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Tricks to Get Kids to Pee in the Toilet

by Candice Coleman, studioD

After spending countless dollars on diapers and wipes, as well as dealing with the nuisance of dirty diapers, it's no wonder that parents look forward to having a child use the toilet. However, the toilet-training process can also be a lengthy and stressful one, depending on the child, as well as a parent's approach. When it comes to getting your toddler to pee on the toilet, you can take certain steps to help the process along.

Timing and Readiness

Though you may be eager to see your child use the potty, you don't want to push potty training too soon. Most toddlers are not ready to toilet train before 18 months, with many starting the process between 2 and 3 years, according to the KidsHealth website. If your toddler can understand verbal instructions, shows interest in the toilet and can keep a diaper dry for at least two hours, she might be ready to start peeing in the toilet. If a major change occurs in the family, like a move or divorce, you might need to put toilet training until your toddler's environment is stable and secure. Never force your toddler to sit on the toilet against her will.

Parent Influence

The way you approach using the toilet can make a difference when it comes to training. Staying positive and using encouraging language, whether your toddler has an accident or successfully pees on the toilet, can encourage more progress in the future, according to HealthyChildren.org, a website of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Issuing verbal praise, giving your toddler a hug or using rewards like stickers each time she is successful on the toilet can encourage progress.

Bonding Time

Peeing on the toilet can be a bonding experience for toddlers and parents. You might want to take turns sitting on the toilet to ease your child's comfort level about the using the toilet, suggests the KidsHealth website. Reading stories while your son pees on the toilet or singing together can also transform a new, scary experience into a positive one. You might want to motivate your toddler to use the toilet by hanging an easy-to-understand chart on the bathroom wall, chronicling his successes by drawing a star or placing a sticker on it each time he uses the toilet appropriately.


Toddlers are still learning to identify the urge to use the bathroom, so accidents might occur frequently. Reminding and encouraging your child to use the toilet after meals, after she drinks lots of fluids, after waking up, before going to bed and after naps can reduce accidents. This kind of encouragement can also reinforce that using the bathroom is part of your child's daily routine. Wearing training pants instead of diapers can also encourage toddlers to feel "grown up" enough to use the toilet.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images