Friday, March 25, 2011

Potty Training

I. Hate. Potty. Training.

As in, I hate it. More than anything.

It is the one thing in parenting that frustrates me more than anything.

Let's start with Caleb.
I felt pressured to start potty training him when he was 2 and a 1/2. A couple of people around me made me feel like it needed to be done. One day, I started trying. It was the worst two days of my life. In tears, I called a dear friend who has potty trained her six children. Her advice: "Either Caleb isn't ready or you aren't ready, so just stop. Try again in a few months."

I don't think either of us was ready. I was not ready for the commitment (it's a big undertaking, especially since I like to keep a full social schedule). Caleb did not seem to be grasping it. I know it was only two days, but he was making zero progress. When I decided to wait, a huge burden was lifted. That was the moment I realized I was trying to please those pressuring me, rather than do what I wanted to do. Brett, fortunately, was supportive, no matter what I chose.

Right after returning from a vacation over Christmas Break, we started potty training again (and the same day broke Chloe of her pacifier...apparently, we were crazy). Caleb was potty trained (during the day) within a day or two.

Except for #2.

Oh my, that was the worst. He would not going #2 in the toilet. He would wait until bedtime when he had a diaper on to go. Or go in his pants, but he usually waited. No matter what I would do, he would not go in the toilet. This went on for about nine months. Then, all of a sudden, one day, he just decided to go. And never had another accident. A few days after this feat, he told me he was done wearing his diaper at night. He was! That surprised me. After 9 months of frustration, he was fully potty trained.

Then it was time to potty train Chloe.

Well, actually, before her second birthday, she started training on her own. She loved using the potty and was quite good at it. Then a few weeks after turning 2, she got really sick and without going into detail, diapers were much easier. So, she regressed. But I was 5 months pregnant at the time, so quite honestly, I did not have it in me to potty train her.

A few weeks before Luke's birth, we were stuck at home for weeks on end with a horrible snow storm. I got a wild hair to potty train her before his arrival. So stupid, in hindsight, but I did it.

And she did fantastic. Except that soon after potty training, she began having accidents (maybe once or twice a day). Going on a year now, she consistently struggles with accidents. She goes #2 fine (ironically but thankfully), but she pees in her panties at least once a day.

I have tried everything. Bribes. Rewards. Consequences. Taking away privileges. NOTHING works. To add to it, she doesn't mind sitting in wet panties (but I don't let her since it can cause an infection).

I am at a total loss. Maybe like Caleb, she will one day just get it. I can't tell if she is just lazy about going or if something is wrong. A family member of mine has a very small bladder (like, medically, not being funny), so maybe she inherited that??

I welcome any and all advice. I thought training girls was supposed to be easier. But it seems that potty training is a thorn in my side.

My kids do so many things well, and I feel very fortunate that parenting, for the most part, has gone well. This, however, is a huge source of frustration to me.

I know one day I will look back on this and laugh. But for now, I am at a loss.


  1. Laney has been potty trained since August and she still will have accidents ALL the time. She either pee's all over the floor near the toilet or just in her clothes. And when she does go without me telling her she waits till she has to absolutely SPRINT to the bathroom to make it. Hang in there I am sure that they will grow out of it. But if your like me your ready for that to be sooner than later it gets tiresome cleaning up wet pants/ shoes/ floors!!!

  2. I will come to your house dressed as the Potty Fairy. It works like a charm every time.

  3. Kristin SheffieldMarch 27, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Sarah, you are such an awesome mom and I love reading your blog. Potty training is something that def frustrates me as well :( I really wish I had more patience for it, but when the accidents happen, I can def struggle with my attitude and patience for the situation. Samantha has been potty trained for 5 months or so and is a rock star at going #2 and most days does fine with peeing. But every once in awhile she will have several days with accidents. It really is frustrating. I don't have any advice, but wanted to let you know that you are not alone and I think you are a fabulous Mom!

  4. You are such a good mom!

    We've had the same thing with E. I'd keep extra panties in each bathroom and not make a big deal of it. It's one of those things you can't make her do, so as frustrating as it is, I'd just ignore it as much as possible.

    Oh, and G was by far the easiest once he was ready. Way fewer accidents than the girls!

  5. Your post is a gift from GOD, perfect timing! Jordan and I have just about had it with the lack of #2 potty training with Hunter. He is EXACTLY as you described Caleb. Pee potty trained in 2 days at aruond 2 years 9 months old but still refuses to poop on the potty. Going on 4 months of being PT during the day and him holding his #2 it till he gets a diaper on for night/naptime. You have given me hope! Maybe in another 5 months he will declare its time to be done with diapers at night at start going #2 on the potty! Likewise...we have tried everything.


Thanks for reading! I would love to hear from you!