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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Making the Big Switch: Transitioning from Diapers to Training Pants

Making the Big Switch: Transitioning from Diapers to Training Pants

by Katherine Bontrager

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?

A good way to start is to build on your child’s excitement and interest in potty training (if your child is there yet!) “I used Pull-Ups® Training Pants to transition my son, George, into potty training,” says Garden Logan, a Philadelphia mom. “He knew the difference between training pants and diapers and loved the characters ... and he has older cousins who wore Pull-Ups® Training Pants, so he was excited to start wearing what they had.”

Dr. Christopher Cooper, an associate professor at the University of Iowa and director of pediatric urology for the Children’s Hospital of Iowa, thinks this sort of excitement or curiosity is important for introducing training pants to a child.

“When the child is showing interest in toileting and starting to stay dry, it’s a good time to start using training pants,” says Dr. Cooper. “It may be easiest to introduce them at bedtime and then, if needed, during the day ... again, the key is to wait until the child is interested in toilet training.”

Once your child is interested, it’s a good idea to help him or her become familiar with training pants. For example, the Pull-Ups® brand recommends having your child practice pulling her training pants on and off by herself before starting to use them. This way, your toddler will be familiar with the routine. Once the up-and-down movement has been mastered, consider giving your child a chance to sit on the toilet — first with the pants on and later with them off. Then explain to your child exactly how the training pants work.

And remember, once you’ve made the big transition to training pants, try not to confuse your child by switching back to regular diapers. Accidents and setbacks will happen, but don’t let them discourage you or your toddler!

Encouragement Can Do Wonders

So what do children need at this stage to ensure they’ll make those final steps to being fully potty trained? “[Give them] encouraging reminders to try and go to the bathroom so it becomes a habit,” advises Dr. Cooper. “Don’t punish children for any accidents, though. Instead, reward and support children for going to the bathroom or at least trying to go.”

This is advice Dr. David Fay, a family physician and associate director at the Waukesha Family Practice Residency Program in Waukesha, Wis., agrees with wholeheartedly. “In my experience, using a low-key, positive reinforcement style approach results in the greatest success,” he says. “I’ve had success with a small bowl of individually wrapped toys purchased from a dollar store [and] placed on the toilet. Each successful void or elimination allows the child to open a gift. Children and parents have enjoyed this approach, and it often works fairly rapidly.”

It’s important to remember that age will have a big impact on how readily a child will adapt to training pants first and then real underwear, though some experts say some of the studies on age and potty training tend to offer mixed conclusions. “Some studies show it’s better to start early, some late,” says Dr. Fay. “About all the studies agree on is the fact that girls complete toilet training before boys. Despite this lack of useful information, nearly all children achieve their goal. This likely means that whatever means one chooses will result in the desired outcome.”

So introducing your child to training pants can be as unique as your toddler is. What will most appeal to him or her? Would he react with excitement to the idea of shopping for training pants? Will a favorite cartoon character catch her interest? Taking your child’s unique personality into consideration will help you answer these questions and help you find the potty training routine that will work best for you and your child.