How Our Toddler Was Potty-Trained at 2.6 Years Old

by - August 12, 2020


Potty training—one of the many things I dreaded when I became a mother, knowing how messy and challenging it is. 

To my surprise, however, our daughter was fully potty-trained when she was 2 years old and 6 months! Here's how we did it:

When did we start potty-training?

A week after our daughter turned 2, I started to introduce her to the potty.

However, we didn't push through with the "full-blown" potty training until she was 2 years and 6 months old.

What potties did we use?

We had the same exact potty like the photo below, yet the magical flushing sound didn't work because it was a hand-me-down from my sister.

We also have a cushioned potty seat like the one below so that we can provide two options for our daughter to choose. I use the positive discipline method of providing limited choices for our toddler.

Most of the time, in the beginning, she'd choose the pink potty chair over the cushioned potty seat. But as of this writing, she has no problem using both.

Assessing our toddler's readiness for potty training

We took things slowly. I let her pee in her potty every morning, but the rest of the day, she was in diapers.

She still couldn't pull down her pants, and in my instinct, I felt that she wasn't ready yet.

So I didn't force her.

We continued this routine for nearly six months before I felt that she was ready for a more "intensive" potty training session.

Of course, it also helped that she sees how I pee.

How did I know our toddler was ready for potty training?

In all honesty, I didn't—I just followed my instincts. 

But I did notice the following signs for the past few months before she turned 2 years old, and the months that followed before she turned 2 years and 6 months:

  • She had fewer wet diapers at night.
  • She stays dry for around 2 hours during the day.
  • She shows interest in my toilet "rituals," making comments like, "Mommy remove panty!" or "Mommy wiwi!" or "Mommy pooping!"
  • She actually tells me when she's peeing or pooping herself, and then asks me to change her diapers

Our potty training method

Every child is different, so there really is no cookie-cutter approach when it comes to potty training. 

But perhaps to help you and give you an idea, here's how we did it:

1. Gradually introducing her to the potty

Take time for training. Potty training is a huge milestone for a child, so it's best to introduce it gradually.

The gradual introduction included:

  • Letting her know what a potty is and how it is used
  • Showing her how I pee
  • Letting her use her own potty at least once a day
  • Teaching her how to undress herself
  • Reading her a book about potty training. We used Caroline Jayne Church's Potty Time!

2. Letting her know in advance that she will be wearing underwear 

I find it respectful to let her know in advance what to expect. For example:

"K, this morning, you won't be wearing diapers. You will be wearing panties instead. This means you can't pee in your panty. And then what do we do when you need to pee?"

And then she will answer, "Go potty!"

3. Gradually "weaning off" from diapers

On the first day, I let her wear panties for the whole morning, and then diapers in the afternoon and at night.

I opted to do this so as to make the transition more bearable for her.

Expect a lot of mess, but be patient—the accidents will lessen as she learns that she can no longer use her diapers.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

On the second day, I let her wear panties the whole morning, plus 2 hours in the afternoon.

On the third, fourth, and fifth day, I increased hours of wearing panties in 2-hour increments. At night, I still let her wear diapers.

This went on for about seven days, until she surprised me that she could stay dry on her panties for longer and then promptly peed on the potty when she needed to go!

4. Making up our own "potty song"

I tried to make potty training fun and a bonding experience for both of us.

So I made up a simple song that we sing whenever she goes potty—simple enough so that our toddler could sing it with me!

Ours was like this (the tune, I made it up as well):

Wiwi, wiwi, wiwi baby girl 
(exchange with poopoo if she does #2)
Potty, potty, potty baby girl
Ang among baby nag wiwi sa potty! 
(Translates to: "Our baby is peeing in her potty!")

5. Set routine; set alarms

This was something I learned from an online mom group: setting an alarm so that I myself won't forget!

My method was that I set an alarm every 2 hours (the maximum time that I observed she can stay dry), and the ringtone was a recording of me saying:

"K, wiwi or poopoo potty please!"

By the fourth or fifth day, our daughter was able to anticipate this and it became part of our routine—by then, I stopped using the alarm.

She was also able to pee regularly as needed on the seventh day and beyond!

It's important to set a routine when potty training. How you do yours is all up to you and your toddler.

6. Night-time potty training

In all honesty, I wasn't confident enough to let her wear panties when she's asleep. 

I let her wear pull-up diapers for around three or five months after she was fully potty-trained (daytime).

However, all throughout that duration, K stayed dry! 

The only times when she would accidentally pee while sleeping was when she overslept after staying up so late, overtired.

I realized that K was also potty-trained at night at the same time she was potty-trained during daytime—I just didn't trust her enough, but here we are!

Things we did NOT do:

  • Sticker chart or rewards—Verbal encouragement and our sing-along during potty time were enough for our toddler to be happy.
  • Regular waking up at night for night-time potty training—As I mentioned, we just let her sleep through the night in her pull-up diapers, with the pink potty chair inside our room. But then, she stayed dry overnight nearly all the time!


And that's about it—how our toddler was potty-trained at 2 years and 6 months old! :)

Again, every child is different. Some even don't reach this milestone until they're around 3 or 4. Don't worry! Children will learn in their own time.

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