Our Potty Training Experience

Potty training is intimidating, making us want to just keep our son in diapers forever, but it turns out it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be.

Summer was quickly coming and my wife teaches sewing through the week, I work full time and we didn’t want to have to put potty training on someone else. Once we got home from Disneyland we had a week before she started teaching. This would be a complete miracle if it worked!

My son has been thinking about going to the bathroom, but wasn’t ever like, “I need to go potty!” and we never thought twice about it. People kept saying, “Wait until they are ready and it will make things a lot easier,” but what do you do when you don’t have time to wait? And how do you really know they are ready? We decided to just go for it.

We were at Costco and my wife said that we weren’t going to buy any more diapers for our son because it’s time to start  potty training him. I was nervous and really didn’t think it was time, but when my wife is determined to do something she gets it done.

Day one was a Monday and of course there were a couple accidents, but it went well.

I felt like day two was a little worse. I got home from work and helped him to the bathroom because I could tell that he was needing to go. We ran in the bathroom and out dropped the brown blob onto the floor.

Granted, he still went in the toilet and was super happy, I wasn’t real excited to clean poop off the floor, but it was a learning experience. Quickly I thought, this isn’t working- we should just put him back in diapers, but I knew that was digressing and we wanted to get through this.

The week went on and the accidents happened, but it became less frequent and he was starting to tell us he needed to go to the potty.

I think the hardest part was training ourselves to think about regular bathroom visits. Some of the first accidents he had were because we weren’t paying attention to time. After the first few mistakes we set a timer on our phone. Every thirty minutes we stopped what we were doing and sat on the potty. Sometimes he went and sometimes he didn’t.  Sometimes the accidents were 5 minutes after the last bathroom visit but we were getting used to it. After 2 days of 30 minute timers, we went to 1 hour and eventually 2 hours.

By the end of the week we were accident free and super excited that we had a potty trained toddler. So what tips do I have for parents that are thinking about doing the potty training plunge, let me tell you:

  1. If they have accidents, that’s okay. We all learn from our mistakes. Don’t get upset about it, but when they go in the potty celebrate. “Oh my gosh!!! I’m so happy!” Sometimes I wish I still got this kind of treatment when I went to the bathroom.
  2. Rewards are great, but don’t turn it into something they will only go because they knew they are getting a treat. Our trick was money. Anytime he went to the potty he put a coin into a cup. He always wants to buy things at the Lego store and we told him he could use his money to get something if he wanted. Honestly after a few days he didn’t even care about the money.
  3. Don’t use the word potty when you are talking with other adults. I can’t stand it when I am at work or the gym and someone will say, “I’ll be right back, I just need to go potty.” We are not kids and you can talk like a normal person around the rest of us.
  4. Keep extra underwear and clothes in your diaper bag or car. Don’t resort to a diaper if they have an accident because it’s only going to take them back to being in a diaper and thinking it’s okay to fill it.
  5. Everyone learns it eventually, so if you’re not ready to handle the time commitment it’s going to take then maybe don’t start. We just knew that summer was a perfect time to start and wanted him potty trained well before our summer vacation.

Our Potty Training Experience by The Modern DadFinally, we love our Prince Lionheart toilet trainer because it just went right on top of the regular toilet, making it easier for your child to sit comfortably. It also has a shield in the front so, for boys, you don’t get a spray out onto the floor. I will say you will need to hold your kids legs and help them when you are out of your house and there isn’t a toilet trainer. But the toilet trainer is great because it’s right on the toilet and they get excited to flush everything down.

Our Potty Training Experience by The Modern DadGood luck to you all and let me know what has worked for you and let’s help support those that are about to take on this next step because it’s a different experience for all of us and some are easier than others.