Potty Training (Toilet Training)

  • Medical Author:
    John Mersch, MD, FAAP

    Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Tips for successful toilet training

  1. Keep a positive attitude and let that reflect in your interaction with your child during this process.
  2. Keep the child in loose-fitting clothing that is simple to remove.
  3. Keep an extra set of clothing (especially pants) in the car at all times. Accidents will happen. Follow the Boy Scout motto: "Be prepared."
  4. Teach boys to urinate in a seated position. Many parents will reserve the standing position following successful bowel movements in the toilet.
  5. Make bowel movement expulsion an easy task by keeping stools soft by encouraging high-fiber foods and watching for excessive foods that lead to constipation (such as excessive milk/dairy products, large amounts of bananas, large amounts of pasta).
  6. If your child looses interest or resists toilet training, stop and drop back to diapers for a few weeks.

Where can parents find more information about toilet training?

Toilet Training: The Brazelton Way by T. Berry Brazelton, MD, and Joshua D. Sparrow, MD

The American Academy of Pediatrics' Guide to Toilet Training (available at http://www.AAP.org)

The Potty Journey: Guide to Toilet Training Children With Special Needs, Including Autism and Related Disorders by Judith A. Coucouvanis

Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics


"Toilet Training"

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