how to stay calm during potty training

How to stay calm during Potty Training


Staying calm whilst potty training is so difficult.  I have received the message loud and clear that I mustn’t get annoyed when he has accidents and that the focus has to be on encouraging the positive steps and actions, but this is tough!  So this is my advice on how to stay calm during potty training.

how to stay calm during potty training

How do I stop being mad at potty training?

We all know that an accident during potty training isn’t bad behaviour, but honestly sometimes you just know that your little one is doing it on purpose.  If he is annoyed about being told not to do something (usually something dangerous that he thinks is fun!) he often rewards me with a wee wee in the pants.  Its tough in these situations not to be cross with him and yet I know that I have to try.  There is very little that a toddler has control over so I am 100% convinced that dirty protests are a thing, but that doesn’t mean that getting mad at potty training is the answer.  In fact the direct opposite is true.  The calmer you can stay when potty training the easier it will be.

What do you do when your child has made the most almighty and grim mess…  The first thing I would advise is to look for the good and progress even in the midst of chaos.

17 Ways to calmer parenting

Here is a true story from potty training one of my boys.  One morning whilst dressing one of my other children I heard a little voice say ‘mummy I need to get in the shower.  I need to be hosed down’  This is never good coming from a toddler and I was envisaging a bathroom covered in shampoo or something, but oh no it was way worse… 

I walked into the bathroom to see his potty on top of his toy ‘treasure chest’, poo all over the floor, pj bottoms covered in poo and a little poo in the same state.  I was dumbfounded and simply said ‘what happened?’  He grinned broadly and said ‘I tried to do my poo on top of my treasure chest, but I didn’t make it’.  He was just so proud of himself that he had tried.  This is the first time he has tried to do a poo in his potty so even as I looked at the disaster zone in front of me I was also pretty proud.  I realised then how important it was that I just got on with cleaning up and told him how great he had done trying to make it to the potty.  Despite there being a big old mess I realised that this was an actual step forward.  Its not the first time as a mummy that I have felt a step back was actually a step forward.  Its a confusing topsy turvy world this mummy hood!! 

I finally saw the real value of staying calm when potty training as I honestly believe that now he will try again and he will achieve it next time.  I won’t lie to you though as I was gagging whilst picking up a great big poo from the middle of the floor it was still tricky not to be irritated that this was the first thing I had to do today, but I kept that big smile on my face and reassured him that he was really clever to have tried.  I deserve an Oscar for my performance.  Who knew that a mother needed to be an accomplished actress too? 

The second thing I would advise is taking a physical step away from the situation when there has been an accident before you do anything about it.  Of course if your child is soiled then you need to deal with it there and then, but if there is wee on the floor or poo then it will still be there in two minutes so I would just remove your child and yourself from the situation and find something else to occupy your child with.  Give yourself a physical moment to be away from the problem and allow yourself to reset.  Just a few moments can be enough for you to see it as it really is… A very small child trying to learn something that is hard for them and who can be mad about that?  They are trying and that is all you can ask.

How can I make potty training less stressful?

Set yourself up for success…  Do your research in advance and make sure that you have had a look at how other people are doing this.  The benefit of experience can be invaluable. There are so many different books and tactics available and for me the best thing to do is to read a few different things and gather the pieces that will work for you.  In my experience no one plan can fit all..

These are my 14 tops tips for potty training

Get yourself organised at home…  Think about the best place in your home to have your child for the majority of the time when they are potty training as being logical about this can make potty training so much less stressful. So for example is there a room in your home that doesn’t have carpets?  If not can you put down wipeable mats for the duration of the potty training?

I also hugely recommend getting yourself a small carpet cleaner so that you can deal with any messes and accidents quickly and easily.  This is the exact one that I have:


Once I got one of these I found it way easier to stay calm during potty training since I knew that no matter what I could quickly fix it.

My last tip is don’t let yourself be pressured by the world and society to potty train until your child and you are ready

potty training

I wish you loads of luck for potty training and hope that some of my advice here and in my other potty training articles will be useful for you and will all support you with how to stay calm during potty training.

potty training

Scroll to Top