Ever since I used the book Oh Crap Potty Training by Jaime Glowaki to potty train my 20 month old, I’ve been getting tons of potty training questions. The most common reaction I get is actually just shock that yes my 20 month old is potty trained, yes even at night, and no I don’t carry around diapers anymore.Then the questions start. So, I thought I’d answer some of the most common potty training questions I’ve been hearing so far. I can only answer based on my own experience, but the book literally has all the answers to every potty training question imaginable.

At what age should I start potty training?

Jamie recommends that kids potty train between 20 and 30 months. I started with my toddler when he was 20 months.
A lot of people don’t agree with this theory. The commonly held belief is that when kids potty train early, it’s really their parents that are trained.
I can tell you within the first week I had to change my toddlers pants because of accidents three times. I had to change his sheets twice. That’s a whole lot less than the 50 diapers I would have had to change and wash in that same amount of time. By Day 14, he was telling me when he needed to go. I was clearly no longer necessary.

How many times should my toddler pee in a day?

Day one of potty training was exhausting! After twenty enthusiastic pee-pee celebrations and twenty trips to dump the little potty, I was wondering if all this was normal and if we were making progress at all. I went back and reread the sections on what Jamie calls Block #1, and I felt a lot better.We were indeed making progress. He had gone from full time diaper-wearing to willingly sitting and going on the potty. The book reassured me that the number of pees per day would naturally consolidate as potty training progressed.

By day two he had gone from going every 20 minutes to only every 45 minutes or even an hour. Within the first couple weeks, we were down to every two hours. It does get easier!

How long should I leave my toddler on the potty?

We woke up on day two with the bed still dry. We quickly had another big success with E pointing at the potty and saying “poo-poo.” He obviously needed to go, but after sitting for a while nothing happened.
I started worrying that I was leaving him on the potty for too long. Was I somehow stunting his potty learning by letting him sit there and just play? Was all that potty sitting going to cause long term emotional trauma? Oh how a mother’s mind does run away!
This was another area where rereading the Block #2 section was very reassuring. Pooping, especially the first couple times may take a while. It’s ok to read books, sing songs, and otherwise entertain to keep them sitting as long as necessary.
It did take a while. Much longer than I felt it should have. In the end, I finally went to the other side of the kitchen to give him some privacy. However long it took me to eat a bowl of granola and cruise Facebook for a minute was apparently the right amount of time to leave him sitting on the potty because he finally went.

What potty is best for potty training?

Jamie recommends getting the most basic model of potty. It isn’t a toy after all. We have the Fisher-Price Royal Stepstool Potty. It does quite literally have all the bells and whistles. It plays a little tune and says Yea! whenever something hits the bowl. (Don’t worry, there is an off switch.)It has been an infinite convenience for me to be able to hear when E has done his business instead of disrupting him every so often to check for myself.

I also love the idea of the BecoPotty. You use it for potty training. Then when you’re done just bury it in the garden, and it biodegrades naturally. This is a small potty that can even be used for newborns for elimination communication. It would be great if you have a small child. (I don’t.)

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