Potty Training Success


The following is one of my potty training success stories, originally published at my other blog, Organized Chaos. This was almost exactly one year ago – Josh was 21-months-old, Ben was just beginning to walk, and I was pregnant with Noah.

I always dread potty training and try to put it off as long as possible. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing I dislike more than changing stinky diapers. Well, except maybe taking care of the laundry… but, I digress.

This is what worked for me…

Josh was so ready – He told me when he was going or has gone potty in his diaper and begs me to change him, he was dressing himself, he knew how to obey simple commands, and he knew where the big boys go potty. Besides, Ray was adamant about getting Josh potty-trained before it became too uncomfortable for me to change two baby’s diapers all day long. So, it was time….

The weekend before our first potty-training day, Josh and I had a special “date” dedicated to finding a potty chair and picking out treats for when he is successful. He chose little licorice nibs, but in my experience stickers work well, too. While we were out I explained to him that he was becoming a big boy and that he was going to use the toilet and wear big boy undies, like his older brothers. He was sooo excited! He asked me if he could get race car undies and I told him that when he stayed dry and went potty on the toilet, like a big boy, that I would buy him race car undies. Boy, was he thrilled! (He asked for a skateboard too, but I said he’d have to be a bigger boy for that one!!)

Anyway, come Monday morning (potty-training day one) I took off his diaper and let him run around for a bit without anything on. Every 10 minutes or so I would ask him if he needed to go potty, and remind him that he would get a treat if he went on the toilet.

Well, we had two accidents that morning… Each time I explained to him that he needed to go potty in the toilet and would walk him to his potty chair and have him sit down to try again. We would then walk back to where he peed and clean it up together. Cleaning it up, coupled with NOT getting a treat was NOT okay with him. He went the rest of the day to the toilet each time he needed to pee, with only a few reminders from me.

Now, pooping was a different story… He refused to go at all until the next afternoon when he had his one and only accident in his pants. Because that was so uncomfortable he has since only gone in his potty chair. (Oh, giving him extra treats for going poop in the toilet helped too, I’m sure!)

When you are ready to potty train your little one, I would urge you to only put cotton undies on him – Once you decide to potty train and are determined not to give up, DO NOT put a diaper or pull-up on him, except for maybe at night-time. Diapers AND pull-ups absorb too much to make going any where but in the toilet too easy and convenient. Stay home for a few days, if you need to. Potty training will be much easier and you will accomplish your goal much faster. At night, to keep Josh dry we would have him go potty just before bed. Daddy would get him up just before we went to bed, to try again, and then also when he woke up early in the morning. We still have occasional wet sheets, but all in all Josh stays dry most of the time.

I will say that you have to be consistent to remind your little guy to go potty on the toilet. During the day I asked Josh every 10 minutes – Boy, was it hard for me to remember! But, it did became easier throughout that first morning, for both of us. Dedication and patience throughout the night is key, too. It’s not easy to potty train any child, but if your little one is ready, don’t procrastinate like I do… JUST DO IT!!

By the way, Josh got his race car undies and wanted to wear only THEM for quite some time… I’m glad I bought him several pairs! It was certainly a good incentive for him to keep dry!!

Do have any recent potty-training success stories?? What has worked for you???


  1. Melissa says

    What great timing – I just started potty training Juli two days ago, so this gave me some good ideas/reminders. She’s different than the other girls thus far – she has almost impeccable bladder control, so she holds it forever, but doesn’t actually want to go in the toilet, so she just goes a tiny bit. And that usually she does only if I walk out for a minute and then come back. This might take a week or two!
    Have a great week. Happy potty training if you’re up to it again!

  2. Audra Marie says

    How old was he when you started potty training him? My little one just turned two on Tuesday and I’m gearing up to potty train her. She’s been sitting on the potty since she could sit up which has helped her be completely comfortable. Now to teach her not to go in her undies at all. :)

  3. Emily Ban says

    Thanks for the potty training advice! Sam is only 8 months old but I’m already hearing from my mother-in-law and husband that it’s time to begin the potty training process (I guess my husband was potty trained at 1 year). I guess at this age that means monitoring his poops and pees and putting him on the toilet often. Consequently, that means my life would be all about the potty. I think I’d rather wait until Sam is old enough to understand the concept.So, I put the kibash on that idea. :)