April 10, 2013

potty training | how we're doing it.

so we're almost exactly a week into potty training again and i don't want to curl up in a ball and disappear. it's actually going really well.

this isn't our first attempt. we've tried quite a few times and quit after the first day or two. L is stubborn. and she is very cautious of new situations. AND she wants things her way. she does things on her terms. we struggle with this every day but i never put it together with potty training.

our girl wanted nothing to do with potty training a few weeks ago when we tried. she would sit on the potty for half an hour and then pee the minute she got off of it. we tried rewards, candy, sticker charts - nothing worked. it was frustrating to deal with. i was ready to let her wear diapers forever.

but she's three and we want to do fun things like ballet class and soccer and you need to be potty-trained for those. so i decided last week we were gonna do it. our week was mostly empty so we could stay home all day and work on it.

now she is wearing big-girl undies all day and diapers at bed time. we kind of quit napping during the process because i didn't want her to wear diapers twice a day but we'll figure that out later. we've run a few errands with her in undies and albeit it gets a little crazy running to the restroom - we haven't had an accident in a store yet! and we've only had three accidents in the house. she'll even tell us she has to pee and wait to get to a toilet if she's in diapers in the mornings.

i am no expert but i thought i would share what worked for us. these bloggers did here and here and it helped us!

what worked for us:
- even though i had stocked up on what i thought were L's favorite character undies - i ended up letting her pick out a minnie mouse package and those are what she wears the most. so, i say let them choose.
- my girl loves candy but she seems to think she should have a handful of m&ms vs one and i wanted to stay away from chewy stuff. so i filled up a mason jar with rolls of smarties and they are a big hit. she only gets them when she uses the potty to make them special.
- we LOVE this toilet seat. we tried a couple different toddler potties but we never had success. and i love that this seat helped her get use to a regular toilet so we have no problem in public places. we've got a gray one upstairs and a blue one downstairs.
- BIG rewards. like she gets to take ballet classes so she can twirl like a princess. and she gets to visit grandma's house all by herself.
- we stayed home in undies and t-shirts almost all week long to get the hang of things. we just started adding light and easy layers.
- we don't ask her a billion times a day if she needs to go potty. she doesn't like it and she just tells us no. i had to get over my fear of pee being everywhere and relax. i give her space and she comes to me when she needs to go. the only accidents we've had are poo ones - we're working on that. we had one small pee incident but it was really mine and M's fault - there was a tantrum and we didn't understand her asking to go while she was screaming at us.
- we've braved a few stores with big-girl undies and once she asks to go then we bee-line for a restroom. i hold her on the potty and always bring a few rolls of smarties with me just in case.
- i kept pretty quiet about it on social networks and we didn't even call family. i didn't want to jinx us or overwhelm L.
- we've only had one success with #2 but to encourage her more she gets to pick out a small toy from the "toy drawer" in the kitchen every time she poos in the potty. we stocked up on little things from the $1 section at target to keep it simple.

i realized she needed time to get used to the idea of no more diapers. she needed to be ready all on her own. it's just the way she works and i should have put that together a long time ago. every kid is different with potty training and we had to be patient until we found what worked for us.

we still need to work on going #2 in the potty. we still need to figure out the nap time situation. and work on overnights with no diapers. but i think we're gonna be good.

these tips may work for you or they may not. but i hope they at least inspire you (and me, if i ever need to again!) to trek down this tough stage.


  1. Yay, good job Lia!!! I bet you're so excited to be getting past the diapers stage. :)

    1. It's nice but we're still in diapers at night! Potty training is just one big hump in parenthood :)


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