Potty Training Panic: Getting Over the Fear that It Will Never Happen

This post is sponsored by Pull-Ups® Training Pants. All opinions are my own.


Potty training panic: the struggle is real, my friends. Trust me, I know! My son Jake was closing in on his 4th birthday before he finally got the hang of it. Not for lack of trying on my part. I thought I was doing everything right! I had the sticker charts, the coolest potty chair on the planet and I followed all the tips from the potty training books stacked on my nightstand. Still, he just didn’t seem interested in using the potty.

How do you get past the fear that your child will never get the hang of potty training? Check out a few parenting solutions for banishing potty training panic. 

How to Get Past Potty Training Panic 

Make the commitment

When your child starts showing signs of potty training readiness, make the commitment to move forward. Even though your tot may go through periods of advancement and regression, knowing that you’ve both committed to the journey is a big step in alleviating your worries. That journey begins with saying “so long” to diapers. Go to the store together to pick up their first package of Pull-Ups® Training Pants. Make it a big deal. Celebrate the milestone.

Pull-Ups Training Pants look and fit more like regular underwear. Plus they slide on and off easily, making it easier for little ones in a hurry to get to the bathroom! They come in three different variations: Pull-Ups® Learning Designs® Training Pants, Pull-Ups® Cool & Learn® Training Pants, and Pull-Ups® Night*Time Training Pants. I was always a fan of the Pull-Ups® Training Pants because the design fades when wet, so kids can actually see the difference.


Work with YOUR child’s personality

Just like all kids have different schedules for reaching milestones, they also have different personalities. In fact, the Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership actually identified five unique personality types as they relate to potty training: Puppy, Owl, Bear Cub, Turtle and Squirrel. Jacob was very Squirrel-like, although he had the willpower of a Turtle.

Find out your child’s potty training personality type by taking this quick Pull-Ups potty personality quiz. By understanding your child’s personality, you can start a potty training partnership that works best for him.  When you partner with your child, you both feel more in control, which goes a long way to alleviating that panic.

Remind yourself that all kids have different schedules

As much as we’d all love our kids to do things on OUR schedule, it doesn’t work out that way. If it did, they’d be talking at birth to tell us what they want and waiting until they’re 30 to start dating! That’s not how it works, though. You can’t judge your child by someone else’s toddler. Just because your niece trained at 12 months doesn’t mean your daughter is the dreaded “delayed” word if she’s not even showing interest until past her second birthday. Some kids take a little longer to feel ready for such a big change. 

Diversify your tools

Potty training tools like reward charts, stickers and even fancy thrones are all fantastic, but they can also become a source of panic if you don’t use them in a way that matches your child’s personality. I had charts galore, but my son just wasn’t that into putting stickers on a calendar. Instead, I had this big stuffed elephant that “talked” to him about going on the potty. Jake loved that elephant. It took him a while to catch on that it was just me making a funny voice! Figure out what works best for your child, whether it’s stickers, silly games, dance parties in the bathroom or a silly talking elephant. When they reach a big milestone, you can even reward them with a special trip to their favorite place!

Speaking of partnering with your child, the Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership is full of diverse tools to help you do just that! Find more ideas for incentives, learn how to tailor your potty training efforts to your child’s personality and more. They even have fun potty training games to play with your toddler!

Getting over potty training panic is easier when you remind yourself that your child is working on his or her own schedule (not yours) and that you have done everything possible to give both of you the tools you need to succeed. We are far less inclined to panic when we have a plan, after all.

Try Pull-Ups Training Pants now at your local retailer.  Visit Pull-Ups.com to learn more about the Pull-Ups Potty Partnership.  

To find out your child’s potty personality, take the personality quiz at Pull-Ups.com, and get tools and advice to help you and your child partner together throughout the potty training journey. 

Did you try the Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership? What is your child’s potty training personality? Tell us in the comments!


33 thoughts on “Potty Training Panic: Getting Over the Fear that It Will Never Happen”

  1. This is so great, my oldest was easiest to potty train. Great tips though, glad to be through this stage!

  2. Leigh Anne Borders

    I remember my son was terrified of the potty. It was such a struggle to get home to go. He finally started when ti was summer and he wanted to swim. That was the incentive.

  3. lol I do remember that with my last one. He was scared of the flush so I thought he was going to be in training pants forever, ha!

  4. These are excellent tips. I remember when my son knew when he was wet or dirty that it was truly time. At that point, I used the three day potty training tips. I pulled off the diapers/pull ups and let him run around naked. It worked for us.

  5. You are right in saying you have to go with each child’s personality. My first one was super easy and did it basically herself. The twins were not so easy. They thought sitting on the potty was a game and lot of fun not necessarily for doing your business. Thanks for the great tips.

  6. I had something that worked very well with both of my girls. We used pull ups at some times, but what really worked for me was to put them in undies. Yes they had accidents, but the potty was always close by. After a few accidents they realized they needed to always use the potty. It worked for both my girls!

  7. Courtney Gillard

    I remember my step child when potty training. It is not helpful to panic. Potty training is a process.

  8. I guess i am lucky that i had this potty training easy for daughter. she had once pee on her school uniform during kindergarten days she must’ve been playing too much heeh. love pull-ups when travelling!

  9. These pull ups sure make potty training more convenient for parents. When you’re potty training, chances are there will be accidents in bed so it’s nice to have these as a back up! It will boost the child’s confidence as well!

  10. We had to start a little earlier than my daughter wanted due to some #2 issues, but we are finally 100% and she will be 4 in August. Like you said, each kid has their own schedule and EVERYONE is different. If you keep that in mind, then you should be fine.

  11. These are great ideas! I am still pregnant but I am already fearing potty training. I’ll bookmark this for later.

  12. A big step ahead for us was letting her pick out a package of real big girl cloth panties with a favorite character on them. She really wants to keep those cloth panties dry.

  13. We had twins… and although both were girls… they each had their own ideas of how potty training would go. Quite the adventure it was, but we got through it!

  14. My middle child took forever, now I know he is on the spectrum and that may have been why. I recall always being told that they will train when ready and I used Pull-ups often!

  15. I remember the potty training days all too well! It can be challenging and frustrating but all kids get there eventually!

  16. I learned with my 1st, wait until they are ready. My daughter wasn’t ready and we were pushing her to be. Both kids were potty trained under 3 but my son was so much easier when he was ready.

  17. Amy Desrosiers

    My first child was almost 4 when she was fully trained. My last child, a boy was the easiest and took a weekend.

  18. As a mom of 4, I have learned that every child is extremely different and does things at different paces! Even my twins have completely different personalities and do things on completely different timelines! Congrats on getting your son potty trained! :)

  19. I know that sometimes it seems as though potty training will go on forever. I have been down that road before. My best advice is to stay calm, it will happen. You just have to remain patient :)

  20. My youngest had no interest. We knew we just had to be patient. There were so many conversations about how big girls use the potty. Her response was, “I a baby.”

  21. Catherine Sargent

    I was lucky and potty training was easy with my son. He loved to wear Pull-Ups and feel like a big boy.

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