This Potty-Training Chart Is the Tool Every Parent Needs

Just when you finally master the whole sleep thing and manage to convince your mini that broccoli isn’t poison, you’re faced with an entirely new challenge: potty training.

There are a number of different potty-training methods, but the goal is always the same: Get your kid out of diapers. One tried-and-true technique is enlisting the help of a potty-training chart. This handy table offers encouragement and incentives to toddlers while tracking their progress.

But when should you begin the process? There’s no “right” age to start potty training—some kids will be ready at 18 months old, while others might be closer to 4 years old before they say goodbye to diapers for good. There are, however, a few clues to look out for. 

4 Signs Your Kid Is Ready for Potty Training

  • Your toddler dislikes dirty diapers. Kids often go through a phase of hating mess (whether that’s muddy hands or poopy diapers). Capitalize on this moment to start toilet training.
  • She has a special pooping place. There’s a reason she likes to go to a corner of the room to do her thing—she’s seeking privacy. Time to bring out the potty.
  • He likes to hang out in the bathroom. Somewhere between 18 and 24 months, toddlers typically start tagging along to the bathroom. And while it seems like he’s just there to drive you nuts, it’s actually a sign that he wants to do what you’re doing. Take advantage of imitation and keep a potty next to the toilet.
  • Bowel movements have become more predictable. If you know that your kid always does a number two after lunch, you can get the potty ready when it’s time.

(Keep in mind, however, that even if your kid is ready for potty training and reaches this milestone, she’ll likely still need to wear a diaper overnight.)

How to Use a Potty-Training Chart

A potty chart keeps track of and celebrates your child’s bathroom successes. Here’s how it works: First, fill out the chart with your kid’s name and hang it in the bathroom or in their bedroom at their eye level. Each time your child doesn’t have an accident and uses the potty successfully, let her pick a small sticker to put on the chart. (Pro tip: Choose stickers based on their interests, like Moana or Thomas & Friends). Remember, it’s going to take a while before your kid masters this whole going-to-the-bathroom thing (i.e., he tells you he needs to go to the potty, he does his business without any spills, flushes and washes his hands), so don’t make it too difficult to get a sticker at first. Once the chart is full at the end of the day or the end of the week, give your mini a reward (like a small toy).

Why does this work? Toddlers don’t have a great understanding of time just yet. That’s why immediate positive reinforcement is so important as opposed to a bigger, intangible goal to save up for later (like “If you go to the potty this week, we can go out for ice cream this weekend”).

Your kid will love seeing her progress on the wall (and showing off her chart to Grandpa), and you’ll love not having to make any more mad dashes to Target to pick up size sixes.

img 0936

Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...