Wait to introduce potty training until your free-spirited child is showing considerable curiosity and can understand the rationale and the benefits of being potty trained and wearing Big Kid underwear. Help them see that potty training will help them get back to doing what they want to do sooner.

As with all of the Potty Personalities, you should also consult your child’s preschool or daycare before beginning potty training. They have lots of experience in potty training, and helpful resources that can help you and your child along the way. Here’s how to get started with your free-spirited toddler:

Free-spirited children are likely to be curious and excited at first, but also are easily distracted and may lose interest. The more fun and excitement you can weave into the process, the more successful you and your little free spirit will be. 

  • Place a potty chair in the living room, and let your free-spirited child check it out. They might want to stand on it, stack blocks in it, or hey, even sit on it while watching TV. After they grows tired of playing with it in that location, move it into the bathroom.
  • Start reading books about using the potty, both funny/silly ones and more straightforward how-tos. Your free-spirited kid may quickly claim a favorite that they’ll want to read every night (or three times a night). Also, keep a basket of potty books in the bathroom or near the potty chair. You can use either a regular toilet with a child-size insert, or a potty chair for potty training; whatever works best for your family. Many children, though, enjoy having their own special potty, and free-spirited children are no exception.
  • If your toddler wants to watch you in the bathroom, don’t be shy about giving a demonstration. That’s a great way for free-spirited personalities to learn. If you are a dad, uncle, grandfather or other male caregiver working with a little boy, it is best to do the play-by-play while sitting down. Standing to pee is an advanced skill better left for later in potty training.
  • Keep it social! Allow your free-spirited child to mix and mingle with their friends and potty-trained relatives in the bathroom whenever possible. Gregarious free spirits will happily watch (and learn from) their cousins, siblings and buddies who have boldly gone before them in mastering the loo. Just be sure to supervise the gang in the bathroom. Despite the fact that this may be a potty party, there’s no need for black tie attire: Dress your child in pants that pull down easily and quickly. Pants with an elastic waistband will be ideal as your laid-back child works to master the motor skills involved in this step of the bathroom process.
  • If your free-spirited toddler sits on the potty and successfully puts any pee or poop in, reward them with a silly dance, high five.
  • You might need to remind a carefree child to flush, because they might be distracted and forget.
  • Make a Hand Washing Poster for your free-spirited little one to color. Play with soap while doing the hand washing. “Let’s have a bubble contest — who can make the most/biggest bubbles while washing our hands?”
  • Sing a hand washing song to help your free-spirited kid keep their focus on this important part of the process.

Print the Pull Ups® Hand Washing Poster and hang it up in your bathroom >

Activity: My Own Potty Book

Create a special book with your free-spirited child about going to the potty. Use your child’s name, favorite colors, plus details from your lives. Kids love to see themselves as the star of the story. Offer this book while your laid-back little one is sitting on the potty, and later when they’re running for President. But seriously, make sure to bring the book when you are traveling or in an unfamiliar place. Here is some text you might use in the book. Feel free to customize it for your toddler:

  • Sometimes, I dance around and my tummy feels funny; that’s when I remember I need to use the potty.
  • I go to the potty, pull down my pants and sit on the potty.
  • Sometimes, pee comes out.
  • Sometimes, poop comes out.
  • I feel so much better after I have gone potty! Ahhh.
  • When I sit on the potty, I can sing songs, look at a book or hold my favorite toy.
  • After I’m done, I use the toilet paper to wipe, wipe, wipe.
  • I put the toilet paper in the toilet and flush.
  • The flusher is loud!
  • I pull up my pants.
  • Then wash my hands.
  • Now, I can go play again.
  • Sometimes I use the potty before I get in the bathtub or go to bed.
  • Sometimes I use the potty just to see what will happen.
  • I feel proud and happy that I used the potty!
  • I feel like a Big Kid when I use the potty!

The Bottom Line (Pardon the Pun)

Potty training free-spirited personalities can take a lot of patience. But if parents can relax and go with the flow like their little free spirits do, the process will go smoothly. Both you and your laid-back child will really enjoy the independence and freedom that being potty trained will provide.