Adventures in Potty Training

Warning: This is a very long post about what it has been like to potty train Kate.
But there are some cute pictures of Kate at the bottom that have nothing to do with potty training. Feel free to skip the reading & scroll down to the pictures!

I decided to document some of the process so we can look back on it and remember what to do and not to do when we decide to potty train Claire.

We finally decided to potty train Kate, I mean she is 2.5 years old, it is about time.
To be honest, I haven't been in a rush to potty train her. I really didn't mind having 2 in diapers, it was actually convenient because I didn't have to be "bothered" by finding a bathroom for Kate if we were out running errands, at the park or on a trip.

My goal was to potty train Kate this summer, since I have it off and it would be a great time to do it.
I had planned on potty training her the first week of summer, but then she got strep, so I postponed the process until now. We had a lot of trips, vacations & events planned this summer and potty training was just going to get in the way of the.
So, with 1 week left before I go back to work, here we are!
We used the 3 day potty training method. It was pretty hard core, we followed it all, except we are using pull ups for naps & nighttime. First, I need to say that Kevin is a HERO because he took a week off work to support me in this venture & so we could also do a stay-cation this week. My husband rocks. For reals.

Preface - Monday, August 10
8:00 pm As we are putting Kate to bed, we show her all her big girl underpants (that she picked out with me at Target) She picks out the pair she is going to wear tomorrow & after we put on her diaper, we give the rest of her diapers to Claire.
*Technically, this is now August 11th*
1:00am -4:00 am Kate is WIDE awake, Kevin and I switch off going into her room, she is happy & wants cheerios. I have a feeling that Day 1 of cold turkey potty training is going to be rough...

Here is what we did for potty treats.
We have a step stool in their bathroom for her to use to wash her hands. The top step opens up & stores things. So, I put her potty treats in that:
Close up of her potty treats (gummy vitamins which she calls "candy", m&m's and stickers) If she goes pee, she gets 1 treat. If she goes #2, well, she gets 2 treats!
We even got her new Hello Kitty soap that she picked out:
Day 1 - Tuesday, August 11
8:30am - Kate wakes up crying. Great.
I go into her room & she tells me to turn off the lights "outside" (aka: the sun) and that she wants to go back to bed (what?!?)
I get her out of her crib & excitedly tell her that she gets to wear her big girl underwear today.
Kate's response? NO!!! Don't change my diaper, I want my diaper on.
"I don't want big girl underwear, I want my diaper"
Lots of crying from Kate. Lots.
I want to give up at this point, but I know that is pathetic.
Kevin comes in & is able to calm down Kate & we remind her that she is a big girl & that Claire needs her diapers.
She picks out her underwear & we go downstairs and make pancakes.
Every 15 minutes we say to her, "Make sure you tell mommy or daddy if you need to go potty"
She had 3 accidents before noon. Every time, we would take her to the bathroom & have her sit on the potty. She refused to sit on the potty & would arch her back to avoid it. Awesome....not.
In the afternoon, Kevin had a meeting for work that he couldn't miss, so he went to that for a couple hours.
Kate has another accident & then I clean her up & put her down for a nap. She is freaking out about not having a diaper on for her nap & is HYSTERICAL.
At this time, Claire has a huge poo, so I go change her. Kate is still SCREAMING & then Ihear her gagging and then puking. I run to Kate's room and she has thrown up in her crib, all over the bumper, bedskirt, the carpet below the crib & herself. I grab her & take her to the bathroom. she pukes 4 more times in the sink.
She was so upset about the trauma of potty training and not wearing a diaper that it caused her to get physically sick.
Can you say Mommy Guilt?
Kate is crying and I now I am crying. Ugh.
Kate end up hanging out on the couch with me & ends up falling asleep for about an hour (in her underwear) she wakes up dry & I tell her I am so proud & she gets an m&m. I feel like I needed to celebrate SOMETHING. ANYTHING.
She has 2 more accidents that afternoon. Kevin gets home and she tells Kevin she has to, the go upstairs & she actually sits on the potty for 10 seconds. She doesnt go, but I am thrilled she was actually willing to sit on it.
A few more times before bed, she asks to sit on the potty, but never goes pee on the potty.

As we go to bed that night, Kevin and I agree that we are in Potty Training Hell.
I am convinced that Claire will be potty trained before Kate.

Day 2 - Wednesday, August 12
9:30 Kate wakes up (pull up is wet) We take her to sit on the potty, she sits for about 2 minutes, doesn't go, but she isn't scared to sit on the potty!

For the next 2 hours, Kate tells us she needs to go potty probably 1o times. Each time we take her to the potty, she sits for a few minutes but doesn't go. That is okay, at least she is sitting on the potty & telling us. She tells us that she is a big girl, she wears underwear and Claire is a baby who wears diapers. I am feeling hopeful...she is starting to get it, right?!?!

12:00 She has an accident in the bathroom, she didn't make it to the potty in time. She almost made it!
We try and put her down for a nap at 2 (we put on her pull up, which we call her special sleeping underwear) She tells us she has to poop (which is probably true, she hasn't gone in 2 days and I have mixed in prune juice with her regular juice for the past 2 days (she gets stopped up sometimes)
We sit in the bathroom while she tries to poop for an hour, on and off, on and off.
5:00 she FINALLY goes pee on the potty!!!!
She held it for 5 hours. I am impressed, she has a strong bladder.

The rest of the night, she keeps telling us she has to poo, and we pretty much hang out in the bathroom for 2 hours on and off while she tries to go. No poop.
Kate goes to bed & at 10:30 she calls to us & tells us she has to the potty. And, she does! Yay! Then at 4 am she wakes up saying the same thing, and sure enough she goes again! She is finally starting to get it!

What a difference a day makes!

Day 3 - Thursday, August 13

Kate wakes up at 9:00 and her pull up is DRY!
She went on the potty 3 times after she got up, but didn't actually pee.
We go downstairs to make breakfast and she has an accident.
2 steps forward, 1 step back.
The rest of the day, she does great and tells us she has to go on the potty every 15 minutes. She doesn't have an accident the rest of the day.
The only issue is that she still hasn't gone poop, so I am adding prune juice to her apple juice AND I put Benefiber in her milk.
All day, she was telling us she had to go poop and would sit and sit and sit on the potty trying to go. I could tell she was in pain & just needed to get it out.
Finally, that night, she went poop and then went again, and then went again.
Poor thing, this was at 10 at night and we kept having to get her out in and out of her crib. The good news is that she made it to the potty everytime, so there were no poop accidents!
But, this potty training thing has REALLY screwed up her naps & nighttime sleep. Normally she sleeps from 7:30/8pm to 7:30/8am every night and takes a 2 hour afternoon nap. She has been so concerned and focused on going on the potty that she tells us every 5 minutes at night that she has to go on the potty. This goes on from about 8 pm to 10 pm at night. It has been exhausting.
Day 4 - Friday August 14
Kate wakes up dry again & goes pee on the potty as soon as she gets up.
We went to the zoo with friends today (pictures of that coming soon)
I was curious to see how Kate would do in a public setting, especially because she doesnt like the big toliet and refuses to sit on ours at home.
Well, I was right, she would not sit on the potty at the zoo despite telling us she needed to go. Finally as we were leaving, I took her to the potty 1 more time and she actually sat on it! She didn't go pee, but it's the baby steps people!

Kevin and I went out to dinner tonight & his parents watched the girls for a few hours.
We dropped the girls off & told Kate that Grandma only had a big toilet at her house, so she would have to go on that. And, it worked! She sat on it several times & wasn't scared of it anymore.
When we picked them up and got back to our house, Kate went on the big potty at our house also & even went pee in it.

Our goal is to get rid of the little potty in the next week or so!

But, again tonight, she wouldn't go to sleep because she kept telling us she had to go pee every 2 minutes. She is using this as a ploy to not go to bed. So, we need to figure out the balance of that. We are sick of taking her to the potty 30 times after she is in bed, but at the same time, don't want her to wet the bed. She needs to go to sleep and not stay up until 10 pm going to the bathroom every 2 minutes. Some of those times, she actually squeezes out a little pee, so we don't know what to do with that. She is manipulating the nighttime situation & we are getting worked by a 2.5 year old!

All in all, I feel pretty good about Kate's progress the past few days.
Is she 100% potty trained? No, but she is getting close.
It has been amazing to see what she has done in the past 4 days. We went cold turkey from diapers to underwear & I am so proud of her. She is totally catching on & aware of her body. Kevin and I need patience and encouragement the next few days and weeks or until she totally "gets" it. I feel good about what she has proven to us in 4 short days.

Here are some random pics of Kate that I took the other day. Don't worry, they have nothing to do with potty training. Since this post is only on potty talk, I thought I would change the subject and end it with some cuteness of Kate helping me water flowers.


  1. Wow, I'm weary just reading that. I'm thankful to hear "real" stories of how parents accomplish potty training though. It seems like I hear nothing but, "We did it in one day and it was great!" Yeah right.

    Congratulations to Kate for being such a big girl!

    (And good luck going back to work this week. :)

  2. The family that I nanny for (both girls, 2.5 and 7 months, same coloring as Kate and Claire, similar personalities it seems too) have begun potty training their oldest. We are using a sticker chart with big ladybugs for everytime she goes poo on the potty, and little lady bugs for pee. They are starting out by giving her a specific reward at the end of four big lady bugs, and eight little ladybugs. AND ITS WORKING! She has gone on the potty for 3 days now (with a few accidents, she doesnt seem to understand how much time she needs to get to the potty when she feels like she has to go). Good luck with your endeavors! It sounds like ya'll are doing great!

  3. 1. Fiona was so scared to poop on the big potty. She was flipping out the 1st time she went.

    2. Fiona likes to use the "I have to go pee/poop" while in bed to get out. I also didnt want to say no at 1st. Eventually I cut it down to 3 times and now down to one and she knows it wont work! It is tough when 1st training

    3. Good job! Being potty trained is much nicer than diapers!



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