Potty Training Take 2…and 3

In anticipation of our second baby, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying to potty train our two-year-old. I was faced with the dilemma of potty training when my son began to show the signs of interest before we made our big cross-country move 2 months ago. But with our looming move, I feared that inevitable poop and pee accidents on-the-road combined with the possibility of him regressing anyway would be a much bigger headache. So I didn’t end up fully enforcing the potty habit.

Now that my son has abandoned all interest in the potty, we are settled in our new home and the final countdown for Baby #2’s arrival has begun. What better time to have made the executive decision to begin potty training?!  Here are some reasons we are falling short of success so far:

“Don’t half-ass it…”

Like I do with all new overwhelming parent topics, I started with Lucie’s List. On her website she explains lots of different approaches to potty training. I chose the 2-day method, because it sounded like the quick gritty approach I needed. It meant spending all day with a naked toddler, lots of trips to the potty and absolutely NO MORE DIAPERS (aside from nap and night time). She explicitly states not to “half-ass it.” Oops. I made it over the first hurdle of reintroducing DS to the desire to sit and pee on a potty. By the end of our weekend, he still wasn’t telling me when he had to go and I had a long errand to run. Not being brave enough to risk an accident, I broke the rules, slapped a diaper on him and went out. When my husband asked if he was potty-trained yet. I sighed and declared I would try again the next week while he was away for work.


The next weekend things seemed to be progressing. We were still definitely in the parent-training stage of things. Most of the pee was going in the potty and DS was finally getting excited about it, but it was still me doing all the work. (I see you, FB moms, getting excited about first pees and poos in the potty…yet leaving out the fact that you’re basically working overtime as a slave to your child’s bodily functions.) I could at least start chanting “Go go go go go” excitedly to get him headed to the bathroom on his own rather than carrying him. I’ll just go ahead and file this in the “win” column. I need one.

1 pack of underwear/hour

We definitely didn’t have it down after a weekend or even two weekends, but I was seeing progress, so I thought we’d try underwear so we could attempt a diaper-free errand. But it was like as soon as he had something on his bottom, he felt he could just let loose. I thought the trick of using his favorite character underwear (Paw Patrol) as incentive to keep dry/clean would work. Instead it seemed to have the opposite effect. Soiling his underwear meant he got to choose a NEW pair each time. Grrr. After about an hour of trial and error, we were out of underwear. *sigh* We were back to diapers for our errands that week.

Poop EVERYWHERE except IN the potty

Poop seems like it will be our major hurdle to becoming fully potty-trained. Even as I was writing this, I have my son in his room for nap time (diaper on) and could hear him not going to sleep. Nine times out of ten his wakefulness is because he needs to poop or is keeping a poop in his diaper for my discovery. No matter how much time he spends naked or how many successful pees he has in the potty, he always saves a poop for the diaper or when my attention is off of him. When poop ends up on the floor, bless him, he does tell me. Does that count as a win? One time he even tried to get to the potty right afterwards, but it resulted in the poop traveling through the house along his path and on the walls. One of the hardest parts of this whole toilet training business has got to be resisting the urge to flip out over yet another mess because the last thing we want to do is scare or punish our darling angels with the all mighty potty. I don’t even know what our next step is with regards to getting a successful poop in there (hello, comments section).

Pee is a fun boy experiment

Call of the Wild: My naked son happily going naked outside to “pee in grass” like his doggies do.


After many days, I assumed we had made tremendous progress…and you know what they say about assuming. DS had a very good day of going to the bathroom on his own. I, of course, congratulated myself and was envisioning a new more successful approach to underwear ahead of us. The next day, however, he decided that peeing might be more interesting while lying face-down on the ground. His reaction was to oh-so-cutely announce, “Oh, look!” But remember the whole no-scaring-kids-away-from-the-potty thing. I just had to rush him to the bathroom and in best Daniel Tiger’s Mom voice reinforce how much we like it when the pee goes in the potty!

Are we there yet? No. Should I pause because I may end up with a regressive toddler on my hands when a baby gets here anyway? Most likely. But, dammit, I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m gonna blog about it!



By Claire

Runs: Half-marathons at most. Prefers relays.
Mom to: 3 boys - no more, no less.
Wine: I'll take a cab.

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