Thursday, March 14, 2013

Our Potty Training Journey ...

I'll preface this by saying I'm so glad both of my girls and I are finished with this journey!!

I was sitting, watching L's soccer practice while listening to this mom tell about 4 others "How To Potty Train" ... then I thought about my girls and the difference between the two of them. I could hear her saying (as she hit her fist to her palm to drive this point through) "You have to sit them on the potty every 30 minutes." I have to admit, I tried this and I thought it was ridiculous! If you do this EVERY 30 MINUTES and they sit on the potty for awhile, then they are ALWAYS sitting on the potty! If you attempt to sit them down every 30 minutes and start timing from when they get off the potty, then you will miss when they have to go. This is a vicious, stressful cycle! That's what I thought about it anyway! BUT I SUPPOSE IT WORKS FOR SOME PEOPLE!

All kids are different and all moms have patience and tolerance for different things! I think potty training is just as personal for people as their individual parenting styles! There's no right way, there's no wrong way! You just have to find the best way that works for you and your little one! Most certainly what worked for L was not the same as what worked for M!! 

As I sat down to write this, I began typing about then very beginning, when L initially showed interest in using the potty. This was between 16-17 months old (she's 3 now!). I typed 3 lines and decided that was too far to go back. That was the summer before last; So I'll just start with last summer. Between those 2 summers, her interest would peak and valley. But if she ever wanted to use the potty, it was certainly available for her! Then this past summer, I WAS READY TO DO THIS!  I did sticker charts, I did small prizes, we would even bake muffing for several hours with no accidents (we made a lot of muffins, didn't always eat all of them but making them was quite the treat). Then once we got pretty good, I even took her to the pet store to buy fish for our aquarium for a few days with no accidents. Multiple trips and thirty dollars in one week for fish, it was fun for her and she wanted to do it but I couldn't do that every week .. and our tank was going to get crowded! (this was a fun week though). 

Eventually we did the run around the house bare bottom, which worked great for pee!! Although if I put panties on her she would still have accidents and when it came to poop, she would always ask for me to put a diaper on her!! That's the only time she would ask for me to put a diaper on her. I started promising her the world for her to poop in the potty. NOTHING. Then I promised Chuck E. Cheese, a trip to the park, and pink cupcakes all for poop in the potty! She did this at 5:30 one night. We're NEVER just going out that late (unless we are already out). But I made good on all of my promises!! I was so happy ... THEN she didn't do it again for 4 days. I had to give her a diaper when she asked for it. I was afraid of her getting impacted!! 

Then I remembered a dvd that was passed onto me while I was still pregnant. Potty Power. Within the hour after her first time watching it, she voluntarily pooped in the potty and never turned back. M never had this issue with pooping in the potty (thank goodness)!! They love this dvd! The songs are great and even though they are now potty trained, they still ask to watch this dvd sometimes!

L had accidents here and there and one morning early October 2012 we woke up and I asked her, "Do you want to wear big girl panties or a diaper today?" She smiled so big, said panties and this was the end of it! She had 2 accidents that week and the rest was history for her! After 2 weeks of no accidents she was able to pick out some pretty panties of her choice. She chose Minnie Mouse and she thought she was so big after that!! Officially potty trained  at 32 months! I was happy. 

M couldn't run around bare bottom because she would just pee anywhere! This may sound bad, but it was like having a puppy! If I put panties on her, she would have an accident EVERY TIME! Run around naked, pee on the floor within 15 minutes! But she would also take her own diaper off and just pee (anywhere) as well. She wanted to wear panties so bad and she wanted some Tinkerbell panties too; I didn't know what to do with her. She got to where when we were out and L would have to go potty, she would tell me after we would come back that she had to go too. It was all so silly. She knew what she was doing, she knew when she needed to go. She was just messing with me. (I have no idea why)

The first day of February this year we woke up one morning and I asked her, "Do you want to wear big girl panties or a diaper today?" Of course she said big girl panties! She had 3 accidents that week... a few days into this with her we had tickets for the circus. We went there, out to eat for lunch, then to the park and NO ACCIDENTS, we took her that day to pick out her Tinkerbell panties and no more accidents for her! Potty Trained at 26 months... Words couldn't explain how happy I was!! 

Last week M did have 2 accidents. One was when we got home from swimming, she was so tired and come to find out, she was getting sick. Then the following morning she had one more. Some people suggested possible regression. (I had no idea what to do with that). But luckily, THIS never happened again!

Potty training is so different for everyone! This is what worked for us!


  1. I agree with you that every child is different. My little brother and his wife are currently doing the sit your child on the potty every hour thing, and it's been weeks and she still hates going to the toilet. It's hard to sit back and watch, but as much as every child is different, I believe it is up to the parents to decide how to approach potty training, so I'm minding my own business and waiting to see if Miss K shows any signs (none yet but she's still a week off being 2 so there's no rush)

    Thank you for sharing this story, I'll certainly remember your approach for something to try when Miss K is ready.

  2. Yeah, I agree with you. I did things off and on when their interest would peak. I could tell THEY WERE REALLY READY when I went straight to the panties. They had had A LOT of practice at that point! I think for having 2 so close in age, I think we did well having them potty trained at the times they were officially done!! :) Good luck with Miss K when she is ready!!