Potty Training Guide for Parents

When I had my first daughter, I had the regular excitement and fears that come with being a new parent. Was she eating enough? Was she sleeping enough, growing, and meeting all of her developmental milestones?


I also had some other worries…like, how would I teach her to give up her pacifier? How would I teach her to read? What about potty training? Would potty training be as hard and stressful as I heard it could be?

Thankfully, it went really well with not only my first born, but also my other two. Of course there were little hiccups along the way, but we used some tips to make potty training as easy and stress-free as possible for both us parents and our sweet little ones. Plus, we got to have some fun along the way!

I think that the key to successful potty training is to prepare ahead of time. Have a plan before you start this journey, but stay flexible along the way and use these proven tips from Pull-Ups® Training Pants and their partner, child development expert Dr. Heather Wittenberg.

Dr. Heather has been a Pull-Ups Potty Training Partner for many years, and she has some great tips to help you too have a positive potty training experience.

Here are some of our favorites:

1. Follow your child’s lead. Don’t rush potty training. Some kids potty train in days, some take a bit longer. Let them lead when to start and give them time to adjust.

2. Start potty training at home. Pick a couple days that you know you won’t be traveling or running a lot of errands, and use those days to start potty training. This will help your child know the basics of how to use the restroom and take the pressure off accidents that are caused just from a lack of an available toilet. In the early stages of potty training, I’ve found that the kids don’t often know that they have to use the restroom until they really have to go… and it really helps to have a familiar bathroom steps away from where they are.

3. Have the right tools on hand and let the child pick them out with you. Pull-Ups have different characters on them to make little ones excited to wear them. Include your little one in purchasing them so that they are even more interested in potty training. Once you are ready to start, and have your Pull-Ups, make sure you don’t switch back to diapers.
Dr. Heather explains why you should stick with Pull-Ups instead of switching between diapers and training pants:

And if you’re still not convinced that you should use Pull-Ups, let me tell you what a life saver Easy Open Sides are, because potty training shouldn’t have to be a giant mess all the time. You can change your little one quickly and easily in case of an accident, and can also just do a quick check in case you aren’t sure. Because accidents happen, which brings me to my next point.
4. Don’t give up if it seems to be taking a long time to potty train. This is a big deal to both you and your child, and becoming frustrated will just make it worse for both of you. Remember – this is a partnership that will set the tone for how you and your child overcome challenges in the future as well.
I love what Dr. Heather says about what you should do if potty training isn’t working after a while:

5. Celebrate successes. Keep stickers on hand or other small treats for times when your child could need some extra celebration for potty training done well.

The Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership has a bunch more really great tips to help parents through every stage of potty training. Dr. Heather Wittenberg helped create the potty partnership based on years of research and observation of personality types in young children, so I know I can trust it! I also love recommending their tips because they are all based on the idea that potty training should be a true partnership between parent and child.

Parents can start by taking a potty personality quiz to identify your child’s personality traits and behaviors, and the Potty Partnership provides tools and advice tailored to how they learn. The partnership follows the same principles that we’ve used all these years – potty training is a fun milestone and a great time to build family partnerships. Plus, the tips, tools and games that they offer are pretty brilliant. My favorite one is the Potty Training Race. I know my girls would have loved playing it and it would have helped make potty training even better for us all.

Each of my girls have such distinct personalities and the potty partnership encourages and celebrates that, rather than trying to go with a one-size-fits-all method since each child is unique and special in their own way.

Are you getting ready to potty train in your home?


Heather Delaney Reese from It's a Lovely Life is an inspirational storyteller and lifestyle writer who loves food, travel, So Cal, tech, Disney & family adventures.

This post is sponsored by Pull-Ups® Training Pants. All opinions are my own.


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