need time to GET to the toilet.
  • Teach them how to wipe and shake drips from the get-go.
  • Use a waterproof sheet over your sofa.
  • Invest in a portable trainer toilet seat.
  • Work out where the nearest toilet is when out and ask your child on arrival if they need to go.

And lastly, don’t panic if your child isn’t toilet trained within a couple of weeks. Some children get it really quickly, some take months. Just know that your child will get there eventually!

If you are pretty set on still trying the potty first, check out Alice’s post about her experiences of potty training which includes some useful insights and translatable tips for toilet training.

Hope you found this helpful … for more practical tips do check out our other parenting posts …

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Hello, I'm Luci, Editor of Mums Make Lists. MML is full of creative tips I’ve put together to bring calm and balance to the lives of busy mums and their families.

4 thoughts on “Simple Potty Training”

  1. I agree 100% with this. Crazy as this sounds my son is 14 months and I’ve been putting him on the toilet for about a month. He pees and poops on the potty several times a day. While I’m not agressively trying to train him, I am trying to introduce him to the idea and help him learn about the toilet. My husband and I also have an open door policy with our son while we are using the bathroom. During this time we talk about what is going on and how to use the toilet. My hope is that once he is 18 months+ , he will be primed and ready for all of this. I feel like sometimes we all want this to be a super fast process and give up when it isn’t that way. Teaching small children takes time, but I think putting in the effort early on will pay off immensely. Thank your for sharing, Lucy. I know this will help a lot of moms.

  2. Hey Laura, thanks so much for your comment, glad you agree that the toilet training method can work – and yes, it’s fine for it to be a marathon (well ok, we’d all rather it was maybe a half-marathon 🙂 ) rather than a sprint, as long as your child gets the hang of it and feels confident going to the toilet. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Best, Luci

  3. I’ve never had a problem with my boys using both a potty and the toilet. I like having the potty because we have a baby gate blocking them from the toilet downstairs. Our cats litterbox and food are in that area so at least with a potty they can go when they feel the need. My oldest just runs to grab the potty from the shelf and puts it down himself to pee. 🙂 We’re still working on him being completely potty trained but we’re getting there. 🙂 I’ve put my youngest (1 1/2 and not quite ready yet) on both the potty and the toilet with no problems. 😀

    1. Hi Stacey, Alice here, we did potty and then toilet like you and the transition bit was fine for us … although we struggled like anything with the most basic step of “yep you do have stop that really interesting thing you are doing when you need a wee”!!! … but I know quite a bunch of kids who did struggle with the switch to the toilet. I guess its part of that whole thing where kids struggle with constant change and want to hold onto behaviour because everything around them is changing so fast.

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