5 Ways to Make Potty Training Fun + Sweet Incentives

We’re celebrating potty success with help from our sponsor, Pull-Ups Training Pants! Check out these 5 ways to make potty training fun plus a recipe for crazy cake below.

We’ve been on our potty training journey for a few months now and I’m happy to tell you that our youngest is now 100% potty trained. And we couldn’t have done it without the help of Pull-Ups Training Pants. Pull-Ups products are all about providing parents and kids with tips and advice to help make potty training easy and fun, plus they provide plenty of tools specifically designed to keep children engaged throughout the potty training journey. Pull-Ups has potty trained 50 million Big Kids and counting – so I’ll take this one from the experts.

Potty training success starts with attitude. And if you don’t have the right attitude, neither will your kid. This is such an important milestone for toddlers and it’s also an opportunity for parents to work together with their children to reach the end goal: potty training success! It sounds daunting to so many parents, but why not make it fun?

5 Ways to Make Potty Training Fun

1. Purchase your first pack of Pull-Ups – 

Pull-Ups Training Pants help your child recognize potty training as a significant milestone in their development by providing independence, teaching physical and cognitive skills, and offers a consistent representation to your child of their potty training journey.

With different design options, let your child choose a package that they identify with to make the process fun! 

2. Singing the “Time 2 Potty” song – 

Following the fun path, sing the Time 2 Potty song with your kid to get them used to the idea of being a big kid and all that being a big kid entails. 

Time2Potty Song:

We’re gonna do this together, 

we’re gonna stick to the plan. 

Do everything we can to make it easy and fun,

It’s time to potty everyone!

They’re designed like underwear, 

special friends make ’em fun to wear.

So boys and girls sing out loud:

I’m a Big Kid now!

3. Donate unused/leftover diapers – 

Find a local diaper bank that needs diapers or donate your unused diapers to a friend or family member with a baby to help your child get used to the idea of transitioning out of diapers and into Pull-Ups. By removing the diapers from your home, you’re preparing for the potty training journey and removing any crutches.

Once your child has transitioned from Pull-Ups to underwear, you can do the same thing with your unused Pull-Ups. My daughter decided to gift our Pull-Ups to her 1 year old cousin (hence the bow on the package in the photos). She may be too young just yet but my daughter knows that all the Pull-Ups were given to her cousin and we don’t have any more in the house to use. 

4. Print, color, pose and post with a Potty Training Certificate –

Grab a Potty Training Certificate and print it out for your child. Let them color and personalize it, then snap a photo of them with it to commemorate the moment. You can do the same thing when they’ve successfully potty trained to commemorate their progress and their “graduation” into big kid underwear.  

5. Celebrate potty training success with sweet incentives – 

When your child has transitioned into Pull-Ups and starts to have accident free weeks, consider a sweet incentive to encourage them even more. We would use lollipops and other small prize rewards to give to our kids when they successfully went on the potty, when they had an accident free week, and finally, when they transitioned from Pull-Ups to big kid underwear, we celebrated with a Crazy Cake! 

Cakes mean celebrations for us and this Crazy Cake recipe is one that my husband’s family has been making for years. It’s a super easy recipe that the kids can help with AND it’s egg and dairy free. Most of the ingredients are staple pantry items. 

Chocolate Crazy Cake Recipe

Print

Chocolate Crazy Cake

Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cold water

Instructions

  1. Sift dry ingredients together directly into a 9 x 13-inch ungreased baking pan.

  2. Let your child make three wells in the dry ingredients. Pour the oil into one well, vinegar into the second well, and vanilla into the third well. Pour cold water over everything and stir well with a fork.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  4. Frost with your favorite icing.

What sweet incentives would your child love to celebrate with? 

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The Ultimate Potty Training Kit: Potty Training Must Haves

We’re celebrating potty success with help from our sponsor, Pull-Ups Training Pants! Find our potty training must-haves to help you succeed with potty training below.

Potty Training Kit, Potty Training Must Haves

Three weeks ago, my daughter was getting ready for the day and decided to take her Pull-Ups off. Instead of reaching for new Pull-Ups to put on for the day, she wanted to hang out without anything on. What can I tell you? My kids like her freedom.

All of the sudden, 5 minutes later she comes running to me telling me she has to go potty. So we go to the bathroom and she pees on the potty. Woot! Success!

After this potty success, she put her Pull-Ups back on and went on her way. We had a few more successes followed by a few minor accidents but for the most part she would stay completely dry during the day.

This continued throughout the day and into the next three days. There was an accident here or there but nothing major. The next week she woke up, asked for underwear, and told us when she had to go just like when she wore her Pull-Ups except for this time she didn’t have any accidents and stayed completely dry in her underwear.

In no time, she was running to the potty alone, pulling down her pants, and going. So now she goes like a big girl on her own, with only a little help from mom or dad when she can’t get her pants all of the way up.

You guys… when they’re ready, they really are READY.  So make sure you have the tools you need to succeed on this potty training journey with your toddler!

Here are our potty training must-haves for success:

Potty Training Kit, Potty Training Must Haves

Potty Training Must Haves

Small Portable Potty

A small potty seat is a must for any potty training household. Not only is it convenient to move throughout the house as needed, you can even throw it in the back of your car for much-needed potty breaks on the go. Going camping? Or taking a road trip? Avoid icky public restrooms by bringing along your small potty!

We keep ours in the bathroom and take it with us when we’re going places we know won’t have restrooms (or if the restrooms are dirty or hard to find) like the beach and park. I’ve found that my daughter is now starting to show an interest in using the potty so we’ll be keeping this around for a while until she feels comfortable on the big potty.

My daughter also loves her potty seat that goes on the potty that we purchased online. What I love about it is that it includes a small step up so we don’t have to have a stool and a potty seat. It stays on the side of our toilet and she pulls it out whenever she’s going to the restroom.

Potty Training Kit, Potty Training Must Haves

Potty Cover

For those times when you’re forced to use public restrooms, make sure you have a few disposable potty covers with you! They’re individually packaged for on-the-go ease and fit nicely in a diaper bag or purse. Plus, with children who like to touch EVERYTHING, these will keep your kids clean and sanitary.

Pro Tip: Find the type that covers the whole potty, not just the top of the seat.

I’ve found these to be helpful when we’re at a park or another location where seat covers aren’t easily accessible. And they’re great for wet bottoms because they won’t fall apart or rip on you (ever get out of the pool or ocean and try to use the restroom? Not fun!). 

Disinfectant Wipes

My little one still sometimes rushes to the potty a little late. With that, there are a few potty clean ups at home and on the go. We had quite a fun time on our recent road trip in the back of the car… We needed these in to-go wipes too!

Since disinfectant wipes can be easily stored in the bathroom cabinet or close to the toilet, we can just grab one, wipe up, and throw out. I even threw a pack in the car for on the go needs.

 
Potty Training Kit, Potty Training Must Haves

Pull-Ups

This is a given. Whether it’s for night-time or daytime use, when our daughter started showing signs of readiness to potty train, we ditched the diapers for good and introduced Pull-Ups and she caught on quickly! Once she got the hang of sliding up her own pants, she was ready to use these on her own too and loved the independence she felt when using them.

Pull-Ups really are more than just a training pant – Pull-Ups.com has tons of simple ways to make potty training easy and fun for parents and children to start together, with tons of guidance on how to tailor the journey based on your child’s unique personality. In fact, 3 of 4 moms prefer Pull-Ups©!*

Pull-Ups provide award-winning design specifically to help teach potty training skills like they did for my daughter. They also provide consistency for any learning style throughout their potty training journey. What does this mean for you as a parent? Less frustration and definitely more fun together!

And last but not least…

Potty Training Kit, Potty Training Must Haves, potty training rewards

Rewards!

We are currently using stickers, lollipops or small chocolate candies as a potty reward. And you know what? This kid love rewards. She is constantly telling friends and family that she goes pee-pee on the potty so she can get her treat.

After a full week of no accidents and filling her potty rewards chart, she was able to pick out two packs of her favorite character underwear as a Big Kid reward. A lot less expensive than the $50 toy my son picked out when he went a week without accidents! But that’s what she chose. And let me tell you, they will not let you forget their reward!

Potty Training Kit, Potty Training Must Haves, potty training tools

Tools to Keep Them Engaged

We also recently discovered that you can give your favorite characters a call on Pull-Ups.com, which my little girl LOVES! It’s so cool, you can get your child excited about potty training and keep them engaged by receiving a call from one of their favorite characters. This is a great way to keep potty training fun and exciting for your toddler.

Has your child begun potty training/learning? What’s in your Potty Training Kit?

*Pull-Ups offering includes product, packaging and in-pack prizes and activities vs. Pampers© Easy Ups©.

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Make Creative Back to School Memories That Last

The first day of school can be brimming with anticipation and excitement. Both for our kids and ourselves. With a new school year here, we want to capture as many back to school memories as possible. Especially when we can highlight these milestones through photos and traditions.

back to school memories

There are a few ways to create and preserve the memories of the first day of school.

Here are a few of our favorites:

 

Special First Day of School Breakfast 
Fix a special breakfast of your child’s favorite pancakes or some delicious french toast.  Try making a batch of delicious homemade cinnamon rolls lfrom the Frugal Greenish Mama or a delicious blueberry coffee cake. Or let them decide what they want to have the night before. No matter what, don’t send them off without a full tummy.

While they’re chowing down, leave a note or two for your child in their backpack or jacket pocket to let them know that they’re awesome and you’re thinking of them on their first day.


Back to School Photo Shoot

Before you leave for school snap a few photos. You can be creative and use a chalkboard to write what grade your child is going to.

I’ve turned my large chalkboard (tutorial can be found here) into a first day of school tradition. Every year I can take a photo of my children on the first day of school, and then a photo on the last day of school to store these perfect memories forever.

Or simply print out a piece of paper with the grade and date on it. There are a few great templates out there to download including this one we use every year – we’ve even included a PicMonkey tutorial in case you would like to make your own)

Make sure to have a repeat photo session on the last day of school as well so that you can look back on how much your child has grown over the school year.

First Day of School Questionnaire

Ask your child a series of the same questions every year when they get home from their first day. Add a photo and look back on the answers with your children at the end of the school year.

Some questions to ask: 

  • When I grow up I want to be a ______________.
  • My favorite color is ______________.
  • My teacher’s name is ______________.
  • I learned about ______________ on my first day.
  • My favorite part about my first day was ______________.
  • My friends are ______________.
  • I’m looking forward to doing ______________ tomorrow.

After the First Day of School Treat

When you pick the kids up from school on their first day, make it special by taking them to the local ice cream parlor or fro-yo shop for a special treat.

You can talk about their first day, fill out your questionnaire, and talk about what the rest of the year (or maybe just the week) has in store for them. Be involved, be excited for them, and make sure they know you’re there to share in the excitement of the new year.

How do you celebrate the first day of school?

This post was originally published on August 29th, 2012

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Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

These top 5 tips for surviving a long road trip with kids will help keep you and your family sane on your next fun road trip!

This summer has been full of fun memories for our family. From days at the beach, to drives up to Disneyland and Great Wolf Lodge, to a road trip to Washington State, we’ve seen quite a bit of excitement. But being prepared for traveling with kids in the car has been something we’ve worked on. And surviving a long road trip with kids takes a bit of planning. 

Since my daughter is newly potty trained the one thing we worried about when on the road with her is that she’d have to go #2 and not be able to tell us until we were too late and she got out of the car. Also, with the long 2 day ride to Washington State, we worried about how many stops we really needed to make and how many stops were just “fun” stops.

In preparation of our trip we decided to bit of research to make sure that we had a successful journey with three kids in the back seats. Since we’ve made this trek once before with our two older kid,s we kind of had an idea about what to expect. In an effort to make our next trip successful we wrote down a few things that helped us along the way.

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

Here are a few ways to keep your road trip fun and successful with young children:

1. Make sure to pack a potty –

We simply placed our Joovy Loo in the back of the car. That way if we needed to stop and there wasn’t a place to do so, we could just use the back of the van. This helped us a lot when my son was working on things and just needed to sit on something other than his car seat to help him along when he was little and it worked perfectly for our daughter as well.

It also gave us peace of mind when on long stretches of road. We didn’t have to worry about not being able to find a sanitary place to stop (my husband isn’t as adventurous as I am and doesn’t approve of a 2 year old relieving themselves on the side of the road unless it’s an absolute emergency… just wait till we go camping!).

Potty Kit Necessities to Bring: 

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

2. Plan out frequent stops –

This won’t just give your child a chance to “try” to go potty but it will also give them a chance to stretch their legs and get a little energy out. By planning out where your next stop will be you might be able to quickly answer your children when they ask how long it will be until you arrive at your next stop. That’s much easier for them to handle then to say, “Oh, about 12 hours!”

You can also use pre-planned stops as points for conversation. By letting your children know what the next stop is, or giving hints to where your heading, you might be able to create a sense of excitement and adventure as you make your way through the trip.

We had fun picking out where we stopped and made sure to mix restaurants in with quick pit stops at gas stations. I also allowed the kids to pick out one “surprise” at each stop to make it more interesting to them as well. They sure did love the huge gas stations we found along the way filled with everything from fidget spinners to snacks to souvenir t-shirts. 

Pit Stop Checklist: 

  • Did everyone try to go potty? 
  • Do we need to re-load on snacks or water?
  • Did we take all of our trash out? 
  • Do we need to change clothes?

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

3. Create a fun pack filled with games and activities –

By creating a fun pack filled with new-to-you toys, activities focused on the age level of your child, and games the children can play in the car you can create distractions and, hopefully, reduce the amount of, “Are we there yet?” questions from the back seat. Surviving a long car trip with kids is no fun when they don’t have anything to do IN the car. 

Figure out some fun games you want to play with your child on the road. Consider simple ideas like finding an object of a certain color, finding a certain letter of the alphabet, or, depending on where your driving, looking out for different animals! By making the ride fun and entertaining itself, your child will be less likely to complain about being in the car and more excited.

We brought our fun activity backpack and filled it with the following:

Another great distraction for the older kids is a portable DVD player or tablet that already has their favorite games and movies downloaded. We grabbed a copy of The Lion King and Disney’s Star Wars Rebels: Season 3 (both out on Blu-ray August 29th) to keep our kids entertained on the trip. it helped to have both a movie and a tv series because we could switch from the longer movie for longer stretches of travel and the shorter episodes of Disney’s Star Wars Rebels while we went through smaller stretches or in between playing other games in the car. 

Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

Pro Tip: Finding fun crafts to go along with the movies you select are also fun! Check out these awesome Lion King crafts by clicking the button below: 

Download The Lion King Signature Mask Craft

4. Find a great local attraction to visit –

Take a look at a map and find a great middle point between your home and your destination. Are there any fun, quirky activities you can stop and do in between? Maybe a museum or a historical monument. By maping out a spot or two on the way to your destination you can talk with your children about what you might see, what they would like to do, and how you will spend your time at the next spot.

You can also use these stops as teaching opportunities. By learning a bit about the spot beforehand you can tell your child about the history behind the attraction as well as why it’s such an interesting stop on your journey. Surviving a long road trip with kids takes a bit of planning when it comes to local attractions but there are sure to be some gems along your route! 

Local Attractions Do’s and Dont’s: 

  • Do – take the time to explore and learn about where you’re stopping
  • Don’t – spend all day unless already scheduled
  • Do – consider free or in-expensive pit stops that take an hour tops
  • Don’t – forget that delicious bakeries and restaurants can be considered local attractions too! 

5. Make Sure The Kids Are Safe And Comfortable

When traveling with young kids, it’s important to remember that while we want our kids to be comfortable, we also need them to be safe too. I have 3 kids in 3 different types of car seats right now. My 2 year old is in a 5 point harness, my 6 year old just transitioned out of her 5 point harness into a high back booster, and our 8 year old has now transitioned into a regular booster seat. 

To make things easier on us and allow all of these car seats to fit, we brought along the new mifold we received so that our son could easily transition from our van to my family’s car up in Washington State when we arrived. mifold is more than 10 times smaller than a regular booster seat and is just as safe. The foam padding technology provides extra comfort and stays cool, even on hot days. And since it was averaging about 80-90 degrees our whole trip, this was a huge relief for my son. 

The mifold is convenient for parents for travel and road trips but it’s also great for carpooling, taxis/ubers, etc because it can literally fit in my son’s back pack. how awesome is that? 

In addition to car seats, check out our Road Trip Safety Kit:

  • first aid – includes bandages, first aid ointment, tweezers, scissors, and an ice pack
  • every day medication – includes indigestion medicine, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and allergy medicine
  • flash light
  • jumper cables
  • roadside assistance kit
  • 1 gallon water

What are your best travel tips for surviving a long road trip with kids?

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Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Long Road Trip with Kids

Tips to Make Potty Training Fun for Kids + A Free Potty Reward Chart Printable

Check out this FREE printable to help make potty training fun for you AND your child. No more tears, stress, or frustration when you follow these tips and use this potty reward chart printable.

This post is sponsored by Pull-Ups.

Make Potty Training Fun, Potty Reward Chart Printable

When your child has finally shown all of the signs of readiness and is eager to potty train, you may think the journey will be an easy one. But sometimes their interest loses steam. By making potty training fun for kids, you can bypass that disinterest and keep your child engaged! We’re sharing a few ways we’ve had success at making potty training fun for our kids, including a free potty reward chart printable, with the help of our sponsor, Pull-Ups Training Pants.  

Make Potty Training Fun

Tips to Make Potty Training Fun for Kids

Make the Potty Accessible and FUN!

When a child is learning how to potty train, access is key. And when a child doesn’t know the path to the potty, you may be providing a block in the road without even realizing it. Make sure that your child’s potty is accessible and you’re sure to make potty training fun. Whether this is a small, portable potty seat, or a toilet cover and stool that is near or on the regular toilet that allows them easy access without having them fall in. Yes… my child has fallen in the toilet before…

Now, access to the potty isn’t just for when you are at home. When you go somewhere new, make sure to talk to your little one and point out to your child where the nearest restrooms are in the area you’re in and assure them that as soon as they feel the urge to go, they can let you know and you will help get them to the potty. Sometimes kids get nervous that they’ll miss something when you’re out and about or if they’re playing. By reassuring them that their toys will be there when they are done or that they’ll return to the same spot they left, they’ll feel better about stopping to go. 

Keep Your Child Involved

When your child is first starting to show signs of readiness, get them involved. Allow them to pick out their own pack of Pull-Ups in the theme or style they like, take them to pick out their potty or potty cover, and get them involved when you’re heading out of the house by making sure their potty pack is ready to go when you’re on the go. What I’ve learned through trying to keep my kiddos involved is that Pull-Ups is more than just a training pant – Pull-Ups.com has tons of simple ways to make potty training easy and fun for parents and children to start together, with guidance on how to tailor the journey based on your child’s unique personality. In fact, 3 of 4 moms prefer Pull-Ups©!*

Pull-Ups provide an award-winning design specifically to help teach potty training skills. They look and fit more like underwear, which means they’ll give your child the independence to slide their pants on and off. They also provide consistency for any learning style throughout their potty training journey. What does this mean for you as a parent? Less frustration! 

Pro tip: Bring a travel potty pack with you when you’re traveling around with your toddler. Your potty pack should include a few pairs of Pull-Ups, a travel potty seat, some potty seat covers (in case you need to use the big potty), and wipes.

Create a Potty Reward Chart 

Who doesn’t love receiving a sticker when they do something they’re supposed to? I know I love them. Your child doesn’t necessarily need a physical reward at first. When your child has success on the potty (because we don’t focus on the failures) let them mark off their successes each day on their own Potty Reward Chart Printable. This allows them to take control and see the marks when they succeed on the potty – how fun! 

If your child needs a bit more encouragement, you can use incentives after lots of success too. We’ve had great luck with chocolate candy and lollipops. Not only are they easy to store away, they’re also travel-friendly and are small. Once they’ve had success for a full week, you can start letting them pick out an item from the dollar store or dollar section of your favorite store. 

Click to Print Potty Reward Chart Printable

Potty Reward Chart Printable

Share your Big Kid’s Big Moments 

Think you might be ready to start potty training? Share your Big Kid’s Big Moments on Instagram or Twitter using #DisneyAndPullUpsSweepstakes for a chance to win a vacation to Walt Disney World with your family! Hurry though – the sweeps ends on August 4 and you don’t want to miss a chance for a FREE trip to Disney!

What do you do to make potty training fun? Do you use a potty reward chart? 

*Pull-Ups offering includes product, packaging and in-pack prizes and activities vs. Pampers© Easy Ups©.

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Make Potty Training Fun, Potty Reward Chart Printable

Inspire Your Child’s Independence Through Potty Training + a First Day of Preschool Printable


From picking out her clothes in the morning (always requesting a “pretty dress” to wear), to telling us when she has to go to the potty, to expressing a desire for learning, the time has come to countdown to our youngest child’s first day of preschool. She may only be 2, but she is more than ready to start in the fall when her big brother and sister start back again. And lucky for us, there’s a preschool right on campus next to the kids’ elementary school. How convenient is that? 

As Norah shows us her desire for independence, I’m reminded of how much independence potty training gives our little ones. As we pass through our potty training readiness check off  and move towards our preschool check off, I’d love to share a few ways you can inspire your child’s independence through potty training in this post sponsored by Pull-Ups Training Pants.

Inspire Your Child’s Independence Through Potty Training

Just as our kids find it important to make choices like what they are going to wear and what they want for breakfast, learning how to go potty is a big step in independence. If you’ve ever heard a child insist that “I do it!” then you know that if their desire to do something is strong, there’s more of a likelihood of them succeeding. This plays a lot into the potty training journey once your child has shown signs of potty training readiness. 

There are a few things you can do to help inspire your child’s independence through potty training: 

  1. Teach your child how to slide their pants and Pull-Ups on and off Pull-Ups Training Pants provide an award-winning design specifically to help teach potty training skills. They look and fit more like underwear, giving your child the independence to slide their pants on and off, while also providing consistency for any learning style throughout their potty training journey.
  2. Share how your child can tell if they’ve had an accident – Pull-Ups Cool & Learn Training Pants provide a brief and gentle wetness that mimics the feel of real underwear to help teach your child the signs of when they need to go.
  3. Offer other ways your child can express their independence – let your child pick out their own Pull-Ups at the store and purchase them. This gives them the power to choose what they’ll wear and what design they love. My daughter goes crazy over her Princess Sofia and Palace Pets designs. 

Pull-Ups is more than just a training pant. Pull-Ups has simple ways to make potty training easy and fun for parents and children to start together, with guidance on how to tailor the journey based on your little one’s unique personality. In fact, 3 out of 4 moms prefer Pull-Ups vs. Pampers® Easy Ups® – including product, packaging and in-pack prizes and activities. When we have a dry day, we put one of the special stickers inside my daughter’s favorite package of Pull-Ups on her potty training progress chart. 

First Day of Preschool Printable

We’re hoping Norah is on her way to potty training success before her first day of preschool. But just in case she’s not quite there yet, I am confident in the independence we’ve inspired through our potty training journey. Every child is different and every child learns and adapts at their own pace, so we’re in no rush!

If your child is about to start their first year of preschool too, celebrate by printing out this First Day of Preschool sign.

Click to Print First Day of Preschool Sign

Click to Print First Day of Preschool Sign with no dates

 

Think you might be ready to start potty training? Share your Big Kid’s Big Moments on Instagram or Twitter using #DisneyAndPullUpsSweepstakes for a chance to win a vacation to Walt Disney World with your family! Hurry though – the sweeps ends on August 4 and you don’t want to miss a chance for a FREE trip to Disney!

How does your toddler show their independence? 

Potty Training Tips for Parents



So the time has come. Your child is showing potty training readiness signs, so you think you and your child are ready to start. But where do you start? What do you need? And just how difficult is this going to be? These potty training tips below, sponsored by Pull-Ups, will help outline a few things I’ve come to pick up after seeing my two kids learn to use the potty.

They might work for you, they might not! But I can tell you one thing. Potty training varies from child to child and can be a drastically different experience from one to the next.

Potty Training Tips for Parents

1. Wait until your child is ready

There is no magic number for the perfect time to start potty training. Some kids are ready as early as 18 months and others will be closer to 4 years old. Don’t try and force your child to potty train too early or else it can become more difficult than it needs to be.
My son started showing all of the signs of being ready to potty train at around 18-20 months. He told us when he went pee and poo, loved to sit and play on the potty, and had a great attitude about the potty. Since I was pregnant with my daughter I decided to wait until after she was born to start the potty training process with him.

At age 2 we decided to try potty training but quickly realized after my son regressed that this would only be accomplished if we followed his terms. We tried again to re-attempt potty training with him, but it wasn’t until he was ready at 3 1/2 that we actually had success.
We do still have times where he has accidents on occasion while my second daughter has none. But guess what? It’s all normal. We just deal with it in a calm and caring way and move on.

Want to check and see if your child is ready for this potty training journey (because it’s not a race)? Visit Pull-Ups.com to check out the Readiness Check List and see if your little one might be ready.

And that brings me to my next tip…

2. Don’t get frustrated

I know, easier said than done right? But it’s true. Your child will feed off of your energy throughout the journey and they’ll take your frustration as a leveraging tool against you. They know they have control over you when you react negatively.
I let my emotions get the best of me with my son and sometimes I was not happy with the way I reacted to accidents. I just wanted him to go on the potty and be over it, but it’s not that easy.

Potty training is an incredibly important milestone for toddlers, and it’s also an opportunity for parents to work together with their children. It sounds daunting to so many parents, but why not make it fun?

It’s important to partner with your child every step of the way instead of trying to run the show. But it’s also important to listen and watch for their cues. My first daughter surprised us all when she decided she was ready for the potty at 25 months. She simply asked for big girl underwear and in a few short days was having no accidents at all.

I didn’t get upset or frustrated when she would only go on the little potties, refused to potty in public, and held herself until she got home, or made me run from one side of the zoo to the other to use the small potties in the Children’s Zoo. We went along with it and learned not to question her if she said she didn’t have to go.

Now that my second daughter is starting to show signs of readiness (dry when she wakes up, verbally lets us know when she’s gone potty, shows signs of interest in sitting on the potty), we’ve started slowly introducing the potty to her.

And she is OBSESSED with her Pull-Ups. Motivation is key here. Pull-Ups Learning Designs Training Pants have an underwear-like design and all-around day and night protection. And she is motivated to get to wear her Pull-Ups when we go out of the house. By letting us know when she needs to go, or trying to go before we leave the house she’s on her way to potty training success.

3. Be Prepared

Because my first daughter didn’t give us much time to prepare and react to the fact that she was ready to go and wasn’t looking back, I’m happy that we had a few key things on hand to make the transition easy.

The key items I always keep with us are:

  • Little potty – We have a little potty in the kids’ bathroom as well as in the back of the car just in case
  • Extra Pull-Ups – Once your child shows an interest in the potty, grab a few packs of Pull-Ups to keep in the house. Stash some in the car and in your purse just in case. Pull-Ups Training Pants help your child recognize potty training as a significant milestone in their development by providing independence, teaching physical and cognitive skills, and offering a consistent representation to your child of their potty training journey. So, once you buy those first pack of Pull-Ups, never go back to diapers!
  • Sanitizer – your child will miss the potty sometimes (or all the time) and you’ll need to clean it up
  • Extra clothes – just like when they were babies and had a blow out or two, an extra set of clothes is a must in the diaper bag. With Pull-Ups you won’t have many true accidents but it is still helpful to have on hand.

4. If they regress, don’t stress

As I said before, my son regressed after being potty trained for 6 months. He did eventually hop back on the potty training wagon and was successful the second time around. Sometimes our kids might seem ready but they have other plans.

Pull-Ups has simple ways to make potty training easy and fun for parents and children to start together, with guidance on how to tailor the journey based on your little one’s unique personality. In fact, 3 out of 4 moms prefer the Pull-Ups offering* including packaging, in-pack prizes (like stickers) and activities on Pull-Ups.com.

*vs Pampers Easy Ups

Follow your child’s cues and just go with what they’re telling you. If not, you might make it worse for the second (or third) time around.
Good Luck!

Let’s Get Ready to Potty Contest

You could win $1,000 and be featured in an upcoming issue of Parents Magazine by telling Pull-Ups how you got your kids (and yourself!) excited to start potty training and made the journey fun.

Three runners-up will win a 1-month supply of Pull-Ups Training Pants. The contest will run through June 30 so enter now at parents.com/itstimetopotty!

Have any great potty training tips for parents? I’d love to hear them!

Potty Training Tips for Parents

Potty Training Tips for Parents be prepared

Things to Do With Toddlers at Great Wolf Lodge

Is Great Wolf Lodge a good place to stay when you have a toddler? Check out these things to do with toddlers at Great Wolf Lodge! 

The day after the big kids got out of school for the summer we surprised them with a fun staycation to kick off the beginning of summer. Over the 4 day getaway, we spent two days at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California. We’d never stayed at a Great Wolf Lodge and have been dying to try out the closest one to our house. So when I saw the opportunity to purchase a Groupon again (we missed the first opportunity), I jumped on it and booked a night. 

As we did a bit more research on our upcoming stay, one thing was clear: there is a TON to do for all age groups. Including toddlers. And once we got there, we found this to be 100% accurate. Not only were there fun things for the big kids, but for the small kids and adults as well. 

If you’ve planned a night at the Great Wolf Lodge, here’s what you should put on your list to do with your toddler: 

Things to Do With Toddlers at Great Wolf Lodge

1. Grab a puddle jumper or bring your own – 

While there are quite a few places your toddler can go at Great Wolf Lodge, safety is first. Make sure you either bring your own life jacket (or favorite puddle jumper) or use one that’s provided for you at the various life jacket stations. We preferred our own because sometimes they’re out of life jackets at certain times of days or locations and it’s easier to just grab our own. 

2. Park yourself somewhere close to the Cub Paw Pool – 

After enjoying an afternoon at the water park on our first day there (you can enjoy the park starting at 1pm on your check-in day even though check in is at 4pm) and exploring everything for the first time, we knew that as soon as we arrived at the water park on our full day at the park, we needed to snag a spot near our toddler’s favorite area: Cub Paw Pool. 

Now not only does this area have a zero-depth entry that makes it easier for toddlers and infants alike to explore at their own pace, it only goes to 24″ deep in the deepest area. There are age appropriate slides, water funnels, and fun splash areas that are sure to excite any little one. And parents can just relax (as much as one can when they’re in the water with kids) while their littles play around them and have fun. My husband literally sat at the bottom of a small slide as he watched our daughter go up the stairs and down the slide 100s of times as I took the other two to the “big kid” areas of the park. She seriously did not want to leave to go anywhere else once she found Cub Paw Pool. 

3. Enjoy a fun splash area that older siblings can have fun at too at Fort Mackenzie – 

While Cub Paw Pool was perfect for the toddlers and infants, if your toddler is a bit more adventurous, let them splash and explore around Fort Mackenzie. The older kids can enjoy the medium size slides while the younger kids take turns trying to shoot water at passersby or stomp around in the big puddles. But watch out! That bucket on top of Fort Mackenzie does fill with water and tips to empty every few minutes. 

You may be surprised to find that after your toddler tries out the small slides in Cub Paw Pool that they ask to try the medium sized slides over at Fort Mackenzie! Maybe. If they’re daredevil 2-year-olds like mine…

4. With life jackets on, enjoy the waves of Slap Tail Pond’s wave pool.

There are lulls in between the waves (pictured above) but once the wave machine starts going, the littles LOVE trying to jump over the waves closer to the shore as the big kids swim in deeper. This pool also has a zero-depth entry that makes it easy for all to enjoy. And your little one might surprise you by asking to be taken further into the waves. Just make sure to hold on a bit tighter as you go in deeper. 

5. Looking for some sun? Enjoy the rays (with sunscreen lathered on, of course) at Raccoon Lagoon. 

Another zero-depth entry pool that gets to about 4 feet deep, this pool has two entrances on either side that offer fun play areas for toddlers to explore. The big kids will take over the center of the pool where the basketball hoops are but that’s ok, the edge is closer to the restaurant and drinks! 

In between splashing in the water and played with the water funnels, our 2-year-old munched on a delicious corn on the cobb snack from the Grizzly Jack’s Bar and Grill. I couldn’t pull all of the kids out of here but sadly had to as our day was coming to a close. You can stay the full day on the day you check out but we were ready to dry off and head to our next adventure by then. 

6. Staying a second night? Make sure to head down for storytime. 

Some littles may be in bed by the time this starts (I believe it was 8 or 8:15pm) but both of our girls headed down with dad to check out The Forest Friends Show followed by Great Wolf Lodge bedtime stories as told by one of their Ambassadors of Fun. Don’t forget your camera because after Story Time, meeting Wiley, Violet or one of the Great Wolf Kids characters is an unforgettable memory you won’t want to miss – and a pretty cute one too! High paws are always welcome and definitely encouraged.

As you can see, there is plenty to do at Great Wolf Lodge when you have a toddler. And some things we didn’t even get a chance to do! Good thing the whole family was in agreement that we’d have to come back soon! 

A few highlights I didn’t mention above but the toddler loved: Pizza from Hungry Like a Wolf for dinner, Donuts from Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, brownies and fudge at Bear Paw Eats & Sweets, the mini carousel and candy claw at the Northern Lights Arcade, and ending our trip with a souvenir wolf from the Buckhorn Exchange Gift Shop. 

Don’t forget to book a Wolf Den room if you have more than one cub! The bunk beds were a huge hit with our kids. While one night may be great for a lot of families, we’ll be booking two nights next time we head up so we can enjoy more of the amenities offered. 

Have you been to Great Wolf Lodge? What was your favorite part? 

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler

Tips for Working At Home with a Toddler

When I started working from home full time, my kids were already in preschool and I had at least a solid 4 hours 3 days a week to get things done. As business picked up, so did the hours my kids were away at school and I was none the wiser of how lucky I truly was for this.

Then we got pregnant with my third and I was confident in my ability to continue working from home and rocking it even with a baby on the way. Once the baby got here, things seemed to work out. I was able to work while she napped, or put her on the floor next to me and let her play beside me as I worked. But then she became more mobile. And more demanding of my time while she was playing. She didn’t want to just play with a ball, she wanted me to play with her.

Today started as most mornings start. I got the big kids ready for their day, and we all got out the door for morning drop off. But when we came back home my youngest was ready to play instead of nap like she normally does. So we had to shift gears a bit and move our schedule around to accommodate her needs. She’s always throwing a wrench into my routine so I have to learn how to be flexible with my work hours to make things flow well throughout the day. Working at home with a toddler is hard. But it’s not impossible!

Here are some tips for working at home with a toddler so that you can stay focused but still spend time with your child.

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler - ways to make life easier when working with a toddler

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler

Create Work Hours

Over the past years the biggest change I’ve found between working outside of the home and working at home is office hours. In an office setting I would come in at a certain time, take lunch at a certain time, and leave at the end of my work day. But at home it’s hard to think along the same lines. So I’ve set out time throughout the day dedicated to working.

This doesn’t have to be fancy. My office hours are written down on a post it note and stuck on my computer screen. By scheduling my day, I not only am aware of when I should be working and when I’m playing with my little one, I also take the time to feed myself and give myself the breaks I need.

Be Flexible

I’m very aware of the fact that toddlers are finicky. They can be fine playing with their train table one moment and absolutely need you RIGHT NOW the next. So I’ve grown to learn how to adapt to the quickly shifting focus of working on a task I have and then spending time with my toddler.

If I’m in the middle of working on something, I take a moment to note that in Google Keep so that I can pick up where I left off without spending time remembering where I was at.

I’ve also been able to schedule important work that needs my complete focus in the evening hours when she’s either sleeping or with my husband. This gives me peace of mind during the day because I know that I can stop and start when needed to focus on her.

Find Other Work At Home Moms

Whether it’s a neighborhood mom who also works from home with her kids, or mamas around town who you meet on meetup.com, finding other moms who work from home can help you in a variety of ways. Whether it’s socializing with them on a weekly basis and letting your kids play together, or exchanging care can help when a last minute meeting pops up or if I need to have a chunk of time during the day that I focus on getting a project done.

Schedule Play Time

I know my daughter’s routine most days and have been able to schedule play time so that we’re doing fun, interactive things throughout the day. Before I had my third, I found that I was hardly ever getting outside the house during the day when I worked. So I’ve now scheduled outdoor play in the mornings and afternoons. Since it’s warmer out, I’ve been able to set up her water table and sand box and while she plays, I can work outside. Fresh air does wonders for morale!

We then take an afternoon walk before picking up the older kids so we can explore other areas around the neighborhood and get out and about. I’ve found that I’m more productive in the afternoons after our walks than I was when we stayed home all day.

Rock Nap Time

As soon as my daughter is down for nap time, I have a pre-made list of tasks in Google Keep to tackle that I’ve made the night before. This is anything I need done without interruption that has to be completed before the end of the work day. Since I’m working with people in different time zones, I need to make sure that I’m aware of the tasks that need to be done by end of day depending on the time zone.

Utilize Tools Available

As I mentioned before, I use Google Keep for a lot of my tracking and accountability. I keep notes of my daily tasks and check them off throughout the day. I also utilize my Google Calendar and put everything on there. Whether it’s a meeting, a deadline, or even volunteer time at my son’s school, I keep it on the calendar and set notifications to pop up.

I also use IFTTT and have created recipes to help me be more efficient with my time. I can automate a lot of the tasks I have to do by using schedulers and tools built for my needs. Spending a little money is worth it when my time is used efficiently.

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler - letting go of perfection

While working from home with a toddler is hard, it’s not impossible. By staying organized, being flexible, and knowing my limits, I’ve been able to find a groove and continue working from home with success.

What are your tips for working at home with a toddler?

Exploring Downtown San Diego With Kids

In San Diego and looking for a fun way to spend the day? If you’re heading downtown there is plenty to do and see with the kids! 

From great kid-friendly museums like the San Diego Children’s Museum to kid-friendly activities at Horton Plaza Park and kid-friendly restaurants like the Hard Rock Cafe, you’ll never tire of the fun to be had in Downtown San Diego. One thing we love doing is planning one day a month where we do something new in our city. 

This month we decided to hit up Horton Plaza Park for some playtime and grab lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. Not only was it the perfect afternoon out of the house, it allowed us to enjoy our city and the gorgeous weather we’ve been having lately! 

10 Must-Do Activities with Kids in Downtown San Diego

Where to Play

1. The New Children’s Musem – 

This museum is great for kids 10 and under who are looking to enjoy hands-on experiences. There are interactive art exhibits, workshops, and camps, as well as immersive art studios to allow the kids to do what they do best – explore, learn, and create! Learn more on their website

2. Horton Plaza Park – 

Horton Plaza got a snazzy new upgrade and is now home to Horton Plaza Park, a gorgeous area in front of Westfield Horton Plaza that includes a Starbucks, Sloan’s Ice Cream, and water play at the fountain. While you’re there, take advantage of Plaza Play and enjoy a game of Lawn Darts, Jenga, and other lawn games every Thursday & Friday from 11:30AM – 2:30PM and Saturday & Sunday from 11:30AM – 4:30PM. 

If you are planning on letting the kids enjoy the water fountain, make sure to bring an extra pair of clothes! We may or may not have had to step into Gymboree to buy a few outfits for them after allowing them to enjoy a nice soak in the fountain water. But they loved every minute of it! 

3. Balboa Theater or the Civic Theater – 

My husband and I absolutely love heading to the Civic Theater to watch the latest shows at Broadway San Diego. We’ve been season ticket holders for the past 3 years and it’s something we look forward to every year. Throughout the year there are some great shows to bring the kids to! Just recently we saw Matilda and coming up is Finding Neverland! 

You can also watch your favorite movies at Balboa Theater through Cinema @ Balboa Theatre & Hard Rock Cafe. Enjoy a cinematic movie experience at the historic Balboa Theatre every month and meet-up with your fellow fans before or after the show for 15% off food, non-alcoholic beverages and non-charity retail with your movie ticket. And get $2.00 Off Cinema @ Balboa Movie Tickets at Balboa Theatre online or at Balboa Ticket Window & use code: HardRock. For Cinema Show listings and times: http://sandiegotheatres.org

Where to Explore

4. Seaport Village and The Headquarters

The one place I love visiting over and over again when I’m downtown is Seaport Village. I don’t know what it is about this little shopping area or why I always want to come back. And now with the Headquarters right next door, I have even more reasons to come visit again. Maybe it’s just because I love good shopping and delicious food? 

The kids will love hitting up the carousel and Ben & Jerry’s while at Seaport Village. And don’t forget to check out the old jail at The Headquarters. This is my kids’ favorite place to visit. My daughter loves reading what the inmates were incarcerated for back when the jail was still operational. And she loves sticking her brother in one of the cells. You can also purchase great gifts, cheeses, and chocolates while you’re there among other things. 

5.The Embarcadero – 

With the Star of India, USS Midway, and many other gems along the Embarcadero, it’s a must see for those visiting San Diego or exploring for the 100th time. You can also enjoy a harbor cruise on one of the many cruise ships in the Embarcadero. We love checking out Flagship Cruises to see if they have any special events happening. They’re also perfect for whale watching season! 

6. Balboa Park

While it is a bit farther than the other areas, we love heading to Balboa Park to explore the various museums and attractions (including our famous San Diego Zoo). If you have time, grab an explorer pass and really get to explore what Balboa Park has to offer! And don’t forget to stop by and see what’s new at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Dinos are taking center stage right now! 

Where to Eat

7. Hard Rock Cafe – 

We were recently invited to head down to the Hard Rock Cafe San Diego and try out their awesome menu. The location was so convenient for our family as it’s within walking distance of Horton Plaza Park (across the street). The menu was extensive and they had a great selection of drinks and kids items. 

I enjoyed a delicious Texan pulled pork sandwich paired with a southern rock while my husband had a burger with strawberry lemonade. The kids took advantage of the delicious smoothies and hot dogs on the kids menu. We ended our meal with an amazing hot fudge brownie. Pictures do not do this dessert justice! It’s massive and was perfect for our family of 5. No one felt left out. Next time we’re trying the fresh apple cobbler per my husband’s request. 

The best part about this restaurant is the ambiance. Being surrounded by our favorite band’s memorabilia and quotes made our experience even more awesome. And just like the Hard Rock Hotel (which I highly recommend), the service and attention to detail is spot on! You feel like a part of the family as soon as you walk in. 

8. Food Trucks – 

When you’re out and about in Downtown San Diego, especially when there’s an event going on, make sure to keep an eye out for the delicious food trucks our city has driving around. You can take a look at the food truck schedule by visiting their website

9. Double Standard – 

While we love quite a few restaurants in Downtown San Diego, the sandwiches at Double Standard keep me coming back for more. Plus the kids love their pizza! The menu is always changing so stop by and check out what they are serving up. I’m sure it’ll be delicious! When we’re with the kids we prefer coming for lunch as it’s a little less crowded and we can snag a comfy couch seat. 

10. Ghiradelli – 

If you didn’t snag an amazing brownie sundae at Hard Rock Cafe, stop by Ghiradelli. For a scrumptious ice cream dish to share with the whole family! It’s close to all of the other restaurants and places we’ve previously mentioned so it’s a great place to end the night (or day)! 

No matter what you do while you’re in Downtown San Diego, I’m sure you’ll have fun doing it! If you have any suggestions for kid-friendly activities, please feel free to leave them in the comments below! We’re always looking for something new to explore in San Diego! 

What’s your favorite thing to do in Downtown San Diego? 

Disclosure: Our family was provided a free meal at the Hard Rock Cafe San Diego. 



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