10 Tips for Potty Training a Toddler

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10 Tips for Potty Training a Toddler

As soon as your child hits the ripe old age of two years you start to envision a world without diapers and wipes. It’s easy to get caught up in potty training stories from other parents who had their child completely out of diapers at age two. I was one of them since my older daughter Sweet T potty trained in one day shortly after her second birthday. Who needs tips for potty training a toddler? What’s everyone complaining about?

Then along came Gus…

pullups Collage

Stuttin’ my stuff before bedtime with my Mater Pull-Up and Mater shirt, and cowboy boots. This is how it’s done, son.

I can now tell you from experience that potty training isn’t an easy task for many parents. That’s why Pull-Ups® has introduced the The Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership! The Pull-Ups Potty Partnership begins the first time toddlers put on a pair of Pull-Ups training pants, symbolizing their promise to work together to navigate the world of potty training.

To get started, take this quiz created by child-development expert Dr. Heather Wittenberg to learn your child’s “Potty Personality.” Is your child an energetic, eager to please Puppy, a determined, busy and predictable Owl, a free-spirited Bear Cub, a shy and resistant to change Turtle, or and always on-the-go Squirrel?

Sweet T was the Turtle and Gus is the Squirrel. So that explains a lot!

Below are my top 10 tips for potty training a toddler based on advice from the experts at Pull-Ups and my experiences with both kids:

You can do this, Mama! Check out these 10 tips for potty training a toddler. Tips for potty training boys and girls.

Tips for Potty Training a Toddler

1. Watch for Signs of Readiness – make sure your toddler is showing signs that they are ready to leap into potty training. Signs of readiness in toilet training include, but aren’t limited to:

  • pulling at their diaper.
  • interested in copying others’ use of the potty
  • waking up dry from a nap.

Take the Pull-Ups Potty Training Readiness Quiz to help determine the timing of your potty training journey together. It’s important to remember that potty training varies for every family and every child. Don’t rush ahead of your child’s interest level and hustle them to potty. If they’re interested, they’ll respond positively to your suggestions. If they don’t, back off and try again next time!

2. Encourage Toilet Training – Once you see signs that your toddler is ready to start potty training, set up a home environment that encourages toilet use. Keep the door open and set up a toddler size toilet. Ask your toddler if they have to go potty once every two hours. You can also try the Pull-Ups Time to Potty App, which reminds your child when to take a potty break and automatically adjusts based on their progress.

3. Lead By Example – Have Dad or Mom show toddler how to go potty. Be open to letting your toddler join you in the bathroom when going number 1. Children learn best when they have a visual example of what’s expected of them.

4. Allow Naked Time – When weather permits, allow your toddler to stay naked from the waist down in your home. You’d be surprised how often this gets the ball rolling!

5. Switch to Pull-Ups® Training Pants – Once your child is displaying signs of readiness, switch over from diapers to Pull-Ups. This will encourage independence! Pull-Ups allow your toddler to feel wetness, thus creating the need to use their potty during toilet training. It also provides them with the independence of sliding their pants on and off. It’s also a symbolic moment to leave diapers behind. Ditching the diapers is a big, symbolic moment in your child’s development. Make the first time they put on Pull-Ups a special one.
Child development expert and Pull-Ups partner Dr. Heather Wittenberg also talks about why potty training in both pants and diapers can confuse children, and why it’s important to keep kids out of diapers during potty training.

6. Use a Reward System – Develop a reward system that works for your child. For Sweet T, I used chocolate and for Gus I used lots of praise and the potty dance. As time goes on, have a longer time in between rewards to slowly remove the reward system.

7. Potty Training Boys – Boys seem to enjoy having a little target practice. You can use Cheerios in the toilet to allow your potty training boy to have target practice during bathroom visits or try some of the fun potty training targets below:

Toilet Targets for BoysToilet Targets for BoysToilet Training Urinal Target Marker,toilet Bowl Vinyl Sticker for Boys Men Vinyl Decal Sticker,2pcsToilet Training Urinal Target Marker,toilet Bowl Vinyl Sticker for Boys Men Vinyl Decal Sticker,2pcsToilet Sniper Potty Training Self-Adhesive Targets (Red & White)Toilet Sniper Potty Training Self-Adhesive Targets (Red & White)


8. Read Toilet Training Books Together – from a young age you can start reading toilet training books to your child as a means to subtly show them that everyone eventually uses the potty. Picture books with few words are a great way to encourage potty training success.

Potty (Leslie Patricelli board books)Potty (Leslie Patricelli board books)The Potty TrainThe Potty TrainA Potty for Me!A Potty for Me!Even Firefighters Go to the Potty: A Potty Training Lift-the-Flap StoryEven Firefighters Go to the Potty: A Potty Training Lift-the-Flap StoryPotty Time!Potty Time!


9. Be Aware of Anxiety – if your toddler seems to be experiencing anxiety in the area of potty training, slow down if they don’t seem 100% ready. right.Does your child have stage fright? Check out Dr. Heather talk about why going to the bathroom can be scary for kids first learning to potty train, and how to help your child want to go to the bathroom like a big kid.

10. Be Patient – Accidents can happen during potty training. It is, of course, disheartening but it’s totally normal. Toddlers don’t learn complex, new skills in a straightforward fashion so the best thing we can do as parents is to stop thinking of setbacks as “accidents”.

You can do this, Mama! Check out these 10 potty training tips. Tips for potty training boys and girls.

Pull-Ups brand offers three different kinds of training pants:

  • Pull-Ups® Learning Designs® Training Pants
  • Pull-Ups® Cool & Learn® Training Pants,
  • Pull-Ups® Night*Time Training Pants.

Some cool features of each

  • Pull-Ups® Learning Designs® Training Pants have designs that fade when wet so kids can literally see the difference between wet and dry.
  • Pull-Ups® Cool & Learn® Training Pants provides a brief cooling sensation when wet to help kids learn potty training signals
  • Pull-Ups® Night*Time Training Pants have Extra Absorbency so parent and child can stay consistent during potty training – even at night (plus they have Mater on them which means Gus is a huge, huge fan.)

Try Pull-Ups now at your local retailer and visit Pull-Ups.com to learn more about the Pull-Ups Potty Partnership and discover your child’s potty personality.

Use these tips for potty training a toddler and let me know how it goes!

This post is sponsored by Pull-Ups® Training Pants.