Adventures in Potty Training

Part One

So my kid has been intrigued by the potty (and the bodily functions associated with it) for a while now. He recognizes the sensations, he informs me when he has gone and needs a new diaper, he will sit on the potty himself. For the most part he shows signs of readiness for potty training except for things like waking up dry and pulling down his own pants, and actually saying he wants to use the thing.


Now many may disagree, but going into this I took the stance that when he is “ready” he will let me know. I didn’t want to push him too early and have him fight me on it, only to go back to diapers for a few months and try again. Nope, I wanted to do this one time, and one time only.


That said, I figured I had some time – I read that the average girl potty trains at 2 ½ and the average boy at 3 years. We are sitting pretty at a little over 2 years old so potty training wasn’t even on my radar.


Then last week, in the middle of watching Finding Nemo for the 63rd time – he looks over at me, pulls down his pants and says “I go pee pee in potty.”


Ok. No biggie. I honestly thought he would go sit down, test it out, get used to the whole potty concept and go right back to Nemo and Dory.


I was so wrong.


No sooner did I sit down and get comfortable, did my kid get the hugest grin on his face as he proceeded to pee in the potty – just like he said he was going to do.


I was NOT prepared. I had no reward system in place. No candy, no stickers, no nothing!!


All I had was my genuine excitement – the neighbors must have thought I won the lottery or something because I made a gigantic deal out of the moment, and I had Oreos. So we celebrated!!


Now, I know there are multiple ways to play this out.


  • Rip off the Band Aid and abandon diapers altogether. Transition to big boy underwear, have a few accidents but be potty trained in a ridiculously short period of time – a day, or a weekend? I’m not sure exactly what the time frame is, I imagine some of that varies by kid.


  • The naked approach – which could work since its summer. Basically just let them run around outside in their “birthday suit”. They will feel the sensation of having to “go” easier without a diaper on and wont like getting it all over themselves – quickly associating the two and will use the potty as the alternative.


  • Positive reinforcement (aka bribery) – go in the potty get a treat or a sticker or whatever motivates your child the most.


  • Probably a ton more that I have no clue about but would probably never try anyway.


For us the plan of attack is simple – candy all the way baby!!


After swim lessons a few weeks ago his teacher always gave a small Dum Dum sucker, like this…




…and let me tell you, we did everything we had to during our lesson to deserve that sucker. I knew instantly that whenever we started potty training that this would be our reward. Its a small treat but way more special than a few M&Ms or jelly beans – honestly I wouldn’t even go for a few measly jelly beans, you’d have to make that task worth my while, so I figure the rule same applies. Its only fair.


The getting rid of diapers altogether thing wouldn’t work for my kid either. He is a lot like me in the sense that if he “messed up” and had an accident he would:

a) be embarrassed

b) get down on himself for not succeeding

c) shut down and may not want to try again for a while

d) all of the above.


So we opted for the transition to Pull Ups instead and so far we are rocking it! For the times we don’t make it? Eh, its no biggie. I have taken the approach of not emphasizing the fact that he went in the diaper, instead I just tell him that the next time he has to go we can try to use the potty!


As it stands, we use the potty more often than not.


As far as technique, we decided to try turning him the opposite way on the toilet at first – my cousin (who has all boys) suggested it because they don’t have to worry about aiming when they are turned that way. Instead it hits the back of the bowl and the mess stays in the toilet, instead of all over the floor!! Genius, right!?


I also saw this pin on Pinterest




The dry erase markers on the back of the lid is pretty brilliant if you ask me!


We are also trying this trick from




Since we are obsessed with flushing and haven’t quite grasped the concept of too much toilet paper I am hoping this visual helps a lot!!


The other thing we have yet to master is a #2 in the potty, and let me tell you I am fearful!!


I have heard stories about how difficult it can be for kids, that they are scared to go #2, that the lengths you go to as a parent to get them to poop in the potty can be unreal – and I know this is fact because I have dear friends who have told me so.


Case and point…


Heathers Poop Training Text


Heather poop traing text2


Besides the fact that this is the most epic text thread I have ever received IN MY LIFE, I never truly understood it until this moment in parenthood, standing on the precipice of my own poop in the potty dilemma, what my dear, sweet, friend was going through. The desperation, and joy, in getting your kid to use the potty is real.


Like she said, oh how the times have changed.


Not even kidding, the best part of my week has literally been spent sitting on a bathroom floor, singing “The Ants Go Marching” on repeat, getting pee on my hands and anxiously waiting to do a “potty dance” for my all too proud 2-year-old.


That is a vast difference from what a killer week was like B.P. (before parenthood) and let me tell you I have loved every single minute of it.


His joy is my joy. Seeing him proud of himself and confident makes me proud and confident as a parent!


Am I doing this potty training thing right? I have no idea.


Is there even a right way? I’d like to think not.


I figure just like each kid is different, so is the process in which they learn things – even how to use the potty, and right now this method is working for us. So we will keep on doing what we are doing until it doesn’t work anymore, and then we will try something else.


If any mamas have any advice or epic potty training stories of their own I’d love to hear them, especially if you can beat the one above! We are all in this together after all!!


Stayed tuned for part two: when we master #2


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