The things you need for deadline potty training are much the same for any other method. You will need:

  • A potty chair or toilet insert
  • Step stool
  • Flushable wipes
  • Fun undies
  • A few potty books

Depending on your child's interest in meeting the deadline, you may both enjoy having a calendar to help count down to the big day (like the first day of school or the baby's due date). Just remember, time is an abstract concept for children, so they may not be able to relate to this. However, putting a sticker on each day they use the potty or crossing each day off may be a fun activity for them.

If you need to ramp up your potty training, you may need to have some fun drinks on hand for your child to fill their bladder quickly so they can practice the potty more regularly. Juices and water with fruit slices can encourage your child to drink.


  • Gives you an end goal that you and your child can work towards
  • You can choose how best to meet your goal (either going slow and steady or being a little more purposeful and focused)
  • Helps you stay on trackIf the deadline is well in advance, you can teach your child slowly overtime without creating conflict or frustration


  • Many experts are opposed to deadlines because it forces your child to potty train even if they are not developmentally ready
  • Parents often fall back on bribery to get their children to learn more quickly
  • It is a lot of pressure on a child and parent to meet a deadline
  • There is usually an assumption the child better not have accidents after a set date, which can make them stressed, especially if they are doing something new like daycare or school
  • The child may regress, especially if there is a new baby or their school environment is stressful

If school is your deadline

What many parents don't know is that in most schools your child does not need to be fully potty trained or perfectly clear of accidents. Indeed, many programs know that this is part of their role in helping your child learn and grow. School and daycare programs just prefer to not be the primary teachers and drivers behind your child's potty training experience. As we all know, it is best that the parents are the main teachers and motivators of this phase, whereas school teachers and daycare staff play a supporting role.

In A Time Crunch? Redefine Your Goal Of Potty Training

Deadlines have a way of creeping upon us. This is especially true for parents who start out the summer knowing they need to potty train their soon-to-be preschooler and all of a sudden August 1st has arrived. If your deadline has approached quickly and you haven't made a lot of progress, redefine your goal of what your child actually needs to be able to do. Being completely diaper-free 24-hours a day can take months and for some children years. But, if your goal is for them to be able to go to school for a morning or afternoon, try to aim to where they can stay dry for at least a few hours and can use the potty if prompted.

On that note, don't worry about nighttime training if your child is struggling or resisting. If your goal is no accidents at school, focus on giving them confidence that they can stay dry during the day and use the potty at school.

Anticipate regression

Don't be alarmed if your child regresses slightly or has more frequent accidents once the deadline has passed. Of course, it may mean nothing to them if the deadline was that you would be starting a new role at work and needed to put most of your focus there. But, if the deadline was a sibling being born, that may lead to some behavioral responses to this major change that may include accidents or even a desire to be back in diapers.

Keep your tone light but remain firm as you have throughout the process, and try to find ways to ensure your child is still secure in their role.

Keep your pants on.

The full article is coming soon.

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