Just for Parents

Need some advice when things aren’t going as expected? Want to share a potty training tip with other parents? This is the place to be! Choose from the four categories below and find all you need to know.

  • Five Potty Training Myth Busters

    Five Potty Training Myth Busters

    Whether you’re just starting potty training or you’re in the full swing of it, one thing is likely: Somebody has spread rumors to you. Call them potty training myths. These assertions of how potty training is supposed to go can make you wonder if your potty training plan has a few glitches.

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  • The “He Said, She Said” on Potty Training

    The “He Said, She Said” on Potty Training

    Boys and girls present unique challenges in every area of parenting — and potty training is no exception. Though girls and boys take roughly the same amount of time to train (eight months on average), there are many differences between boys and girls throughout the process. Jan Faull, Potty Training Partner, shares tips on helping your little lady or lad master potty training.

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  • Hot Topics When Starting to Potty Train: The Top 7 Questions About Early Potty Training

    Hot Topics When Starting to Potty Train: The Top 7 Questions About Early Potty Training

    Kristin Petrick is in the beginning stages of potty training her 2-year-old daughter. She asks if there are methods to “alleviate false alarms” when her child says she needs to go potty but actually does not. Petrick’s daughter’s behavior is normal. It is also one of the most frequently asked questions about early potty training.

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  • Making the Big Switch: Transitioning from Diapers to Training Pants

    Making the Big Switch: Transitioning from Diapers to Training Pants

    One of the first steps parents take as they face potty training is determining if their little one is really ready to begin working toward real underwear. And for many, the next step is helping their child transition from diapers to training pants. But how should parents encourage their child to make this switch?

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  • Transitioning into Training Pants

    Transitioning into Training Pants

    “Moving into training pants is a key sign for your child that he or she is becoming a Big Kid and therefore should start using the potty,” says former Pull-Ups® Potty Training Partner, Page Turner. Here are some helpful insights from Turner and the Pull-Ups® Brand for transitioning tots to training pants and completing potty training.

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  • How to tell if Your Child is Ready for Potty Training

    How to tell if Your Child is Ready for Potty Training

    Is your child ready to start potty training? All parents eventually face this question, but there are several signs that can help you determine when it’s time to start training. The truth is that no two kids train alike. The secret to success in potty training is to tune into your child’s unique learning style.

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  • A Potty Training Plan: Your Road Map to Success

    A Potty Training Plan: Your Road Map to Success

    Facing potty training for the first time may feel a little like climbing Mt. Everest: You have no idea what it’s going to be like until you’ve done it. Fortunately, potty training is much easier than mountain climbing, but when you’re done, you may feel the same mammoth-sized sense of accomplishment.

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A Potty Training Plan: Your Road Map to Success

A Potty Training Plan: Your Road Map to Success

by Teri Brown

Facing potty training for the first time may feel a little like climbing Mt. Everest: You have no idea what it’s going to be like until you’ve done it. Fortunately, potty training is much easier than mountain climbing, but when you’re done, you may feel the same mammoth-sized sense of accomplishment.

Individualize Your Plan

Just like you wouldn’t start out on a climbing expedition without a plan, you shouldn’t start potty training without a plan either. Knowing where you’re going and how to get there is half the battle. Creating a potty training plan doesn’t have to be difficult or complex, but it does have to be suited to your family’s particular needs, beliefs and parenting style.

Janet Cole, a mother of three from Mt. Angel, Ore., created a potty training plan that suited her values and her children’s personalities. She did her research, found a method she liked and implemented it. Although her plan was rough in the beginning stages, she stuck with it because it suited her parenting philosophy.

Dr. Ari Brown, author and pediatrician for the Capital Pediatric Group in Austin, Texas, believes that having a plan is half the battle.

“It’s important to have a potty training plan so you aren’t continually spinning your wheels in the attempt to lose the diapers,” Dr. Brown says. “You will only get frustrated and your child will start to feel a sense of failure if you do this.”

Getting Started

Jeremy G. Schneider is a marriage and family therapist specializing in parenting issues. He believes that choosing an approach can help ensure potty training success. He also thinks it’s important that you give yourself some room to breathe while working on a plan.

“I’m not a believer in the philosophy that you must get your child to be potty trained by a certain date and time,” Schneider says. “Too much pressure! Having a good approach, however, can make a big difference — especially if you begin to introduce your children to idea of learning to use the potty in many different ways.”

Schneider believes a good plan should always begin with gauging a child’s interest. If the child isn’t interested, all the planning in the world won’t matter.

“I think a good approach begins with introducing them to the idea, talking about it when you change their diapers, inviting them to see you use the toilet, buying books and videos about potties, buying a potty chair and making it easily accessible to them,” Schneider says. “If they’re ready, they will try. If they are not, they won’t. Forcing them could make them refuse and fight you on it, causing you both enormous amounts of frustration. Take your lead from them and it will be a much more pleasant experience.”

So you think your child is ready and you’ve put some thought into your parenting style. What’s next? It’s time for a little research. Pull-Ups® online resources, your health care provider, other parents and bookstores are all potential sources of information that can fit your family’s style.

Getting the Right Gear

At this point, it might be a good idea to jot your thoughts down in a notebook. A journal may help you keep track of the most important points of your potty training plan and a list of equipment you will need. The most obvious equipment includes a potty chair, Pull-Ups® Training Pants, underwear and anything else your particular method requires. And don’t forget things for your child to do while sitting on the potty chair! Books, little toys and stickers are all items you may want to have on hand.

“Parents should be prepared with a lot of reading material,” Schneider says. “Kids do not finish with the potty very quickly and you could find yourself spending a lot of time sitting next to them while they are on the potty or toilet. I actually found this to be one of the benefits of the toilet learning process — my relationship with my kids got stronger because of the time we would spend together, one-on-one, while they were on the potty or toilet.” Once you have everything you need, it’s time to put your plan into action. Refer to your journal whenever you feel like you’re getting off course. It’s the equivalent of checking the road map on occasion as you hike up the side of that mountain — and just think of the sense of accomplishment you and your child will experience when you get to the top!

Tips for Creating Your Child’s Potty Plan

  • Think about your parenting style. Are you a schedule-driven person? Or are you more into child-led learning? This will help you decide what you are looking for in a potty training method.
  • Do some research, check out the Internet, magazines and bookstores for ideas and the merits of different methods. Other parents can also be a great resource.
  • Start a journal. Jot down notes from your research, the main points of the potty training method you’ve chosen and the gear you’ll need.
  • Pick up the equipment you’ll need to implement your plan.
  • Choose a weekend when you’ll be home to implement your plan.
  • It’s easiest to start potty training in a familiar place, like the comfort of your home.