Toddler Potty Training: Finally, Success!

This post is dedicated to parents struggling with potty training.

Last year, my coworker told me that his daughter, at age 2.5, suddenly decided she was going to use the potty, and did so. Additional anecdotal evidence from other parents in my circles seemed to confirm that girls learn to use the potty sooner than boys.

My own experience was a match: at two and a half, Junior was perfectly content to have his toilet attached to his butt, as it were. Oh, he knew when he had to poop, but he would deny it even when caught red-faced and in mid-exertion. He refused to stop playing to empty his bladder or colon. It seemed we would have to wait until he showed signs of being ready AND interested in being potty trained.

I was especially eager to leave diapers behind because cleaning up Junior’s poopy butt and diaper was gross and, I began to suspect more and more, entirely avoidable. He knows when he has to go, he just won’t admit it! Conflicting viewpoints compounded my #firstworldproblems: while Fragrant Mother regaled me with tales of potty training us as infants, Fragrant Husband placidly assured me that Junior would learn when he was good and ready.

I tried to speed the process along by getting books about going potty; he would rather read about trucks. I got him a little potty; he sat on it fully dressed. I got him a potty seat that goes on top of a regular toilet; he tried to wear it as a hat.

derp derp


Nothing was working!

So a month before he was due to transition to preschool, when he was two years and eight months old, we went cold turkey. I bought him Gerber training underwear, which are cotton and have a thick lining in the front to catch some accidents, but would still be uncomfortable when wet. I told him he was a big boy now, and big boys wear underwear, of course with dinosaurs on them.

On Day 1, we spent the whole day indoors, made easier by the terrible spring weather outside. He ran around clad only in a shirt and his new underwear. We had a total of four accidents (3 pee, 1 poo), which upset him very much. But we also had two successes, for which he was rewarded with cheers and iPad time.

On Days 2-4, he was at daycare, where he had zero accidents because his teachers made sure to sit him down every single hour.

By Day 5, I was confident enough in his mad skillz that I took him to our usual Friday lunch spot, a nearby Indian buffet (all the rice he can eat, for free!). I made sure to check in about his bladder and colon needs before, during, and after our meal. He did have to go after he ate, and he was so proud of himself afterward that he announced to the whole restaurant: “I WENT POTTY!” Thankfully, no one seemed to mind.

It’s now been a month since we left diapers behind, and I am so happy. I never thought I’d be delighted to have a bowl full of poop proudly waved right under my nose, but hey, parenting is full of surprises.

In conclusion, I’m a Cool Mom, so instead of a picture of my very own spawn’s very own poop in his very own potty, here’s Junior dressed as his father’s career choice for him:

Ready to colonize Mars!
(See what I did there? "Colon"-ize? It's a post about potty training? hee hee)

TL;DR: Junior is now potty trained, thank goodness.

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This post brought to you by free coffee!