Monday, March 29, 2010

Honest Mommy Advice on Potty training

Potty training.

I will admit, since I'm going all honest mommy here, very few things scared me like potty training did. And still does.

A couple of you asked about potty training, any tips or when we started, how it went, that sorta thing, since I could ramble about PT for hours, I thought it deserved its own post.

The good, the bad, and the poopy.

But first its REALLY important to remember a couple of things, every kid is different, boys do tend to potty train later {and really when you think about our husbands ability to hit the toilet bowl is it any surprise?}, and do some deep breathing when you think your child will never be trained, chances are you probably wont be changing his pullup come college.

Oh and one of the most important tips in this whole saga? Until they're ready.... it ain't gonna happen.

{And of course, every kid lets you know they are ready differently, some stay dry longer, some start to let you know when they are wet, some seem embarrassed by pooping in their pants, some just seem to show interest in the potty and seem curious.... if your kid shows curiosity JUMP!}

But before they are ready you can try and try and try, you can have some success but really, it's just not going to take. You will be steam cleaning your carpets and your sofas a lot.

Dash-1 was quite possibly, the easiest child in the world to potty train. We had tried a couple of times after he turned two, because well, he was our first and we were idiots. We thought we could train him when we wanted him to be trained. My mother told us to back off and we did.

His little potty was always kind of around but we didn't really push him to use it. Then around the the time dash-1 was about 21 months and dash-2 was due soon, we sat him on the potty and went over how this was where big boys peed and pooped. And. That was that.

I kid you not.

He peed and pooped in the little potty and had only a handful of accidents. He went from diapers, to pullups, to underpants in two weeks.

Dash-2. {sigh} Dash-2 is proving to be a little more challenging.

With dash-1 we had his love of routine and "this is the way its going to be" on our side, with him telling him you pee in the potty was enough for him to pee in the potty. After all, that's just where you pee right? Dash-2 could care less. In fact I think for the longest time he thought it was funny that he wasn't potty training when we clearly wanted him too.

Just in the past month he's been doing great. He's making days on end without peeing in his pullup or underwear. {I will admit, with three kids right now I just can't deal with accidents while we are out, even to teach a lesson so I let him wear his pullups out. It's all about saving mommy's sanity sometimes. Don't judge.}

Pooping is a little harder. He seems to have some apprehension about pooping in the potty but again, that'll happen.

Here are my best potty training tips:
-get a little potty to leave out so that your kiddo gets used to seeing it and sitting on it. {If you have a 2 story house buy one for each level, trust me you don't want to be sprinting around trying to find it.} We have one little potty sitting in our living room {again don't judge} and one up in the play room.

It made it easier for them to stop what they were doing and going to the bathroom, they didn't feel like they were being sent away. And they could sit on the potty in front of a cartoon, who wouldn't like that?

- potty treats work {with some kids}. They worked fabulously with dash-1, he got one gummy lifesaver every time he tried sitting on the potty {within reason}, two if he peed, and shoot, when he pooped I think I gave him the whole bag!

Figure out what works with your kids, maybe stickers are enough, flyboy loathes stickers so that wasn't so much an option, and honestly, potty treats never really worked with dash-2.

- When your in the thick of potty training and want to tackle peeing in public take one of the little crappers with you. {And I mean the potty, you already have to take the kid}

I luckily had enough trunk space I could do it with no problem. When they start going pee they haven't yet figured out how to hold it and word to the wise, when they say "Mommy I think I need to pee!" that translates too "Mommy if I don't pee in 5 seconds I'm going to pee all over the car that you still have years to pay on!"

This way you just pull into a parking lot and let them use the pee nice and easy. {However if your in the middle of no where this is where having a boy is fantastic! They can pee anywhere!}

And cleaner. LOTS CLEANER.

-We are lucky, we live out on a country road with tons of space, for this reason, our boys are able to just pee outside if they are out playing. Just to clarify, they don't drop their drawers where ever they are or stand by the road to try to pee on cars, but I found it much easier when we were potty training to let them pee outside, behind a tree then try to run them back to the house quickly. And we don't have neighbors close by so no one is the wiser.

And let me tell you, nothing, nothing potty trains quicker then letting your boys pee outside. Sorry all you moms of girls, I don't have any tips like this for you.

-Moms of boys, another tip just for you {sorry moms of girls but I don't have any girls remember} if you do have to take them in a public restroom and they freak about sitting down on the seat, mine were paranoid about falling in, but they aren't tall enough to really pee standing up, try standing behind them and having them stand on your feet.

-Try not to freak out over it. Trust me, I get it, potty training can be stressful. And after a while you get tired of accidents and steam cleaning, really, I get it. A lot. But freaking out will not help. Taking things away and making it a negative experience will not get you anywhere but a power struggle, and a power struggle over poop is NOT what you want.

again... trust me.

I think that's about it, if you have any tips please add them in the comments! And if you have anymore questions on potty training feel free to email me.


  1. I have a friend who swears on infant potty training, any thoughts?

  2. I seriously take mental note whenever I read your blog. Though my dad told me me put a cheerio in the toilet (when My brother was tall enough to reach) and told him to sink the ship.

    Thanks for the tips! I love your blog.

  3. Mommy of a girl here!

    We stayed home for a week straight so that it wouldn't be so stressful on either of us.

    Babies R Us has these little fold up travel potty seats for about $10, totally awesome!! Throw it in the shopping bag (I carry my reusables and coupons in a special bag so they stay together) and when out at the store you can just unfold it while they pull down their pants and sit them up there.

    My daughter loathed the little training potty, she thought it was for her baby dolls, so I bought the cheap little seats and step stools for the 2 bathrooms in the house that she used (1 upstairs & 1 down) and she went really easy.

    I used m&ms (1 for sitting, 2 for peeing, and 5 for pooping) and they worked wonders. After a couple of days though had to wean her off of those because she was sitting on the potty just so she could get candy.

    I bought the cheap not so pretty panties for her and let her look at all of the others, and made a deal with her (a little before her 2nd bday) that if she would go in the potty for 5 days and not in her pants we would go back and she could get the little mermaid (her favorites) panties. But if she went in her pants we couldn't get them. And she got sparkley jeans and a new t shirt that she liked too when we went back.

    Totally used the whole you are a big girl and big girls go on the potty, only babies go in diapers. Worked for my daughter. She was 24 hour potty trained in 4 days. And then took her back to the store and got her what I had promised. I also had her bag up the diapers that we had left over and she gave them to the baby at church.

  4. I agree with waiting until they are ready. We pushed and pushed Charlie and with his fourth birthday approaching, I was getting insanely frustrated.

    And then one magical day, he just used the potty and never looked back. I didn't make him do it or anything. He just sat on the regular toilet and used it without me even knowing until he started screaming for toilet paper, lol.

    Kids are funny sometimes.

  5. THANK YOU SO MUCH! The Wee one is starting to take off his pants/diaper when he gets to full so I think that we may start taking the initiative soon.

    I will definitely be coming back for references. =)

  6. I'm going through this stage right now. It's no fun! Thanks for the tips. I'll keep them in mind with my little one.

  7. Oh, the joys of potty training. And I only have one kid.
    For Jax, I insanely tried to potty train him after his dad deployed. Obviously, didn't work. Within a week of his dad being home, we took a weekend and had him wear big boy undies and he drank lots of juice and lemonade (which he thought rocked since we don't let him drink tat stuff normally) and made him go on the pot every 30 minutes. By Monday, he was pooty trained for peeing. Pooping was horrible! He knew he had to go poop, but was afraid of pooping in the toilet for some reason, so he would poop his underwear. One day, he was walking around without underwear on for some reason and asked for some so he could poop. I told him he can poop in the potty on on teh floor (which he didn't want to). It took thirty minutes but he finally caved and pooped in his potty chair. And voila! We were done.
    We're still working on nighttime pottying, though. And in public, we have him stand on the potty and pee from there since he's too short even if he were standing on our feet!
    *And he refuses to potty outside.

  8. Excellent post. I swear by naked potty training. Our oldest was trained in 3 days by me stripping him and kicking him outside to play in the summer. Our middle son was a tougher nut to crack, and took 3 months from start to finish, but he beat out his older brother by not having accidents at night at the age of 3.

    Also, if you're going to potty train, and you think your child is ready, dont be wishy washy! Go full throttle, deal with accidents and it can be done. We did this by buying big boy underwear for when we had to go out in public and naked didnt quite work. I just brought an extra pair of pants and 2 undies and we were good to go!

    Most importantly though its true you must wait until your child show some signs of interest. Otherwise it cal backfire on you. Which really sucks.

  9. LOL I think my favorite line was And they could sit on the potty in front of a cartoon, who wouldn't like that? :D Definitely need to file this for future reference. I can only begin to imagine the fun we are in for.

  10. E needs to suck it up and stop being wishy washy around here. Gah!

    We are working on it though!

  11. ooo...I need to bookmark this or something. We're going away for Easter, but my plan is to begin serious potty training when we get home. The little man is absolutely ready. Eek!!

    ((I'm terrified))

  12. THANK YOU!

    My oldest was SO hard to train. SO hard. Now I am slowly working with #2. He gets the pee part sorta but refuses to go poop. Glad summer will be here soon. We can really make use of outside time.

  13. In reply to MG who asked, "I have a friend who swears on infant potty training, any thoughts?" . . .

    Like "the Mrs.", we raised 3 boys too. We found out about infant potty training when our third was 3 months old and much preferred it to traditional toilet training. We finished sooner and needed fewer diapers. And now 30 years later, our grandchild is using ipt too.

    There are lots of misconceptions about ipt such as it's rushing baby or that babies "go" all over the place. Our son used diapers in between potty visits so there was no mess in the house.

    I think that PT is an individual thing, that each family has to decide which approach to use. We totally enjoyed infant potty training but I would never claim that it's "the" way for everyone. If it resonates, it's worth reading about it and giving it a try.

    Here are some resources for further info:

    Book: "Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living"
    DVD "Potty Whispering"


  14. Oh, we have *finally* potty-trained, and I *still* have no idea how to do it =).

  15. We're in the completion department of it all. Good bye potty training!


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