When my daughter was just 14 months old we started Montessori potty training (learn more about Montessori here) every night before her bath. It took her a full month before she actually went pee in the toilet and we celebrated like crazy! We then took it up a notch and started putting her on the toilet after nap as well. At one point around 17 months old, she was peeing twice a day in the toilet.


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Unfortunately for us, we had an unexpected move coming up so her success had to wait. I knew it would have been the perfect time to start fully potty training her as we were gaining momentum and she was gaining understanding.

Along with moving came a whole heap of new distractions such as a trail of visitors coming to visit us, weaning from breastfeeding and the dreaded canines came in! We managed to continue to get her to go pee every night before bed but lost the nap time potty break. All in all, we decided to wait out the storm and try when things calmed down again.



So that’s where we are now, calmed down and starting our potty training journey. We decided to go with the 3-day naked method. If you are unfamiliar with it, it is basically exactly what it sounds like, 3 days of full nakedness. This suits well with Montessori potty training as it is also suggested to let the child be naked as much as possible while potty training.

Our daughter could not have done a better job! After her 3 days naked we put underwear on her for the 4th day and she didn’t go pee in them once! On the 5th day, we had no accidents as well as her first poo in the toilet! She continues to do better every day, notifying us when she needs to go and catching herself before an accident happens.


Here is what we used to help us with potty training:


Here are a few other suggested tools to aid potty training:


There were some Montessori potty training guidelines we followed that totally saved us. This is the article at Montessori Rocks that I used to guide us through our journey of potty training.


Montessori Potty Training Tips

Follow your child’s Lead.

When you start to notice your child becoming more interested as well as other indicators that your child is entering a sensitive period (typically between 18-24 months) that is when you will want to start potty training.

Prepare you child’s Environment.

Prepare for your child’s new adventure by having a potty seat or aid and easy access to the toilet with a stool. Having a book to read may help your child stay on the toilet longer. You will also want to have a place where your child can access a sink to wash their hands.

Let your child be free.

You are going to want to encourage your child to go naked for as long as possible. This will help them see and understand what is happening.  Three days is a great start but if you can do it for longer or even for just a few hours a day it would be helpful.

Encouraging independence.

While your child is getting the hang of using the toilet you will want to be encouraging their independence through self-care. This can be done by having your child help to dress themselves and undress themselves when going to the toilet as well as washing their hands after they are finished.

Keep moving forward.

Remember that any progress is still progress and it takes some children longer than other to pick up the skill of using a toilet. Don’t let any setbacks discourage you.



Montessori potty training tips for toddlers.



I took some notes at the end of each day for our first 5 days of Montessori potty training. Here are my thoughts specific to our potty training efforts:


Day #1- That was exhausting.

My daughter went pee 3 times in the toilet and about 8 times on the floor. Not including the one poo I had to clean up. She peed on the floor, on the couch, on the slide, in the laundry basket, outside, in her crib and yes the toilet.

She didn’t seem to mind the nakedness at all. However, when she went pee she would be clearly upset that she was “dirty”. I would purposefully not make a big deal about it and just take her to the toilet and clean her up and ask if she needed to go potty.

Towards the end of the day, she was trying to get my attention and because I was watching her like a hawk all day I noticed she seemed like she might have to go pee. I asked her if she needed to go potty and she ran to the toliet and went pee! I’m not sure I could ask for more than that on her first day!


Day #2 – That was disgusting!

While she is showing signs of knowing when to head to the toilet we have had more accidents than successes today. Including the poo she told me about as it was happening. I tried to move her quickly to the toilet and you can imagine the problem with that.

I’m really hoping that tomorrow brings her first poo on the toilet, I don’t know how many times I can do that.


Day #3- I think this is really working.

Wow, I am impressed! We are about equal for number of accidents and successes on the toilet.

No poo in the toilet yet but my husband was home today to help with the clean ups. 🙂


Day #4- Started wearing underwear.

I questioned putting my daughter in underwear since most of what I was learning was to keep the child naked as long as possible. I did it anyway. She seemed to be excited for them and her little cheeks were getting chapped from being naked.

We had such a successful day today I am so impressed with how well she is doing with all of this. The only accident she had all day was the poo she did outside.


Day #5- NO accidents all day!!!

Again, I am just amazed at how quick my daughter is catching on. We had no accidents at all today! She went poo in the toilet for the first time and we all cheered like she just won an olympic medal!


I don’t see us going anywhere but up from here. She has really grasped the whole concept of Montessori potty training and I couldn’t have hoped for better.

Where are you in your potty training journey? Tell me all about your journey in the comments!



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Holly is an education consultant for modern-day moms, using step by step guides to bring Montessori into more homes. Holly blogs at This Toddler Life where she shares her love for Montessori. When Holly isn’t helping other moms she’s spending time with her family. Their love of nature and travel takes them on many adventures around the world.

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Malin - February 18, 2018 Reply

Just wondering how old she was when you did these 5 days?

Annie - September 17, 2017 Reply


I hadn’t thought of letting them go bare butt, good idea though. Mine decided to potty train in the cooler months of the year.

My 4 year old wears a pull up a night, heavy sleeper who doesn’t wake even wet from pull up leaking. I tried waking in the night to see if my son needs to go but he just goes back to sleep straight away.

Potty training my 2year old at the moment, he climbs up on the toilet himself as he doesn’t want to use the stool. I’m using a pull up which lets him feel wet before drawing it away at the moment during the day. A few accidents but accidents are getting less.

    thistoddlerlife - September 18, 2017 Reply

    There is no right or wrong way to potty train. Each child is unique so I think you are doing just what you need to do for your family. It can be an exhausting task but you are doing great mama!

Srividya - August 8, 2017 Reply

Hi .. very useful article and timely for us .. my son is 22 months and we are about the start ..
Few questions
1. Did u leave her naked for naps and night as well ?
2. Did she not want to keep touching her private parts when naked ? ( you get it with boys right ?)..

    thistoddlerlife - August 8, 2017 Reply

    Hi hun!
    Thanks for commenting 🙂
    Yes, we do have her in a pull up at night time but we let her go bare butt or with underwear on for nap time. We have only had one accident at nap time the first day. We just had her first dry pull up overnight last night so we will probably try to wean her from those in a few weeks or so.
    As for playing with herself she really didn’t seem to pay much attention to the fact that she didn’t have a diaper on. We put her in a long t-shirt so she didn’t get too cold so this helped with covering herself as well.
    I hope this helps and good luck on your journey!

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