Begin The Soul-Sucking That Is Potty Training

I was feeling a little proud of ourselves this week. Leyna started pooping on the little potty. Not really asking to do so, but doing it quite happily when we placed her on there.

Yay! My brilliant little cherub is on her way to potty training! There was a light at the end of the tunnel of diapers and wiping butts, at least for this round.

Let me just say that the two most freeing developments in my life since getting my drivers license have been Kendall (my 4 year old) learning to buckle himself safely into his carseat, and finally grasping how to properly wipe his own butt, leaving behind minimal skid marks.

Nothing like a good ol’ fashioned blowout to knock that smug look off my face.

Leyna wears disposable diapers to Mothers Day Out 2 days a week. It’s a battle I’m not going to fight. I tried to get them to do cloth diapers with Kendall, but they wound up throwing away a bumGenius, and it’s now an official “rule” that they only do disposables. It’s only 10 hours a week. I just don’t have it in me to try to change it. The problem for us with disposable diapers, though, is they blowout like crazy (meaning, they violently expel poop like they need an exorcism).

On Wednesday, right after we got home from school, instead of catching her right before she needed to poop like I have been so proud of myself for doing the days before, she silently let her butt explode all over the living room.

I was reminded what this phase in toddlerhood is really all about. It’s not all celebrations and jelly beans for pooping on the potty. It’s mostly human feces and urine smeared all over my house. Potty training is soul-sucking work. It nearly drove me to a breakdown last time around. I almost snapped when I slipped on a puddle of Kendall’s pee on the tile kitchen floor and sliced my foot open on the bottom of the table.

2 years later, we have a geriatric, diabetic dog to add to the mix. My days are filled with cleaning up poop and pee. And yeah, now I have to wonder which species living in this house created it.


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  1. I am not looking forward to the first time I ever potty train. Little E is starting to show signs that she is ready! Oh boy! And I am so lucky I found a daycare that will gladly use cloth diapers. I just have to take care of the poo situation in her cloth diapers when I get home. Love all your mommy truths! 🙂 🙂

  2. what kind of disposable diapers are you using that they blow out? we hardly have any blowouts with disposables. And don’t you fret for too long. She’ll get there–and you know it!

    • We’ve tried a few brands- Seventh Generation, Honest Co. and lately she’s been wearing Luvs since that’s what’s easiest and cheapest to buy at Target. I think it might be that she has a very powerful pooping ability 😉

  3. Dude, I am beyond jealous of your potty training skills. I need you to come over and train my 3 year old Ben, because he is having THEE hardest time on planet earth with this whole potty training thing.

    • I really think so much has been partly luck and partly because we DO expose them to it pretty early. I started Kendall around 20 months, too, but we didn’t get super serious about it until right around the time he turned 2. Knowing how he was at 3, I have to say I’m glad we tackled it sooner than later. Good luck! I know he’ll come around eventually. @TheNextMartha may have some words of advice for you. I know she struggled with her son for a long time.

  4. ooh my gosh when do they learn to wipe their own butts. I’ve seen what Madison considers “wiping” and I’m way too terrified to let her try it on her own when she poops.

  5. Oh Jill, I feel your pain. We have been full-blown potty training for just under 3 weeks…this is my first go around and I wanted to retreat to non-mother years many times. The best was when she pissed repeatedly on my leather couch several times within one weekend. Awesome. I feel like all I talk about on my blog lately is pee and poop. Good times! Now, this all being said (please don’t hate me!) we haven’t had an accident in over a week. Knock on wood, we seem to be fully potty-trained, with the exception of nights…though she has woken up several times this week at 1 or 3 am to go pee on the potty. I wanted to die.

    • I can’t hate you for that! That’s awesome. I hope the nights start smoothing out for you soon. With Kendall, we just gave up on nights until he was about 3.5. I was so tired of changing sheets and him waking in the middle of the night. For us, it made sense to just let him wear a nighttime diaper, but it sounds like she might be getting the hang of it. Yay!

  6. Little Mister is 18 months old, and I DREAD the day when we have to start potty training. I already know that it’s going to send my crazy into overdrive. Ugh. I’ll be sure to send you a virtual toast when I pop the cork this afternoon.

  7. The other day my husband told me that one of my greatest achievements was potty training our daughter via the 3-Day method. Now if I could figure out how to add that as a skill on my resume.

  8. I love my daycare but the idea of me telling them they are required to EC due to my personal beliefs is rather funny. Especially when you’d be hard-pressed to find a daycare that will cloth diaper.

    They’re a private company that I pay for services due to my own choice to use them as my childcare provider. They don’t *have* to do anything other than provide my child with a safe environment.

    oh, & Jill, ::fist bumps:: We shall drink wine over Skype regarding potty training. I hate it. It is eating my soul.

  9. Painless Potty-Training.
    Step 1. Start sitting your bub on the potty once a day as soon as they are able to sit up steadily (say 7 months or so?). I used to do it every morning, give them a play gym or something to keep them entertained and give them a good 10-20 minutes sitting time.
    Step 2. When your bub pees or poops in the potty (at this age they pee/poop pretty regularly, so it doesn’t take long!) take them off, say “Yay! Well done!” clean the potty and carry on with your day.
    Step 3. After a month or two gradually increase these potty sessions to two a day (maybe after lunch when eating may encourage bowel movement?) and so on.
    Step 4. Wait for your toddler to start telling you they’ve done a weewee, they will start doing this when they have a nappy/diaper on as well as on the potty. Congratulate them.
    Step 5. Wait for your toddler to tell you they need a weewee, when they tell you, ask if they want the potty.
    Step 6. Your toddler will decide they don’t want to wear nappies/diapers anymore.

    Painless, seamless, stress-free, easy potty training. (both mine were in panties at 21 months, virtually no accidents, and I never had to actively “train” them to use a potty. It was my mum that suggested I do this, I can’t claim to be the genius who came up with it, but in the late 60’s, before disposables, you encouraged your baby to use the potty as early as possible!)

  10. Why do you leave it so late to “introduce” a potty?? The earlier you start sitting them on a potty, the less stressful potty training is. In fact, I did t have to “potty train” my two, they figured it out themselves. If they can sit up on their own, they can sit on the potty!!

  11. Haha, laughing my head off about “silently letting her butt explode”!!! That is totally the best & most accurate description ever. It’s like they WAIT for the ‘sposies to do that!

  12. We were struggling with our son not using the potty like a “big boy”. He was 3 years old he did okay with peeing but he seems to have hesitation about pooping.

    We tried a bunch of different things like a sticker chart, etc. It never kept his interest, then we talked to some of the other parents are our preschool and they told us about a method that got their children trained in 3 days, I didn’t believe until I tried it. He finally got it down and is using the potty. Here it is, kind of a long link to the blog so I shortened it for you:

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