A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned on social media when we were potty training my 2 year old (almost 3), and a few of you asked about the experience or how I did it. I’ve now been through two kids, boys to be exact and are officially diaper free. We’ll enter that world again in October, but it feels good to know we’ll only be changing one in diapers and not two.
If you’re reading for some super helpful “magical” tricks, this is not the post and you’ll see why below. First, I’ll give you a brief overview of how they each potty trained.
Beckham (Child #1)
With B being my first, I was under the impression, he should be potty trained closer to 2 years old. I had Maddox, baby #2 when he was 2.5 years old and so I decided to try after he was born since he really wasn’t interested before that. It was summertime when M was born, so we tried it and the kid just peed all over himself all the time! I realized I rather change diapers than clean up pee all over the house, especially with a newborn.
Fast forward a couple of months and I tried again, and he took to it much better. He was in underwear at 3 years old, BUT he would not poop in the potty so I had to continually change his underwear…yep, disgusting. It took a couple of months, but he finally went in the toilet…I never reverted back to diapers.
Maddox (Child #2)
I went into this experience with low expectations and ultimately decided he would be the one to make the decision (unless he was 4 and still wanting a diaper). Lol. Maddox is 2, but will turn 3 this June. A few months ago, we started encouraging underwear (as he had peed in the potty several times before), but he HATED wearing underwear. And he hated being naked. So i just kept with diapers (even though I knew he was capable of the toilet). Bribery still didn’t work either for underwear.
Then about a month or so ago, I kept telling him we didn’t have anymore diapers and had to have underwear. Some how, he was slightly more inclined to wear them if he didn’t have diapers available, although he was still hesitant (guess he hated being naked more). He still wore a diaper at night (I would say, “only one more diaper” and put that one on…then we suddenly didn’t have anymore the next day)…oh the honesty of toddlers.
It ended up taking about 1 week for him to be in underwear fully. The first few days, I constantly asked him if he needed to go potty and took him to the restroom every so often (I’d honestly just forget). I also had to forget the whole “stay at home when potty training.” There was just no way we’d have 3 full days of not going anywhere to make that possible (just research the 3 day method). If we were out with underwear on, I’d ask him much more often. Within a few days, he was taking himself. We did use rewards for the first week or so (small piece of candy if he went). Also, he wouldn’t go poop at first, so he’d wait till his night time diaper and go then. One day he accidentally went when he was peeing and realized it wasn’t so scary. And we made a HUGE deal about how great that was.
We eliminated diapers after about a week when I realized he was waking up dry and pooping once every day or two (otherwise I was fine with him wearing diapers at night). He had a few accidents within that time, but hasn’t had one since. He did have an accident in his bed the other night, but that’s just gonna happen every now and then, especially this soon after potty training.
With all that said, I have a few thoughts on potty training for US. First let me say that I think potty training is VERY individualized and no two potty training experiences are the same. Some do it early, some don’t. Some pick up on it quickly, some will still wear diapers at night until elementary school. I truly believe every kid is different and will take to it differently.
So here are some points I think helped or either contributed to the two experiences I’ve had with my kids potty training:
- From an early age (before 1 yrs old), we let them use the toilet before bath every night…sometimes they would do it and sometimes they wouldn’t, but we sat them on the potty.
- I like to wait till I think they’re ready and go with their pace somewhat. Maddox absolutely refused to wear underwear, so I wasn’t going to fight that battle, just keep encouraging him to go potty.
- I think personalities can affect the process. My first is super stubborn and it showed in the process. My second is a pleaser and it definitely showed in the process. If he had an accident, he would cry. If B (#1) pooped in his underwear, he’d just come and tell me with no fear of upsetting me.
- I’m kind of lazy when it comes to potty training. Meaning, I’m just not one of those moms who will take their kid to the toilet every 15-30 minutes…I also rather just send them to the restroom and cross my fingers they go. The great thing about boys is you don’t have to wipe, or teach them how to wipe, every time they pee (I still wipe him when he does the other).
- I always teach my boys how to use the restroom SITTING DOWN. If they’re going to be going in the toilet, I want the pee actually going IN the toilet. Now that Beckham is 5, he stands up and I have to clean the toilet every single day…ugh!
- I don’t use a child potty seat. You know those small floor potty seats you can buy? I bought one for Beckham and hated cleaning it out. #lazy So I went to the regular potty (plus that is what he had been using before bath time for so long anyway). Plus, if we’re in public, I like them to be comfortable with a regular toilet.
- We let them pick out their underwear. This ended up being helpful with Maddox since he hated wearing underwear.
- I think waiting longer helped with the length of time it took to be fully potty trained (at night included) since they were a bit older and more controlled.
Overall, if you like a more relaxed approach or aren’t worried if your child is potty trained closer to the 3 year old age, hopefully my experience helped a bit. Going into the potty training stage with #2 was so much easier because my expectations were low and I let him decide for the most part when he was ready.
This is just what worked for us and our situation. Anyone else have similar experiences or completely different? I love hearing people’s potty training stories just to hear a new perspective and what did and did not work for others. We will see how training a girl goes.