Helping Your Free-Spirited Child Know When to Go to the Bathroom

Jan 18, 2023 | 3.5 Minutes Read

Your free-spirited toddler’s relaxed nature and go-with-the-flow attitude helps them adapt, so you don't have to worry too much about getting the potty training script “just right.” On the other hand, free spirits are so mellow, they may need a prod to use the potty at all. This will require a balance of playfulness, routine, and patience to focus on their progress and keep them moving in the right direction toward full independence.

how to help kids know when to use the bathroom
Help your free-spirited child recognize when they need to go by watching their body language. Some children suddenly hold very still as they eliminate, others begin to wiggle and giggle or dance in their seat. When you see these habits, let your child know, “I notice that you’re doing a little dance … sometimes when kids do that it means they have to pee. Do you think you might have to pee?” At first, the stock answer is usually “No!” Then your playful little one may stop dancing for a minute, and start again a few minutes later. Don’t force the issue. Instead, say, “I bet if you try in the potty now, something will come out.” But no pressure. You’re bringing it up to build awareness of their body’s cues, which will help them in the long run. You can also bring out the potty book that you created to reinforce the idea.

How does your body feel when it’s time to go?

“Part of using the potty is knowing how your body feels when you have to go. I know I have to go to the bathroom when my tummy feels tight and heavy. I have to squeeze my tummy from the inside to keep the pee or poop from coming out until I get to the toilet. Do you ever feel your pee or poop coming? It helps to put a hand on your tummy to check. How does it feel in there? Once I sit down on the potty, I can stop holding my tummy tight and let it all go. Ahhhh. This helps my pee or poop come right out into the toilet! When you think you have to go, tell me so I can help you try, too. You're doing great so far. It’s so cool that you’re learning all this Big Kid stuff.”

After a while, you may feel like your free-spirited toddler is stuck at this stage. They want to go to the bathroom, but nothing’s coming out. Or, perhaps your laid-back little one gets so involved in playing, they doesn’t notice their Pull-Ups® training pants or Pull-Ups® Skin Essentials™ training pants are full. Go ahead and nonchalantly help them when they need to change them. Either way, don’t push too hard, because your free-spirited child may respond by becoming even more indifferent about the process. Instead, keep reminding your kiddo what to check for with their Pull-Ups®. Patience and gentle persistence is the best strategy. Children with free-spirited personalities seem to decide suddenly that they’re ready to follow the program after a long plateau. You’ll get there — together.

Work with your free-spirited child to post pictures of Pull-Ups® around the house at eye level. Tell him, “We are posting these around the house as a reminder to check your Pull-Ups. Whenever you see one on the wall, look at your Pull-Ups to see if you’re dry. If you are dry, stop and feel what your body is telling you. Do you feel like you might have to go? If so, you can say, ‘Potty Party!’ Then, run to the bathroom and I’ll meet you there for some potty fun!”


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