Personal Stories of Overcoming Potty Training Challenges

Right now I’m right in the middle of potty training my fourth and last child. It still amazes me how each potty training experience is so different from the last. This time, the whole family has rallied around Ezra, encouraging him with high-fives and fist bumps, making potty training a big deal for this Big Kid.


What’s been even more fun is reliving and re-telling potty training stories from my other kids. They all want to hear how potty training went for them. So, we sit together on the couch and laugh as I tell them stories from their potty training days.

It’s made me realize that potty training is an important milestone in our toddlers’ lives. Yes, potty training comes with its challenges, but take it from a mom who’s been there, done that–you can make potty training fun!

Personal Stories of Overcoming Potty Training Challenges

“Poop at the Splash Park”

Potty Training Challenge: Taking your potty training child out in public.

While potty training my first daughter, we planned a family outing to the splash park. My daughter hadn’t had an accident in weeks and was in her cute little swimsuit splashing away.  I turned around to chat with my husband and when I looked back, I saw it—a big bulge in her backside. Before I could reach her, she spun around and the poop in her swimsuit flew out and landed right onto the splash pad!

I was mortified, but the parents around me were so nice. They blocked off the poop while I cleaned it up and besides a little public embarrassment, everything turned out ok.

Overcoming the Challenge: You can’t live under a rock while potty training. Life must be lived and fun must be had… especially when potty training!

I overcome the challenge of taking my little guy out in public by always having a few extra Pull-Ups Training Pants in my purse or car. Pull-Ups give Ezra the independence he wants with an underwear-like design that provides plenty of protection when we’re in public and still supports his potty training journey. is a great resource for parents to find tips, tools and advice on how to make potty training fun and exciting. Pull-Ups has helped potty train 50 million Big Kids and counting, so they know what they’re talking about!

“Shoot, we missed it!”

Potty Training Challenge: Accidents that happen because you are busy.

When my now seven-year-old son was right in the middle of potty training, I brought home his baby sister from the hospital. I spent a lot of time breastfeeding her and couldn’t always get Nixon to the potty when he needed to go.

One time when I was feeding the baby, Nixon came to me and said, “Potty mommy, potty!” I told him to try and go potty all by himself. He was so excited to be a Big Kid! A little too excited…He slid his Pull-Ups down and pee started shooting out all over the walls! I literally couldn’t move. “Good try buddy,” I said and spent a lot of time cleaning after.

Overcoming the Challenge: Have a portable cleaning basket when your child is potty training. I fill a small plastic bucket with disinfectant wipes, paper towels, and carpet cleaner for those “good tries.” It also helps to get a potty seat your child loves.

“The one who didn’t want to.”

Potty Training Challenge: When your child just doesn’t want to potty train.

With Ezra (who has an Owl Potty Personality according to the Pull-Ups Potty Partnership), potty training has been a slow process. He notices everything and likes to be in control---everything is on his time and in his own way.

Overcoming the Challenge: Don’t put a time limit on potty training. Each child is different and the process takes time. Instead of being daunting, why not make potty training fun?

To get Ezra excited about potty training, I use lots of, He especially loves calling his favorite characters to get him excited to potty train. Plus, I love that they keep him engaged.  Your child can get a call from one of their favorite characters congratulating them on their potty training journey. Check out photos below – these are so much fun!

You and your child can get a call from a few different characters! And, you can watch with your little potty trainer on the computer or on your smartphone.

Don’t get too discouraged by potty training challenges—they happen to all of us. Share your Big Kid’s potty training stories on social media by using the hashtag #Time2Potty.

That reminds me—I need to ask my mom if she remembers my potty training journey. Good luck and have fun re-telling your family’s potty training stories!

Nicolette McKinlay is an English and Journalism teacher turned freelance writer and full-time mom of four.  Life is loud, crazy, and profoundly sweet.  She’s always observing people and life through a writer’s lens; many of her articles are born from curiosity and people-watching.  Her brain is always abuzz with thoughts, ideas, and the novel she’s been writing in her head for years.  Nicolette is a writer, content contributor, and the email manager for HowDoesShe.

Thanks to 
Pull-Ups Training Pants for sponsoring this post and inviting us to share our potty training struggles and some great tips to help overcome them!

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