Every Single Stinkin’ Thing I Ever Learned About Potty Training

I am past my days of potty training.

(Let me just say that again, and this time I’ll sing it and do a little jig.)

I AM PAST MY DAYS OF POTTY TRAINING.

Before these days get any further behind me, I thought I should write down everything I learned about this most glamorous parenting task.  If nothing else, I want to be able to show it to my own children when they come to me 20 years from now, frustrated that little Shannon Junior isn’t complying with their potty demands.  I will give them a gentle hug, point them to this post, and then walk away, smirking (just an bit) when I think of all the carpet cleaning bills I’ve paid over the last decade.

But I also want to write this down because I remember how hard a job it is.  Potty training can be overwhelming, and even when it’s going well, there are setbacks.  If YOU are a potty training momma, then Honey, you just get yourself a Diet Coke and come sit next to me.  Let me tell you what I’ve learned.

1.  Don’t do it until they’re ready.

Every resource on this subject is in agreement: wait until they’re ready.  The trick is in defining "ready".  I’m in the camp that thinks "ready" means they are fully communicative, initiating interest, understanding of cause-and-effect, and willing.  In fact, only partly in jest, I decided I wouldn’t potty train my last child until she ASKED me to.  And you know what?  She basically did.  Just after her third birthday.  No months of tears and pleading and anxiety.  Just…done.

I know some parents are eager to get going on the process because diapers are so much trouble.  But I will assure you that months upon months of accidents and tears and frustration are way more trouble than diapers.  This isn’t a race.  If your child is potty trained at 18 months, you don’t get a medal.  Further, pushing a child before he’s ready will lead to starts and stops in the process, and this just sends him a confusing message.  He wonders if you’re really serious about all this pee-pee business.  Which leads me to my next point…

2.  Don’t do it until YOU’RE ready.

This is a big committment of your time, energy and sanity.  Gear up for it.  Look ahead at your calendar and block off some time for it.  And DON’T START IT UNTIL YOU AND YOUR CHILD ARE READY TO FINISH IT.  Be absolutely certain of your child’s readiness, and then be done.  Again, false starts are very confusing to a toddler.

3. Treat them like big kids. 

I recently saw a mom lean down to her little two-year-old and say (in her best baby voice) "Wittle sweetie want to go poo-poo on da potty?"  That seems a little counter-productive to me. 

Potty training is about more than just using the potty–it’s a big milestone in a child’s life.  Use this as a chance to celebrate their growing up.  Very often when you treat a child as if he’s older, he’ll start acting as if he’s older.

As part of your training, encourage your child to do as much as they can for themselves.  A three year old can wipe herself, pull up her pants, and wash her hands (with supervision, of course).  This is a great chance to encourage independence.

4.  The specifics are up to you.

There are a dozens of "systems" out there to help you train your kid.  Some of them make more sense than others.  Don’t get suckered in to thinking that you MUST try such-and-such method because it ALWAYS works.  It’s just not that simple.  Educate yourself on the various methods, and find one that best fits with your parenting style.  Let me say this just as clearly as I can:  as with most parenting issues, there is seldom a "one-size-fits-all" approach.  Every child, every family, every situation has specific things to consider.  Look critically at any particular potty-training "system", and make a choice that suits your entire family. 

For what it’s worth, around here we just took the naked-from-the-waist-down approach.  We let them run around like that all day (usually when it was warm outside–thank goodness for privacy fences).  Especially with boys, I think that having that visual is helpful:  "Let’s see, I’m feeling a sensation and then, woop!  Lookie there…"

5.  Keep it positive.

Of course, if you can keep things lighthearted and funny, your kids are less likely to feel anxious.  I made up a ridiculous "tinkle dance" that I would perform only when my daughter had a success.  I looked like an idiot, but she and I laughed together heartily.  It was a good reward for her, and it was good stress relief for me. 

That said, I don’t think it’s wrong to use some gentle but matter-of-fact observations to urge them along, especially with older toddlers.  In our house, when potty training time came close, I stopped calling them "diapers" and started referring to them as "little diapers".  There was no mocking, no disdain, just matter-of-factly:  "Honey, come here so we can put on your little diaper."  It proved to be a good verbal cue for them that diapers are for little kids, undies are for big ones.  It seemed to be an effective way for them to ingest the lesson without my harping on it.

6.  Don’t sweat the nighttime potty training.

It’s a different creature altogether.  I’ve read that a child will take six months longer to stay dry at night.  In my experience, that number is low.  Plan for a year, don’t panic if it’s two, and be pleasantly surprised if it’s less.

7.  What about regressions?  Or really stubborn kids?

This is the worst, and it happened to me.  My second child seemed ready at a young age (right at 2).  I jumped at the chance, seemed to be making great headway, and then suddenly he regressed right back to the beginning of the process.  In my case, I think we had simply jumped the gun too early.  We stopped, went back to diapers, and then tried again closer to his 3rd birthday.  Then?  It was a non-event.

As for the stubborn kid, I had one of these too.  It’s not the end of the world.  If your child is over three and isn’t yet trained, take a deep breath.  She is old enough that, chances are, she’s going to start feeling the social pressure from her little potty-trained peers soon.  (If she doesn’t have potty-trained peers, FIND SOME.  Schedule a play date with a pottying friend, and when you see the friend dash off to the bathroom with her mom, applaud that little potty-er!  Your child will pick up on your praise, and she’ll want it for herself.) 

And, along the theme of using potty-training as a chance to celebrate growing up and independence, here’s another great idea:  find a special "big kid" privilege (non-potty-related) and tell your kid your saving it for the day when he’s BIG!  For example, you could choose chewing gum, or being able to drink a soda at a restaurant, or getting a bicycle with training wheels, or watching a certain "special" cartoon–whatever it is, communicate to your child that "This is a special big-kid privilege.  When you’re going to the potty like a big boy, you will also get to [insert special treat here]."  Creating milestones is a good thing! 

8.  Don’t compare yourself–or your kid–to others.

I cannot stress this enough.  Maybe your cousin’s plumber’s next-door neighbor had a child who could use the potty at 11 months.  Good for them.  You have absolutely no idea what their circumstances are, and there are a million factors to consider.  Maybe they are an unusually compliant kid, or an especially communicative one.  Maybe they have older siblings they’re trying to emulate.  Maybe the mom has some extra help.  Maybe little green martians came down from Mars and implanted a potty-training chip in the child’s brain.  (Hee.  Just wondering if you were still reading.)

You’re the mom of your child.  That’s the one that is your responsibility.  No one else’s particular set of circumstances matter–only yours.  Use this as a chance to build your child up, both to his face and behind his back.  If your mother-in-law or your best friend are giving you grief for pottying issues, just smile and say firmly, "You know what?  He’s a great kid, and a smart one.  He’ll get this when he’s ready.  I believe in him."  No one can really argue with that. 

9.  Limit the use of disposable training pants.

Sometimes you will have to use them–there’s just no way around it.  But while you’re in the middle of training, steer away from them as best you can.  They look and feel too much like diapers, and that’s bound be to be confusing to a toddler.  If you must leave the house–if you can possibly bear the thought–pack an extra change of clothes and just be prepared for wet pants!  A grocery-store accident actually might be a real motivator for your child, if they want to avoid that in the future.   

10.  (And I almost forgot this one, but many thanks to Stretch Mark Mama for reminding me) I’m not a fan of the potty chair.

My advice?  Go straight for the big potty and skip the potty chairs altogether.  Little potty chairs are cute, but they aren’t real potties.  And if your little guy only uses a potty chair but REFUSES the real deal, then that means you cannot leave your house.  And I am a fan of leaving the house.   

The bottom line is that they really WILL get it.  And I know, it drove me nuts when older moms would say, "Oh, don’t worry about it.  You never see a kindergartener in diapers."  I just growled inwardly and knew that, oh yes, MY kindergartener very likely WOULD be in diapers.

But the reason you hear that from moms is that it’s true.  It’s hard to believe when you’re in the hardest part, but they really will get it.  If you’ve been at it for weeks and weeks with little success and constant setbacks, then maybe it’s just not your time.  Better to pack it away and make a fresh start in a few months, rather than creating endless battles with your child and make yourself crazy.

Go easy on yourself.  Your kid can do this.  You can do this.

135 thoughts on “Every Single Stinkin’ Thing I Ever Learned About Potty Training

  1. Leopard Spots says:

    I needed to read this now! My little Kitten is having a hard time with potty training. She can’t decide if she wants to or not. As much as I’m excited for no more diapers ever it’s clear she needs more time!

  2. Michele T says:

    new reader here–we jumped the gun and have been potty training in various forms for about six months!! most of it has been fun, but it’s getting old! my daughter will be 3 in january and i’m sooo ready for her to be ready! thanks for the encouragement in the meantime.

  3. tabitha says:

    My daughter will be three tomorrow and refuses to be a big girl. I guess we’re not ready to start potty training.
    My boys were both four by the time they were potty trained. They just didn’t care and one day…we were done. It was awesome.
    Thanks for sharing this because I definitely needed to hear it.

  4. Barb @ a Chelsea Morning says:

    Been there. Done that. I’m there again and doing it again with the grandbabies.
    All I can say is, Amen. To absolutely everything you said, Amen. This is the way I did it and it’s the way I’m doing it the second time around.
    It works.

  5. lifeasamama says:

    THANK YOU! I’ve been stressing over the last couple of weeks because my almost-2-year-old is obsessed with potties and sitting on them… but I just don’t really think she’s fully ready to make the switch, but I’m not wanting to miss this opportunity if she’s really ready. After reading this, it’s given me peace of mind about waiting.

  6. Megntally says:

    Wow! Wish I had read this before potty-training my dd…one of the worse parts of motherhood so far!!! I thought I was going to be sending my kid to college with Depends! LOL!!
    Never fear, they DO eventually GET IT…Even if you LOSE IT! Thank the Lord!

  7. Jenni says:

    Heartiest of agreements here. I have had the same exact experience…waiting until they say they want to do it, and even then, letting it be all their decision. SO much less stressful. I even had a daughter who, like yours, decided on her third birthday to be done with diapers. And that was it. Just…done.
    So many need to hear the “chill out” method of potty training. Thanks for broadcasting it!

  8. MaryBeth @ Four Silly Sisters says:

    Thanks for the compilation of great info! We are on the cusp of potty training X3 here at our house and these are all great reminders to me from when I trained my oldest (she’s 3.5). Many of my triplet mommy friends whose trios are their first children are already anxious to “get started”, but I think I’ll suggest they read this and save themselves some extra stress.

  9. Susan says:

    Wow, the timing on this is perfect. We just started potty training yesterday because our son who is just over 2.5 said he wanted to wear underwear like his friend. That was it! Yesterday he had only one accident. Today was a little tougher, but we are not discouraged. He is ready and we are the ones that need to be mindful of asking him and such. This is so exciting and your information is both helpful and affirming to what we are doing.

  10. Alicia says:

    I really needed to read this. My son will be 3 next month, and although he’s made efforts off and on, it’s been more off than on, and he’s just not as ready as I am.
    Thank you!

  11. Jenny @ a latte talk says:

    Excellent, excellent advice. My oldest literally trained my 2nd child one day, so I don’t even remember how to do it!! HA! and now I have a boy… I think I might take the “wait till he asks me” stance.
    Great stuff, thanks!

  12. Stonefox says:

    Thanks for the great tips and advice.
    I’ve got two in diapers and since I live in Asia, the pressure here is to get them OUT. (They wear split pants and forego diapers altogether. Plus, they start potty training at 6 months and use very questionable methods.)
    So this post was very encouraging for someone feeling out of place and touch! Thanks.

  13. Jenny says:

    Wish I had this advice about 2 years ago! I’m going to be potty training again in about a year – and boy, did I learn lessons. This time – I WILL NOT be changing pull-ups every 2 hours! =)

  14. Julie says:

    Thank you for this post. I am dreading potty training, but you have a good point of waiting until everyone is ready to do it. And then just do it! Thanks!!!

  15. Robyn says:

    Amen to the whole stinkin thing. But especially to #8 and the whole Mother-in-Law bit – which, in my case is my mother – because O MY GOSH if she says one more time “her sister was potty trained by this age” I might go absolutely insane. I mean, who would’ve ever thought that my children might actually be different people!?!?

  16. Tabetha says:

    Well, I do have a kindergartner who does not stay dry during the day or night. I waited until he was 3, and he went with it and was completely potty trained during the day, and then he totally regressed.
    He does not care if he is wet and walks around in his wet clothes until I happen to notice. He is just now able to tell if he is wet! It doesn’t bother him a bit that his 2 year old sister can stay dry when he doesn’t. Peer pressure doesn’t seem to work for him.
    He has no developmental problems or medical issues that I know of unless it is simply a small bladder. I think a lot of it is because he is strong willed, and he knows how bad I want him trained. I have tried ignoring it, rewarding him with a grape for each trip, and everything else I can think of.
    My last idea is to keep up the reward system and take the advice above about giving a “big kid” reward for when he is completely trained. I am also contemplating taking away the diapers and pullups at night and letting him be part of the clean up process. I know this does not take the advice above, but I am suspicious that doing it backwards just might work for him at his age.
    I am a mom of 5 and have successfully trained his 2 older siblings and am having good progress with one younger than him. You would think I would know what to do, but they are all different. Any suggestions from anybody reading would be welcome and greatly appreciated!

  17. Therese says:

    What great advice…I wish I had this when I was potty-training my kids. Now that my kids have all been potty-trained for many years, I will add this word of advice:
    As hard as this time is, it will pass. Unless there is a physical handicap, we all end up walking and talking and going in the toilet. And to the parents who tend to brag endlessly about how young their children were when these goals were accomplished, all I can say is, “Good for you. Maybe you can add that info to their job resume one day.”

  18. Jeni says:

    Thank you so much for this post, Shannon – it’s great to hear from someone with experience in matters such as these! I’ve been struggling with knowing whether or not my girlie is ready. From reading your advice, I kinda get the feeling that the fact that I’m questioning is an indication that we should wait a bit.
    Thanks for your suggestions!

  19. Megan says:

    Hallelujah and Amen, Amen, and (in about 2 years) Amen! I couldn’t agree more with all of your advice!
    Especially the “wait till they are ready” one!!!
    My oldest told me he was ready the week he turned 3, and my middle told me just 2 months after turning 2, and I kid you NOT….they potty trained IN A DAY!!!
    Remember….all that potty time up until “they” are ready is a novelty and sort of like braxton hicks contractions. Warm up for the real deal!
    Just praying number 3 is as easy!!!

  20. Lora says:

    Just got through this with my 3-yr-old! It was trying and we had a couple of false starts in the previous months. But finally this last time was the right time–and he GOT it! You’re so right about not starting it until you, the mom, are ready. I knew this since this was my 2nd child and I think that’s why I dreaded it so much.

  21. Phyllis@Aimless Conversation says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Shannon. I have four kids…three boys and a surprise girl. Six years between the last two, I feel like I am starting over. Between all the new gear and the time warp, it’s just been different. Plus, she’s a girl.
    But my approach to potty training (after nearly killing myself and/or my oldest son in a way to early attempt, I backed off and let it ‘happen’) is to equip them with the knowledge and let them decide when they are ready.
    With all the boys, I waited for those ‘readiness’ signs. When I saw them, we read a potty book, watched big brother go potty, introduced big boy underwear and viola! Like magic, they were all going on the potty around their third birthday.
    You may be asking why I have shared all this. My daughter is WELL PAST the magic third birthday and still going in her pants. Regularly. Prizes, new big girl panties, candy, chocolate, singing and dancing…none seem to motivate her.It is getting tiresome cleaning up after her (in fact, I have reverted to pull-ups…I just couldn’t handle finding the puddles) and I am frustrated at her stubbornness. I know she understands what is expected of her, but refuses to comply.
    Prayers are in order here. Lots of them.
    Thanks for reading this diatribe.

  22. Holly says:

    Oh my, just what I needed! My husband and I have a 2y3m son and are expecting in April. We are also moving in 3 months. My 2 yo is still in the crib. I am wanting to transition him into a big boy bed and potty train all while moving. . .too much?? quite possibly. . .any thoughts on a good order to do all three? I was thinking big boy bed, potty train, move. . .insight?

  23. heidi says:

    This is why I love you and your blog. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I had big plans for this week with my little guy, and I am not really ready for it – so I think we’ll wait a little longer! Thanks for taking your precious time to impart humble wisdom on the less experienced!

  24. Stretch Mark Mama says:

    Amen on limiting the “pull ups.” That’s usually the (unsolicited) advice I give as well.
    And let’s all have a collective laugh at the “potty train your child in one day” tricks.
    AS IF.
    Oh, and my other advice to add is to skip the fancy-schmancy singing potty seats and use something simple. I like the Baby Bjorn potty seats, and reviewed them on my blog:
    http://stretchmarkmama.blogspot.com/2007/09/works-for-me-wednesday-baby-bjorn.html

  25. Tina says:

    Incredible. This post was in my reader tonight when I got home from church. So I immediately wrote a post about my weekend (which will publish in the A.M.) and linked to this post. Now I came back to comment…but I read all the other comments first…it’s INCREDIBLE to me that so many of us are in the same boat. A boat that we’re ready to see sail away and be gone forever!!
    Thank you so much for posting this! At one point, I had myself convinced that I was ok with him doing it whenever…then a two poops on Saturday sent me over the edge…bad mommy.
    Now I am encouraged. I will change diapers and wait for him to be ready…just like I said I would.
    So many good tips…I’m so grateful!

  26. laura says:

    i remember when i did the diaper-free potty dance too…
    then (several years after hubs got fixed) we welcomed baby #5 and said hello to diaper again.
    LOL
    great advice for the average normal child.
    mine, after successful continence training with four children WAS no child ever starts kindergarten wearing diapers
    then…
    we had wonderful child #5 who with his special medical and developmental needs means basically i am still dealing with diaper duty at home. my lesson learned here is just when i thought i was an expert i realize that i wasn’t after all. but it is good to be humbled because i learn so much more.

  27. Kel says:

    Definitely wait until they are ready! I tried too early with my first, stopped and waited until he was ready. Much easier that time! With my other three I waited until they were ready and it did not take long for any of them. One random piece of advice that was given to me and actually helped with cleaning up accidents was to have your child wear thick cotton socks during the day. That way when they have an accident, the socks will absorb a lot of it, leaving less on the floor to clean up. It’s a lot easier to throw socks in the washer than clean up a large puddle on carpet!

  28. Erin K. says:

    Thank you! I, like many of the other commenters, have contemplated if I should start this with my 2yo. She shows most of the signs of readiness, but since she has a stubborn streak in her I think I’ll take your advice and wait until she approaches me about it.
    I’ll also have to bookmark this post some I can come back to it in the future for encouragement. πŸ™‚

  29. Kelli says:

    This is really great advice. But I too, like Tabetha, have a 7 year old that still has daytime wetting (although this is getting much better) and is still not nighttime trained.
    We have also been using a Malem Bed Wetting Alarm for 3+ months with very little success.
    Both my husband, I and our son were very motivated when we started and are now getting very frustrated and tired!
    I’d love some advice if anyone has any!

  30. Awesome Mom says:

    Great post! We did a lot of the things with my eldest son that you mentioned. He had a stroke when he was a baby so he still needs extra help which is why I put it off until he was four and a half. I figured that all the extra work would be just as hard as diapers.
    When I was ready and he was ready it was a very smooth transition. He mostly uses the little potty at home because it is easier with his issues to use on his own but out and about he is a champion public toilet user and actually prefers them to the boring home potty.
    I think that being potty trained has motivated him to learn to put his own underwear and pants back on (which is rather tricky when you can only use one hand). He just started doing it one day all on his own. It has been amazing watching him become more independent.

  31. Karen says:

    You mentioned using a special big kid privilege. Tomorrow I’m taking my almost 4 year old daughter to get a haircut for the first time. I potty trained her a year ago, and she did great almost immediately with wetting the potty and has kept it up all year. However, she would not do her bowel movements in the potty. It’s been over a year of cleaning up her bowel movements–NO FUN!!! After trying a variety of rewards, encouragement, discipline, etc., I told her when she started doing her BMs in the toilet, she could go with me to the shop to get a big girl haircut. She was thrilled and within about a week, she started doing her BMs in the toilet daily as well as wiping and washing her hands. I never thought I’d see the day!

  32. Erin says:

    Like many of the previous commenters, this was exactly what I needed to hear. I have a 2y.4m old daughter that I tried to start potty training last week, but I don’t think she’s really ready yet…and I’m tired of getting frustrated with the extra cleaning. I’d rather wait and have it be a more positive (and hopefully quicker and more successful) experience later on, when we’re all ready.
    Thanks for your parenting wisdom on the practical issues of mommyhood! I love your blog!

  33. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates says:

    I am so glad to be long past this. It WAS tough! I had a stubborn kid who was past 3, but refused to do #2 on the toilet. I tried every method and bribe ever heard of – none worked until a friend told me that reverse psychology had worked on her son. Crazy – but worth a shot. I told him that he better NOT go #2 in toilet ’cause I would be SO amazed that I would spin around and probably fall flat on the floor.
    After telling him that regularly for a few days, he quietly slipped away to the bathroom. I yelled up the stairs that he better not EVEN be doing what I thought he was and little giggles were heard. Sure enough, HE DID IT! And I had to make a huge dramatic fainting spell that included spinning around, crashing into bathroom doors, flailing down the hallway, and finally landing flat on my back on the bed. THAT was better than money, gifts, treats, or big kid underwear??
    What a silly kid, but we never had a single problem after that!
    And I agree with not using the little potties – otherwise trying to train them to go in public bathrooms is a whole new round of training.

  34. Lori says:

    Seriously – there’s no medal? I’ve heard lots of moms talk about early potty training with such pride and accomplishment – I wonder if everyone knows there isn’t a prize for getting it done before your kiddo is 2. I appreciate the encouragement – it’s about time moms get real with one another instead of getting bogged down with comparisons and competition. And congrats!

  35. Chrissi says:

    I so needed to read this. hence my post several weeks ago about “patrick poopy pants” please go read it I bet you will laugh your tail off!
    We are in the mmidst of two potty training boys and one I swear on all that is holy will be in diapers when we go to kindergarten. I SWEAR!
    thanks for the read!

  36. Richelle says:

    I’m one of those moms that potty trains from birth – but I live in a year round hot climate and only have tile floors… so messes aren’t really a big deal. I’d rather clean up the floor than scrub out a cloth diaper by hand. Once you get in a habit of following their schedule and recognizing their signs – there really aren’t too many messes, either.
    On the other hand, I so agree with you about making it a non-issue and it having to fit with your particular parenting style. We approach this with the same attitude we do any other “thing” little ones are learning: walking, using a spoon, using words or signs instead of grunts, remembering please & thank you, etc. And this fits with our parenting style, is culturally appropriate where we live and work, and I do love having my kids trained to fairly independantly use a variety of different bathroom situations in between 15 – 18 months of age. This is what has worked for us – for the last 4 kids.
    I didn’t post to “disagree” with what you said, but just as a reminder (as you did say) that it isn’t a one-size fits all issue. πŸ™‚ Thanks for your thoughts and observations.

  37. Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk says:

    . . . or, if you have an independent little miss like mine, who ripped her nappy off one day, declared she is a big girl now and never looked back, you can forget all those tips and get on with worrying about how you’re going to get her to stop trying to climb out of the window!

  38. Tina @ Antique Mommy says:

    You covered all the bases. It’s easy to get caught up in it and over think it and read too many books on the topic and compare yourself kiddo to others. I tried to let Sean take the lead and follow his cues, however, when the pre-school said he had to be potty trained last summer, we just took the diapers away and he complied thus proving that clearly there is a merciful God and that he was ready anyway.
    I bought a potty chair, used it once, washed it and sent it to Good Will.

  39. Happy Mommy says:

    I am finally done with the potty training, at least for now. I think you gave some great advice and very true! I know my boys were so not ready to be potty trained until they were 3 and my daughter has a friend a year older than here who is potty trained and she was trained at 2 I never make the connection…

  40. Theresia says:

    We’ve had several night time bed wetters – I thought it would never end. Our doctor told us he would start staying dry when he hit puberty. WHAT?! But, by golly he was right!! We layed off, bought night time pullups and a good pad for the bed and got over it. I’ve also heard about a link between dairy allergies and bed wetting and with this child, it really could have been the case. My 5.5yo guy wears pullups to bed now and I guess I haven’t really thought too much about it. I just buy them and he puts them on. I’m waiting until after our vacation to start training our 2.5yo dd. Much easier to have a pull up on in an amusement park than be waiting in a line only to hear, “I need to go potty, NOW’. Amazing to think that I’ve had someone in diapers for 19+ years now!!!

  41. Charlotte says:

    I agree with you. My youngest (of 6) has two cousins (both 1st children) his age. I think my sister & SIL feel bad that their kids hit milestones quicker than mine, but I learned long ago that it doesn’t matter (within reason) when they learn to talk and walk or even read and mulitiply. Every child is different and some of my smartest children were the slowest bloomers.
    They are both going through the stresses of potty training, and I just laugh- I don’t even try till my kids are 3. Only one more year of diapers!

  42. Jenn says:

    Great post! We still struggle with our just-turned-3-year-old. But only for half of the business πŸ™‚ At 2.5 she decided she was ready for ” toilet pee-pee” and pretty much trained herself within a few days, accident free (nearly) in a coupe weeks and pretty much dry at night in a few months BUT she seems TERRFIED to do #2 on the toliet. We’ve tried everything with her but it just doesn’t happen. She still seems terrified and will only go #2 in a pull up. It’s sort of inconvenient but at this point, we have given up and let her do it this way. I try not to stress about it and want her to be ready but I also feel like if we just keep letting her do this, she’ll take advantage of that. Anyway, that’s my issue πŸ™‚

  43. prasti says:

    oh thank you, thank you!!! i have a 27 mos. old daugther and i didn’t know when we were supposed to start. i knew that we should wait until she was ready, but some folks are already asking if we’ve started yet or not. thanks so much for the tips…very encouraging πŸ™‚

  44. Darla says:

    My child had a potty chair and refused to sit on it. He would only go in the big potty.
    We started at 2 1/2 and had very few accidents (we stayed close to home the first two weeks).
    Nighttime was a totally different story. He was a little over 3 1/2 before we could finally let go of the diaper at night.

  45. Shara says:

    Thank you for this post! I am way past the potty-training years, but I remember that time vividly. My daughter asked for big girl panties at 2 1/2, and I thought all this hype about how hard potty training is was crazy. Then I had boys. My first boy was over three, my second son (who is Autistic) was five. I am very thankful to be done with all of that, but I know your post is extremely encouraging for others going through it!

  46. Jenny says:

    I just had my first born so I haven’t experienced it yet. However I know time flies and it’ll be here before I know what hit me. I will be bookmarking this post so that I can go back and review it later. Thanks for the free advice!!

  47. MelanieB says:

    Thank you! Just what I needed to hear. I’ve been wondering if I should start with my 2 yr old but I know we’re going to be moving soon with all the craziness and chaos that entails and I know I’m not ready yet. Thanks for reassurance that it is ok to wait until I’m ready.

  48. kelli says:

    I have to say that the trick that finally inspired my son to be potty trained was putting drops of blue food coloring in the toilet and having him try to turn it green!! This charmed his little boy brain and worked! πŸ™‚

  49. Mrs Bick says:

    Love this post! We have one more little guy to train. We are in no hurry! One thing you didn’t mention was finding your trainer’s hot button. Popsicles were huge in helping our oldest finish up traning. This time we will be enlisting the help of our oldest since our little guy adores him. Hopefully this time will go quickly and smoothly. Fingers crossed!

  50. Jen says:

    OMG, thank you thank you. I’m currently potty training my 3rd. My 1st was a dream. My second a nightmare…can we say 2 1/2 years of starts and stops and then 2 weeks before her 4th birthday…DONE. *sigh*
    I was dreading this whole process again, but its going fairly well so far. crossing my fingers.

  51. MamaHenClucks says:

    I am SOOOOO glad that I never, ever have to potty train another child! I love the advice about no pullups – it felt to much like a step backwards but, I’m a freak about accidents (I would NEVER have been ready to potty train), so I bought the thickly padded plastic pants and put them on over underwear when we went out. That way, if there was an accident (and there were), they still felt the nasty wetness, but it didn’t run down their legs. It worked really, really well!

  52. Shawna says:

    One thing that really worked for me was rewarding my older son too when his little brother used the toilet. My younger son loved to get the praise and attention of his older brother. My older son enjoyed the treat so much that he constantly asked his little bro, “Do you need to go to the potty???” It worked out great for me!!!
    Good luck everyone!

  53. Josie says:

    My older kids were in daycare when they went through this, so I wasn’t the sole encourager. I have a 9 month old daughter that I get to stay home with now. Potty training is a ways away, but this has been one of my top 10 concerns about staying home. Thanks for the post.
    My son was stubborn-3 and 1/2 years old before he finally became potty trained!

  54. bee says:

    Thanks Shannon! I really needed to hear point number two. I was feeling bad because I haven’t really been encouraging my 2 year old to potty, because I just don’t think I have the energy to train him with a newborn around.
    I’m bookmarking this post and saving it for when we are BOTH ready!

  55. applesofgold says:

    This is all really good advice….
    When I became pregnant with my 3 child a while back, my first thought wasn’t “Oh no! Another one in diapers!!!” No. My first thought was “The Lord is punishing me and making me do potty training again.”
    I started too early with both of mine….resulting in all kinds of frustrating moments. Including a naptime incident where my first child decided that poop makes a great finger paint.And carpet paint. And bed paint. The second child refused to poop and had to go to the ER because she wouldn’t poop for 2 weeks at a time.
    I won’t even think to start potty training this last child until she climbs up on the potty herself or decides that she wants to buy a potty with her own money. That’s how serious I am about waiting this time around.

  56. jenni at talking hairdryer says:

    I totally agree with you on the pull ups issue. We only used them at night. Which leads me to say that I also agree with you on not stressing about the night time training. They’ll get it.
    I didn’t use the potty chairs for my oldest and it was a great decision. He learned how to use the toilet and he could go anywhere the urge hit him.
    I did however find the chairs helpful when potty training my twins. I sat them side by side and we did it all together, at the same time. Otherwise, you feel like all you’re doing is taking a two year old to the bathroom. And it probably is! If I’d had a bathroom with two toilets in my home, I would have gone that route though. πŸ™‚
    My girls didn’t seem to have a problem with toilets even though they used the potty seats. I did always make them flush our toilet at home each time I cleaned out the potty seat. I think that got them used to the flushing sounds.

  57. Kelly says:

    Thanks Shannon. My daughter is 19 months. I know we have some time before we begin potty training, but it’s refreshing to read your advice.
    It is something that should be tackled when your child is ready. I have a daughter with many ideas. I know to push her too early will be heartache for both of us.
    Thanks again. I love reading your blog.

  58. Superchikk says:

    Thank you! My son just turned 1 so we’re not there yet (and may not be for a while), but it’s always good to have a few refreshers in the meantime to help me move my thoughts in that direction.
    I must say, I am a fan of the naked-from-the-waist-down method. As the oldest of 7 kids, I saw just about every trick in the book and that one seemed to work the best, especially with boys. I’m hoping that one does the trick for us when it’s time!

  59. Amy in West TX says:

    Excellent advice! I would like to amend your comments on the potty chair. We used a potty seat, part of a chair that turned into a ladder. It made the big pink marble potty less intimidating (heck, it intimidated me and I’m an adult – it came with the house, we were too poor to replace it). I have 3 kids, they all trained differently. The eldest, a boy, trained the week before he turned 3, I told him we were going to his grandparents and he needed to use the potty there, not diapers. He said Okay. That was that, day and night trained, never an accident! Middle one brought me her brothers underpants when she was 22 months and decided she was ready for big girl panties and a big girl bed. She had both within 2 months. Youngest was 26 months when we started and took about 6 months before she was confident, but no pressure. We only used pull-ups with the youngest when it became obvious she wasn’t progressing as fast as I would like, and only when we were going out of the house somewhere. At home, it was training pants or nothing. We found out later, she had a severe hearing loss (before newborn hearing screening) and didn’t hear me ask her every hour to go potty. It was actually a communication problem that took so long. Oh well. They are all trained now, none started kindergarten in diapers!

  60. alli says:

    This is an excellent post. We are fortunate our potty training came easily, but I’ll be honest and tell you I sweated it a lot before we eve got started! And night time training has come naturally, we just can’t seem to break ourselves from the pull-up habit. Whenever we try a night without a pull-up, he wets himself. Otherwise, if he is wearing a pull-up, he is dry all night.

  61. Janna says:

    Oh, what fun! I have two boys – a 9 1/2 yo and a just-turned-2 yo. The 9yo was very verbal and asked for a potty at 18 months. JOKE! He was only interested in talking about a potty, not using one. (That little stint also taught me that I, too, love the big toilet adapters, NOT a separate potty!) Fast forward until just after his third birthday. We picked a day, and said no more diapers/pull-ups, etc. There were two accidents the first week, and he was fully day and night-time trained by the end of the month. Waiting was the best thing ever!
    Now there’s my 2yo. He asks to “teetee” just about whenever big brother or Daddy does. I really don’t want to start training yet (he’s not nearly as accomplished verbally as his brother was at this age) until we have real communication. That said, he is much bigger than his brother was, and is already in the largest size diaper. Ugh.
    My point is that your post was very appropriate for me, too, as I face the possibility of training before *I* am ready! Thanks fo rthe words of wisdom!

  62. sew56 says:

    Like with many other comments, this came at a wonderful time for me. We attempted the potty training thing (For a day) without success. This post encouraged me so much!!!! THank you!

  63. Valerie says:

    My middle child is 3 1/2. We’ve tried a few times to potty train, but he had consistently gone through 794 pairs of underwear by noon. So back to diapers. Then, one glorious day, (just a few short weeks ago) he spied Go Diego Go underwear. Diego is my hero. Something about a baby jaguar smacked on his cute little bottom made him want to be a big boy. We are about 2-3 weeks into it, and he’s had a total of maybe 3 accidents. Oh, glorious day!
    You are SOOOO right, waiting for THEM to be ready is they key.
    Great post. πŸ™‚

  64. Laura says:

    Hi, Shannon —
    I have been reading your blog for some time now, but never commented until today. Thank you so much for this post. All of your parenting advice is so full of wisdom and good humor, and this was certainly no exception. We are potty-training our first right now, and I am anxious to get it behind me before baby #2 makes his or her appearance next spring. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I, too, have often wondered if my child will be the only one in his kindergarten class still in diapers! πŸ™‚ — Laura (a friend of Cheryl, missionary in Uganda)

  65. Christine says:

    I just fell in love with your blog again (cause that sounds better than “I just fell in love with you…)
    Littlest is turning 3 tomorrow. I needed this. Hubs needed it. Maybe I should print it off and teach Alex to read really quickly. Cause that’ll probably happen before potty training.

  66. Clemntine says:

    Well said, Shannon. Can you schedule this to re-post in April, 2011? You’re a peach.
    We’ve actually used our potty chair. I put it in the van so that no matter where we are, there’s a clean, fast option for my new potty-er when “Momma, I gotta…” is followed very closely by the act itself.

  67. Tammy says:

    Great post…..as a mom of 2 grown daughters and grandmother of 2….my 4 year old granddaughter was potty trained before she was 2 and my grandson is right in the middle of it (he’s 2)…this weekend he stayed with us and went the entire weekend with no diaper (only at night) and had no accidents.
    But, I have a niece who was 4 in March and still will not potty train….I think she needs to spend more time with potty trained kids and see the positive enforcement. She can’t even atten preschool because she is not potty trained.

  68. Michelle says:

    I way pass this stage also, but one thing I can add is that when you do have to leave the house and your child has on underwear, put the training pants on OVER the underwear. Your child will still feel the underwear on their skin, will know when they have wet themselves, but the rest of the clothes will be dry!

  69. Lucy says:

    A suggestion for those with nighttime difficulties… We put a camping toilet right in our daughters’ room; you can buy them at Walmart, they are much more a “real toilet” than a potty chair but shorter than a real toilet, so little kids can sit on them easy and the kid-toilet seats fit. Put it on a couple of thick washable bathmats and it is sooooooo much easier for the young one to get up in the middle of the night and use the potty.
    Eventually you will (probably) want to take it out of their room, but you can wait until they are quite solid in their nighttime habits.

  70. Jenni says:

    Thank you for this fine example of Titus 2 mentoring – you know, dialoguing with older, wiser women who have gone (just barely) ahead and have managed to not murder any of their children. Until late this summer, we had 3 in diapers and I wanted to…hurt myself. These are all great, timely pearls of potty wisdom.

  71. Marion says:

    Thanks for this post I really needed it today. My older two kids (boy age 4, girl age 2 1/2)have both been potty trained during the day for a longtime but the night time has been a huge struggle. So we are back in pull ups at night as of last night. I was really worried and upset about it until I just read your post. Thanks.

  72. Jen@OurDailyBigTop says:

    What perfect timing. Lots of good tips. This is the one aspect of parenthood that I don’t care for. My older 2 were hard to PT and I’m now going through it with #3 who’s 3. He’s so stubborn and could care less. I’m hoping peer pressure will work at preschool.

  73. Edwina says:

    It has been a long time since those ‘potty training’ days for me, but your thoughts were some of the same ones that I practiced with my girls. Like everything in life, it takes time and practice and eventually it just happens.

  74. Lucy says:

    This is good! We’re about to embark on our third potty-training excursion. My first two were pretty easy, mainly because I did what you said here. I waited. #1 trained in one weekend when he was 3 1/2. #2 started right before she turned 3. Now #3 is just shy of being 3 and I’m SO ready. He’s almost there, but being the baby, he’s not in too much of a hurry. πŸ™‚
    And ditto on going straight to the toilet. That’s what I’ve done and it’s so much easier. Even with #2, who was a little peanut – I always thought she was going to fall in. She did. Once.

  75. Runningamuck says:

    I agree with you on all your points. I’m gearing up to start our fourth and final potty trainer. Do I need to even state the fact that I’m both dreading and looking forward to this event. I think the two points that women don’t pass around enough are the last two. Pull-ups are only your friend at night time. Stay away from them during the day, no matter how tempting. And believe you me, they are SOOO tempting. In fact, I don’t even use those thicker underwear, they absorb too much too. My daughter wasn’t bothered in the least when she peed in those. But as soon as I put her in regular ol undies, she potty-trained instantly! No likes pee running down their legs. Also, a hint on the not using a potty chair (besides agreeing with you), is I use the seat part, the ring that detaches from the potty chair (at least on mine it does), and just set it on the regular potty. It helps in the beginning for those smaller framed munchkins. They feel a little more secure but don’t build that bond with the potty chair and/or a phobia of the regular one.
    Great post! =0)

  76. Michelle says:

    you are so right…3 seems to be the magic #…I have a 2 year old so this is something I though we should work on…she regressed afterwards just like you said…I also have a 7 year old and 3 was the # for him too…I think we all get excited about that 30+ dollars we can save a week on diapers and rush it before they are ready…I have already put the brakes on…

  77. Donna @ Way More Homemade says:

    We are currently in the final throws of PT’ing 2nd child… a son. He’s basically done, just the occasional accident and hard headed issues.
    I agree with absolutely everything except the little potty/big potty issue. Neither of my kids had any kind of problem transitioning and the little one helped them to learn what to do instead of learning what to do while learning how to balance on a big potty. One skill at a time please, and thank you. (And I used a plain-jane one, BTW)
    AND – while I think no one ACTUALLY believes PT’ing happens in one day, those methods or “tricks” fall under figuring out what works for your family. In my experience much of it works and works well. Not necessarily in a day… but definitely in a weekend.

  78. TrishNotChris says:

    I do have one suggestion for those parents with older wetters. I was a bedwetter for years due to a condition called “urinary reflux.” Basically, urine was backing up into my kidneys and causing all sorts of undetected infections/wetting, etc. Unfortunately, I had two unneccesary operations before a specialist diagnosed me at age 8. (20+ years ago.) Once I was diagnosed, I was treated with mulitiple antibiotics and eventually outgrew the problem.
    Just something to ponder as I don’t want any other child to have to go through what I did as a kid!
    Peace,
    Trish

  79. Janna says:

    I wish I had read this 6 months ago!!! My daughter figured out the pee pee process relatively quickly. Poopy was a whole different matter. We just had our “Potty Party” at Chuck E Cheese with her cousins and she is so proud of being a “big girl.” It just “clicked” one day and it was so stressful b/c of the pressure I was putting on myself and her. I am going to remember this blog if I ever have any more children. πŸ™‚

  80. Jen says:

    YES! Thank you, THANK YOU! I needed this post to get back my sense of humor for my eager-to-potty-train, almost-2-year-old, daycared-daughter. Again, THANK YOU!!! I’m linking this post on my blog. πŸ™‚

  81. Leigh says:

    WOw, that’s awesome….I’m glad someone finally said it because a lot of what you posted is what I’ve been saying but people look at me crazy. Like it’s ok to pressure your kids. My daughter is 2 1/2 and somewhat ready but super stubborn, so if she has a bad/dramatic/whiny day then I sometimes have to put a pull up on her. I also have a 2 month old though, so I’m kinda busy feeding. I’ve been feeling so pressured since she seems ready. But she went on the potty for a day and hasn’t wanted to since. She just pees everywhere else. Thanks so much for this, it’s really helpful.

  82. Shannon says:

    I am excited to say that I am more than halfway done with potty training…that is, I have 5 kids and child #3 has been trained since Thursday!
    I so agree with the whole ‘wait until they are ready’! If I felt my blood pressure rising, then I knew that neither of us were ready, lol. Because I waited until they were ready, potty training took a few days with #1, less than one day with #2, and two days with #3. I can only hope that boy #4 and baby girl are as easy!

  83. Sarah says:

    Thanks for re-capping this for me. It’s nearly time for me to do it the second time, but it seems like it’s been a very long time! I really needed your summary – thank you!

  84. Stretch Mark Mama says:

    Hey, thanks for the link love!
    As I was scrubbing poop off the floor today, THAT SOMEONE HAD STEPPED IN AND DRAGGED THROUGH THE HOUSE, But This Is All Totally Unrelated…I remembered this little non-environmentally friendly tip:
    Use the flushable poo-poo wipes. Oh glory, are those a Godsend to helping the kids get mostly clean, versus sorta, itchily stinkily clean. πŸ™‚

  85. Ashley says:

    Amen to all of the above…Started too early with my first. Took too long and was too frustrating for both of us. With #2, I waited until he was closer to 3 and he just basically said one day he wanted to go the potty and we never looked back. With the 3rd and final (I did a happy dance too) we took the naked approach when she started asking. It took 3 days before we were completely in panties.
    But you’re right. It’s different for everyone. Don’t worry. They won’t make it to college in diapers… πŸ™‚

  86. Lauren says:

    Oh, I needed this. My twins (a boy and a girl) turned two the end of June. There’s a little bit of interest in the potty, but definitely not 100%, and different amounts of interest for each one. I’ve really been down about it the last few days, so thank you for the encouragement, especially #8!!

  87. jubilee says:

    We had a pee-pee dance too! Youngest son thought the dance was too babyish, so we just high-fived.
    I didn’t potty train my kids until they turned three. So many fewer accidents! I gave into peer pressure with my oldest and tried sooner, even though, looking back, I knew he wasn’t ready. Why do we DO that to ourselves? After he turned three he was ready and it was less angst filled for me too.
    I once worked as a nanny for a family who gave out “poop prizes.” Every time the boys made a poo-poo they’d get an M&M or comparable piece of candy. I never got used to saying “poop prize.” Makes me want to giggle even now.

  88. Susanne says:

    So true!! I’m in no hurry with my second (mostly because I want to wean him before he’s potty trained – he’s almost 3 – but that another post altogether!), and I can tell he’s wanting to train himself now. It really helps when the child WANTS to go to the potty.
    And I agree about the potty chair. It worked great for my daughter, but my son didn’t want to use it. My advice is to buy one that can be used as a step stool…no money wasted.
    And don’t be upset if nighttime training takes MUCH longer than daytime. My daughter was daytime trained by the time she turned 2, but she wasn’t nighttime trained completely until age 5. She sleeps so soundly that she just wouldn’t wake up to go to the bathroom. Don’t panic…it will happen on its own eventually. I think my pediatrician said that it’s not really considered “bedwetting” until age 6 or so.
    Wish the rest of us luck with the training! Happy for you! πŸ™‚

  89. eileen says:

    Ladies, there were eight of us children. 3 children before me and 4 after-i remember being around 3 i guess and my dad getting me up to use the facilities. then you went back to sleep. it did not seem to be a big deal in my house-my Mom said she hardly ever got to hold the youngest because one of us had him! I remember being around 12 and taking the younger ones for walks-yes voluntarily because
    they were fun. and when they were not available there were always a neighbors kids-i remember having one one my right hip and the other by the hand. sorry for all the reminesing-I love kids-cant have any but I can and do pray for all of yours-and you the parents! God Bless and keep you all in the hollow of HIS HAND.

  90. midlife mommy says:

    It was really easy for us. At around 3, our daughter wanted to pee in the potty (we bought it when she was 2, and it just sat in the bathroom). She didn’t want to poop in it for another several months. It was totally a non-issue for us, because we didn’t want to deal with all the accidents.
    She’s only had two accidents at home, and a couple at school (when she forgot to go to the bathroom before nap). Sitting on the larger toilet has never been a problem either. She’s been showing me lately that this is what big girls do. We say “wonderful!” She’s still in pullups at night, but she doesn’t usually have accidents. They’re more for us than her, I think.
    I agree with you — if you wait for the child to be ready and can close your ears to the criticism that seems to come from everywhere (including mom), things are really not very tense at all.

  91. Bonnie says:

    I’m a long ways from this (my daughter is six months old), but I’ll try to remember this great advice when the time comes! You’re so right about kids doing things at their own pace, so don’t compare them to others. I and two friends had our babies around the same time, and it’s fun to see how different all three of them are and when they each learn to do things.

  92. Anne says:

    What Shannon says is true. Read it and then read it again, especially the bit about them being ready. Chickabid was a late trainer, but the day that he bolted through the house and whipped his nappy off on the way we knew he was ready. Ladybaby was a different story. *She* spotted pretty coloured undies in the shop and insisted on having them. We said “If you get them you have to wear them” and bingo, little Miss was trained. Yes, it was that easy. No trick to it, just waiting until they’re ready. They’ll let you know one way or the other. And, no. They never do start kindergarten in nappies. Ever.

  93. Lisa says:

    EXCELLENT! I couldn’t have written a better primer ~ We’re getting ready to potty train our tenth child, and I couldn’t add a thing to what you’ve said here. If anyone asks me, I’ll refer them to you now.

  94. Lisa in ME says:

    After finally finishing up potty training my third child about a year ago I say “Amen! Amen! Amen!” I agree with it all & ALL three of my boys were very LATE potty trainers. As for that kindergarten remark…if my oldest son had started school on target (we ended up homeschooling), he would have been trained a mere THREE WEEKS before he started….yup three weeks before he turned FIVE and school started. Ahhh, the memories. πŸ˜‰

  95. Shawna says:

    All good tips to be sure.
    Just a note to those moms who are discouraged about accidents in the night: I read at my last visit to our pediatrician’s office that nighttime bedwetting can be attributed to a child being a heavy sleeper, a smaller bladder, or even to a hormone that a child is not producing that develops at random ages, which signals to the body to not produce urine at night.

  96. Kristel says:

    I’m waiting until my daughter (just turned 3) wants to potty-train. Grandma (who lives with us) keeps making comments about “getting her potty-trained” but I try to ignore it. I’ve asked my daughter if she wants to go potty on the toilet but she says “no.” Love, love love your post and thanks for the reminder that I am doing what’s right for her and I!

  97. Mar says:

    Oh, I remember those days. My daughter is now 13, but I can still remember her daycare center providers telling me that she was MUCH too old to not be potty trained and EVERY other child in the room was trained with only occasional accidents (occasional being about 1 per day per child, I found out later). This started on her 3rd birthday and continued for 2 months until my daughter decided she wanted to potty train and was completely trained, without any accidents during the day at all, in less than one week. A month later she was completely trained at night as well with 2 or 3 accidents during the next two years. The kids who trained early when their parents decided it was time – accidents for months afterwards and at least one of them, my friend’s daughter, was wetting her bed until she was 5.
    The best advice – wait until your child is ready and can handle this mostly on their own. If you have to ask your child every hour or two if they need to go, they aren’t potty trained – you are.

  98. Margo says:

    I didn’t even read the other comments – I just wanted to tell you, Shannon, that your post was EXACTLY what I needed to hear this afternoon. I was so discouraged because my almost-3 year old has really regressed in potty training. Your post was soooo encouraging, exactly the kind of boost and non-judgement that I needed. Thank you so much! Thank you for helping the parenting clan with your sane, kind words.

  99. Kmommy @ The Poopie Patrol says:

    I so needed to read this right now!! Thank you thank you thank you! I’m going to buy some real underpants next time I go to the store…
    Both my sister and sister-in-law have girls that are a couple/few weeks younger than my son… they’ve been potty trained for almost a year now and I keep getting grief from them for not having started on my boy earlier…

  100. tchrmomto3 says:

    Wow! Your experience is a Godsent encouragement to me. I feel so guilty about not pushing the potty training as hard as everyone else expects me to, but my just-turned-3-yo son isn’t a bit interested. The only positives have come when big sister takes him to the big potty. I can tell he likes it when she brags on him and talks about him becoming a big boy. I am going to set aside a weekend to just work on potty training…until then I’ll remember your encouraging words. This too shall pass…one day!

  101. Kathy says:

    In my limited experience (I think my middle child will in fact go to college in his diapers) I think this is so true!
    Thanks for being a Titus 2 mom and posting it!

  102. Diane B says:

    Thank you so much for reminding us that kids are not all the same!! I had a “well meaning friend” put an article on my desk re: potty training infants starting at 3 months. My baby was 4 weeks old at the time. She attached a sticky note that said “Time to start working on this” Unbelievable.
    I also had a relative who for 3 straight months would say “He still uses a bottle. My babies drank out of a cup at 9 months. They could all use a straw at 9 months.” Yeah, right.

  103. Heather says:

    OK- I too think you may have an extra sense. Just 5 minutes ago I was watching my almost 4yr old wet his pants whilst on the phone with his daycare teacher discussing the pee-pants problem.
    I think I may just can the whole thing and put the boy back in pampers.

  104. aimee says:

    This is great! I just sent it to my husband who is really pushing for us to potty train our son. But, I really don’t think he’s ready yet AND I know the bulk of the work will be on me. This really helped to affirm for me that we need to wait a bit more.

  105. Kate says:

    My oldest son will turn 4 next week, and has been daytime potty trained for a year and a half. He’s still wetting heavily at night, though, and I don’t know what to do about it. I was encouraged to read that you said plan on a year or two of nighttime diapers after daytime success, but I still feel like I should be doing something to help the process … I don’t want him getting up at night to go to the bathroom, as he’s not trustworthy enough (I can imagine what he’d get into) — should I be waking him up extra early or in the middle of the night to go? When did you allow your kids to get up at night to use the bathroom without worrying that they’d get into mischief? My son sleeps upstairs while we’re downstairs …
    Thank you for this post!

  106. Annie Valentine says:

    This is day three with no pants. He can do everything–but wear pants. Sure we go out in public, what’s a bare bum here and there? His outfit of choice? A long t-shirt borrowed from the neighbor boy, belted.
    That’s right, my son is being potty-trained in a kilt.

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