Sometimes the pee is such a small amount I can't tell unless I watch. We have a sit down potty and can look, but this is impossible with the kind that sits in the big toilet. Unfortunately there is no room in the main restroom for another toddler potty.

Daycare says they use drops but I can't find them anywhere. Any suggestions? Maybe I shouldn't even care?

  • I'd be interested to know what kind of "drops" they are using. I'm not aware of anything like that, and the "swimming pool urine detector dye" has been debunked, so that's not it.
    – JPhi1618
    Dec 1, 2015 at 17:06
  • He doesn't go there anymore so I have no way to find out
    – Jason More
    Dec 1, 2015 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


If your toddler is not producing enough urine to show up in the toilet, it probably isn't going to make much difference in terms of making sure their bladder is empty before a car trip or bed time. If you are concerned about rewarding the child for peeing in the potty, I suggest you trust them if they say they've gone (unless they have a pattern of not telling the truth about the matter).

  • Also, as a simple congratulation is already a good reward for them, it doesn't do no bad if the kid gets congratulated, was it only for asking to go to the toilet without actually doing nothing.
    – Laurent S.
    Nov 30, 2015 at 9:55
  • Good ideas, thanks. I was going for more of a reward thing but just making him sit on the potty is probably good too.
    – Jason More
    Nov 30, 2015 at 19:03

In my personal experience, the blue food colouring method doesn't always work because you can't guarantee that the child has emptied their bladder completely. So if you want to know for the purposes of reward, it will work fine, but otherwise it's not super effective.

I have found that observing the child after is a much better method. There is a significant difference in behaviour before and after (in my experience with my daughter). After she's completely done, she is much more relaxed and comfortable, and be ready to move on with the day or play with her toys. If it was only a little (or none at all), she'll continue to do her need-to-potty dance, not want to move away from the toilet area, and be quite whiny and uncomfortable. This is definitely dependant on the child, what their 'tells' are, and that takes some practice to see.

It really depends on why you want to know, blue food colouring works for a reward, or just sitting on the potty is enough for that, but if you want to know in order to ensure you stick by the toilet a bit more or move on to something else, the kid's behaviour is the easiest to tell once you know what to look out for.

(As an aside, if you want to have a safety net for outings and aren't sure they've emptied their bladdar, use a light sanitary pad in their underwear. It will catch some of the pee, make them feel wet but still minimise the damage)

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