Quick Potty Training Tip

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We, as home daycare providers, often have children who are potty training in our care.  Some children master potty training in a few days and a few accidents. Other children take longer to recognize the cues their bladders send them.

One common  pitfall for children who are new to potty training is waiting too long before they visit the potty.  Children at this age get absorbed into their play. They find it difficult to stop in the middle of their game to use the  washroom. It’s more convenient to hold it and just keep playing.  Unfortunately, holding it for too long often leads to an accident.

From a child’s perspective, interrupting an exciting game to use the potty is a horrible fate.  This scenario is heightened when there is a group of children playing together.  A child will find it even harder to leave in the middle of the game to use the potty when they are playing with other children.

The common fear is, “I don’t want to stop playing to go potty because I’ll miss something”.  I have heard this concern expressed time and time again from this age group.

The most effective strategy that we have come across in my home daycare is to use the imaginary ‘Pause Button’ on the game.  If the child is playing alone, the toys they are playing with are saved for their return from the washroom.  No other child may touch their toys or disturb their game set up.

If the child is playing in a group, the whole group of children agree to pause the game until the child returns from the potty.  This required some adult assistance in the beginning when we first introduced this new rule.  However, the children in my care caught on quickly and enjoyed helping support the potty training child.

The biggest success achieved was for the child potty training.  This new rule allowed them greater freedom to listen to their body cues without worrying about being left out or missing something.  Now, all we have to do is say, ‘PAUSE’ and the play will stop until a child returns.

May all your potty training pauses create great success in the future!


  1. Well duh! Why didn’t I think of that! LOL! Have had this issue numerous times! Thanks for this tip!

  2. What a great idea. I have a new little one who is potty training. Her parents tell me what a good job she is doing at home but I am lucky to have her go potty just one time during the whole day. The rest of the time she is having accidents for the exact reason you stated. I remind her a lot but she is always busy and says she dose not have to go. Today I tried a strategy I read about using a timer set for every half hour and we had great success. The timer made it like a game for her because I called it her potty reminder. I will also be using your “pause” suggestion because I think this will also be a big help. Thanks, I absolutely love your blog and get a lot of great information for my new home daycare.

  3. HowToDaycare says

    Thanks for the comment Jenny and for sharing your ‘potty timer reminder’ with everyone!