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Potty Training...Take 2

Potty training MY way. It's was (and still is) my belief that this way is fool proof...but I've since realized something else.

As much as our kiddos need to be showing at least a few signs of readiness, the PARENT(S) also need to be ready. Dudes, potty training is a commitment. It is a "don't start until you're ready to see it through to completion" kind of a gig.

Being a realist, I recognize that basing my opinions on my 5 kiddos isn't really "perfect research"...but it's gotta count for something, no? I know, I know...same genetics, same parenting, same blah, blah, blah...but it worked.


And here is what I think is key...CONSISTENCY.

Stick to it. Resolve yourself to the fact that you WILL NOT get anything done for that day. That you WILL NOT be able to run off to Target on a whim for a week.

A WEEK. That's it. If you want it. But YOU have to want it. Sure, THEY need to show a bit of readiness (being aware of when they poop and/or pee is the biggest), and that usually happens right around 2.

Also, don't be afraid of the unders. Or even letting them go commando (especially helpful with the BM's...seems if they don't have a "safety net", you're more apt to catch them when they need to go). Remember...YOU ARE STAYING HOME. Who the heck cares if your kiddo goes without unders/pants while you're at home? It'll make your job (and ultimately theirs) easier...less clothes to get off to use the potty and less to dirty if there is an accident.

Here's my track record (not to brag, not at all, just to show you that this method does, indeed, work!):
Pal: 26 months, one day (of hell) no accidents (potty) after that. *scouts honor*
Belle: 20 months, did it herself (with my support and encouragement), don't really ever remember "training" her. It just happened.
E.W: 28 months, less than one day, went to grandma's next day (brought potty) with great success.
Hambone: 22 months, one week--my longest...I mistakenly thought his verbal ability--it was HUGE--made him ready to potty train. I was wrong, but even with him being the "least ready" of our kids, it was still a done deal within a week.
Baby Girl: Ditto her sister, maybe a tad earlier, however. No formal "training", just support and encouragement when she showed interest.

Key: Don't use least during the day (they are just glorified diapers). Unders or nothing. Naptimes and nighttime? Well, that's up to you. Our 4 oldest kids were nighttime trained within 6 months of daytime training.

Baby Girl? Like everything else about her, she's unlike her siblings here too! She is still in Pull-Ups at night...NEARLY TWO YEARS LATER. I know I can't force the nighttime thing, but wow. I'd love to be done with Pull-Ups.

I honestly feel that (barring any special needs) you need to catch your kid before 2 1/2. From what I've seen and heard, that's the point where they seem to get "stuck in their ways", balk at the potty, and are less agreeable to trying something new. After 2 1/2, all bets are off with my plan.

Before 2 1/2? I'll betcha you'll find that it works! (At least, that's what I've heard from friends!)

PS...I LOVE potty talk! I'd love to answer questions, emails, troubleshoot. I'm no professional expert, but I still love to help with it!


  1. My oldest was three before she was potty trained for pee.....almost 6 months later did she grasp the poop thing.....and then still had issues with peeing at night.

    My youngest was potty trained by 2 1/2. She showed me signs and never looked back. She's rarely has an accident and never has an accident at night.

    Bless you for potty training 5 kids!

  2. first of thank you for the tutorial. my oldest, a boy, was potty trained at four. My middle, a girl, she did it herself around three. Now I'm struggling with my three and half old, a boy. He knows what he's doing. I'm at wits end! And as for my 19 month old boy he's showing interest! I'm lost!

  3. Wow!! You are a potty training guru! My son just turned 3 and he's just getting it (it's been almost 7 months). Granted he's known how to since the second day of potty training but he's lazy (does't want to stop anything to go). You're totally right tho' it's all about consistency

  4. My 19 month old is in the process of being potty trained. She showed interest, so I stuck with it! She's done really well during the day, but wears a pull-up at night & naptime. This is day 3 with only a few accidents...anything else I need to know??

  5. I've got to get through actually having baby #1 first...due in February...but potty training already scares me.

    We're having a I'm thinking target practice...

  6. So so so so so so jealous of your potty training success! My first was potty trained by 3. My second, he's 4 1/2 now, and still pees his pants during the day and wears a Pullup at night. And my youngest, he's 3 and has no interest in using the potty At. All. But...I have no desire to train him either! UGH. I really need to get my act together.

  7. I need to get my 28 month old daughter potty trained. I'm sure I could, but my husband is deployed and we've been living with my parents for the past 6 months. My mom and I have VERY different views on potty training, so I just decided to hold off until I got home so I didn't have to fight with my mom about it. But when we go home, my daughter will be going through the adjustment of not living with 2 grandparents, my husband coming home, her going in to a big girl bed (since I need her crib for #2) and being back in Italy, not to mention her baby brother is due in December. Should I aim to get her trained in November, or should I hold off? I've heard when they're going through adjustments/changes, that's not a good time to potty train. What do you think?

  8. fun to read. I'm expecting #7 (who will be special needs and likely never every potty train - spina bifida/neurological issues). So far I've potty trained 4.
    Oldest girl, daytime trained at 2. Night time trained at 6! We've got bedwetting history in the family....
    Oldest boy daytime trained at just before 3, and was night trained then too.
    Second girl was the resistor. Day trained at 3 after a total refusal to train at 2.5, still bedwetting at night (age 5.5).
    Second boy day trained around 2.5, night trained at 3.75.
    I'm getting ready to potty train # 5 after we get back from vacation. He's 2.5 and ready.
    Little brother is only 10 months, so he's got a while.
    Baby is coming in January.

    My favorite potty training book is The No-Cry Potty Training Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. It's great!


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