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6 Ways to Make Night Potty Training Easy (& fun!)

6 Ways to Make Night Potty Training Easy (& fun!) the potty school

by: Michelle Swaney of The Potty School

This post contains affiliate links. You don't pay any more, but we may make a small portion of the sale, for which this mama-run business says, thank you...we love being able to provide free resources subsidized by affiliate pay-out.

Does your child complain that their bottom is cold when you take them at night?

Are you afraid they'll "fall-in" during the night?

Or maybe that they'll walk into a wall on the way?

What on earth are you supposed to do about all of that?! Well, there ARE options!

Option 1: Arline Style Route to the Bathroom

Get creative with the glow-in-the-dark masking tape to tape a route to the bathroom. Whether it's on carpet or the wall, think about those Red Eyes flights where all you have are those little LED lights to shine the way...this serves the same purpose, but is far easier to install and remove. This is our #2 pick for night-time "find-the-bathroom" woes.



Option 2: Make, or Buy, a "Potty Cozy"

Let me introduce you to the "potty cozy". It's basically a method to keep that toilet from being freezing cold, while still getting that pee/poo in the potty without having to run a heater in your bathroom all night long.

DIY Potty Cozy (to keep the seat of a mini-potty from freezing your kiddo's bum)

Are you feeling crafty...or cheap. You can make your own potty cozy in less than 10-minutes flat using just:

  • (1) T-Shirt (cotton, fleece or sweatshirt material)
  • (1) safety pin
  • scissors
  • elastic band
  • short piece of yarn, ribbon, string

Check-out a lovely full-tutorial HERE.

Buy a Potty Cozy from someone crafty

Check-out Jenay's Etsy store, Naturally Diaper Free, where she makes potty cozies for you. You can choose from 100% Merino Wool, or Organic Cotton. Either way, each one is made with love for your little. She's a mama-run biz located in Portland, OR (shout out to my sister who just bought a house up there :))

Option 3: Glow-in-the-Dark EVERYTHING!

Did you know there really seems to be glow-in-the-dark...everything?

If your kiddo is fighting night-time potty-usage, maybe using a bit of night-time creativity will help you out.

You can get a night light for your toilet. Crazy cool, isn't it! (Not for those who are prone to sensory issues though)

Did you know you could even purchase glow-in-the-dark toilet paper? Reminds me of "Cosmic Bowling" back in the day...


Option 4: Add a Floor Carpet Under your Mini Potty

Of course you could use a towel...but the likelihood that your child will end up sliding and injuring yourself isn't really worth it. Spend a few buck to purchase a small rug with a non-slip backing, like this one. Or, if you're looking for super cheap, throw a towel over top of a non-adhesive shelf-liner like this one.

Or get a regular, and lovely memory foam mat here - and then be sure to wash it.

Option 5: Miner-Style Route to the Bathroom (just for kicks)

And, if nothing is working out and your kiddo is getting lost getting to the bathroom...maybe a last-ditch effort would be slapping on a kids' headlamp before that kiddo heads to bed. I'm mostly joking (I can't say I actually think it's safe, or a good idea...but I mean if you're desperate, you're looking for ideas...just don't blame me :)).

Option 6: PUT IT HERE, NO WHERE ELSE option

Or, if you're really into the glow-in-the-dark...put it HERE option...then this is the option for you! Someone created (and I'm sure went to the effort to patent, and now sell) a full-on glow-in-the-dark toilet seat. Think adult-sized, glow-in-the-dark loo 🙂

Now that's a way to loo-k forward to using the loo 🙂

And when your little people are ready, check-out these super cute tiny undies (sizes 6 months - 5T), at...appropriately named...Tiny Undies here.

Discover your Pottying Personality here for free!

Pottying Personality Quiz The Potty School



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The Accidentally Potty Trained Child...and 4 Scenarios of How It Happens

by: Michelle Swaney of The Potty School

accidentally potty trained the potty schoolHere's the scene: Her child is far younger than she envisioned him being when ready to potty 16-months he's pulling at his diaper when it’s soiled...She has been taught "you must wait until they are ready" but he throws fits at every diaper change, shakes his head "no" to diapers and tries to take off the diaper as soon as he poos in it...but the Momma's not ready. 

[Scenario #4 is an amusing one :)]

I encountered such a story. The main reason this person didn't want to start potty training was because his cloth diapers were so cute! Well, people, let's be real - there are some super cute undies in this world too! Check-out these super cute tiny undies (sizes 6 months - 5T), at...appropriately named...Tiny Undies here.

Perhaps your child runs to you and grabs you leg whining, but you have no idea why. Then after a minute he leaves, without the desperate look on his face.

Or some parents (for sure not all), this happens, they pull their child’s diaper off and guide their child to the potty and that pee or poo gets in the toilet the very first time, and then after that. From my experience,  most parents have kids with these signs of awareness that they are going at approximately ages 12-18 months (so sooner, some later).


Scenario #1: You Noticed & Responded to When Your Child Needed to Potty

Though many children convey signs that they are ready to potty at very, very early ages, many parents dismiss these signs. Or, they recognize them, but do not tend to them. Think about when you saw a parent noticing their child pooping in their diaper while in a high chair. Maybe even the grown-up conversation goes to talking about how funny that “poop face” is. The parents are all sitting around knowing that the child is going, and that’s the child’s way of being very obvious that it’s happening – but unless you actually attempt to potty the child, you’ll never know that they are capable.

Do you smile at your child's 'I'm pooping' face...or take action?

Scenario #2: They Were Ready All Along 

Did you know that some people around the world, and even in your hometown, practice “elimination communication” and take their babies to the potty/waste location as early as birth? Meaning…that the first meconium isn’t going into a diaper to go to a landfill, or going into a cloth diaper to get washed – it’s going straight into the socially acceptable receptacle. Whether that’s a potty/toilet, or bucket or a bush (depending where you live)…many believe this is what potty training “should” be. For them there is no such thing as a 3-day plan or a timed attempt to get your child to pee – it’s just a way of life that started as early as birth. To learn more about elimination communication, click here. The Potty School loves teaching parents about this practice that has been utilized worldwide, for generations!




Scenario #3: You Were Desperate!

Maybe you’re at a restaurant and run out of diapers and have to “conserve” diapers and see that poop face happening…so instead of leaving the restaurant, you just take your baby/toddler/child to the bathroom and hold them over the potty, hoping for the best. For some kids, this is all it takes. That is definitely not the case for all – but for some all they need is you to tell them, and expect of them where their pottying should be done. Many kids will catch on to your “put it in the potty” desperation and actually do it (thought it may take more than one trip to the bathroom).


Scenario #4: It was Culturally Expected of You and/or You Were Poor

This is the scenario of most of the world. If you explained to an elderly Chinese woman how some people in the U.S. keep themselves inside with a 3-year-old for a week at a time bribing a naked child with candy and an ipad in order to pee in a flush toilet, she would keep asking you questions about what you were talking about...thinking that perhaps she was translating something incorrectly in her head...because the idea of all of that sounded...

...just so...

...foreign... strange to her.

When you asked her "what did you do?" She would say "I took her to the bucket when she needed to go, or when the family needed her to go."

The elderly Chinese woman would say "I took her to the bucket when she needed to go, or when the family needed her to go."

Yes, that is a true story. I was the one asking the questions and I was the one getting the "you're crazy, right? Do you know what you're saying?" looks.

For her, it was simply a matter or how she learned, and what was expected of her - based on the fact that she was not only poor, but home with children, and had a lifetime of "child rearing" training by growing up with multiple generations in the same home.

Have you ever heard of an "accidentally" potty trained child? How did the parent say "it happened?"  Answer in the comments below.

Please join me next week (January 9th - 13th) for the 5-Day Potty Training Plan Challenge!

Join now! 5-Day Potty Training Plan Challenge  January 9th-13th, 2017
Join now! 5-Day Potty Training Plan Challenge January 9th-13th, 2017

Join our free pottying support groups:

Potty Training Support Group (18+ months)

Elimination Communication Support Group (0-18 months)

The Potty School offers DIY and one-on-one options. Check them out here: DIY Pottying Plan and Personalized Pottying Package.



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How do I use a Pottying Doll to Potty Train my Child?

*** This article contains affiliate links. This means you don't pay anything extra, but The Potty School earns a bit from a purchase you make using any links in this article. Thank you! ***

3 steps pottying doll-the-potty-school-michelle-swaney

Whether you prefer a video how-to, or the step-by-step via words & bulletpoints, check-out both options below of how to potty train using a Pottying Doll.


Enjoy the step-by-step demo video (the doll included is listed below the video)


The Pottying Doll I used in the demo video above:

Step 1: Teach the Doll to Potty

Your goals of teaching the doll are several fold because you want:

  • Your child gets to be the "big girl/big boy" who is the "teacher" (and toddlers LOVE that!)
  • You are teaching the difference between WET vs. DRY
  • You are teaching the difference between CLEAN vs. DIRTY

Have your child "teach" by watching you the first time (see the video for an example) and then have them participate by doing any of the following:

  • Open, fill and put the lid back on the bottle
  • Take the diaper off of the doll (and "throw" it away)
  • Make sure the new undies are DRY and CLEAN
  • Put new undies on the doll
  • Give water to the doll
  • If the doll has an accident you can decide whether you want your child correcting the doll or not. If you have a real baby in your family, this might play out so that your child starts telling the baby "no, no" or "yucky", so just take that in to consideration.
  • Have your child "notice" that the doll needs to go pee pee, or poo poo
  • Rush the doll to the potty
  • Take the doll's undies off
  • Put the doll on the potty
  • Celebrate that the doll went to the potty to go pee pee
  • Give any sort of reward/dance/cheer to the doll for doing a good job (or just say "good pee pee in the potty"). Make sure you have this behavior model what you want to be doing for your child in real life when they have pottying success



Step 2: Show What Happens When the Doll Has an Accident

When the doll has an accident - you want to point that out. The reason you want to do this is so that you child understands what an "accident" is, why it's not what potty training is about, and that when s/he has an accident, s/he doesn't just get to start playing again...she or he needs to help clean-up as well.

  • Have your child bring the doll back to where they had the accident and say "we have to clean up the pee pee. Pee pee goes in the potty now" (or something like that - but ending with "pee pee goes in the potty now")


The Potty School's mini-course (less than 20 minutes) to help with troubleshooting, now!



Step 3: Have Your Child Practice Getting to the Potty,  Fast!

In this step you are trying to teach your child to get to the bathroom, as soon as they notice they have to pee, or poo. To do this, you are going to have a little game that both mommy and daddy, or whomever cares for the child, can play. It's like yelling "fire", but instead you are going to say "pee pee!" and then they need to stop whatever they are doing and run to the potty. You are not actually having them go to the bathroom with the intent of them getting pee and poo in every time - the idea of this game is to make sure your child knows:

  • How to get to the bathroom from different areas of the house
  • Learns to stop what they're doing and immediately go to the bathroom
  • Learns that it can be fun to notice that they need to go pee pee

Like most of parenting, practicing these skills when your child, and yourself, aren't in a stressful environment is the best method.


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Pottying Doll Accessories:

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