Late last summer I wrote a post all about our venture into potty training. My son was 21 months old and very clever. After reading a book about potty training, I became an expert. Of course then I felt like it was ‘time’.
I didn’t want to buy into the myth that boys took longer to potty train, or that 21 months was too young. I pushed us both and it was honestly a huge pain in the butt, looking back.
Sure, he did pretty well, all things considered. Once we set off on our week long trip to visit my dad in Oregon though, the you know what hit the fan. And the white carpet, and pretty much everything else. I had him in pull ups and diapers the majority of the trip because we did so much driving and flying.
Before the trip he was having maybe one or two accidents a day but I still felt like we were somewhat successful. After the trip, there was an instance where I caught him pooping on the carpet in the living room and I called out his name in alarm. “No! Leopold!! Wait!” I startled him of course so he stood up and ran over to me, but not before stepping in the poop and tracking it all across the living room carpet.
That was it. That was my rock bottom. My wake up call. It was time to take a break for a couple of months…this whole thing was way too difficult for all of us!
It’s OKAY if you need to ‘reset’ when you’re potty training. If it’s stressful for your whole family and things aren’t ‘clicking’ like they should be, just take a month or so off.
That was back in September, and I believe we started up again in early March this year.
This go around was SO EASY. We didn’t have to stay locked in the house for weeks, I wasn’t on edge watching for him to pee or poop, and he was a lot more capable of indicating when he needed to go.
We had a handful of pee accidents the first month or two, and a couple poop accidents (caused by sitting in what I call the ‘pooping position’) but nothing that totally broke me again!
This time we used more of the three day method than anything. I was nannying and had a week off for spring break so I figured that was a better time than any. We kept the potty close and I had him go every 30 minutes to an hour. We made a potty chart for the wall and he got a sticker each time he peed and two stickers for poops. After he got 4-5 stickers he got a ‘potty prize’. I bought some small toys from the Target Dollar spot as well as some paw patrol gummies and he had a ball selecting his prizes!
After a week or so of the chart, he started peeling the stickers off and didn’t care so much about it anymore so we ditched it altogether.
It probably took him a month or so of potty training before he got to the point where he would regularly tell me that he needed to go. He still struggles to get his pants up and down on his own, so he runs around commando most of the time if he’s at home. It’s just easier that way, so he can pee or poop when he wants without coming to get me.
I’m super lucky that he seems to know well in advance when he needs to go. He will tell me in a store and we have never had an issue with getting there in time!
We still used the Potette in public restrooms for a while but now we just keep it in the car and have graduated to me sitting him on the potty and holding him there. It’s just less to carry if I’m not bringing a diaper bag or backpack!
I’m telling you what we did in the hopes that you can get some ideas or inspiration. I’m not much help in problem areas though! This time he has been a breeze to potty train! Thank goodness! Last time I was about ready to pull my hair out! This time was way easier and I’m even pregnant. I guess he really was a lot more ‘ready’ this time.
Don’t let society, your family and friends, or social media pressure you into thinking you need to potty train if YOU don’t think your child is ready. Just because all of his or her friends trained right at two doesn’t mean it’s going to work that easily for your child. That’s totally okay!