8 Must Know Tips for Successful Sensory-Friendly Potty Training

When my son was two, I was done with diapers.

I was done changing diapers and done making sure I had enough diapers in all the places where I would need them.

And I was definitely done with purchasing diapers.

I could not wait to potty train him.

Unfortunately, he didn’t feel the same way.

And so potty training quickly became a dirty phrase in our house.

I dreaded it. He dreaded it. And it was a disaster.

Now potty training isn’t easy in the best of conditions.

But when you add sensory processing into the fold, potty training a toddler should be classified as an Olympic Sport.

Where they hand out wine to the moms instead of metals.

So having potty-trained three kids successfully, one with sensory processing issues, we have figured out what works…and more importantly, what doesn’t work when potty training our kids.

And one of the simplest ways to make sensory-friendly potty training easier is using the right kind of toilet paper.

So I’ve teamed up with Charmin and their new Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet Paper, Family Mega Roll with Cushiony Touch, available on Amazon, so rough, scratchy, uncomfortable toilet paper never has to touch my sensory kid’s body.

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Set yourself up for successful sensory friendly potty training:

Before you throw your hands up and announce your child will be in diapers until college, there are tricks that can make potty training a sensory kid easier.

1. Wait Until your Child is Ready

The number one thing you can do to automatically set yourself and your child for success when potty training is to wait until they’re ready.

This is true for all toddlers, but especially for our sensory kids.

This will require a great deal of patience and the ability to ignore social pressures from outside influences trying to convince you to start before your child is ready.

Children with sensory challenges will often be ready for potty training later than their typically developing peers.

It may take them longer to get the interoception to know when they need to go to the bathroom. It may also be harder for them to deal with the sensory challenges associated with going to the bathroom like a cold seat, being naked, having accidents in their underwear, etc.

2. Get them Potty Training Books

My kids loved reading about going potty and successful potty trips way before they actually sat on a toilet.

We read the books often and once they were well-loved books, we moved them to the bathroom for toilet-time reading.

Our favorite potty training books were Potty by Leslie Patricelli, A Potty for Me by Karen Katz, and Pirate Potty by Samantha Berger, but there are tons to choose from.

3. Watch Potty Training TV

Since a lot of sensory kids love screen time, watching their favorite TV characters use the bathroom will make potty training seem “cool.”

Plus it’s an easy way to get the information into their brain and expose them to potty training skills before they’re sitting on a toilet themselves.

Daniel Tiger, Special Agent Oso, Elmo, Dinosaur Train, and Peg + Cat all have an episode where the main character practices bathroom skills.

4. Use Timers

Timers can help sensory kids have a predictable routine when they’re potty training.

Set a timer as soon as your child sits on the toilet and when it dings, they can get up. Then set the timer again, and when it dings it’s time to go sit back on the toilet and try again.

I often had to remind my kids, “You don’t have to go potty, but you do need to sit on the potty until the timer goes off.”

Have their favorite books available for toilet time and let them help set the timer for an added buy-in of the whole process.

5. Offer Choices

Any child who is offered a choice will automatically feel more empowered and more in control of their body.

The trick is to offer them a choice that ensures they’re doing what you need them to do, in this case, sit on the toilet.

  • Do you want to sit on the downstairs toilet or the upstairs toilet?
  • Do you want to read a book or sing a song while you sit?
  • Do you want Mommy to stay with you or do you want privacy?
  • Which pair of big kid underwear do you want to wear today?

6. Have Calm Down Tools Ready

Going potty can be really overwhelming for sensory kids, so have some calm down tools at the ready.

You could offer either their favorite fidgets or calm down jar or have special ones that are only for bathroom time.

Need a simple calm down jar you can make in minutes? Create this spring-inspired calm down jar. 

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7. Use Rewards Carefully

While some kids respond really well to rewards, sensory kids can become very rigid with their treats. If my son got an M&M once for peeing, he felt he should get an M&M every single time he peed.

If you choose to use rewards for going potty, consider using stickers or a chart where they are working towards a bigger goal, prize, or extra screen time.

That way, there’s an end in sight when you’re ready to wean them off earning a prize for using the toilet successfully.

8. Purchase only the Most Comfortable Toilet Paper

We once accidentally purchased off-brand toilet paper that felt like scratchy tissue paper to us. We hated every last minute of it and threw away the last few rolls it was so awful.

For our sensory kids, it’s essential to have the softest toilet paper to make wiping less uncomfortable.

Our family just found Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet Paper, Family Mega Roll with Cushiony Touch, and they are the softest toilet paper rolls we have ever used.

It’s available on Amazon so it’s shipped right to our front door and I didn’t have to lug it home from the store.

Use the promo code 3MEGACHARMIN when you purchase Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet Paper, Family Mega Roll with Cushiony Touch to save $3 instantly, plus there’s an additional $2 off coupon that can be applied at checkout for a total savings of $5!

Charmin’s irresistibly soft Family Mega Roll Toilet paper has a unique cushiony touch that ensures even our sensory kids love to use it.

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And one Charmin Family Mega Roll = 5+ Regular Rolls (based on the number of sheets in Charmin Regular Roll bath tissue) so I don’t have to change the toilet paper roll as often.

It’s a win-win.

Sensory friendly potty training is not going to be easy. Because potty training isn’t easy.

But Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet Paper, Family Mega Roll with Cushiony Touch made it a little easier for our family.

Which will keep us from dreading the whole potty training process.

And maybe we won’t need as much wine. Maybe.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Charmin.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Charmin. The opinions and text are all mine.


More Resources For Dealing with Sensory “Issues”

To help you remember some of these strategies and understand sensory behavior and what to do in the moment, I’ve put together this amazing poster set on how to understand your child’s sensory struggles and discipline sensory meltdowns.

These posters give you tips on how to help your child regulate their sensory needs, and identify what your child’s behavior is really telling you!

There’s also a list of 7 common myths about sensory behavior. I dispel these misconceptions so you can gain a deeper understanding of what sensory really is.

Ok, you might be thinking…

This all sounds great but…

  • What should I do when my child is having a meltdown?
  • How do I create sensory strategies that are going to help my unique child?
  • How exactly do I get them to use those strategies in the moment?

In my next blog post, I’ll share how to create sensory tools that are going to help your specific child. I’ll also tell you what to do in the moment when your child is in sensory overload and having a meltdown!

overcome sensory issues

But right now, download your FREE Handle Any Sensory Challenge posters so you can get a deeper understanding of sensory and start implementing some sensory activities and routines with your family!

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