Potty training without going potty

This week we decided it was time to start potty training. I braced myself for a stressful week. I have heard a lot of negative talk around potty training and I was worried about the effect it would have on my mental health. This week, my husband has been home too so I decided we could do it as a team. But, weirdly, it hasn’t been even remotely stressful. Here’s what I have learned so far:


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Don’t rush it …

The most stressful part of potting training was not potty training – holding off starting while every toddler Boo knows waved farewell to nappies.

We had a very stressful day a couple of months ago where I gave into parental pressure and tried training Boo. She was really distressed every time she wet herself and didn’t sleep because she was so worried about wetting the bed (she was wearing a nappy but the day had really thrown her for a loop). After this, I decided that we would put a lot more work into preparing Boo and hold off on actual potty training until she was really ready.

Choosing knickers was a big step in getting Boo ready for potty training. These M and Co knickers have her favourite characters on so she was keen to wear them.


Potty Preparation

  • We started emptying nappies into the toilet months ago and explaining poo goes in the toilet. We talked about Mummy and Daddy doing wees in the toilet too and said that one day she would do that.
  • We had potties around the house.
Boo loved putting her Peppa toys on her Peppa potty. This one can be primed too!

  • We played games putting her teddies on the potting.
  • She got a dolly that can drink and wee. We talked about what makes us wee and what it feels like.


This doll was great for helping Boo understand that after we drink, we need a wee. It also helped her to understand a little better what happens when she does a wee.

  • We read books. This became a regular thing and using the potty became part of our daily conversation.
  • We said ‘oh you are having a poo’ if we noticed and asked her if she had a wee too.
  • We let her sit on the potty with clothes on or clothes off whenever she wanted.
  • We went shopping just for knickers and let her choose some with her favourite characters on. These Paw Patrol pants were a big hit. I strongly recommend getting some fun pants. However, I also recommend getting some standard ones that cost a bit less as you will need a lot of pairs on hand!


This kinda stuff has been going on for a couple of months since our first failed attempt. I have asked her a few times if she wants to wear knickers and do her wees on the potty. She has always said a very firm NO. So I trusted and respected that no. She just wasn’t ready. As much as I wanted to say to other parents that she was potty trained, I held off.

This funny book makes Boo laugh every time!

Potty Pep Talk

The last 2 weeks she has been saying that she wanted to use the potty and wear knickers. Then deciding she didn’t. I took this as her cue that she was ready but nervous. So before we started I spent some time having a chat with her. She may only be 2.5, but I strongly believe children have more understanding and emotions than we give them credit for. I told her that it was OK to be nervous because often new things make us feel that way. I also told her that she would have accidents and that was totally OK. She wouldn’t have accidents forever and it was just part of learning. We had big cuddles, I told her I loved her and she is wonderful and that we would start the next day.


In the morning, I reminded her that we were going to wear knickers. I told her that nappies were now just for when she was sleeping. I reminded her that she would have accidents and that was just part of learning something new.

Potty Training

Day 1

I put her on the potty every 30 minutes to an hour. We got through about 5 pairs of underwear in the morning. I suggested just knickers and no trousers but she was happier in clothes so we also got through 5 pairs of leggings! We did not have a wee in the potty. Then in the afternoon, she did 1 wee in the potty and she was ELATED! After this she managed 3 more goes on the potty and one accident. It was quite hilarious – we were eating dinner and started hearing a dripping sound … she just looked at us and smiled and said “Uh oh, I did a wee. Never mind! It’s just a little accident!”. I was so pleased to hear her be so positive about it – such a massive change from when we tried a couple of months ago. We had meant to use a sticker chart and I opened Amazon Prime to order these stickers while we were having dinner, but the little accident meant I forgot. She has been OK without them but I am sure they would have been an extra help.

This is a great little reward book and there is a colouring book that goes with it. There is a pirate version too. Im not a fan of gendered toys but Boo picked the princess.

Day 2

We asked if she needed the potty every 30 minutes to an hour. If she hadn’t gone, we put her on the potty every hour. She had no accidents. Every wee was done in the potty. Handily, for the second day in a row, she had done a Poo as soon as she had woken up so we didn’t have to deal with that yet.

Day 3

We stopped asking. I told her I wouldn’t ask or remind her. She ended up going every couple of hours with no accidents … apart from a poo. She did not like that. But we just reminded her that accidents happen when you try something new and it’s just part of learning. She was smiling before long and had no other accidents.


These 3 days were at home. Day 4  was the big test. We were going out. We talked to Boo about what would happen – we would take the potty and we would try to go every place we went so that she wouldn’t have to wait a long time if she suddenly needed the loo. After 3 pairs of knickers and leggings, we had a chat. Things were not quite working so we needed to be flexible. We were going on a long car journey and then to a busy aquarium. We told her that she had done a great job but as it would be so busy she could have a nappy over her knickers while we were out today. We wanted her to have fun but didn’t want to revert back to nappies totally. This worked as a good compromise. She told us when she needed a wee and was actually able to use the toilet. She wasn’t stressed and neither were we. I have a shorter trip planned for this weekend so we will try again out of the house. The next step for her is remembering to go on the potty even when she is really excited.


This carry potty comes in a range of designs and will hopefully make being out of the house much less stressful!

I am also going to buy this carry potty. It was recommended by a friend and having having seen it, I know that it will help Boo with the next phase of potting training. A portable potty for outside the house. This potty seals so it can contain its contents and has a handle to be easily carried. I am sure this will help her in those moments that we can’t make it to the toilet.


What worked for us

There are 3 things that I think have helped make this stress free

1. communication

We talked about this for a good couple of months. We talk about it now. Thank talk about the next stages. And M and I talk so we have the same plan.

2. Patience

Do not rush into it. Do not panic if the first day goes completely wrong. Just take your time.

3. Flexibility

If it’s not working: stop. If you need nappies for out of the house: do it. You know your child best so come up with a plan that works for them and don’t be scared to change it.


As for poos. They will come last. Maybe that bit will be the part that stresses me out? Maybe? I’ll let you know …


If you want to use any of the products we have used to make potty training stress free, you can click on any of the images, or use the links in the box below. Thanks again for supporting my blog and using my affiliate links!

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  1. Sounds like Boo did really well (at home at least). I’m currently putting off potty training our youngest 😂. Getting them to choose their own pants is a great idea. We always used pull ups when we were out and about with our others (they often fell asleep in the car and we didn’t want to end up having to pull the car seat apart to clean it).


  2. Wow, she seems like she was really ready!! Amelia woke up one morning and declared she wanted to wear knickers and that was pretty much it haha! Not sure it’ll be quite so simple with Wills 😂😂🙈🙈


  3. Oh blimey, we have all this to come as Poppy is 2 this week. I think we’ll hold off til the warmer weather as makes it easier if she’s outdoors more and less clothes. She’s good and often tells us when she’s weed and knows if she has pooed and tells us so it’s just understanding beforehand. Great tips here which I’ll have to remember. It’s a long time since I did this first time round with my almost ten year old!! #familyfun x


  4. It sounds like it went pretty well for you! My daughter started acting like she was ready a few months ago – asking to wear underwear and to use her potty – but having a few accidents stressed her out, so we took a step back and just waited a few more months. Once she made the decision to use the potty herself, there was no training required, she just went. I’d definitely recommend waiting if you can – a few more weeks in nappies is worth it! #familyfunlinky


    • Seems like waiting is the best advice! My daughter got so stressed too last time we tried so I am really happy she has taken to it so well this time x


  5. I have to admit that when mine were small, i found potty training the worst job ever! i think your advice on not rushing it is the best advice. Its a skill that little ones have to learn like any other but it is something that is linked to maturation too so leaving it until children are ready is the best thing. Great advice. #anythinggoes


  6. Luckily I have manged to do potty training twice and what I have learnt is take your time, don’t do expectations just go with it. Also make sure you have plenty of clothing, don’t go back to nappies – if your going to do, do it consistently, otherwise it will give them mix messages. Stick with it and they will come through and learn, it is just a new adjustment that takes time and practice X #familyfunlinky


  7. R is 2.5 I know he’s not ready! We’ve had a dialogue for ages and even some wee and poo on the potty before bath time. Quite a lot of his friends are potty training but they are all 3 already and my summer born bum is 6 months behind. I need to remind myself this a lot! I plan to push it a bit more in the summer where we can be outside I just pants! Time will tell eeeks.
    ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬


  8. We are currently going through with potty training at the moment and honestly, it’s all about the timing. If they are not ready, no matter how hard I try, it just doesn’t work. Well at least this was true for me. Little one is a trooper when it comes to number 2’s, but number 1’s still takes some reminding. I also use the potty training books and portable potty’s, they have been a lifesaver! #familyfunlinky‬


    • I think it’s one of those things that people just like to ask about so you end up feeling pressured to start … but the best advice definitely seems to be to wait!


  9. We’ve got the potty, the book, the pants, the reward chart etc etc but our almost three and a half year old (boy) point blank refuses…it’s driving me potty! I think the fact he’s a boy has a lot to do with it… #familyfunlinky


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