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potty training without tears

Thanks to Stonyfield for sponsoring this post!

There’s BIG news in our house: we’re officially down to one kid in diapers! That’s right, Eleanor is potty trained! She decided she was ready about a month ago, and we’ve never looked back!

Just like all things concerning kiddos, there’s no one size fits all solution. I’m going to share what worked for us, but it’s certainly not the only way! YOU know YOUR kid, and that’s the most valuable resource available! But just in case you’re looking for ideas…

potty training without tears
I’m calling this Potty Training WITHOUT Tears because we tried potty training a few months ago and although we thought we were taking an extremely positive approach, it ended in tears… from everyone involved. My biggest advice? Wait until your child shows genuine interest on their own! Here’s the rest…

Step 1. Set the Stage

When Eleanor was about 18 months old, we bought a couple of potties and placed them around the house. One in the living room, and one in Eleanor’s bathroom. Sometimes we had her dolls sit on them, sometimes she sat on them, but mostly they collected dust for 6 months.

Step 2. Introduce the Basics

Eleanor loves books, and they’re an easy way to introduce new concepts. We’ve read our potty books pretty religiously the past few months. My favorite (and Eleanor’s too) is The Potty Books for Girls. It’s informative, toddler relatable, and not too cutesy.

potty training without tears

Step 3. Ask and Offer

About once a day (or once every few days), I’d ask Eleanor if she wanted to try using the potty. Sometimes she’d sit, but most of the time, it was a resounding “NO!” and I wouldn’t push it. I’d smile, say “OK!,” and we’ve move on.

Step 4. Reward Positive Attempts

One night (much to my surprise) after asking Eleanor if she wanted to go, she said “yes” and went! She was so proud, I was so proud, and I wanted to reward her with something special. We had just been shipped a big box of Stonyfield’s new Fruit Snacks, and they were the perfect “potty treat” and a HUGE motivator to keep trying.

We give Eleanor 1 fruit snack after she successfully goes and a whole pack lasts us a day. She thinks they’re incredibly special, and I feel good knowing that I’m not filling her up with tons of junk food.


Step 5. Build On

Our potty routine has slowly been building in complexity. After about a week of going successfully, we started to add more and more responsibilities. Using underwear, wiping, flushing, hand washing – there are lots of skills to work on!

Final Thoughts

Once she decided she was ready, I can’t believe how quickly potty training clicked. It’s honestly been more of a learning curve for us as parents.

Your turn:
Do you have any potty training advice?

*Thanks Stonyfield for sending us the fruit snacks. I can’t think of a better positive reinforcement for our sweet Eleanor ;) 


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