Adventures in Potty Training

We interupt our regularly schedule program because today is a big day………we have officially begun potty training.  I have been dragging my heels about this one for some time now, but it’s finally time to get the ball rolling.

Savannah will be three in March, so I figured now was probably a good time.  I am SO nervous about this adventure.  I don’t imagine Savannah is going to be one of those “I put big kid underpants on them and, poof, they were potty trained”.  No way, not my strong-willed, opinionated little girl.  This is going to take a master plan.

I have never potty trained a child in my life. There is so much advice out there that it makes my head spin.  We certainly can’t do the “let them be naked” with the negative degree temperatures going on outside.  So, right now, we are wearing underpants and the little miss gets a small treat for #1 and a lollipop for #2 and we will just have to go from there.

I kind of wish there was a camp she could go to and would be returned to me fully potty trained, but as of yet, none of those exist, so I’m left to my motherly duty of doing it on my own.  And since I kind of feel like you guys are my friends (we’re friends, right?), I thought I turn to you and see if you had any advice, tips, tricks, or things that worked for you.  Please, pretty please, help a girl out………

Wish me luck……..this is going to be a wild ride!!

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  1. Good luck!
    We used stickers as treats, she was so proud she could show those for people who visited us. “Look how many pee-stickers I’ve got already!” 🙂

  2. I think you’ll do great! It’ll be sorted before you know it. Minnie Mouse knickers and lollipops as a reward are a winning combination if you ask me. I think if you use proper undies that they can feel are wet if they have an accident and can give the process all your attention,as you will, then it won’t take long at all. I was surprised by how easily both my children were potty trained :o) xx

  3. Good luck! I’m just finishing up potty training my strong willed little guy. He loved filling up his sticker chart every time he went potty, and when his chart was full he got to pick out a Hot Wheel at the store. He would do anything for a car. Now that he’s on a roll, he puts a sticker on his chart every night if he’s stayed dry all day! Patience and positive encouragement seemed to be our greatest tools.

  4. Good luck! Potty training can be a wonderful thing! I hope yours goes nice and smoothly!

  5. Best of luck to you. We entered the potty training phase the week before Christmas. My daughter asked to wear panties one morning and she’s been in them since, except this past weekend she had a stomach virus so back to pull-ups. I’m hoping she didn’t regress too much. We used a combination of sticker chart and treats but really after the first week we didn’t need either.

  6. Haha! A camp would be nice! We are full force into it too & it has been a process for me, who also has a strong willed, opinionated little girl who will be 3 in April! 🙂 We have done a sticker reward chart & that has helped and also little sweet treats. But only an hour ago, I put panties on her and not even 20 mins. later i realize she has on different ones! She tee-teed in her panties, got into her top drawer and got a new pair, all while I was starting laundry, but she can’t just run to the potty & go?!? Oh my! This time soon shall pass I keep telling myself! LOL Good luck! 🙂

  7. Good Luck! I’m potty training my 2 year old right now. UGh! Hate it.

    The only advice I have… Don’t get frustrated with her. It hard but don’t get mad. Also, Pull ups SUCK!!!

  8. Here is a site that helped me out a great deal while potty training our daughter…

    The part about placing the potty in the room they play in the most was such a great idea! We did the potty charts with stickers and rewards too, but after she understood what she needed to do we did like this site said and placed it all on her and stopped talking about it. Within 3 days she was potty trained!! Just because this worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for you or your daughter, you will figure it out as you go along. Good Luck!


  9. OK well here’s where my many years of running a day care comes in handy…..suckers and hard candy are good but we found a little handful of m & m’s are better just because the are eaten faster and less mess…take her every hour on the hour even if she says she doesn’t need too…make her go right after any meal or snack, right after she wakes for naps and overnight…make it a whole experience of handwashing and checking out the mirror if our hair and clothes are in place after each bathroom visit…..absolutely no pull ups! Most kids just revert back to thinking it’s a diaper back on them so it’s ok to do whatever in the pull up…and let her make “praise calls” to daddy, grandma or family when she goes on her own….the whole praise from others goes a long, long way
    Hope this helps….i’m no expert but have had all kinds of kids and lots of them come through my doors and this is all individuality and trial and error but I know you both will do great!
    Good luck 🙂

  10. We used the 3 day potty training method ( Most of the parents in my child’s daycare have used it successfully. I cried a few times the first few days (and it take A LOT for me to cry–I work in a male dominated profession and can handle most things rather easily), and I went through a bottle of wine in 2 days, but after just 3 days, she was potty trained! And I really mean that. The only accidents we had were dribbles on her way to the potty. It was amazing! And I can say enough for using visqueen/tarps on your carpet and furniture 🙂 Best wishes!

  11. How exciting for both you and your daughter! With all three of mine I did three things. I gave them a sticker for going potty which they got to place wherever they wanted on a sheet of construction paper (new paper each day). They were able to go naked on bottom because I potty trained in warm weather, but your daughter is a little older and probably able to get undies up and down on her own. (If she has a lot of accidents on the way to the potty, you may want to have her naked for a few days so she can react faster when she has to go.) The last thing I did, was kept the potty in the family room, on a waterproof pad where they spent the most time. This was key for all of them, because there was no rushing to make it to the bathroom when they were recognizing those first cues, and if I wasn’t right there in the room with them, they could go on their own. Above all else, just be consistent in whatever methods you use. She won’t be wearing diapers when she starts school :)!

  12. Good luck! My daughter will be 4 at the end of July and we’ve had a little potty for her since she was 2. She wouldn’t have anything to do with it. We tried a couple of times to put her in undies, but she just didn’t want to try at all. We just decided to wait a bit. But low and behold, this past Saturday night, she started calling to us and she was sitting in the bathroom on her potty! Yesterday she was in undies all day until bedtime and had only one accident. I have to admit, I can’t believe how many times a 3 years old can go tinkle in one hour! But, she kept running into the bathroom and going. She finally did a doodle that evening and that was a huge accomplishment. lol We didn’t have any treats or other rewards, so we just made sure that everyone knew how good she was doing and gave her lots of high-fives and “we’re so proud!” comments. She was so excited. She has to flush it down the toilet and say “good-bye”. lol I hope today goes just as well! I told her that I would take her out so she could pick out her own fancy undies. She’s wearing hand-me-downs right now. The only thing that I’m worried about is when we start going out, because she is terrified of sitting on the big potty! So, I guess my only advice is to not get too bent out of shape if your daughter doesn’t want to do this now. There’s still time and she might be like my daughter was and just wasn’t going to potty train herself until it was on her own terms. Good luck!

  13. Good luck! I hope you have a happy potty-goer

  14. I potty train 2 children but that was 20 years ago!! I have a 2 1/2 year old now and I have forgotton everything!! I am in the same boat as you except they did not have pullups with the last 2. Keep blogging about it and leave me some tips.

  15. we started 3 days and so far things have been going grat. My daughter likes dora mini slow melt popsicle so thats what we use for rewards

    good luck

  16. I am in the same boat! My son is 28 months and has been potty training at daycare for several months now. He absolutely refuses to use his little potty at home. I’m thinking we definitely need to start a reward system for him. Please keep us updated on how things go!

  17. Yay for taking the plunge! We are now into week 4 and Reese has decided that accidents are necessary the last few days…ugh. We have pretty much mastered #1 but #2 is just NOT happening….sigh. Reese loves to get the mini colored marshmellows for her treat for going potty….not sure why since they really aren’t that yummy in my opinion 🙂 I hope Savannah isn’t as stubborn as my Reese! Maybe I we can do a 5 hr road trip and go throught this frustrating parenting step together…and maybe the girls could cheer each other on 🙂

  18. Oh my goodness, you sound like me. My daughter is three and a half. I started the potty training adventure right before her birthday this last summer. I have loved every part of parenting, except for potty training. A camp would have been awesome:) You will have some rough days, but seriously it will be okay. My daughter still has to wear stuff while sleeping, and usually waits unti then to poop, but otherwise good. My sister just started potty training her twins, and since I am her daycare. My week begins tomorrow. Not looking forward to it. Good luck.

  19. Yay!! Once this is tackled, you’ll be thrilled! My only advice is keep it positive and encouraging. Turning it into any sort of battle just makes it a longer and harder process. Go get ’em mama!!!

  20. Wow – good luck! You will both do great, I’m sure. We used stickers for potty training (1 for #1, 2 for #2), and she got to put the stickers (much to my husband’s chagrin) RIGHT ON THE BATHROOM DOOR if she wanted to, which was visible from many important places in the house… so once in a while she would be playing or walking down the hall and I could see it in her eyes – she would spot the stickers on the door and she would jump up and say, “Mommy, I’m gonna go potty now,” JUST so she could put another sticker on the door (or several other places, but since doors and furniture are usually off limits for stickers, this was EXCITING!). That’s my only advice. Enjoy! It will be done before you know it!

  21. I didn’t read all the comments, maybe others have said this. When you first start, this is mommy training. You have to be the one to get her to the potty every 30 minutes (or whatever time). You have to be the one to get her to the potty right before you leave the house, as soon as you arrive at the store, right before you leave the store, etc. You will be visiting every potty everywhere.

  22. I used the 3 day potty training method and it was WONDERFUL!!! My daughter was 20 months old and was completely trained after the 3rd day. She occasionally had accidents (little dribbles) on the way to the potty or if I forgot to ask her if she needed to go before we ran errands. The method was super easy and great- but you just have to be diligent and encouraging!! ~Jessica

  23. Also make sure you give her lots of yummy drinks so she needs to go more often while she is training.

  24. I only have boys, but with the 2 that are potty trained, I put them in big boy underwear and set a timer for 30 minutes. When the timer went off, they had to sit on the potty for at least 3 minutes. We read books, sang songs, and did whatever it took to make those 3 minutes enjoyable. If they went potty, they got a treat. If they didn’t, they got a sticker on a chart for giving it a good try. We did this alllll day.
    My oldest went potty almost every time I put him on the chair and started to tell me when he needed to go towards the end of the day. He was going on his own the next day.
    My 2nd just went cold-turkey one day on his own- day, night, naps, everything.
    My youngest- 22 months- has peed on the front of his potty chair 3 times in an attempt to do it like his brothers do. It’s a start.
    Good luck!

  25. My advice is that every child is different! I have two (one boy, one girl) & each was completely different, through potty training & everything else! We tried the edible reinforcer, for my daughter & it got to where she would just sit on the potty, so she would get candy; needless to say, the candy had to go! The best advice I can give, is just stay home!! Staying on routine, taking her to the potty every hour to hour & 1/2, regardless of whether or not she feels she has to go, will eventually get her on a routine & she’ll be going to the potty on her own, in 1-3 days. We also kept lots of books next to the potty & used the dolls, to demonstrate! I can’t wait, to hear the results, as I can truly empathize with you…

  26. At our church you have to be potty trained to attend sunday school……do you have something like that to motivate her? From a grandma’s perspective I’ve not seen anyone yet in diapers attending kindergarten :)….so,make it a special occasion, smile a lot and verbal praise goes a LONG way! call grandma aunts anyone who cares when there’s a potty celebration! MY VOTE goes to stickers as a reward. it amazes me how excited kids can get over a sticker! As a new mom I battled with my first child and believe me it really isn’t worth it! So just put her panites in the drawer and let her tell you when she thinks she might be BIG enough to wear BIG GIRL PANTIES!!!!!!! If she is strong willed you want to stay calm and carry on!!! If she realizes it’s not a power struggle you might be surprised how quick it can be. Summer really isn’t all that far away! If your daughter likes to go swimming remind her that you have to be a big girl and can’t go potty in the pool. My second daughter was 2 and basically potty trained herself overnight. Really don’t know how that happened!She just didn’t want to wear diapers any more. our grandaughter is 4 1/2 and she is just getting over the fear of #2. so there you go everyone is different! BEST WISHES!

  27. My little girl was a few months over three when she was finally potty trained completely. Well, as completely as a 3yo can be. The best thing I did first go round was to take a week and cancel almost all of our plans. Then I took her to the potty every hour and half to two hours. This was easy for me since A) I’m a SAHM and B) at that time I had only one child. And it went smoothly.
    With my little guy who also turns 3 this March, I am going to have to be more inventive. He flat out refuses to wear undies or use his potty chair. I’m thinking it’s gonna be a slower process this time around.
    Best of luck to you! You’re prepared and you’ll do great! Both of you will! 😀

  28. Stickers and lots of praise – and believe yourself that she can do it! You will be surprised what a difference that part makes, because they can definitely sense it. Good luck!

  29. Potty training was easy for us, but I hear it’s easiest with girls. She wore the cheapy training pants (no dry weave) for about a month to get her used to “feeling” what was going on. We cancelled plans for a long weekend. Wore Training pants (the cloth kind that is thicker in the crotch, but still gets wet & uncomfortable). And tried a lot. We used stickers and rewarded with a trip to Chuck E Cheese and target for panty-shopping. Day care was on board for this too so it really helped. I find peer pressure a great motivator. We are currently working on thumb-sucking… now this is a bit more difficult 🙂 Have fun most of all, sing and dance & be silly.

  30. hope your having fun in potty training! Don’t ask me for advice, my oldest was so difficult – she didn’t get it for a long time (although I think she inherited my weak bladder, ha!) and my youngest was all set the moment I put her in underwear – she just “got it”. crazy how each kid is different. 🙂

  31. Sounds like you’ve gotten TONS of advice, best of luck. I’ll just say that my son adamantly refused to even discuss, consider or contemplate going potty in the potty… UNTIL…. at 3 1/2 they built an IKEA near us and he wanted to go to Smaland there. And I told him he couldn’t unless he went potty in the potty, ALL the time. He considered that and asked for underwear. Poof. Potty trained.

    It’s all about figuring out what motivates them. Ha!

    Best of luck,

  32. Good Luck! Potty training my son right now. He wasn’t into stickers, but into the disney characters, so he has a Buzz lightyear Pez dispenser and he gets three if he goes to the potty. He really likes asking for the Buzz candy to come down of the shelf (we only put three in and he takes them out, eats them, and plays with the pez dispenser for a few minutes before it goes back on the shelf). Im just waiting for him to tell me when he needs to go. So far he will respond with a yes or no if we ask, but hasn’t told us yet. Crossing my fingers for you and me!

  33. Let her go bare butt. For some reason that makes them stop and think more about it. Just don’t forget and do what I did with mine. I had to run into church and I forgot she didn’t have anything on under her dress.

  34. we are starting soon, so I don’t have any words of wisdom for you…just the knowledge that you’re not alone. loL!

  35. With my second daughter we made the treats smaller. (suckers are so messy anyway!) She chose jelly beans. She gets one just for sitting, which has helped encourage her to try. 2 for #1, 3 for #2. We also have a chart with stickers. If she stays dry all day she gets to put a sticker on the chart. If she gets 5 days in a row we drop the atomic bomb, which in our house is Birthday World. Kind of like Chuck E Cheese. Good luck and posts YOUR tips as you discover them.