Quick Tip: Use a Timer to Potty Train


Potty training is one of those big hurdles that every parent has to cross. Once your child is trained in all the steps of doing his/her business on the commode and cleaning up afterwards, an issue that you may face is getting him/her to go with enough regularity so that those close calls can be avoided. How many pee pee accidents could’ve been prevented if only my kid went to the bathroom when he first felt the urge to go?

To avoid this scenario, parents have opted to take their child to the potty at specific intervals, like once every hour or two. But, that requires keeping track of when your kid actually used the bathroom. By my third child, I did not have the brain capacity to remember the time I last took him to the toilet. Maybe you don’t either. Perhaps it’s been a long road to potty independence, and you’re ready for this journey to end. If so, give this a try …

Use a potty timer. Every instance the timer goes off, your kid will know that is his signal to go to the bathroom. To make it more fun for your child, use a timer that has different alarm sounds. I found a simple timer app, where you can select different sounds, including animal sounds. We used the elephant because it had the most commanding and urgent sound. And, I told my son, “When you hear the elephant, you have to listen. He’s trying to tell you to go potty.” This ended up being a very fun and imaginative game for my son.

By using a timer, you don’t have to watch the clock all the time, and it trains your child to use the bathroom more independently.

I’m on my last potty training phase (maybe) with my youngest, so if you’ll excuse me, there’s an elephant timer I have to set.


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Linking up to
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5 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Use a Timer to Potty Train

  1. When I read the post title, I thought “oh hey, I do that”, but I guess I don’t. I use a timer for the exact opposite. I have a little girl who got extremely constipated and then started soiling herself after she couldn’t hold it in any more. It is a medical issue at this point, being managed with medication and doctor involvement with the daycare and everything. While we worked to reassure her that going potty shouldn’t hurt any more, the doctor told me to just have her TRY after every meal and every snack. It was fun for my daughter to go sit on the potty until she heard my one minute timer (on my iPhone) ding. And she always went in that one minute. So there’s another use for your timers, folks!!

    1. Awww, poor thing! I’m hearing from other moms that the timer is an invaluable tool … not just for potty training. It certainly helps young children to stay focused on the task at hand, especially when distractions abound.

  2. I used a timer when my daughter was potty training and had a duck quacking when it went off. She was so thrilled to hear the duck it made her excited to go use the bathroom! 🙂

    1. Maybe if we used animal timers to do some of the mundane household tasks and chores, we’d get a little more excited to do them. 🙂

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