How to Potty Train Your Toddler Without Destroying Your Home

Toddler girl sitting on the toilet and unraveling a roll of toilet paper

There are many reasons to celebrate when it’s time to potty train. It’s a testament to your little one’s growing independence. It’s a mark of their confidence. And it’s a step along the journey of learning how to listen to what their bodies are telling them and react.

It’s also a process that, as a parent, you might be dreading. Because there’s no such thing as mess-free potty training – you have to trust the process and accept that accidents are bound to happen. That can be pretty stressful, considering you’ve undoubtedly become quite attached to the things you’ve filled your home with, like your comfy sofa or the certified organic kids mattress you plan to keep for years. Without effective waterproofing surfaces or covers, these items can quickly get destroyed by urine (or worse.)

That being said, potty training your toddler doesn’t have to turn your home into a disaster zone. Read on for our potty-training tips that will keep your home – and your sanity – intact.

When to Start Potty Training?

Toddler's bare feet dangling over the edge of the toilet seatToddler's bare feet dangling over the edge of the toilet seat

Potty training is a major developmental milestone. Before you decide to start, it’s important to look for readiness signs from your toddler. You’ll save yourself from cleaning up a lot of unnecessary messes that come with starting too soon – not to mention the frustration that you’ll save yourself and your little one.

So, how can you tell that it’s time to drop the diaper and start toilet training? A few indicators that your child might be ready include:

  • Expressing an interest in using the toilet
  • Wanting a clean diaper when soiled
  • Holding their bladder for longer periods
  • Pulling their pants up and down without assistance
  • Following multi-step directions successfully
  • Awakening from naps with a dry diaper
  • Indicating when they’re about to soil their diaper

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5 Potty Training Tips for Less Mess

Your toddler is showing the signs … let the games begin! Here are our tips on less-mess potty training that will help you to ditch the diapers – but keep your sanity. 

1. Make Trying a Routine

Potty training is exciting in the beginning for you and for your child. But after that initial excitement wears off – and after a couple of failures – if you ask your toddler if they have to go, they’ll probably say no. So don’t ask them! Once or twice an hour, just tell them that it’s time to try.

Just like any other kind of training, routine is key to potty training – and key to avoiding messes. Research potty training schedules and find a method you think will work for your toddler. Some common approaches include:

  • Three-day method
  • Time-based method
  • Schedule-based method

2. Child-Proof Your Bathroom

Child-proofed bathroom with potty chair and step stoolChild-proofed bathroom with potty chair and step stool

A curious toddler can get up to a lot of trouble in the bathroom. When you begin potty training and open those bathroom doors to your toddler, childproofing is essential to keeping them safe and preventing messes. Making the potty setup easy and safe for your child to access on their own makes potty training easier on them, too. 

It’s a good idea to invest in a potty chair or in a step stool and a toddler seat for your toilet to get you started. Add child locks to any cabinets or drawers where beauty and cleaning supplies are stored. Non-slip bathmats can prevent slips and falls. And fun wipes for easy clean up are a MUST have.

3. Don’t Shame When Messes Happen

We get it. It can be really frustrating when messes happen. But, when they do, it’s important to avoid shaming your toddler, deliberately or inadvertently. More stress = more mess.

Why’s that? Well, while rewards can incentivize an anxious child to go potty, punishment just increases that anxiety. Anxiety and fear essentially shut down the learning centers of the brain. So, in the long run, potty training can take longer, and you’ll have more accidents than successes.

Accidents. Will. Happen. And when they do, sometimes a reassuring, “That’s okay, we’ll try again later,” and a quick cleanup is best.

4. Try DIY Clean-Up Solutions 

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: despite our best laid plans, accidents are going to happen from time to time. So sometimes, the best thing you can do is be prepared for them!

Conventional cleaning solutions can be loaded with harsh, toxic chemicals that are less than ideal for your health, and their packaging generates unnecessary waste. Did you know that you probably already have the tools you need to make a DIY, more natural clean-up solution at home? Simple, common grocery items like baking soda, vinegar and lemon can be extremely effective cleaners that are gentler on the environment – and gentler on you and your little one’s bodies!

Check out these DIY natural cleaner recipes to get you started.

5. Organic Waterproof Kids Mattresses and Protector Pads

Girl playing near her Naturepedic 2-in-1 Organic Kids MattressGirl playing near her Naturepedic 2-in-1 Organic Kids Mattress

At Naturepedic, our team of parents and engineers gets it: parenting can be messy. That’s why we offer waterproof bedtime options for your kiddo that make bedtime healthier and clean-up easier.

Our 2-in-1 Organic Kids Mattress is made with potty-training children in mind. It features a firm, wipe-clean waterproof side perfect for toddlers. Then, once your little one gets the hang of this potty training deal, you can simply flip the mattresses to its plusher quilted side – perfect for kids making the big transition.

Available in Twin, Trundle and Full sizes, the 2-in-1 is one of the only kids mattresses on the market to offer a waterproof side. More importantly, we provide waterproofing without the use of these harmful materials commonly found in crib mattresses:

Already have a kids mattress for your toddler? Naturepedic can still help. We offer certified organic waterproof protector pads that will keep your child’s mattress clean and fresh. 

If your kiddo seems ready to start potty-training, you can browse our kids collection for certified organic products you can trust. We also have more helpful info about making the transition to a big kid bed right here.

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