So I tried.
And I failed.
Just because everyone said she would be ready, didn’t mean she was ready. After 5 EXHAUSTING days, I disinfected the potty training chair and put it in a corner. Only to look at it every now and then and mutter curse words under my breath.
I came out of that experience a different mother. A tainted one. From wanting a big family to … er, maybe two children is enough. The words potty and training in the same sentence ran chills up my spine. When people asked me how it went, my face turned white and told them I didn’t want to talk about it.
Yes, it really was that bad.
However, short after her second birthday, with warmer weather welcoming us into the Spring season, I gave it another go. I am pleased to say, this time went way more smoothly than last time’s “experiment”. It’s been two weeks since then and she is very, fully potty trained.
What did I do differently? Nothing really. It could be quite possible that she was just … ready.
After each day, I jotted down notes. So here’s how the first week of potty training [round 2] went.
When she woke up, I asked if she wanted to sit on the big girl potty. She said yes and we sat there for a few minutes as I read to her a Potty book. I explained to her that there will be no more diapers and she had to wear “these amazing and oh so cute undies with kitties on them”. I made it a huge deal as if kitties on underwear were the coolest there were and she was one of the lucky few to own them.
There were lots of accidents. Every time there was an accident, I would know because she would scream, “Oh no! I spill it!” or “I made a mess!” It would coincidentally always be 5 minutes before I decided to sit her on the potty or 5 minutes after.
Fed up, I [kind of] forced her to sit on the potty for 45 minutes, until she used it so that she associated it with getting candy. When she did, I made a huge deal. Like jumping up and down for joy like a teenager or a grown man – that’s not my business – at a One Direction concert. That’s when I found out that her favorite part was dumping what was in the potty in the toilet and flushing as she proudly said, “bye bye kaka”.
I don’t understand what the deal was with her, but she did not want to even sit on the potty. She didn’t want to wear underwear and even asked for a diaper. The only way I could get her to actually sit was with a jelly bean and I held another jelly bean hostage until she went. Well, it worked because she would go. The only problem was, she was so hyped up on candy, I went insane. I never had a bigger migraine in my life.
After her nap, she actually sat on it by herself and used it. I’m pretty sure it’s just for the candy though, but whatever works. The candy was working alright, for her. I needed another reward, something that equally excited her, yet kept her calmer.
Knowing my daughter, I knew that she loved when I danced around the room with her. Remarkably, it worked better than the candy. It was a win-win for the both of us.
What was a more appropriate song than Frozen’s Let it Go.
I really liked that song. Liked, in past tense.
If you walked into my house, you would see me dancing like I was some kind of Disney princess wanabe to Let it Go by Frozen. I got really into it too. I would twirl and leap and roll. She loved it. So every time it was over and she asked, “again, again!” I would tell her when she used the potty, we’ll do it again.
Crazy girl hyped on candy and possible cavities or crazy mom dancing like a fool and possible insanity. I chose insanity.
At nap time, while I was putting a diaper on her, she said “no I don’t want diaper. Diapers are for babies!”
After she woke from her nap, there were zero accidents. She was finally getting it. She didn’t ask to go, but she did go when I sat her on the potty.
She was really excited to take off her diaper in the morning. I moved the potty chair from the living room to the bathroom. She took on this change very well.
I don’t know if dancing to Let it Go was the motivator or if it was just time, but there were barely any accidents for the day. But of course I asked if she needed to go throughout the day. Who would have known how easy it actually becomes.
It was a big day. We actually left the house today.
I was so nervous, I packed as if going away for the weekend.
I brought the portable potty and although she kicked and screamed on our way to the potty, when she sat, she would go.
It was the first sign to me that showed she could hold it because she mentioned she had to go but we were no where close to a bathroom at the time and so I expected an accident but there wasn’t one.
When we were getting ready for bed she turned to me and whispered, “I love the bathroom.” I’ve never thought I would love to hear those beautiful, magnificent words, being whispered into my ear.
I finally feel like I could breathe.
She asked to go to the bathroom but for some reason didn’t think she was serious. A couple minutes later, when I looked, she was sitting on her potty with her clothes on. Since then, when she asked to go, I knew she was serious.
There weren’t any accidents but I didn’t want to get my hopes up just yet.
No accidents today!
She is fully potty trained. She asks to go and will even force herself to go if she needs to.
I did it! I mean … she did it! She’s a no diaper wearing, pants sagging, potty trained princess and it took less than one week to do it.
I understand every child is different, so by all means, do only what you think will work for your child.
Briefly, this is what worked for us:
- Reading books about going potty
- Allowing her favorite doll to go potty
- Buying “fun” underwear and getting excited about it
- Rewards such as jelly beans, stickers and dancing to Let it Go
- Keeping the potty in the living room for a few days then moving it to the bathroom
- Lots and lots of praise
- No yelling when she made an accident
- Don’t expect any success for at least the first 3 days
So, if you’re thinking of potty training, pick up those rugs, watch your step, pull out the disinfectant and good luck!
Mommas, what worked for you and your toddler? Please share your tips in the comments below.