Potty Training Tips & How to Protect Your Mattress

Potty Training Tips

June is Potty Training Awareness Month and there is no lack of conventional wisdom on the internet about the best tips and tricks to train your little one fast. But the truth is that sometimes kids just aren’t ready yet! We asked our community to share some of their favorite tips and stories about potty training to help you find a solution for your own potty woes.

Anticipate a night and day difference. Naturepedic’s own Hilary T. starts us out with her experience. “My son was potty trained during the day almost two full years before he was night trained. I learned that night training is completely different than day training, and I didn’t stress when his body just wasn’t ready.”

Each child is different. Community member Lura B. potty trained five kids who all responded differently! After a mix of self-training, rewards, and the naked (no diaper) method, she says, “If something works for one child it doesn’t mean it will work for the next. You should try something else until you find what works for them, and sometimes the only solution is giving them more time until they’re really ready.”

Learn more about the “bare bottom,” “naked,” or “no diaper” method of quick potty training.

Sometimes they really are just “ready.” Crystal S.’s oldest child “was three, he woke up one day and said he wanted to wear underwear. No accidents ever.” If your child isn’t a potty prodigy, don’t worry, it is perfectly normal to need to try a variety of approaches before everything clicks!

Use positive rewards. Some moms use stickers, small toys, or small individual snacks like pretzels or fruit snacks as a reward for using the potty. Make sure you praise every positive interaction with the potty. You might have to start with just sitting on the potty, if they are scared. Be consistent with your reward system so the kids get the hang of it quickly.

Try some books and songs. Try reading potty training children’s books or watching potty training themed episodes of kids’ TV shows (like Daniel Tiger, which features a very catchy and helpful tune).

Protect the mattress. Make sure you protect your little one’s mattress with a waterproof protector pad or a waterproof surface like the one on our Kids 2-in-1 Ultra mattress. Be sure to keep a waterproof protector pad on your own bed for those nights when the kids sneak in! A waterproof surface keeps the mattress safe from any liquid spills, whether it’s a potty accident, a spilled drink, or even a warm sleeper who tends to sweat. Once contaminated, the mattress is difficult to clean.

Learn more about our waterproof pads and how to clean your Naturepedic mattress.

About the author

Caitlin
Caitlin

Caitlin specializes in sharing the good word of healthy living and making the world a better place. She is humanely treated, non-GMO, and free to roam in a low-stress environment similar to her natural habitat. When not wordsmithing for Naturepedic, Caitlin enjoys pondering the possibility of time travel and superpowers, wearing Converse with dresses, haggling for organic cauliflower at West Side Market in Cleveland, and sending over-involved emoji iMessages. Caitlin comes from an educational background including a Master’s of Education in Higher Education Administration from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wilmington College. Despite never anticipating a career in marketing, she feels right at home with Naturepedic and is thrilled to spread the word of safe, healthy sleep and natural living.

  • Heather Ann

    Like briefly mentioned above, we went the naked bottom route for three days. We put the potty chair in the middle of the room and carried kiddo to it when he would start to go. When he would finish on the potty we danced and clapped, and praised him. By day two he was really noticing his own body’s cues and making an effort to go to the potty chair on him own. We were accident on day 3! (My son had just turned two at the time).

    The next hurdle was traveling and holding it until breaks at daycare. For that, we used cloth trainers or straight up big boy undies too instead of disposable training pants. He was proud of his big boy undies. This allowed him to feel the wetness and alert us to when he went and eventually, speaking up for when he needed to go so he wouldn’t have that uncomfortable feeling nor get his cool new undies wet.

  • Lemonandelm

    Don’t try until they are ready. You’re just going to add stress if they aren’t ready.

  • Anel Winney

    Follow the child’s lead, and don’t pressure them! :)!

  • onyiakpanisi

    I learned from my friend that you let them pee on themselves a few times. They’ll learn to pee in the potty after a few incidences. She also recommended starting this at 2 months. She swears by it and i plan to try it.

  • gina blades

    Don’t pressure them but when they show readiness, do the 3-day method. Stay home for 3 days and sit them on the potty every 20 minutes.

  • Tina French

    My tip is for the parents…don’t start until YOU are ready! So many parents don’t realize that you have to adjust your schedule to allow the child opportunities to use the potty every hour…you forget just how busy your day is and how long we as adults go between our potty breaks! Also, don’t be embarrassed to say “my tummy feels funny, I must have to go potty” in front of your child or other people. It teaches the child to understand that what they are feeling is the need to go to the bathroom.

  • Mary W

    No matter how early some parents get their child to potty train, each child is different. It’s OK if yours waits longer to reliably use a toilet. As our Pediatrician said, ” They’re not taking a potty to college with them so relax!”

  • Crissy Williams

    We are in day 2 of training our 24 month old boy. Yesterday he went naked all day & I chased him with rags & cleaners! Any little sprinkle, I told him that we pee pee in the potty. Since he still talks jibberish, I’m using sign language for potty. This morning when he woke up, I took him straight to the potty! He’s obviously tired of it but he used the bathroom. Day 2 has had far less accidents! I threw some clothes on him & we went out for an hour. He stayed dry!!! Then when we got home, he pottied! I’m so proud of him!
    With only being 2 days in, I don’t have many tips…just what works for us!
    1) Teach them sign for “potty” it works!
    2) Let them be naked us much as possible so they can see the pee along with feeling the sensation.
    3) Be encouraging, patient, and gentle

    • Congratulations, Crissy! You have won a Naturepedic organic waterproof mattress protector pad in your choice of size. Please email marketing@naturepedic.com to claim your prize!

  • Casey H

    From watching my sweet SIL with my nephew, my tip is patience is a virtue. They will learn in their own time. You are there to guide and assist and give positive reinforcement. Accident to happen, life goes on, messes are easily cleaned up.

    • Congratulations, Casey! You have won a Naturepedic organic waterproof mattress protector pad in your choice of size. Please email marketing@naturepedic.com to claim your prize!

  • Diana

    My 3 year old son has special needs and is sensitive to chemicals in conventional mattresses so we only use Naturepedic mattresses, mattress protectors, and pillows for him. We are about to transition him out of his toddler bed with a Naturepedic crib mattress to a big boy bed with a Naturepedic twin mattress, which is how I found this article. He is still in diapers at night as he has to drink a lot of water before bed so we would be truly honored and blessed to win a twin mattress protector. Thank you for offering the best organic mattresses on the market and for making them right here in the USA!!!

  • Cassandra Lea Miller

    I don’t quite have any tips yet. My son is about to start potty training. I’ve heard a lot about patience, positive rewards, and lots of praise though!

  • Brianne Baxa

    My biggest tip is stick with it and be consistent. I wanted to give up on day 2 of training and my husband convinced me to stick with it. The end of day 3, it clicked and now my 23 month old is day trained.

  • Stephanie

    With my older son, who has autism, it was a matter of patience and truly waiting until he was ready. If they’re just not ready, you can’t successfully force it. Paying attention to his cues of independence and growing interest allowed us to capitalize on that “window,” and he has never had an accident since the day he potty trained. Yay!

    With my younger son, he was ready a bit earlier but required a little bribery. Finding what worked best for his motivation (in our case, stickers and an exciting one-on-one weekend with Grandma) was key for him, as well as the promise of a new big-boy bed and undies. Parenting is 80% bribery, after all, I’ve learned 🙂

    • Congratulations, Stephanie! You have won a Naturepedic organic waterproof mattress protector pad in your choice of size. Please email marketing@naturepedic.com to claim your prize!

  • R Wilson

    If at all possible, tune out the comments from well-meaning folks “my child was fully potty trained at 13 months” “what, your 2 year old doesn’t use the potty?” – watch for your unique child’s readiness and then act on it! So much less stressful.

  • I recently write a tips about “How To Take Care Your Baby Crib Mattress” in my blog

    topcribmattressreviews.com it may help all mom’s taking care of their baby’s.