Monday, April 8, 2013

PT: Not to be mistaken with TP. Although... they do have something in common.

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We are potty trained.Trained. Potty. Trained. Potty. I love saying this out loud over and over again.

Completely. No diapers. No pull-ups. No nothing but an underwearing, cheesin', toddler. And might I add, a very pleased mama and papa.

I cannot tell you how amazing those words make me feel. I never thought a phrase, such as this one, could make me so happy. Something so simple as "potty training" bring such a big smile on my face. And it isn't the fact that we have one less child to diaper. Although that is pretty exciting as well. Instead, it is because I am so darn proud of my girl and every single time she "goes" I get all giddy inside.

Every time.

I clap. I hoot. I tell her how proud I am of her and I squeeze her cheeks and plant a big kiss on her lips.

Every time.

And she smiles. And she repeats "Mama so proud of you." And those eyes just glimmer with pride. She's proud. She gets it. And she is so darn happy about it. Yes, baby, mama so proud.

Every time.

I could end this post just on that note. That the happiness that has entered our home because of potty training is some sort of magical potion that has put a spell over us.

I could leave off and tell you that there is hope for those little ones that struggle. There is.

But first...

Let us rewind here. Let us really get into this topic of potty training, and why we were successful. Are successful. And jumping up and down with joy. Remember just a few months back? How we failed our first attempt? You can read all about it here. I'll also tell you today that our training experience did not involve treats {it did the first time around}, did not involve a "3 day staycation operation," and no other fancy potty-training guide that has been researched and written about. But, before you think we just got lucky, hear me out.

There is a trick out there... there is an old wives tales that has been proven true around here. And it the most simple, budget-friendly, and genius full-proof method out there:

Wait until they are ready.

As you may know, or don't know, I wrote a few weeks ago on our first adventures with potty training. It can be found here. We were not successful, and it just was not the right time. That last part of the sentence is important. Hold onto that.

And someone may argue... how could it not have been the right time? She was trained just 2 months later after attempt number one, wasn't she? Yes. She knew the concept two months ago? Yes. Didn't she successfully go in the potty two months ago as well? Yes.

Yes, yes, yes. You are right. She was ready physically and mentally. She understood the concept and she physically could do it. Yes. However, emotionally ready? The last most crucial part of the potty-training part? She was not.  She was not and I was not going to be the one to bring my daughter to full fledged tears of terror all because I thought she understood the process so therefore she must get trained.


So we waited. We waited and one day last week I decided to just feel her out and take off her diaper. No pressure. No "are we dry" every 5 minutes. No going to the bathroom to show her where she poos and pees every time. Just us, hanging out, doing our normal thing. And all I said was "Tell mama when you have to go pee-pee." And when she first said those words? I about fell out of my seat, not knowing if this would be for real. And it was. And she went. And then she did it again. And again. And again. And to this day she has not had one pee pee accident during the day. NOT ONE

As far as poopy goes, that took a few days for us not to have accidents. But now she gets it! And night time? My husband swore we needed to go out and by pull-ups. I said no. I figured if we were doing this, then why confuse her with putting something similar to a diaper on at night? So the first night? She peed the bed. And the husband laughed and laughed and said "See, honey, I was right." But I stuck to my guns and decided to try again. And guess what? No accidents.

So the key to our training success? Two things. Rather, two concepts. Eiminating the pressure and waiting until she was 100% ready. 

I know I know, you guys thought I was going to lay out some brilliant step-by-step bullet point style list of things to follow when doing this training gig. Right? I'm just not that smart.

Trust me, I've been there. I wrote about it here. Where I thought that treats, pressure, and being obsessive over this "potty" deal was going to somehow convince my daughter that she could go. And to be honest with you? It probably would have worked. Had we done the "3-day" method and such? She probably would have mastered it then. But the tears? The horror in her eyes over it? Not worth it. Now, I know that her case is kind of different from other kids. Most kids don't fear it the way she did, so I'm sure the 3-day method and everything else works for them. But like I mentioned earlier, every child is different, and for mine? Pressure, treats, and a neurotic mama {which I was} was not working.

So before I begin to tell you about what worked for us and what didn't, just keep in mind that every child is different, every home is different, and every situation is different. What works for us, may not work for you.

Since we tried two different methods on two different occasions, I will split it up that way and tell you the pros and cons for each.

Potty Seat vs. Toilet Seat Cover.

We bought the potty the first time. We made the mistake of putting it in the living room as well. We had her sit on it and bribe her with the i-pad, stamps, coloring books and such. And she sat. And she was content. No problem. However, hours would go by and no success. And when it came down to her actually going? When she felt that sensation... SHE WOULD FREAK. She would beg for the diaper because that was all she knew. That to her was the normal way of going to the "potty." And then the waterworks would come. Not tantrum...but those pitiful "I'm hurt" kind of tears. Talk about feeling guilty over here.

And then I figured out, of course she did not want to go on it. Who has ever sat in the living room and gone potty? Not Elliana. Not Papa. Not Mama.

So, this time around we purchased the potty adapter cover for the toilet. And guess what? That was natural. She got it. She felt more secure and safe using it.

Treats vs. NO TREATS

Okay. This is a big one. I am not for or against treats by any means when getting a little one to go potty. I have tried both methods, so I will just tell you my point of view from both sides.

For us, the whole "you get a lolli-pop if you go" or "here is your chocolate chip for going," or "you can pick a gift out of this basket: just did not fly with Elliana. We tried it on round one. Yes, she thought it was a brilliant idea, however, she did not understand why she could not have one even if she didn't go. And so eventually? The concept got old to her and and even the "lollipop" trick did not work for her.

So the second time around? No treats, no rewards, just a freaking big fat smile, lots of screams of "I'm so proud of you"'s. 


I think part of the reason it did not work with E the first time is that she saw me getting stressed and frustrated. Instantly, she was turned off. And when I hooted and hollered with joy? She responded so well.

Positive reinforcement is key in any method that you use for potty training.


The challenge with this one... is how do you know? I know there are signs and such. Honestly, Elliana knew around 18 months what "potty training" was as we had been reading her the potty training book by Caillou

I think the only way to know for sure is just to try. As we did a few months ago. As a mom, you will just know if your baby is ready. Forget what everyone else is saying, forget all the "experts" and their opinions about all children being ready by "22 months." Forget all that. You are the expert of your child, and I assure you, you will just know once you have given it a run if your baby is truly ready.

And if they aren't? Don't stress. Put those diapers back on and try again later.

Believe me... it is so much easier when they are ready. So easy that I did not even have to do a single thing. AT ALL.

So there you have. All the tricks and tools of the trade.... well, just one trick, and one tool to pass on to you: time.

You always hear moms saying this. Passing on their bright wisdom to younger moms about topics such as this one. Wait until they are ready, they say. Yet, you didn't believe them.

You don't believe them.

Until you have experienced it.

It really can be easy and stress-free. Believe me.


  1. Yay! Congrats! That's so exciting. :) I bet you are a proud mama.

  2. SO proud of your sweet girl for being potty trained! We are right in that stage where she's used it a few times before (several months back) and now she's terrified of going in the potty! I'm trying to hold off until I feel like SHE is ready...but I like the idea of the potty seat adaptor. Which one did you get for E? Do you carry it with you when you're out and about or how do you do the whole "public bathroom going" thing?

  3. This is so exciting!!!! I am definitely bookmarking this page for future reference ;) Good job, Mama!!

  4. Congrats! Just don't be alarmed if Elliana regresses a little. Emmy did ;/ Naturally I got frustrated, but my mom said I did the same thing. We did M&Ms as rewards in the beginning, and it worked great, but then E eventually forgot about getting a treat each time. (yay! lol) Hooray for less diaper changes for mama!

  5. I agree on the treats thing - my kids all thought they would get one just for sitting or for producing a tiny drop every few minutes. ugh. I still have to pt my 3rd and not looking forward!

  6. That is sooo awesome mama!! We have been working diligently over here with Kelsey but I am taking the same page you did and waiting a bit because I did that with Julianna and just because she wasn't trained at 20 months like some of her friends was something I had to get out of my head- she was just like E- went consistently as soon as SHE was ready! And I believe that for all kids, so I am waiting on the emoitonal part just like you did with Kelsey as well :)

  7. Congrats! There is nothing better than seeing your child be proud of him/herself, and then seeing their reaction to how proud you are of them :) Now comes the fun part of her wanting to see/use the bathroom every place you go!!!

  8. Way to go, Elliana!!!
    I am getting ready to PT my third. I'm hoping she's as easy as my older two. We waited until they were ready, too. I'm also big on the toilet seat insert and rewarding with praise!

  9. Thank you for posting this. I've been getting so frustrated with potty training my 2 year old son because EVERYONE else feels he should be potty trained already, and it's just not clicking with him yet. Wait until HE'S ready...why didn't I think of that? :)

  10. I love reading about this success!! We tried PT Bennett a few months back and it was a big fat fail. So I was planning on taking this same approach (no pressure, and waiting until he's 100% ready) when we decide to try PT again. I can tell he's getting close to being ready. Hopefully it will go as smoothly as it did for Elliana!

  11. We tried a few months ago too and it was not successful. Now we are working on day #6 with only one accident. I haven't been doing anything special, she just wasn't ready before.

  12. We tried a few months ago too and it was not successful. Now we are working on day #6 with only one accident. I haven't been doing anything special, she just wasn't ready before.

  13. I think patience is key! I potty trained my first two when they turned two... They were dry every morning and ready. If we had an accident I didn't lose my marbles. I just told them a funny story and acted like it was no big deal. It was so easy for us... but, we still have one more to go so we shall see! Like you said before, every kiddo is different! :)


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