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Potty Genius Blog

Potty Words to Use When Toilet Training


Even before you start toilet training, you need to decide what potty words you will teach your child to use when talking about going to the bathroom. There are no right or wrong words. But you must decide what potty words you will use with your child and make sure that everyone who takes care of your little one uses the same words, including family, babysitters, and even preschool teachers.
potty world to use when toilet training

by Anna Kaplan, MD

Dr. Anna Kaplan is a writer and a licensed physician. She completed a 3-year residency and board certification in Family Practice and was in active practice for 15 years. A parent herself, Anna still remembers the "I know how to use the potty" song that her children sang.


Potty Genius Blog

Potty Words to Use When Toilet Training


Even before you start toilet training, you need to decide what potty words you will teach your child to use when talking about going to the bathroom. There are no right or wrong words. But you must decide what potty words you will use with your child and make sure that everyone who takes care of your little one uses the same words, including family, babysitters, and even preschool teachers.

by Anna Kaplan, MD

Dr. Anna Kaplan is a writer and a licensed physician. She completed a 3-year residency and board certification in Family Practice and was in active practice for 15 years. A parent herself, Anna still remembers the "I know how to use the potty" song that her children sang.


potty world to use when toilet training
Even before you start toilet training, you need to decide what potty words you will teach your child to use when talking about going to the bathroom. There are no right or wrong words. But you must decide what potty words you will use with your child and make sure that everyone who takes care of your little one uses the same words, including family, babysitters, and even preschool teachers.

What Actually Goes into the Toilet?

There are medical terms that you probably won’t use that refer to what goes into the toilet. Urine is fluid made by the kidneys when they clean your blood. This liquid form of waste goes from the kidneys into the bladder, and out of the body through the urethra. Most people don’t say the word urethra. It is the tube passing through the penis that carries urine. In girls, it empties out in front of the vagina and rectum, so it isn’t easy to see. Many adult women do not know exactly where it is. Emptying the bladder is called urination. The terms feces or excrement refer to the waste that comes out of the intestinal tract through the rectum. It is what is left over after your body extracts what it needs from food. The act of emptying the bowels is known as defecation. There are many other proper and slang words used to describe what goes into the toilet. Your family may already have favorites. You want to avoid words you don’t want your young child to say. Some children enjoy delivering constant streams of “potty talk,” so you may have to deflect their desire to say things loudly in public that you don’t consider appropriate.

Common Toilet-Related Potty Words

Some child-friendly potty words, proper and slang, for urine and urination include:
  • Pee, or pee-pee
  • Wee, or wee-wee
  • Tinkle
  • Number One
Child-friendly potty words, proper and slang, for defecation include:
  • BM (for bowel movement)
  • Poop
  • Doo-doo
  • Number 2
There are also lots of words for the room where the toilet is. You may have a potty for your child in a different area during training, but he or she will need to know what to call the room when he is somewhere else. Some terms include:
  • Bathroom
  • Restroom
  • Little Boys’ or Little Girls’ Room
  • Toilet
  • Washroom
There are many more words that can be used. Looking at “Power Thesaurus,” I found seven pages of words that can mean “urinate,” and 12 pages for “defecate.” I don’t know how many of these are actually used, but there were probably 20 appropriate terms for each. Your family may even have its own words.

Anatomy-Related Potty Words

While you are potty training, you will also need to decide potty words when referring to body parts. A boy can see pee coming out of his penis. You can call it that, you can call it a pee-pee, or you can pick another word. However, it is probably a good idea to use the correct word from the beginning, and not to call it something you don’t want your child to say. He or she will hear slang for it eventually anyway. You can’t really show a little girl where her urine is coming out. You can tell her that she has a vagina, because girls frequently want to know what they have instead of a penis. You can tell her that urine comes out in front of the vagina and in front of where poop comes out. This is important when you teach her to wipe herself, from front to back so she doesn’t get poop near her vagina. Both boys and girls frequently start to explore their genitals at this age. Little boys can get erections, but they are not going to ask you anything complicated and this is not the time for the “birds and the bees” talk. Keep potty words simple. Avoid words you don’t want them to use. And make sure everyone involved in toilet training knows how to talk about it.

Additional Potty Training Resources:

What Creative Potty Words do You Use? Creative Potty Words for Parents

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