If you already use the potty, don’t have kids, or have kids who already use the potty, then this blog post isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you do have a kid or little one who is about to go on the potty training journey do read on and make sure to pour yourself a glass of wine while you are at it.
My kids are 5 and 2 and right now we are trying to get one kid to stop talking about the potty and the other one to use it.
Before I get to the current day, let’s talk about my first journey of potty training with my son Deklan. Not sure about you but a lot of what I heard when researching potty training was don’t start too early.
If you do or force it, your kid will rebel and you might end up with a bed wetter and be the worst mom ever… or something like that.
For some reason, this advice really hit home for my husband. The thing with having an active partner in parenting is you have to be on the same page. I really wanted to get my son potty trained while I was on short-term disability for 8 weeks (aka Amazon Maternity back when they didn’t give any). I thought being home with a newborn was the perfect time to do that pantless thing while making your kid drink lots of juice. My hubby thought 2 and a half was too young but kind of just went along with it.
To prepare I did a lot of what was recommended:
- Read the books
- Got a stool for the potty and stickers for my son to personalize
- Found some good kids books to read while on the potty
- Charts with stickers for tracking progress
- Basket with toys and treats for rewards
- Visual timer to use while on the potty
- Inserted a smaller potty seat
- Bought fun underwear
The potty training weekend went great but as soon as my son was with my husband he put diapers on him and it just never stuck. Soon after I went back to work, life with a newborn was too much. Now thinking back trying to potty train a kid while home with a newborn, with a partner who isn’t sure, is a bad strategy for sure.
It wasn’t till 6 months later at my son’s 3-year-old check-in with his Dr. that it all changed. The Dr. asked if my son Deklan stays dry at night. He has for months and apparently, the Dr. thought Deklan was VERY ready to be potty trained.
That weekend we did the pantless thing again, and again he did great. This time we didn’t put him back in diapers, in fact, we didn’t even get pull-ups, nothing not even underwear since we heard that can be confusing. He never once had an accident and now thinking back he was ready. I think he was ready 6 months prior when we first tried but I guess we weren’t ready.
Now 2 years later my little girl was showing signs she was ready. Often if not all the time she is dry in the morning. So at 2 and a half, we started the process. My hubby was more onboard and so was our fabulous nanny. She was the one who actually noticed she was ready first.
I got ready again and bought a bunch of toys and treats as rewards. We got the sticker chart, we did the weekend thing and it didn’t really stick. We did put pullups on at night but that wasn’t when she had accidents. She did great with pee but often she would poop in her pants during the day.
At first, the accidents happened a lot. Like maybe every day or a few times a day. 99% of the time it was poop. Even after sitting on the potty 5 minutes later she would poop. Or in the bathtub, or after she just sat on the potty for 15 minutes. There really wasn’t any kind of pattern.
One day we went to the zoo with friends. She was in underwear and I had a spare set of clothes. She pooped herself while watching the tigers so we changed. Then just an hour later she pooped herself again and it ran down her leg and into her shoe. It took all of my wet wipes and tossing the clothes and shoes to get my daughter clean enough to walk out of the zoo. I was that mom with a little one with no shoes and only a shirt.
We did everything to avoid the poop accidents and at one point I thought she was just doing it out of spite. In the end, the thing that worked was time. The accidents got less and less. My mom joked, she would get it before college (at the time I didn’t think this was funny). Then one day we realized she hasn’t hadn’t had an accident in weeks.
It is official my daughter is potty trained and our family is done with diapers. The advice I would tell others is every kid is different and eventually, they will get it and that might be over the weekend or over a few months. In the meant time I would suggest these 3 things that I learned along the way:
- Little potty for travel. Don’t use this at home. Some who have their kids have a hard time switching to the big one (Lessons from a few of my friends). Do bring this potty to places and have it in the car. There will be times when there isn’t a bathroom or your kid will just refuse a dirty one (who can blame them).
- Potty insert for at home to make it smaller.
- Potty liners for public toilets (clean and makes the hole look smaller so it is less scary).
All the best on the potty training adventure. * L
P.S. Still trying to figure out how to get my oldest to stop talking about the potty and poop.