Potty Training With An Outhouse: What I Wasn’t Prepared For

Potty training with an outhouse is something I never considered having to do–but life threw some curve balls at me, and wouldn’t you know, I’ve now successfully potty-trained a handful of children.

I found that for the most part, it really wasn’t that different than doing it with indoor plumbing.  I was able to adjust to the few differences, and the kids never skipped a beat.

But there were definitely some things I wasn’t prepared for.  If you’ve ever done this, then you can probably relate.


Things you may not be prepared for:

1.     A child that is ready to drop their drawers anywhere there’s a tree.

Or a bush.  Or grass.  Or a rock.

Seriously, I’m still trying to stop all my boys from this no matter how old they are.  It’s not as much of a problem with the girls, because they usually ask which bush is the best to go behind, so I have time to redirect them.

And although you and I, as adults, realize this isn’t always okay, it takes awhile to convince kids it’s okay that other people use indoor plumbing–which they all find a bit gross.  And I guess they are right–I mean think about that for a minute (or don’t).

2.     Fear of other people’s toilets.

For some reason, all the church toilets are fine, but everyone else’s…they are another story.

Now, I know this is a stage with most children, as I’d watched other little ones before I moved out to the country.  But the lack of these experiences with kids out in the country causes them to take a little longer to get over it.  I can’t tell you how many times one of my little ones has said, “Momma I gotta go” and then after I show them someone’s bathroom, they change their tune to, “That’s okay Momma–I’ll try to make it til we get home.”

If you live on a homestead, you may be concerned with potty training with an outhouse. Here are some tips to make it easier.

Have you potty trained a child using an outhouse?  What tips would you leave for other readers?



  1. I’m in the middle of potty training, but I just need several days in a row at home. It keeps getting interrupted! But yes, once the boys learn that they can go outside, they will go outside just to go. I’ve had to tell Esmond not to go on the porch, he had just opened the door to go right there!

  2. Hmm I remember some friends of my parents who lived out of town and they had an outhouse, done a long path. I used to hate using it when I was a child, it was scary and dark, and if I remember rightly it didn’t flush either, it was just a box. I must admit I am glad to have indoor plumbing. Thank you for sharing these points though, they are very helpful. Blessings

  3. Great post, I’m glad I have indoor plumbing. I can totally understand how scary it would be for a little one. I remember being scared to use an out house as a child. But now I can really see the benefits of having one on the homestead… keep the dirt out of the house…. Although at night I think I would want an indoor option… and in winter too…

    Thanks for sharing.

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