Friday, January 14, 2011

Flashback Friday: Potty Training

The last two weeks we've been working on potty training the little man. Which got me thinking about potty training my other kids.

I started putting Beth on the potty when she was about one year, but I quickly realized that I was not going to be one of those "potty trained before they're two" moms.

watching movies
I started potty training in earnest when she turned two. Here she is sitting on a training toilet watching movies drinking water from her sippy cup. (This is not a good potty-training practice, by the way!) I potty trained that child in earnest from the time she turned two until the time she turned three.
I spent so many days cleaning up accidents. She would pee and not even tell me she was wet! I gave her M&Ms. The first time she pooped in the potty we took her to McDonalds and bought her a balloon. She just didn't seem to care. She would be so involved in her play that she would just go - wherever, whenever, whatever she was wearing.
potty party
I had never felt so much peer pressure in my life! Most of her two and a half year old friends were potty trained. I would sit with other moms at MOPS and we would talk about potty training and I would feel like the bad mom of the group who hadn't been able to potty train her kid. It was the most frustrating this I'd encountered in parenthood... so far.
Summer 2005 @ Flint River
Needless to say when Emma turned two (and I was seven months pregnant) I didn't even think about potty training.
Don't take my picute - silly mama!sisters 12-06
The day after her third birthday I took her to get her three year check up, I had this wonderful motherly pediatrician who I just adored, she checked Emma and said "yep! You're too big for diapers now!" We went home, got out the big girl underwear and she was potty trained in about a week. She was the easiest kid to potty train ever.

I thought I had it all figured out.

I didn't.

I did the exact same thing for Katie-Abigail. I started letting her sit on the potty before bath time when she was about two:
silly girl

I started potty training in earnest when she turned three:
a favorite
But she still had accidents with her poop regularly until she was four.  But now that she goes to school she has not had even one accident.

So now it's time to do it all over again.

Josiah has good days and bad days...
He'll get the hang of it eventually.

Here are a few general tips I've picked up along the way...

Stay positive - which is hard when you go through a week of clothes in one day, but always be encouraging and positive. Accidents are normal, sitting on the potty and not doing anything is normal. Don't discipline for accidents. Apparently potty training is a really stressful process for kids - try not to add your stress to the equation. If they aren't too keen about sitting on the potty, offer incentives like stickers, m&ms, skittles etc. this has turned many "no I don't want to go potty" conversations into more willing and positive ones.
Be consistent - once you put them in underwear, keep them in underwear as much of the time as you possibly can. If Mommy and Daddy work together to potty train it will be even more successful, also try to maintain as much continuity between any other care givers and home as you can.
Keep it in perspective - it might take your child a week to potty train, it might take them two years. Both are normal. But eventually your child will be potty trained. Think down the road a few years and remember that the important thing is that your child eventually becomes potty trained not when or how quickly they are trained.
Talk to your doctor -  there are a few medical conditions which may contribute to your child having difficulty with their potty training. For example, Katie-Abigail had pretty severe constipation which made her bowl movements more difficult to control. Once we helped her get regular she was much less prone to accidents. So it's a good idea to discuss this with your pediatrician.

Have you got any tips to share?


  1. Awesome advice, I'm still in the potty training process, I'm thinking maybe in a few more months she'll be good to go, maybe. They have to do it when they're ready, I learned you can't force them.

  2. We're trying to potty train our middle child right now, and hes just not having it, haha.

  3. Oh man. I am so glad to be past potty training-- It WAS so stressful! Each kid is so different. For me it was waiting until they showed the interest and then leaping into it. Put him in underwear and do not turn back.

    Good luck! (AGAIN) lol

  4. our best potty training tip was the M&M thing. We bought the biggest bag of M&M's we could find and everytime someone (anyone) would go down the hall we'd yell and scream and clap and hand that person a handful of M&M's. Our "baby" was watching and would run in and say he wanted M&M's and we'd tell him the M&M's were for people who went on the potty. Voila! He was potty trained by the end of the day.

    But I have to add he was around 3 and ready, just not willing.


Your comments make my day!!

Sign up to be notified about upcoming classes!!

* indicates required