Potty Training Q&A: The Scoop on Poop, Wearing Underwear, Traveling, & More

You have potty training questions, and we got an expert to answer them! Dr. Heather Wittenberg is a licensed psychologist with a PsyD degree whose specialty is in the development of babies, toddlers, preschoolers and parents.

Question: My child will go pee in the potty but will not go poop. How do I get her to do both?

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Dr. Heather:  Your child has been pooping into a diaper their whole life. It’s a big adjustment to suddenly change these habits – the sensation alone takes a lot of getting used to. Patience is key here – let them tell you when you are ready. Children who are forced to poop in the potty before they’re ready often withhold their poops completely. Watching others poop on the toilet helps, too. Your flexibility here can help prevent the #1 enemy of potty training – constipation. Visit Pull-Ups.com for more of my potty training tips.

Question: Tips for older children (4-5) pooping in overnight diapers (esp when awake)?

Dr. Heather: This is a tough one – but more common than you might think. Many children are hesitant or even afraid to poop on the toilet, and it’s typically best to let them progress at their own pace. As they start getting a bit older, however (like 4 or 5), you should talk to your pediatrician. There may be something more serious at play, like chronic constipation, which can often cause what you describe.

Question: My youngest son Tyler be 5 yr old December 28 and he still goes to Hide and pop in his Pants during the Day what can I do to help him to do in the potty and How old at night should he be to be able to wake up to go potty?

Dr. Heather: This is a tough one – but more common than you might think. Many children are hesitant or even afraid to poop on the toilet, and it’s typically best to let them progress at their own pace. As they start getting a bit older, however (like 4 or 5), you should talk to your pediatrician. There may be something more serious at play, like chronic constipation. Nighttime dryness, however, is a different issue. This is driven by your child’s physical development, so hang in there until his body is ready.

Question: My three and a half year old is only potty trained bare bottom. What can I do to transition that to pants and going out?

Dr. Heather: Try using Pull-Ups Training Pants. The stretchy sides will allow them to get the Pull-Ups on and off by themselves, which will help them transition to pants. You might try Pull-Ups and pants on for longer and longer periods of time until your child is used to the feeling, but do give periodic reminders to try the potty. Once you’re able to gage your child’s interest and readiness, visit Pull-Ups.com for more information on introducing training pants. 

Question: Do boys tend to potty train at a later age?

Dr. Heather: While little girls tend to be a bit more advanced, it doesn’t mean boys are destined to take longer when potty training. Check out this quick, fun video I made that can help you better understand the gender differences that will keep your little one on track.

Question: We did a prize basket of non-food items. It seemed to help but is it something you recommend??

Dr. Heather:  Usually, small prizes, treats, or praise works best. The key to choosing a potty training reward for your little one is to figure out what works with his or her personality. To find out your child’s potty personality, take the Pull-Ups potty personality quiz and get tools and advice to help you and your child partner together throughout the potty training journey.

Question: What are your tips for training while traveling? Especially when being away from home for two or three weeks?

Dr. Heather: Let your little one know that potty training is the same whether you’re at home or on the road. Bring up the differences you expect to see along the way, like looking for a toilet, how the potties might look away from home, and ask how he’d like to handle it. If your potty trainee has been using underpants, and you want to instead use Pull-Ups while traveling, it’s fine to do that. Pull-Ups can really come in handy during lengthy car rides, plane trips or any other situation that calls for a little extra security and convenience than undies can provide. Visit Pull-Ups.com for more tips and tricks for potty training away from home.  

For more expert answers to your potty-training questions, check out Dr. Heather’s other tips!

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