7 Unconventional Tips for Potty Training Toddlers

All you Need is a Little Bit of Nail Polish and a Few Balls…


Unconventional advice for potty training because, sometimes, “expert” advice doesn’t work.

Potty training girls can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be. Real potty training tips and mom hacks for potty training 2 year olds.

I read countless articles about potty training before we began the process. I even read a book to refresh my memory right before we started. Regardless of which method chosen, it seemed as though the first few days would be the hardest, so we waited until my husband had 4 days off in a row and until there wasn’t anything else going on. Then we dove right in. Accidents galore, of course, but after about half a day, Sweet Pea seemed to be understanding the concept that pee belongs in the potty.


We did ok for a while, with more successes than failures. On the third day, we were cautiously optimistic and took her out in thick training underwear and hoped for the best. Brave, right?


Much to our delight, we spent a good 10 or so minutes in a parking lot waiting for her to poop in her potty. Because, you know, when a 2 year old “needs” to go, they NEED to go, even if bikers are looking at you like you’re crazy. Fortunately, we weren’t wasting our time.


Things seemed to be getting better.


More peeing and pooping in the potty than accidents.


Until they weren’t and we were having far more accidents than successes.

Nothing I was trying was working. I was running out of training panties (4 packs!) by the end of the day. Laundry each night… Fun!


So, I tried rewards. (NOT my preferred method, but when you feel like your out of options, anything goes, right?).


Rewards helped a little, but not as much as I’d hoped. We went shopping and Sweet Pea got to choose things she wanted. The catch was she only got them as long as she didn’t have accidents (thanks, Mom, for the idea). If she had an accident, bye, bye balls (her chosen reward). She held it all the way home and peed in the potty when we got home. Winning!

The accidents (defined as her choosing not to stop what she was doing to use the bathroom) were fewer but still happening.

After a few days of consistently seeing the correlation between using the potty and not, Sweet Pea decided to use the potty to keep her balls.

I noticed though, that the more busy I was, the more often she flat out refused to use the potty, even if it meant having an accident (this might have also corresponded with her dad being away for work and her not seeing him for days at a time, but that isn’t a factor I can control). So, we decided a team approach. If “we” made it without accidents, “we” got a prize.


Sweet Pea mentioned having her toes painted like mine, so I decided that  we had to make it three days without accidents in order for us to do our nails together.


We made it. My toes looked like a crime scene, compete with three different shades of pink and red ALL over (fortunately, a good soak in a foot spa bath after she’s in bed took care of that).


But, she was absolutely thrilled to be a big girl and paint my nails. I walked around with multicolored toes (including one that was blue with red over it… lovely!) until the polish chipped off. While people might have judged me for my unique pedicure, no one said anything.

[bctt tweet=”When all else fails, try something new!” username=””]

The Takeaways…

  • Listen to your child.
  • Take their interests into play and go with it.
  • Talk it up. Make it work for both of you.
  • A little bit of fluff and your own personal flair can go a long way. I invented a “pee-pee” dance, which was a big hit. Whatever works, right?
  • Get a travel potty. Keep it in your car for those times when your little one needs to go NOW. We like this one* because it folds up nicely. We even took it on our trip to Michigan last summer!


We threw the “experts” out the window and did what worked for us.


The next time you’re struggling to get your child to learn something new and completely foreign to them, I encourage you to do the same thing. It’s liberating and it works. Oh, and throw in a few balls for good measure. They help too. 🙂


What are your biggest potty training tips?


Really, please share them! We’ll be going through this whole process soon enough with Buddy Boy.


Don’t forget to pin this to save it for later or share with a friend. 🙂 

Potty training 2 year olds can be a challenge. Potty training is something we must do at some point, but it's a challenging time for parents and toddlers. So, what potty training tips can a mom of a strong-willed toddler offer? Find out my 7 unconventional potty training tips from Lessons and Learning for Littles!

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