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How to Dress a Potty Training Toddler

Happy child

Ah, potty training. The toddler milestone that strikes fear into the heart of every parent. If you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to assume that your little one is beginning to show signs of potty training readiness—like waking up from naptime dry and pulling at their wet diaper. If so, congratulations! You’re one step closer to making diaper changes a thing of the past.

Before you get started, though, it’s important to set your potty training toddler up for success. Sticker charts, potty training songs and fun activities are all great ways to encourage your potty training toddler. But the real secret to potty training success may come down to what they’re wearing.

Why Do My Toddler’s Clothes Matter During Potty Training?

For some toddlers, potty training can be a tricky milestone. Boys in particular tend to take a while to get potty training down, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics

This is a big step for your little one, and the clothes they wear can make or break their potty training success. In general, you want to choose toddler clothes that are easy to take on and off. When your child can undress themselves with ease, they’ll naturally feel more confident in their ability to use the toilet. 

5 Tips for Dressing a Potty Training Toddler

feeding daughter

What your toddler wears during potty training can make a big impact on their potty training success. Here are a few considerations for building a potty training wardrobe.

1. Say no to one-piece clothing.

Once your toddler begins toilet training, it’s time to say goodbye to their one-piece clothing. Sad, we know, but those footie pajamas and coveralls just aren’t practical for a potty training toddler. Instead, opt for cute and comfy shirt-and-pants combos that are easier for your child to remove. 

2. Think twice about buttons, snaps and zippers.

On a similar note, be sure to steer clear of toddler clothing with complicated buttons, snaps and zippers. Not only are these difficult for you to fasten on a squirmy toddler, but they can also be downright impossible for your potty training toddler to manage on his own.

3. Use training pants to ease the transition.

Potty training underwear

If you use cloth diapers, you may be wondering how to handle the transition from diapers to big kid underwear. While some parents decide to switch to big kid underwear right away, others find training pants to be a useful potty training tool.

STOCK UP ON TRAINING PANTS

Training pants feel similar to regular underwear, but are more absorbent and catch leaks better. They give parents a little peace of mind while teaching their child to use the toilet. 

Tip: Have your toddler help you pick out training pants in fun colors. This will make her feel like a big kid and provide motivation to ditch the diapers for good.

4. Leggings are better than tights.

If you have a little girl, don’t make her struggle with tights. Leggings are much easier to pull on and off. Leggings are also thicker and more forgiving in case she has an accident. 

While we’re talking about toddler girl clothes, remember to keep her dresses simple—as in, no princess costumes.  If she’s upset about not wearing her favorite princess costume, let her pick out princess-themed underwear to make up for it.

5. Let them go commando from the waist down.

You could also skip clothing altogether and let your tot go commando for a few days. This is called the “3-day potty training method” and some parents swear by it. Here’s how it works: You let your toddler run around the house naked below the waist (read: no diaper, pants or skirt) for three days. The goal is to make them acutely aware of their own body and encourage them to start vocalizing when they need to go potty.

Keep in mind that going cold turkey is not for everyone. Some parents decide to modify this method by using training pants during naptime and bedtime. Like any potty training method, do what you feel works best for your toddler.

Dressing for Potty Training Success

For many toddlers, potty training does not come easy. If you want to make the process smooth sailing, it’s important to dress them in the right clothes. With these tips, you can give your little one the confidence he or she needs to finally break free of diapers for good.

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