5 Tips for Overcoming Potty Training Challenges

So recently I announced how my son is officially a potty training graduate. And by that I mean he’s no longer hiding in corners so he can poop in his underpants. We’re still in Pull-Ups® Training Pants when we travel or take long trips away from home, but close enough. Right? I’ve partnered with Pull-Ups to share part of our journey and tips I’ve learned along the way.

Potty training isn’t always easy. I mean, it is for some lucky people, but it was more of a challenge for me, especially the second time around. But, I knew what an important milestone this was for my little one, so I found some really great tips and tricks for making it fun and overcoming challenges along the way.

To all the moms out there in the trenches of potty training, I see you.

Here are five of my non-conventional, best tips for you to mentally get in the (potty training) game:

1. Don’t compare your kids to potty prodigies

First and foremost. Seriously, just don’t do it. Comparison is the thief of joy, even when it comes to potty training. Not just comparing with our friends, but comparing our own children to one another. Every kid is different, and the sooner you come to grips with that, the sooner you can figure out what motivates your kid to go potty on the potty. Pull-Ups actually has an entire method of potty training based on your child’s unique personality for this exact reason – check it out on their website!

2. Find different ways to make it fun

Potty training? Fun? It’s possible to make it a little more interesting! We did potty jar incentives with my daughter, potty candy with my son, and sometimes the fun included reading stories or watching a show from the bathroom. Pull-Ups also has simple ways to make potty training fun and easy for parents and children, with guidance on how to tailor the journey based on your little one’s unique personality. Who knew all of these potty training games and activities could lead to so much bonding time?

3 out of 4 moms prefer the Pull-Ups offering* with products, packaging and in-pack prizes and activities. *vs Pampers Easy Ups

3. Take cues from each other

Some people like to wait until their child is ready, others like to decide when the parent is ready. I knew my daughter was ready because she was trying to take her diapers off to go to the bathroom and was totally thrilled about princess Pull-Ups. My son, well… He took a little more motivating but he told us when he was ready. When potty training, always wait until your child is showing signs of readiness – don’t rush the process.

4. Be prepared

Do you know how many times I’m out for hours before realizing that I forgot to pack an extra pair of shorts or Pull-Ups for a trip, etc. etc.? Like by now I should just have this stuff in my glove compartment ready to go. Don’t be like me, be prepared. It’ll save you a lot of time and stress.

5. Get the whole family involved (ok, well at least dad)

Potty training is a lot easier when everyone is on the same page and engaged in the process. Once my husband stepped up his game we were really able to make some progress. Older siblings can join in on the celebrations too. This will help encourage the little ones and show them that their siblings have been through it too!

I’ll be diving more into each of these topics a little more through the end of the year and giving updates on how our potty training progress is going, and maybe by the end he’ll earn his potty training graduate degree.

Tell us how you got your kids (and yourself!) excited to start potty training and made the journey fun. You could win $1,000 and be featured in an upcoming issue of Parents Magazine. Three runners-up will win a 1-month supply of Pull-Ups Training Pants. Enter now at parents.com/itstimetopotty. Hurry though! The contest ends June 30.

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

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Brandy says:

These are super helpful potty training tips. I remember those days, my middle was not trained until after age 4 and it was so stressful for me. I ended up just following what my pediatrician told me to do and he was trained. I love that parents share their challenges and tips to overcome them so that other parents don’t have to stress as much 🙂

Jennifer says:

It is really nice once we realize we’re not in this alone!

Adanna Q. says:

I thought my daughter would never be potty trained. I just had a baby boy on March, I was too exhausted to commit to a training schedule, and buying disposable diapers for two was really costly. I had an alarm that would go off to remind me to set her on the potty. This method wasn’t working at all. She started taking off her diaper herself. Early one morning, she crawled into my bed after taking off her dirty diaper… I laid in it. Yeah. I almost died. She turned two in May. Starting the day after her birthday, she started going diaper free in the house. By day two she got the idea and would pee in the potty unprompted, but she was a private pooper. She’d wait for naptime and then poop on the floor before crawling into bed. Yuck. So I started a sticker chart which she seemed to like. Ten days after turning 2, she was completely potty trained. She wears big girl panties now, and when we leave the house we carry a travel potty that folds up in the diaper bag. She tells me, ” Mama, I potty,” and I simply pull over and set it on the floor for her. We’ve even used it at the park before. At night we sit her on the potty a couple times a night but I put a goodnight pad under her sheet just in case.

Jennifer says:

Oh my goodness!! That is not the best surprise to find in your bed. haha. I’m so glad a sticker chart worked for her! I have one who loves incentives like that and the other that’s like eh… no thanks. Awesome your little one was so motivated!

Scott says:

We were lucky, our youngest learned from watching us train the older one. We got two for the price of one!

Jennifer says:

Oh man, seriously, way lucky!

Connie says:

So glad I’m past this stage. Your tips are great. We floated cheerios in the toilet for our son to aim at.

Jennifer says:

Haha, I’ve heard this tip quite a bit! That’s awesome!

Desiree Lopez says:

Potty training was definitely one of my least favorite stages. I was big into being prepared when we went out because there is nothing worse than a kid wearing wet, peed clothes home from a trip to the store. That was a lesson I only had to learn once!

Jennifer says:

I’ve had to learn that too! Not fun.

Oh how I remember potty training. My kids and grands were actually easy but I sure wish I had Pull Ups when my kids were little.

Jennifer says:

Haha, they sure make thing easier for me!

Tee says:

Wow I haven’t even thought about potty training. My son is 2 next month and has been taking his nappy off lately or tugging at it. I guess it’s time to start thinking about it.

Teresa says:

I have a 3 year old beautiful boy and im stressed.. He doesn’t want to leave the diaper , my husband is the more patient than me and he is been helping a lot but the kid just not cooperating… Help!!!!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.

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