There is a lot of competitiveness out there amongst parents, especially when it comes to potty training. But it is completely unnecessary. How you potty train your child should be based solely on what they need in order to feel confident in their skills and ability to respond to their body's needs.

Parents and experts who are big proponents of this method believe that this important milestone should not be rushed or laced with tension, stress, and pressure. Indeed, we have seen some parents and experts in forums compare intensive methods to training for a marathon in one weekend with no prior practice with the expectation they need to win the whole thing. These methods often set unrealistic expectations for parents and their children.

The slow and steady approach lets your child's natural interests and abilities help guide them to master this skill. Many pediatricians support this approach to potty training, which also incorporates many of the guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.


Many parents approach potty training slowly and steadily, where they introduce and encourage potty use over time. They do not bribe their child to learn the potty, nor do they set a limit on how long they have to learn it. Unlike the 3-day method, this approach can vary in length from child to child. Some parents may start putting their child on a potty seat as early as they are able to sit up to make it just part of their routine whereas others will wait until their child shows interest. When it comes to the slow and steady approach, there really are no set timing guidelines for how to go about potty training.


Just like other potty training methods, you will need some basic potty training gear, including:

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

You likely will not need to provide tangible rewards, as many parents who use this approach rely solely on positive reinforcement like encouragement and praise. With that said, you can certainly incorporate treats or other rewards if you feel your child would respond well.

One thing slow and steady parents should keep in mind is that your child probably does not need to have their potty chair brought out until you are ready to help them start using it. Some parents (many of us did this, too) feel they need to let their child get used to it or explore it. You can certainly do this, but the potty chair can lose its novelty and the child can lose interest, or it becomes something else aside from a place to potty on (like a laundry hamper or basketball hoop).


  • Is a peaceful, gentle approach to helping your child learn to use the potty
  • Allows your child to help guide the process
  • Reduces conflict between the parent and child
  • Does not involve forcing liquids and salty snacks on your child
  • Creates less pressure, allowing for a more natural exploration of learning about the potty and their bodies
  • If your child is ready it can be quicker and easier in the end than forced potty training methods
  • Less stressful on everyone


  • Some experts believe it gives the child too much control
  • It can prolong their time in diapers, which can be costly, hard on the environment, and be detrimental to their self-confidence
  • Some children who do not learn within an ideal window (typically before age 3) may have a harder time learning
  • May delay your ability to join daycares or preschools that require children to be fully potty trained (FYI many places do not have these expectations, so just seek clarification for the facility you are interested in).

This Method Is Great For You If:

  • You are relaxed about your child staying in diapers for a while longer
  • Your child is not in a rush to learn to use the potty right away
  • You are not on a deadline
  • You are willing to let your child’s natural inclinations guide the experience
  • You want a peaceful, fun, and (mostly) easy-going potty training experience
  • You are confident that your child will learn when it is the right time for them

Keep your pants on.

The full article is coming soon.

Story Time: