Congratulations! You’ve officially hit the most enjoyable time in toddlerhood! Kidding not kidding. This is one of the things I was absolutely dreading as a parent. I’ve heard so many horror stories and so many “he did it all by himself” stories that I had literally no idea what to expect. But armed with the right mindset and the right resources, it was so much easier that I thought.
Around two years old, Oliver started to show some “signs” that he was ready to start using the potty. Think: always taking his pants off, showing off his *ahem*, letting me know he had to “oooop”, and letting me know his diaper was dirty. I was so excited that he was starting to become more communicative and self-aware, but I was at a loss of where to start. After I read a few different parenting blogs and talked to some girlfriends with older kids, I decided my best bet was to invest in Jamie Glowaki’s book “Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to do It Once and Do It Right”. Find it on Amazon HERE. I was amazed at how she was able to walk me through this process in such an easy and stress-free way. She actually made me feel like it was no big deal and I could do it. More importantly, she helped me to understand that Oliver could do it.
Now, I feel like it’s important to mention that all children are different and some will learn differently than others. This is just happened to be how we went about it and what worked for us with Oliver. With Emmie’s personality, I have absolutely no idea whats going to work for her! I took the advice from friends, parents, and grandparents, as well as some information I read in “Oh Crap!” and put it all together. I tried to use “Oh Crap!” As more of an inspiration and guide as opposed to a rigorous ‘how to” that we needed to strictly follow. I highly recommend reading the entire book before beginning the journey of potty training. This process is great but you might need to adjust some things to fit the specific needs of your child.
Toddlers are awesome. They love praise and especially love mastering a new skill. With any new skill, accidents are expected and practice is a must. Practice, practice, practice. This whole thing just takes practice. They don’t call it potty “training” for nothing. And its important to just accept that in potty training accidents will happen, and they will happen over and over again. But pee is sterile and can be cleaned up quickly with a paper towel so its really not that big of an issue. As long as you don’t get weird about it, your kid won’t get weird about it. I’m a huge believer in the idea that our children feed off our energy and that idea is really important in not only potty training but also in day-to-day life. My biggest advice, as a mom who just went through potty training, is don’t push it, don’t make it a big deal, and don’t stress out about it. We bought a potty seat, undies, a step stool and some potty books to aid in the process. I’ll link it all at the end of the post!
Full disclosure: As of now, Oliver still sleeps in a pull up some nights because he can’t be bothered to wake up in the middle of the night to go potty and he sleeps through peeing in his bed. This is a bridge I will be crossing soon and will report back!
Here’s how potty training went with Oliver:
Day 1: We started off the process the day before we actually “started”. Before bed we told Oliver that we were going to be throwing away all his diapers because it was time for him to start wearing undies like Dad. He was so excited and actually helped us throw them out! Glowaki recommends throwing the diapers away because it proves that you have faith in your kid and that once you start, you’re not going to back out.
Day 2: Naked. All naked, all day. He was in heaven. Oliver loves being naked and to be allowed to run free after wearing a diaper for 2 years, he was ecstatic. We also put a potty seat on the toilet fo him. This day was also exhausting for the both of us. I was constantly watching him. Waiting to see any sort of “sign” that indicated he had to go. It was a lot of accidents but a lot of “Yay! You went peepee”. I never once asked him to go sit on the potty. If I had to go, I would simply say “ Mommy is going potty. You can come with me if you want to!” and he would always hop up after me. About half way through Day 2, he was able to register that he was going pee and would quickly go running to the potty. I want to note that this was the day he went poop on the potty without any prompt. He just jumped off the couch, grabbed his butt, yelled “oh no” and ran to the potty. I was shocked. He’s only had a few poop accidents since then and they have all been when he’s supposed to be napping. Go figure. Accidents for the day: 8
Day 3: Undies! Oliver got to pick out his very own Toy Story undies. SUCH A BIG DEAL. He was so excited that he had undies with Buzz on them he just had to show them off to the dog… multiple times. I think that the excitement around these super cool undies was really what helped him figure out how to hold it until he got to the potty. By the end of day 3, he was able to make it to the potty with minor accidents while he ran over. I was so excited for him! Note: kids take literally forever to use the potty once they are up there. That was why I bought him a few books to look at and read while we wait for him to do his business. Accidents for the day: 6
Day 4: Day 4 was a big one. We decided to test our out our new skill with a quick trip to the market to pick up some stuff for dinner. It was maybe 10 minutes each way in the car and maybe 10 minutes in the store. That’s a 30 minute test! And he passed!! We made sure we went potty before we left the house and then we went as soon as we got home. I didn’t even care that he dropped his pants to go on the front lawn when we got home, I was just so proud of him for making it! Accidents for the day: 5
Day 5: This day was huge for him. He was able to go for a 45 minute car ride down to visit his great-grandma, enjoy a wonderful pb&j with her, use the potty by himself without a prompt, and then make it the entire 45 minute ride home all with no accidents! I was so impressed! Accidents for the day: 2
Day 6: Day 6 is what I considered our best day. No accidents. And we ate some of the best chocolate chip cookies to celebrate!
Now I feel like I have to reiterate that this is what worked for us and the timeline that Oliver was able to create. Every kid is different and will go about this process in their own way. I genuinely think that if you, as the parent, are confident in your child and yourself and are dedicated to give it your greatest effort, there is nothing but success coming your way! Remember that accidents happen— Oliver still has accidents every now and again when he’s super distracted with an activity or trying to avoid a nap.
Relax, be patient and pour yourself a big glass of wine (or two, or four) at the end of each day. Cheers Mama and enjoy Potty Training!
Now I want to know, what worked for your children? Did you have a similar experience to us?