My youngest, 2.5-ish, is successfully using the toilet, and generally accident free. He has been at this level for a couple of months, and I would like him to start moving from the little "potty", to the toilet, for various reasons. He is in preschool, and uses a regular, though child-size, toilet. At home, he uses his "potty", which he really likes. Only when it is unavailable (someone is in the bathroom where it lives) does he use the portable seat on the regular sized toilet.

Other than some basics (we have a seat cover for him, stool that lets him climb on easily, etc.), what are some successful strategies to encourage use of the actual toilet? I am against bribing and rewards, and want to know what long-term strategies anyone has found to be useful in generating interest or alleviating fear of this transition.


From our experience, our oldest (4), had a fear he would fall in. Eliminate the fear, give positive coping strategies for dealing with this, as well as strategies of how to prevent it, and voila, give him time and space to process and he'll use the "BIG BOY'S TOILET". Who wouldn't want to be a big boy, who uses a big boy's toilet? Positive reinforcement really helps.

  • Ironically, he started using on his own and before I tried anything. He was afraid of falling in, and was able to get over it himself by holding on to the corner of the counter while he sits. – zugzwang Nov 13 '18 at 4:34

Good for you and your child that he has successfully learned to "use the potty"! He is young,so depending on his maturity level and speaking capabilities, it may be early to tell him that all the big people use the big toilet and since he is so big, he can also use the big toilet - try to tell him it is a privilege. If that does not work, you may have to go the roundabout route, like reading him a book and going through another round of "toilet-training". It is said that it is better to go the natural route so that he won't resent it later on and be even more insistent about using his potty. Wait until HE is ready to make the switch and try to work around your "various reasons" , if possible. Good luck!

  • Thank you, that is more or less in line with my thoughts, as there isn't any real urgency. – zugzwang Oct 24 '18 at 3:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.