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The Ugly Truth About Potty Training When You’ve Had Enough

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So it’s been a month since Jayden has been diaper free and accident free at night. We have officially transitioned into underwear, no training pants, no pull ups for a month, and since last week no more baby potty. Jayden has full transitioned using the full size toilet at home and using public restrooms . We are so proud of our little man, especially since he has started swim lessons, no swim diapers either! But let me tell you. It has been quite a journey, probably one of the most stressful things I had to deal with since breast-feeding. We read the books, read tons of blog post on how to potty train, and let me tell you by saying yes they have great tips but they all tell you the same thing. Wait till he is ready, don’t force it. Really??? Yes that is all great if you have all the patience in the world, but if you are a mom like me, who hates changing poopie diapers, who is over trying to hold my active toddler down just to change his diaper, tired of spending so much money on diapers, carrying a diaper bag, and who is just plain over it, then this is for you. This is my story, and my ugly truth about potty training when you’ve had enough.

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When Jayden was one and half, we took him to pick out his baby potty, and by two we had him pick out a training seat for the big potty. We let him play around with it get use to it. Finally he was two I decided to try really potty training him by myself.  I read the book Oh Crap! Potty Training (pretty good book by the way), and followed the steps there. Jayden had all the signs of readiness that the book describe. I did it for two days and gave up. I didn’t realize how stressful it was, which they do warn you it is stressful. What the book doesn’t tell you is how to deal with a stubborn and very active kiddo who doesn’t want to sit still for more than a minute. My husband would tell me Jayden wasn’t ready yet and to wait a little longer, probably because my husband wasn’t ready to potty train either.  But I knew my son was ready, the signs were all there, I just didn’t have the patience to stick it out.

So a couple of months rolls around, and my mom asked me why Jayden isn’t potty trained yet. I gave her the age-old answer that everyone uses “I’ll wait when he is ready.” Well one day I pick up Jayden from my mom, and my mom tell’s me he went pee twice in the big toilet with her. Of course I was a little jealous, but then I became determined not to let my mom one up me on this motherhood thing. If Jayden was going to be potty trained, my husband and I were going to do it.

The following week my husband was off of work for a couple of days we decided to try it again. Jayden would be taking swim lessons in a couple of weeks and we would also be going on vacation soon, and we knew if we could get him potty trained it would be less stress and less hassle. This time I let my husband take the reins. I wanted him to see how stressful potty training really was. And by the time he had to return to work that week he was over it. Especially after having Jayden sit on the potty for ten minutes and play around and say he didn’t need to go potty, to literally getting up and five minutes later making the biggest mess in his room. I remember hearing my husband scream so loud and running into the room to find poop every where. At that point we were done. We were done playing “happy, positive reinforcement, go when your ready,” parents when it came to potty training. I knew it was time to pull out the big guns. I knew since my husband would be off to work it was up to me if I wanted to get this done. So that night after the incident, I put Jayden in time out in the guest room with the potty. We had never used discipline and time out our previous times we tried to potty train him. I told him there would be no baseball, no going outside, and no trains unless he used the potty. If there is one type of discipline that Jayden responds to it is time out. He will do anything not to be put in time out.

That night Jayden went to bed (we cosleep) with no diaper, no underwear, and since then hasn’t had an accident. The following morning we didn’t leave the room to eat, go outside, play or anything until after he used the big toilet. He could only sit on his potty and read a book. When he did use the big potty I gave him a sticker, we had breakfast and we played outside. After two hours we went back to the bedroom and we did the same thing (no toys, no trains, just the potty and his books) until he used the potty. During that time of course I was very stern in reminding him if he had another accident he would go to time out. And every time he used the potty he got to choose a Thomas the Train sticker. By the way, the toilet and bathroom walls are filled with Thomas the Train sticker now.

After a couple of days of potty training at home we ventured out in public a couple of times. I made sure to take him to the public restroom every hour just to make sure he didn’t need to go, and if he was playing and had an accident, we would straight home, so he knew if he had an accident we couldn’t keep playing anymore. Within two weeks he knew there were two extremes of potty training. Listen and use the potty and you can play, get stickers, and mommy is very happy, or don’t use the potty, have an accident, and then there is no fun, time out, and mommy is not very happy. Of course there were a couple of times where I would lose track of time, or not get him to a potty fast enough in public, and I took full responsibility of the accident. He got use to public restrooms (number one and two) and using the big toilets, we eventually did away with the small potty. We recently went on a road trip, eight-hour drive time, and Jayden did great letting us know when he needed to potty. He didn’t have a single accident.

So mama’s here’s the deal, its ok if your child isn’t potty trained at a certain time, as long as you are ok with it. It’s true they eventually do potty train  when they are ready. However, if you are over it, like me, here are some tips that might help:

Potty Training Tips:

1. Remember who is in charge. You are the parent, you make the rules, and you also enforce them. Be assertive, and stern. Do not be tempted by their cute face to put your gaurd down. Trust me your kiddo is smarter than you think.

2. All or nothing. Go hard or go home. If you are going to potty train, stick to your guns through the whole process. NO DIAPERS, NO TRAINING PANTS, NO PULL-UPs. Think about it like pulling a bandaid. Yes it will be hard for the first week, but it won’t last long.

3. Be ready for messes, the tears, the tantrums, and the fits. This isn’t going to be a easy journey, so expect to be cleaning a lot of messes, and listening to a lot of crying. But be strong, do not give in.

4. Have a solid Rewards/Reinforcement system. Know what motivates your child, whether it is a certain toy, game, or if it is time out, ect. Most books will just tell you about the reward system, but don’t be afraid to take away toys, play time, etc, if it “reinforces” good behavior.

Potty training isn’t easy, and it isn’t a race to the finish either. You have to do what works for you and your family. It is perfectly ok to wait for your child to be ready, but also know if you are ready to put your foot down and say goodbye to diapers, that you can make it happen. The ugly truth about potty training when you’ve had enough, is you do have to be the “mean” mom, you do have to put your foot down, you have to be stern, you have to discipline, and you have to get down and dirty. If that doesn’t scare you then you are ready to potty train, because potty training doesn’t always mean when the child is ready, but the parents have to be ready too.

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I hope these tips help and if you have any questions, feel free to comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts on potty training, and if you have any other tips that might help as well!

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7 thoughts on “The Ugly Truth About Potty Training When You’ve Had Enough

  1. I’ll definitely need this when the little one is ready to potty train. I hope the positive reinforcements works for me too.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience with potty training! i can’t even imagine all the hassles but it sounds like you did the right thing by sticking to your guns!

  3. Thanks for this! We are about to get serious about potty training in the next couple of months. I want my daughter out of diapers before baby #2 comes.

  4. Amen girl! This is basically what we did with my oldest and are getting easy to do with my youngest. I hear you on the stubborn! Congrats on being diaper free!!

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