Wait to introduce potty training until your Bear Cub is showing considerable curiosity and can understand the rationale and the benefits of being potty trained and wearing Big Kid underwear. Help him see that potty training will help him get back to doing what he wants 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 Bear Cub:

  • Place a potty chair in the living room, and let your Bear Cub check it out. She might want to stand on it, stack blocks in it, or hey, even sit on it while watching TV. After she 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 Bear Cub may quickly claim a favorite that he’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 Bear Cubs are no exception.
  • If your Bear Cub wants to watch you in the bathroom, don’t be shy about giving a demonstration. That’s a great way for a Bear Cub 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 Bear Cub to mix and mingle with her friends and potty-trained relatives in the bathroom whenever possible. Gregarious Bear Cubs 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 Bear Cub works to master the motor skills involved in this step of the bathroom process.
  • If your Bear Cub sits on the potty and successfully puts any pee or poop in, reward him with a silly dance, high five.
  • You might need to remind a Bear Cub to flush, because he might be distracted and forget.
  • Make a Hand Washing Poster for your Bear Cub 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 Bear Cub keep his 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 Bear Cub 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 Bear Cub is sitting on the potty, and later when she’s 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 Bear Cubs can take a lot of patience. But if parents can relax and go with the flow like their little Bear Cubs do, the process will go smoothly. Both you and your Cub will really enjoy the independence and freedom that being potty trained will provide.