potty training! a cheat sheet that really works

Dreading the end of the diaper stage?

You don’t have to.

Children express 4 different tendencies when it comes to potty-training—regardless of age or gender. Knowing that can make potty-training easy.

If you’ve ever wondered why some children drag out the diaper stage forever and others train themselves in a day, the list below will give you some insight.

When you identify which Type of child you’re trying to potty-train, try the tips below to make it easier for you both!

The Fun-loving Type 1 Child

These children are naturally more lighthearted and playful.

  • Make potty training into a game. The more fun the experience, the more they’ll try.
  • Don’t make it a serious, unhappy experience, or they will pull away.
  • Show some exuberance. Clap your hands! Be delighted with them when they succeed!

Fun-loving children express a random movement, so they tend to be potty-trained one day and not the next. If you just recognize that this is their movement, you’ll get less frustrated and they’ll be potty-trained faster.

The Sensitive Type 2 Child

These children are more methodical and gentle. They respond best to a comfortable experience.

  • Make a plan with them and get all the supplies you need ahead of time.
  • Don’t make these kids climb up on the toilet unless they want to – get a child-size potty seat.
  • Offer praise that’s more private.

Sensitive children will resist the potty-training experience unless they feel like they had a voice in making a plan. Don’t spring potty-training on them without talking about it first.

The Determined Type 3 Child

These children are less detail-oriented and are all about results. Encourage that!

  • Communicate directly about what you expect and what they need to do.
  • “You did it,” is a good way to phrase your praise for these children.
  • Let them experience potty training as a task that gets a result (like a sticker or a checkmark).

Because they move swiftly through things, Determined children may move swiftly through potty-training (or they might move so swiftly through everything else that they forget to go until it’s too late).

The More Serious Type 4 Child

These children are naturally tidier and more efficient. Lucky you!

  • Let them be their own authority and choose between the toilet and a potty seat.
  • Explain the process and expectations in matter-of-fact terms.
  • Keep the experience private—no potty training talk with friends or at the dinner table!

More Serious children look to adults for models of what they should do, so if you point out that everyone who’s grown up is using the toilet, your child will naturally want to imitate that behavior.

Potty training tips for all Types of children

All 4 Types of children will respond to clear communication. Let them know that you’re excited to help them grow up and use the potty. Let them feel support from you, rather than pressure.

For even more potty training tips (plus help for kids who wet the bed), listen to this recording of The Child Whisperer Show: Potty Training Tips for Different Types of Kids.

Listen in and you’ll find that potty training really can be easy and comfortable for both you and your child!

Image courtesy of Dollar Photo Club

Carol Tuttle

About Carol Tuttle

Mother of five and grandmother of seven, Carol is the original Child Whisperer. She is dedicated to turning longstanding parenting myths on their head and giving adults tools to create cooperation and joy with the children in their lives.

8 responses on “potty training! a cheat sheet that really works

  1. My son is a 3 1/2 year old type 2. We have been potty training for 3 days now. He can hold it for 4 hours, he knows when he needs to go potty, and he runs to the bathroom. The problem is he hates being wet/messy and hates sitting on the potty. So he usually ends up peeing in his underwear/pull-up after getting of the potty. And it makes him very upset, he knows it’s supposed to go in the potty, but it upsets him to sit. Sometimes he runs back and forth to the potty 3-4 times, sits for a second, then gets off and still has an accident. Any advise about how to calm him down? He hates to have dirty hands or a runny nose, so I know that its the same dislike of messes that makes it hard for him to pee on the potty.

    Any advise would be great! The whole experience is hard! He is trying SOO hard to stay dry but it’s just now working!

    • Jessica Crye says:

      Just wondering why does he have to sit? With a stool can he stand and go? Just get some Clorox wipes for messes ;). Or possibly go outside in the grass. Honestly that’s how my son learned.

  2. Carrie Sylvester- Chapman says:

    My daughter is a T1. She pretty much potty trained herself… the first time. After a few moves she regressed and wasn’t interested at ALL in going on the toilet. Finally, I came up with a plan based on Child Whisperer suggestions. I set an alarm on my phone that sounded like bells and told her that “tinkerbell says it’s time to go potty.” She got a piece of candy (that she could choose) and a princess sticker to put on a chart. Once she filled up a chart we got her a gift. She never got tired of the “game” and while she still has accidents here and there she will always try and go if “tinkerbell says” 🙂

    • Michelle says:

      Tinkerbell? You’re a genius, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! I’m going to go download a Tinkerbell ringtone right now!!!

  3. Janeya Hinton says:

    I’ve been potty training my Type 3 3-year-old daughter for about 1 month. Started with a sticker chart and little treats when she successfully used the potty but now she doesn’t really need all that. The biggest factor was when I stopped trying to be in charge and let her take control of her own training. She tells me when she is dry or wet or when she needs to go or not. The more I’ve trusted her, the more she has shown me that she will take care of it on her own. I was underestimating her, thinking she had to go more often than she did, but she has excellent control. And now, she sometimes uses the potty without my even knowing it and does it 100% right from start to finish. She’ll just tell me matter-of-factly afterward that she is a big girl and then go back to playing. She is independent and taking care of her needs exactly when she needs to and in her own way. She is a very smart and determined type 3 girl!

  4. Jennifer G. says:

    Before I knew about energy types and the Child Whisperer * it started for me from a blog link about dressing your truth & built from there on the youtube page* I knew my oldest son would be ready when HE was ready not when I tried to get him to do it because I was over diapering/changing him. At first when I tried it didn’t work because he was showing signs of interest & could hold it and tell me mom I peed, but wasn’t ready yet, then we would go back and forth with trying and diapers and one day he just did it himself and from then on it stuck. I believe our children will tell us when THEY’RE ready for a new change or to do something or learn a new skill. I know for every family the process is different & some moms work and have to train their kids earlier to get them into a daycare, it all depends on your situation. If you can just try to go with the flow and don’t force it, they’ll remember that and it will discourage them and make the bathroom a negative place. Hope this helps someone. PS Boys don’t train at the same age as girls it usually takes them longer and it is more difficult because their equipment is different, be patient 🙂

  5. Judy says:

    My 3 1/2 yr. old granddaughter, Type 1, only child, desperately wants to go to preschool. (Well, actually, she says she wants to go to Medical school first, then preschool). She would sit on her potty chair forever, get up, pull up her diaper, and proceed to fill her diaper! I told her that she can’t go to preschool unless she uses her potty chair and stops wearing diapers. Yesterday, she announced that she is, “sick of wearing diapers!”, and wants to wear “big girl panties”. She proceeded to use her potty chair all day! We praised her, told her we are so proud of her, and, gave her a trip to the toy store to buy a toy she has wanted. She keeps saying, “I’m so proud of myself, I pooped in the potty!” Today has been another successful day as well. Looks like she may make it to preschool after all!

    • LYT Customer Support says:

      Congratulations, Judy, to you and your Type 1 granddaughter. Thank you for sharing your success story with us.

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