We’ve tackled the subject of potty training before. But, we’re a whole year older and wiser now, and we’ve both (successfully!) come out the other side. Now that we’ve made it through the rough part, we thought we’d share some of our new found insights.
I started potty training Claire last year, just after Thanksgiving. She was probably ready before that, but I just didn’t have it in me. I also had baby Joe-Joe, was tired, and the Holiday Season had just begun.
Once I finally started, it wasn’t actually that bad though. I started by putting her travel potty (we went with the Potette since a friend had recommended it) in the living room. She would sit on the potty and watch a show. I gave her a sippy cup of water to drink to help things along, and when she finally went we would jump up and cheer.
I didn’t do any sticker charts, special prizes, or candies we just clapped and cheered and did a little happy dance. She loved the reaction that going potty got, so she was excited to try again later.
Once she got the hang of things, we moved her potty onto the toilet. She was really excited about going on the “big potty” so it helped with the transition. We used the Potette on top of the toilet like that for a few months and then bought a toilet seat that has a toddler seat built into it.
Now we still use the Potette travel potty, but we keep it in the car. It has saved us SO many times! We use it at parks that don’t have bathrooms, in the back of my car when we’re traveling, and just when we don’t or can’t make it in to a bathroom on time.
I finally started night time potty training about 6 months ago. I decided not to go with using pull-ups or any sort of training pants, just underwear. At first I would go in and wake her up to go on the potty about every hour. Then she was able to go a little longer, and a little longer between each time. Now, I’ve learned that she needs to go about an hour after she falls asleep and then she’s usually fine until morning. Sometimes she will wake up when she feels she needs the bathroom and sometimes she doesn’t, but we’re getting there.
I tried the disposable bed covers, but didn’t like them. Then I tried a few other things, but didn’t like them either. So now we just use towels. I fold them so that the only part of the bed that is covered is under her bottom. With the towels she can still feel ifshe is wet (which wakes her up) and I can just switch them out and wash them and the sheet in the morning. It’s more laundry for me, but it’s working for us.
Next up is potty training Joe-Joe. He comes in the bathroom with Claire and I, and I babysit for a 2 year-old boy who is going through potty training, so that makes it a little easier for him to learn what’s going on. He has already gone on the potty a few times and like the idea of it, but I haven’t really officially started with him just yet. I feel like he’s ready though, so we’ll be starting very soon.
When I started to potty train Evie, I wasn’t actually planning on it. I had bought her some undies from Target and when I showed them to her, that was it, she didn’t want the diaper! Now, almost a year down the road, we’re still not 100%, but I’m ok with that.
She almost never has accidents during the day (only if she’s held it too long) and it’s always pee (THANK GOODNESS). She still wears a pull up at night because she wakes up with a full one every morning even if we make her go potty before bed and stop all drinking at dinner. She also goes to the bathroom almost totally on her own now unless we’re someplace she doesn’t know or she can’t reach the toilet. It really makes life so much easier!
We had a couple of regression moments while we were potty training her which was SO frustrating, but looking back, the most important thing we could have done (and tried to do most of the time) was remain consistent and patient! Evie was fairly young when we started potty training her (she had just turned two) so I had to remind myself how little she was and most of the time she wasn’t doing it on purpose (although there were times she did do it on purpose and in those moments she did get a time out).
The MOST important tool I used was the Potette Potty Seat. That was a savior on so many different occasions. We kept it in the car and I toted it along with me everywhere. Even now we use it when there isn’t a bathroom near or if it’s just more convenient.
Our next step is night time potty training. I just asked her pediatrician if it was normal for her to have accidents at night even if she’s nearly perfect during the day and he said 50% of 3 year olds have accidents at night and nearly ⅓ of 4 years olds do. While that’s not an excuse for me to not take off the pull up, it gives me a little peace with it knowing it may take awhile to get her to stop having accidents at night.
Potty training can be very difficult and for us, couldn’t be done overnight. We still have issues with it occasionally but remaining consistent and patient will really pay off in the long run.
You can also check out the Campbell Patch Mom Squad on Facebook or Twitter! We share our articles, community events, thoughts on parenting, parent related current events, and more. We also welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions anytime!
Got any potty training tips? We’d love to hear from you all! Please share with us in the comments below.