Potty training can be one of the more overwhelming aspects of parenting — lots of parents feel this way! Here are the top 5 pieces of advice many parents wish they had known before potty training their little ones.

  1. There is no “right” age to start potty training. If you’re the parent of a toddler, this is one aspect of potty training that’s bound to leave you scratching your head — especially if your toddler isn’t interested yet. The fact is, there is no “right” time to start potty training. There are, however, some potty training readiness behaviors your child will display, like hiding to pee or poop, pulling at a dirty diaper or being interested in others’ use of the potty. Any of these ringing a bell? It might be time to move forward with your family’s potty training adventure. Our Potty Training Readiness Quiz can help you confirm if it’s time.

    Be sure to keep in mind that potty training requires kids to have certain physical, cognitive and emotional skills. They have to understand when they need to go, get their clothes off and remember all the steps of using the potty.

    And they also need to have developed a sense of wanting to please you by doing the right thing — and please themselves too! Even if your child is physically ready, they might not be emotionally ready. And when that emotional readiness develops, many potty training pros says the process will be much easier.

  2. Every child trains differently. Many parents are baffled when their older child trains right away but their younger one struggles to even acknowledge the potty — or vice versa. Every child is different. The best potty training plan is one that works with your child’s personality. Check out the Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership, a personalized, comprehensive potty training program that’s tailored to work with your child’s unique potty training personality, on their schedule and according to how they learn.
  3. Consistency is key to potty training success. Potty training in both training pants and diapers can be confusing for kids. Diapers are for babies. Pull-Ups® training pants are for Big Kids! Be consistent. When you take your child out of diapers, keep them out of diapers. Pull-Ups® training pants are a symbol of how much your little one has grown. They’re also developmentally appropriate for toddlers because Pull-Ups® training pants allow them to be as independent as possible in the potty learning process.
  4. Setbacks are a normal part of the meandering journey of potty training. Some kids seem to stay stuck in this “kinda sorta potty trained” phase forever. They’re simply too interested in friends, games and fun to care about a wet bottom. Accidents happen, so try to have some patience and enjoy this important learning journey together with your child.

    If your child goes to daycare or preschool, be sure to send a change of clothes each day — especially if they’ve moved out of Pull-Ups® training pants and into underwear. Send multiple changes if your child is at a spot in their potty training journey where multiple accidents per day are likely. Talk with their teacher about what they’ve seen work for other kids too. Being around toddlers all day means they have far more experience with potty training than the average family!

  5. Potty training doesn’t have to be a drag. As you’re planning how to potty train, remember that fun potty training can include all kinds of games and rewards. From sticker charts and coloring mats to calls from your child’s favorite Disney character, you’ll find lots of ways you and your little one can celebrate and take pride in this important achievement together. If you’re just getting started, check out these fun ways to kick off the potty training journey.

    Be sure to keep your ideas for fun potty training fresh throughout the journey too. While stickers might keep your child engaged in week one, they might not be as exciting a few months later. With the average potty training journey taking about eight months, there’s a good chance you’ll need to switch it up a bit. Try a new game or offer a new reward.

    Be willing to fine-tune your approach if something isn’t working too. If a portable potty chair isn’t working for your child, switch to a child-size potty seat on the toilet — or vice versa. If you have a boy who started peeing sitting down but really wants to stand up, give it a try but consider some easy ways to teach that all-important aiming skill. Let him aim for a piece of “O”-shaped cereal in the toilet, pee in a cup while standing in the bathtub, or “write” his name in the snow.

What’s really important to remember is that potty training is a journey with its own unique rewards and challenges. At the end of the day, you and your little one are learning things together that will help guide you both through the potty training journey and beyond.