Category Archives: potty training

Potty Training – Round 3

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Simon has been slowing showing interest in using the potty. We haven’t fully committed to potty training just yet but I’m trying to let him discover potty training on his own. He’s usually pretty interested in using the potty but he’s completely uninterested in wearing underwear. Eventually he’ll come around.

Today he decided he needed to potty so he went upstairs to use his preferred potty seat. (He’s my only child that actually likes the potty seat – the little seat you put on the toilet) He’s very independent and wants to do it himself so I waited downstairs. But he didn’t quite make it and peed on the floor just outside the bathroom. I immediately heard crying and knew what happened. As I started up the stairs I asked him what was wrong and through tear filled eyes he cried, “I pee pee on the fwowor.” I reassure him that it’s OK and sometimes accidents happen. As I reach the top of the stairs I find him stand over the pee with tears rolling down his cheeks and he looks up at me and says, “Wook at dis mess.” It’s the saddest and cutest thing ever.

I throw a few towels down and help him to the bathroom to see if he needs to finish in the potty. He just sits on the potty, no longer crying but with tears still on his cheeks and says, “Dhere no morwee pee pee.”

This was his first potty accident. And while I hate cleaning up pee I think it was a learning experience for him. He’s used to peeing in his diaper wherever he pleases and only using the potty when he feels like it. I think he understands the importance of peeing on the potty.

Potty training is bittersweet. I love seeing my boys grow up but it’s one of the final transitions from baby to big kid.


Too Busy to Go Potty

too busy to potty

I’ve talked a lot about Jude’s struggle with potty training. After literally years of trying just about every method conceivable we still have struggles on a daily basis. At this point it has less to do with his ability to use the potty and more to do with his inattentiveness and sensory issue. So I am still “potty training” my 5 and a half year old son but our method looks pretty different than they way most kids are potty trained.

First, I will say that Jude has a majority of the attributes of a child with ADHA although he hasn’t been medically diagnosed as such. As a result I garner a lot of my behavioral methods from ADHA material. I also want to raise my children in a God-centered home so we take a lot of our guidance from the Bible and Biblical principles.

Currently Jude’s issues stem from the fact that he gets too involved in whatever he is doing to stop and go potty. I try to remain aware of the signs like dancing around and being extra fidgety so I can preempt the situation but I’m not always around. So we are instilling consequences and rewards to help encourage him to pause to potty.

Video games are still his biggest motivator. He knows that if he has an accident as a result of failure to pause to potty he will lose the privilege to play a video game (computer, phone, leap pad, Wii). I like this type of motivator because it offers a reward for positive behavior and a loss of that privilege as the consequence. I understand that he is a child and is still learning about cause and effect so we also offer redemption opportunities.

There are a few things I try to remember when addressing his potty training struggles.

1. He is old enough and aware enough to know when he has to potty and react accordingly.

2. Offer reminders of the reward and consequence when I notice him doing the potty dance but allow him to take control of his body and decisions. No shouting at him to, “go potty now”.

3. When he has an accident address it immediately. Make him clean up the mess. Remind him that he just lost his privilege and talk about what we need to do next time so he can retain video game time.

4. Offer a redemption opportunity if warranted. Occasionally the accident is more accident than an intentional disregard of his body’s cues and on those occasions I give him the opportunity to redeem the situation. He may have to fold laundry, do an extra chore or write a letter of apology. He can re-earn his video game time if he works hard to prove he is motivated.

5. Be encouraging. This whole process has been an on-going struggle for both Jude and I. We’ve both felt a flurry of emotions throughout the process and I know for sure that being his cheerleader is a great motivator for him. Whenever I address him I want to remind him of is progress, encourage him to make good decisions and talk about ways we can prevent further incidents from occurring. Photo Mar 16, 3 29 43 PM


Potty training a busy child can be extremely challenging and exhausting but the one thing I’ve learned is that each child is different and require very different processes. Therefore if you have a child that has potty training challenges don’t give up if the “tried and true method” you read about doesn’t work for your kid, find what works for your child and be persistent.

Dear Child, Please Poop in the Potty

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From day 1 of potty training Noah has done exceptionally well… with going pee in the potty. He occasionally has an accident but most days he remains dry all day. You may remember what initially prompted our potty training venture, the poop diapers. Almost every day at nap time Noah would remove his poopy diaper and mess with it. We took that as a sign that he didn’t like being dirty and was ready to be potty trained. Well several months later and he’s refusing to poop in the potty and still taking off his poop pull-up after nap time.

Here’s the situation:

  • He wears underwear during the day and a pull-up at nap time and night time.
  • He goes potty before nap time and bedtime where we’ve encouraged him to poop but it never happens.
  • Right before nap and bed he drinks milk (I’m thinking of cutting this out).
  • Sometimes he poops in the diaper and sometimes he doesn’t.
  • If he poops in his diaper he will pretty much change himself (wipes, new pull-up, etc).

I tried putting a little potty in his room to encourage him to use that instead of the floor, didn’t work.

We removed all diapers, pull-ups and wipes from his bedroom and placed them in the bathroom so he associates poop with the bathroom.

Next we are going to start showing him each BM and us dumping it in the potty so he has a visual of where the poop goes. Otherwise we are pretty much out of ideas of ways to help him stop pooping everywhere.

Honestly, I would rather just change a normal poop diaper than poop from the walls, carpet, bed, furniture, his body, etc…

Do you have any advice for how we can get Noah to poop in the potty?

Potty Training – The 2nd Time Around

Potty Training the 2nd child

I need to apologize to all of those people I called liars when they proclaimed to potty train their child in only 2 days.

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it was possibly until now because Noah has basically potty trained himself in a day. We’ve gone 3 days in big kid underwear, except when he sleeps, and he has had 0 accidents. (He’s still working on pooping in the potty though.)

Here’s a little secret about parenting, “ALL KIDS ARE DIFFERENT.”

Jude struggled with potty training and still does at 5 years old. I honestly thought everyone must be lying about potty training because there is no way my 1st child was potty trained in 2 days, weeks, months, years even. It’s an ongoing battle of wills and his biggest struggle is stopping what he’s doing to go pee otherwise he’s got it down pat.

Now Noah on the other hand, has a personality that is the complete opposite of Jude. That’s really no surprise since everyone is different. He is also a lot more verbal and easily expresses his desires, so I was able to address his desire to use the potty. He also has the added benefit of having a cool older brother that uses the potty (positive peer pressure FTW!). So I guess potty training was just sort of natural for him.

Saturday morning when I got him up I decided to put him in underwear, just on a whim really. Then I took him to the potty every hour until nap time just to see how it would go, I set my expectations low. Then he went and had dry pants all day. Completely shocked me. By Sunday evening he was telling us when he had to use the potty and doing everything by himself. He still poops in his diaper after nap (he’s an after nap pooper), so eventually we’ll work on pooping in the potty. But for now I’m enjoying the ease in which he essentially potty trained himself. Bonus, fewer diaper changes for me!

I’m learning that potty training has less to do with technique and more to do with each individual child.

Here are my potty training tips (they aren’t really tips but more encouragements)

  • Potty train when they are ready
  • Tailor your approach to their personality (there is no fool-proof method)
  • Don’t expect them to potty train like any other kid (again there is no 1-right way to potty train)
  • And don’t take it personally. – With Jude’s struggles I felt like I failed parenting, with Noah I felt like I nailed it. When in all honest I had very little to do with any of the outcomes. Potty training is completely the child’s accomplishment, as a parent I just aid them in the process. So don’t feel guilty or like a failure if your child doesn’t get it right away. And by all means, don’t gloat if your child comes out of the womb potty trained. All kids are different. PERIOD.

I’m interested to see how different potty training Simon will be from the other 2 boys. And no, we’re not into EC so I’m not trying to potty train my 9 month old.

Potty Training and a Medical Diagnosis

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Jude is a very smart boy and a very busy boy. He can pretty much master any task once he’s performed it once. I mean the kid was climbing out of his crib, sneaking downstairs and helping himself to a midnight snack before he was 2. But for some reason he’s had a horrible time with potty training.

Our biggest challenges stem from his strong will and inability to stop what he’s doing. Even though we’ve battled over wills throughout the process he’s still been pretty good about going to the potty, until recently.

A few weeks ago he started having accidents at school, something that rarely happens.
One accident at school is no big deal, it happens to most 4 year olds.
But 3 within the course of a week, that is too much.
His teachers were concerned and brought it to our attention so that we could work together to help him. (Have a mentioned that we love his preschool?)

So for the next week we worked with him. We encouraged him to tell us when he had to go and implemented a new potty chart with incentives. But even at home he was having accidents, not just avoiding going but having accidents right after he went to the bathroom and having to go several times within an hour or so. At that point we realized it was probably more than just a behavioral problem, there was something medical that needed to be addressed.

Then Friday after the boys’ evening showers I noticed a raised bump in Jude’s pelvic region. I asked Joe to check it out and called my mom for her medical advice (even though she’s not a doctor she is an experienced mom). We all agreed it looked like a hernia. Jude wasn’t complaining of any pain in that area so I decided to wait until Tuesday morning to call the doctor and watch it closely until then. Over the weekend the bump fluctuated in size and Jude occasional complained of having a pain when he went to the bathroom.

The doctor agreed that it indeed looks like a inguinal hernia and has referred us to a pediatric urologist to get it further examined to see if he needs surgery.  The doctor also said it could cause pain when going to the bathroom which might be the cause of his recent potty accidents.

While I’m relieved to know that Jude’s potty incidents are completely behavioral I am still pretty concerned that he may need to have surgery. We know that God will take care of him and are praying for healing and wisdom for us and the doctors.

Why does my son keep taking off his diaper?

Noah is very interested in all things potty, this also means he is constantly taking his diaper off during nap time.

diaper off

Now we’ve tried everything we can think of to prevent him from making a HUGE MESS every time he takes a nap.

  • Tape on the Diaper
  • Underwear over the Diaper
  • PJ’s on backward
  • Constant monitoring

And we have about a 40% success rate with these methods.

He’s a little toddler Houdini.

I’m asking my internet mom friends…


Seriously, it’s driving me nuts and the laundry is seriously out of control.

My Self Potty Training Toddler

self potty trained

After several years of working with Jude and his potty training struggles I was completely shocked when Noah started to potty train himself.

I know I shouldn’t compare my kids but it’s amazing just how different these boys are from each other.

Jude is still having a hard time stopping what he’s doing to take a bathroom break so we are all potty talk these days. And because little brothers want to do everything big brother does Noah has taken a keen interested in the potty. At first I tried to deter his potty obsessiveness but after consulting a few other moms I learned that he wasn’t too young to be successfully potty trained. So we’re embracing his interest and trying to use it to our advantage.

At 21 months old Noah is still wearing diapers but when we are home he will tell Joe or I that he has to potty and run to the bathroom and start to undress. He’s only done number 1 in the potty but he’s a pro. He’s not potty trained when we’re out or during naps or anything but I’m pretty proud of his success. It’s a very low stress potty training course, we aren’t really initiating any of it but following his lead.

I’m hoping that his good potty training vibes will rub off on Jude. Or at least that Jude won’t want to be shown up by his little brother. Jude’s only struggle is making going to the bathroom a priority, he has such a hard time stopping what he’s doing to go, which often results in an accident.

Who knows maybe by mid-summer I’ll only have 1 kid in diapers.

Potty Training Update: Potty Chart Revisited

potty chart

When we first started potty training  Jude we implemented the potty chart, it had minimal success. He isn’t really motivated by a piece of candy or the promise of a new toy. He really could take it or leave it for the sake of what’s easiest.

However, over the last few months we’ve started learn what motivates Jude. It’s not candy, food, toys or stickers… he wants experiences. Most specifically he wants to play Lego Star Wars Video Games with his Dada. So we are reinstating the potty chary with the reward of playing a video game with dada.

After several rough days riddled with potty accidents we were at our wits end and decided we needed a new plan of attack. He specifically requested a farm potty chart and is very specific about which stickers he gets. Whenever he uses the potty (without making a big fuss about it) he earns a sticker. When his chart if full he has earned the opportunity to play a video game with daddy (on the weekend).

So far we’ve seen vast improvement, primarily in his attitude toward using the potty. His biggest struggle has been making the “time” to go potty. He gets so wrapped up in whatever he’s doing that he doesn’t notice he has to potty hence all the accidents but when we call him out he screams in denial. While he still isn’t fully acknowledging when he has to go potty yet using the potty chart has drastically cut down on the number of tantrums we have each day.

Did you use a potty chart?
If so what kind of incentives did you use?