Your Complete Potty Training Guide

Humor From the Potty Lines and More!

3 Embarrassing Potty Moments

Need some comic relief? Here, true bathroom humor from the potty front lines.

My 3-year-old son, Thad, is currently potty training and wears Superhero disposable underpants. One morning, I put an Incredible Hulk pair on him. Later, as I was walking out of the day-care center, I heard Thad proudly announce, "Hey guys, I have a monster in my pants!"
Heather K. Bottoms
Amelia, Va.

I was sitting in our living room one day, chatting with a girlfriend, when my daughter Parker walked in from her bedroom proudly holding a big poop in her hand. She helpfully explained, "Mommy, poo-poo! Poo-poo!" Needless to say, I screamed, and my girlfriend (who has no kids herself) has gotten a ton of mileage out of this story!
Denise Gordon
Los Angeles, Calif.

After pooping in Grandma and Poppa's bathroom, my newly potty-trained son, Nate, looked into the toilet and yelled, "Look! Play-Doh!"
Lisa Jensen
Concord, N.C.

4 Classics for Your Bathroom

These fun toddler titles are easy to find at your local bookstore or on

  1. Once Upon a Potty, by Alona Frankel
    This timeless story, which comes in "boy" and "girl" versions, uses humor to help kids grasp the concept of using the toilet.
  2. Potty Power DVD
    This fun, upbeat video features motivational footage of real kids sitting on the potty—and who could resist an animated roll of toilet paper singing "No More Diapers for Me"?
  3. Time to Pee! by Mo Willems
    This silly toilet tome, winner of a National Parenting Publication Award Gold Medal, centers around a group of friendly sign-toting mice that encourage kids to use the potty. Each book comes with a success chart and stickers.
  4. Bear in the Big Blue House: Potty Time With Bear DVD
    The Playhouse Disney star sings upbeat songs and gets a little help from his lovable puppet friends to teach
    kids about bathroom basics.

5 Facts From the Pros

Here's some expert advice to keep in mind.

  • Girls typically show an interest in using the potty at 23 months, and boys do so at 25 months.
  • Being in day care or having a working mom has no negative impact on potty training.
  • Children learning to use the toilet may move quickly from stage to stage (for example, peeing in the potty, then pooping there, then staying dry all night), or they may linger at any given stage for months and still be well within the norm.
  • Spanking or disciplining your child after accidents can lead to power struggles and is not an effective way to potty train.
  • Girls are normally fully trained by 33 months old and boys by 37 months.

Source: The Medical College of Wisconsin, Mil

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