Potty Training Tips + Must Haves

Adina’s been diaper-free for the past few months and we’re so proud of her! After having a few months of two kids in diapers, it has been so nice to just have one baby to change (and much more affordable too!) There are so many different approaches and methods to potty training out there. In this post I’m not going to tell you how to actually potty train your child, but I will share what we did and what products helped us have a smooth and successful experience. My hope is that this guide will save you time researching and shopping for your potty training.

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We followed the method described in Oh Crap Potty Training and decided to start over a three-day weekend. I found the book to be easy to read (although a little wordy at points) and it explained what to do in a way that was clear and simple to understand. The author shares several different scenarios and what to do, as well as the best age range to start. Adina was just about 2.5 years old and could clearly communicate to us when we potty trained. We probably could have done it sooner, but I didn’t have the bandwith to start when I was pregnant and definitely did not have the time or energy to do it with a newborn. I’m glad we waited until we could devote our full attention to this because it really is physically and mentally demanding. Side note: the weather was also nice (we potty trained in May) which made it easier when we were out of the house and playing outside to be swift and consistent. That said, you can do this method any time of year, I just think it would be more difficult in the cold weather because you are confined to just staying indoors or have to deal with removing multiple layers of clothing each time your child needs to go. I highly recommend the method in this book if you want to do the bulk of the training over three days rather than a longer, gradual process.


We read a number of children’s books about potty training with Adina during the training (while she sat on the potty) and before naps and night around the time we potty trained. Here are some of the books we loved:

  1. Potty Time with Elmo - Adina loved to push the buttons with sound effects.

  2. My Thomas Potty Book - The stickers in the back of the book were a big hit!

  3. Princess Potty - This book includes a DIY princess crown. Super cute story too :)

  4. Daniel Goes to the Potty - Perfect for all the Daniel Tiger lovers out there. We also watched some video clips on Youtube and the full episode (Season 1 Episode 11) about Daniel Tiger learning to use the potty. The catchy song became our family’s motto: “If you have to go potty, STOP, and go right away… flush and wash and be on your way!”

  5. Toilet Time for Girls - Another one with a flushing sound effect button.


The Oh Crap book encourages having small potties (in addition to the ones that go over the toilet seat) so that they are the right size for a child to use without needing a step stool or help from an adult. We had two in our apartment - one near her bedroom and one near the living room. Here are the two we have - both have a small footprint and are easy to clean:

  1. This potty does not have a lid and is a nice, neutral grey color.

  2. This potty has a lid and was good to keep in our living room.


In addition to the two small child-size potties we had in our home, we also had this soft potty seat that is placed directly on top of the toilet seat. The Elmo one we have is not so cute (it’s bright green) but Adina loves the Sesame Street characters on it! The potty seat also comes with a hook for easy storage.


After the first week or two of being commando during potty training (as per the Oh Crap method), we gave Adina her first set of new big-girl underwear. We got her really pumped up so she was super excited about it. This pack features Elmo and some of her other favorite Sesame Street characters.. I like these training underpants because they are thicker than your normal underwear in case your child has a small leak, it won’t completely soak through. 


For naps and night, we started out with pull-ups just in case she had an accident. Unlike diapers, the pull-ups don’t have side flap tabs. They can be pushed down and pulled up just like underpants. We got pulls-ups that featured Thomas the tank engine, one of Adina’s favorite characters. It is listed as “boy’s pull ups” but I think all children who like trains will like these regardless of gender ;)


Adina has been consistently waking up with a dry pull-up, so soon she’ll begin to sleep in underpants. We’ll use this sheet saver so we don’t have to wash all of the sheets and blankets just in case of an accident.


Living in the city, we are not always near places with an easily-accessible toilet. For example, when we’re at the playground or inside our local park, there are no public restrooms. This collapsible travel potty has come in so handy! You just pop it under the stroller or in your diaper bag for easy access to a potty wherever you are. I can’t tell you how many times this travel potty has saved us! You just insert these disposable bags or use a plastic shipping bag and dispose of it after your child is done. 


Adina is incredibly independent and insists on doing things by herself. If your child is the same way, you will want a step stool so they can sit on the adult toilet and reach the sink to wash their hands without your help. This step stool has a light footprint and is easy to store by the sink in your bathroom.


I hope these tips and products are helpful and that your potty training experience goes quickly and smoothly!

(*This post contains affiliate links, which means I will get a very small commission from the sale of any of these products. If you found this post helpful and want to get one of the items I mentioned, please consider purchasing it through the links + images in this post. As always, thank you for supporting my blog!)