Our Experience With Potty Training

potty training

Head’s up: I’m not writing this post to brag or to tell everyone the way to potty train their kid. I’m writing this because while we were potty training Finn, I found myself reading other people’s experiences to see what would work for us! I want to share how we potty trained so that it might help someone else or give ideas to another family on different ways to tackle this!

Finn is the best kid. Since he was a baby, he took big transitions in stride – he took a bottle easily. He switched over to a sippy cup easily. He even transitioned himself out of the crib without a fuss! We have basically been on cruise control with him. We knew potty training was going to be the next big transition, and even though he adjusted to everything so well in the past, potty training scared the crap out of me. (Pun intended).

There were several variables here – first, Reese was new to our family, so although I wanted to get him potty trained before she was born, I also feared that he would regress as soon as she arrived. Plus, I couldn’t quite muster up the energy while I was pregnant. Second, he was going to daycare full-time, and although we would take our own approach, his teachers also would need to be in on it, so I needed their support.

We started off slowly. Finn was home with Reese and I for the month of December. He was about 2.5 years old at this point. I took this opportunity to introduce the toilet to him and put underwear on him whenever we were at home. This, you can imagine, resulted in a lot of laundry. But I figured since we were all at home, it was worth it. We had him pick out the underwear he wanted and that helped him get excited about wearing them.

In those first few weeks of trying, Finn showed little interest. I knew from some research that if he wasn’t interested, there was no point in pushing it. Fast forward a few months, and we started asking more and more about going pee on the potty. Sometimes he would oblige, other times he wouldn’t. Still, we kept the mindset that he would do it when he was ready.

In early April, Finn had a few days off from daycare. I decided to use that time to really push the issue. He was ready. He was talking about it, and there were less and less accidents. So for three days I didn’t put a diaper on him (besides nap time and bed time) and besides one incident early in the first day, he went on the toilet every time! We didn’t leave the house much those three days, and when we did, he wore a pull-up.

I made a Potty Chart and hung it on the wall near his bathroom. The chart had a column for “Tried“, “Pee” and “Poop“. Each time he tried or successfully went, he got a sticker. This kept it exciting for him!

The bad news? He didn’t go number two for three days! I knew he had to go, but I also knew it was a brand new experience. Again, I didn’t want to pressure him, so I would just bring it up every now and then.

I knew going number two was going to be tough, so before we started potty training, we asked him what he wanted if he went poop on the potty. He told us he wanted a toy lion and toy hippo. So, we kept reminding him that if he went poop on the potty, that’s exactly what he would get.

He sat on the potty several times before it actually happened. I credit my in-laws for the first poop. He was at their house and they noticed he was starting to go, so they moved him onto the toilet halfway. Later that night he went on the potty at home, and since then, there have been zero poopy accidents! We took him to get his lion and hippo later that week!

Initially, we still kept pull-ups on him when he went to daycare. This lasted about a month or so and he would come home wet. So we finally sent him in underwear, and a few extra pairs just in case, and he’s been doing great!

A couple notes:

  • Finn was almost three when we really gave it the ole college try!
  • He still has accidents every now and then, and we constantly have to ask him if he has to go, but they are getting fewer and farther between
  • He still wears a pull-up to bed and for nap time, although the last few nights he has been waking up and calling for us to let us know he has to go! (He has a rail on his bed so he can’t get out himself.)
  • Like any little boy, he prefers to pee outside.
  • We did buy him a potty seat, but he doesn’t like to use it much.
  • When we are out in public, I usually just hold him over the toilet and let him go rather than having him touch all over the seat himself. Yuck.

Mamas – how was your experience potty training? Any funny stories?

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