The Misadventures of Potty Training

The Misadventures of Potty Training

**Warning this post contains lots of reference to wee and poo.

Not going to lie, with two in nappies I have been eagerly awaiting the day that this number halves, but at just turned two it was always going to be hit or miss as to when it was going to be. I did take it upon myself to let the eldest decide herself when she wanted to ditch the nappies. The idea of rendering ourselves house bound for days on end putting her on the toilet every 20 minutes didn’t sit right, but then perhaps I am just lazy and the thought of confining ourselves to four wall, wee and poo filled me with dread.

So I left it to her, and she didn’t exactly fill me with confidence that it would be anytime soon. If she didn’t have a nappy on she would literally hold her wee in until she was nappy’d back up again. Then out of no where one afternoon she refused to have her nappy on and would only wee on the potty. HALLE-FRICKING-LUJAH. It was like Christmas, just 3 weeks early, or so I thought… so here are a few tales of potty training woe…lucky you…

1. The Royal Behind. Miss ‘I will only wee on a potty. Do not make me sit on a toilet seat where the commoners sit, how very uncouth’. Yep my darling daughter flat-out refused to sit on a toilet for the first few weeks of potty training. Cue mad trip to Argos whilst in town to buy a travel potty so the little one could relieve herself. I then had to carry round a bright flaming yellow travel potty everywhere we went. There was no hiding what it was, and it wasn’t overly ‘travel’ friendly if you ask me.

yellow travel potty

2. Have no shame. Whilst my daughter may be picky where she places her behind she certainly is not picky where she chooses to do her business. Only recently we were visiting family in Bristol and she had no shame in dropping her draws and taking a massive shit on the potty in the living room whilst everyone sat around talking. Delightful. She will also wee on the travel potty in the boot of the car, side of the road, wherever and whenever nature calls.

3. How much she wees. Now I had some idea as she was prone to rather wet nappies but my goodness the girl can wee. I must do my 10,000 steps each day in trips to the toilet alone with her.

4. The smarts. This girl never fails to amaze me with her intelligence. It took all of two days to realise ‘mummy I need a wee’ could be used to her advantage. 6am its screams of ‘MUMMY I NEED A WEE’ you guessed it just before I put her into bed, despite having already had a wee ‘mummy I need a wee wee’. She doesn’t need a wee and she has a nappy on but what do you do? Start the mother of all contradictions and tell her she can wee in nappy – oh the confusion.

5. The rushing. You can be anywhere, the middle of the food shop, the middle Greggs, the middle of no where and those 5 words strike again, ‘mummy I need a wee’. Whatever you are doing you have down tools and flee to the nearest toilet or semi safe place for your child to bare her bum. Just today I had a trolley full shopping only to have to abandon it by the checkout and whisk her off quick sharp.

6. The middle-y bit. Once again in my naivety I craved for the potty training days, to say goodbye to the nappies and my daughter skip off to the toilet to do her business. Well it aint nothing like that. As with all new skills these little humans learn it doesn’t just change overnight. There is that weird middle part, the grey area of honing in that skill. Allow me to indulge a little more on this;

Weaning for example, you wake up full off excitement at feeding that first spoonful of mush, thinking BAM this is eat, three meals a day from now on and hello sleeping through the night. Only to realise the next six months is actually a never-ending cycle of food, milk, food, milk, food, milk, which has zero impact on your babies ability to sleep through the night.

Walking, wahoo, they’re on their feet. They can get themselves places without being attached to your hip and breaking your back. They’ll be holding your hand walking to the shops, running in the back garden, chasing their siblings. Nope in actual fact it will be months of stumbling, falling over, bumps, bruises, moans, some weird John Wayne style walking and when they’re not doing that – you guessed it they’re in your arms.

So it stands to reason that potty training would have its own weird annoying middle-y bit. It is filled with incessant ‘do you need a wee?’, emptying shit out of a potty – which let me tell you is no fun whatsoever. Cleaning said potty, wiping bums, pulling down pants, pulling up pants, accompanying the toddler to toilets.

Despite my whingeing we have been incredibly lucky with how well and quick the potty training saga went, it literally took about 3 days until she was dry and admittedly 3 weeks until she would actually use the toilet over the potty. I think it largely comes down to the fact she was ready and she choose when to do it, I’ve learnt the hard way, there’s no making that girl do something she don’t wanna do. I am not saying that will work forever but it did for us, and thank god. One down one to go.

What about you? Have you got any tales of woe? Words of wisdom? Are you about to embark on potty training, I’d love to hear from you.

Diary of an imperfect mum
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  1. January 4, 2017 / 7:00 am

    Oh dear – I’m kind of dreading this stage! I can’t imagine carting around that giant travel potty without a car, and something tells me the Popple won’t be keen on public toilets either. She’s just started being able to tell us when she’s had a poo (“Caca!”), but she’s not there with pee yet, so I think it will be a while before the fun begins. #FamilyFun

  2. January 4, 2017 / 7:18 am

    I have just been through this! It took my 2 year old months to grasp the concept of going on the potty, but one day she finally did it. Like you I thought this would be soooo much easier…but oh no! I don’t go anywhere where there isn’t a toilet nearby, I almost had to take her behind a tree in the park the other day but she held on until we found one! I also had to make a mad dash into the toilets in Sainsbury’s with a basket full of shopping, they must have thought I was on the rob! #FamilyFun

  3. January 4, 2017 / 7:22 am

    We still have to rushing to as loo pretty much straight away when my 6 year old son need a weeks. He has no holding power lol. My 4 year daughter however can hold it for ages! Love reading this! Im definately not looking forward to doing it again with my nearly 1 year old son in a year or so lol! #FamilyFun xx

  4. January 4, 2017 / 7:35 am

    Haha I can certainly relate to this. We’ve got a recently potty trained toddler and a yet to be potty trained 1 year old who I was conveniently putting to the back of mind in this regard. The ‘show shit’ in front of people was definitely a a fave of my eldest.

  5. January 4, 2017 / 10:04 am

    Potty training The Boy was amazing. One day He said “mummy i want to go to the toilet now” That was it. Not even a potty. He’s struggled more at night time, but only had a handfull of day time accidents.

    So The Girl will probably be a nightmare when her time comes #familyfun

  6. January 4, 2017 / 11:41 am

    I’m shaking with dread! Bet boys handle it differently too!! Good luck with that!! šŸ˜‚

  7. January 4, 2017 / 11:57 am

    Ahh I think she’s done really well all things considered! I remember my niece doing the poo in front of us all, hilarious. I am truly dreading this stage and I know boys are often later to get it than girls… I think I’ll be waiting until he’s ready for sure! #FamilyFun

  8. January 4, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    Oh what fun! I’ve been through this with one and am patiently awaiting my daughter’s choice to learn to use the potty. Very much agree that it’s much easier when they choose! Thanks for the laughs and reminder of what the journey’s like! #familyfun

  9. January 4, 2017 / 1:35 pm

    Ohh I can remember all of this from when my boy was potty training..we still have to rush every time he needs a wee because he waits u till the last minute to say! I think 3weeks is really good, you’re girl did really well. I never realised how much they wee until I started potty training!xx #familyfun

  10. January 4, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    We are in the midst of potty training twins and I can say with cnfidence it is significantly harder than training the older girls. Maybe its them…maybe its me,


  11. January 4, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    we had good luck with her pooing, she just could never be bothered to stop what she was doing to go pee. In the end it came down to her deciding that she was ready to be a “big girl” #familyfun

  12. January 4, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    We’re going to have two in nappies very soon – I’m not looking forward to it but they say not to bother potty training six months either side of a new baby, and I reckon there’s some sense in that… #familyfun

  13. January 4, 2017 / 6:33 pm

    My 2 YO is still in nappies, I haven’t the energy to even think about it at the moment. My older 3 were potty trained by 2 but now I am 20 weeks pregnant and its a little harder to get going… Oh well. She’ll survive :) You are SPOT ON with point 6. That middle part is the worst!… It’s also winter so I will wait for summer… #familyfun

  14. January 4, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    Oh this is so true. My eldest travelled a long road with potty training, and now at 4 never has accidents, but still insists I “watch” him on the toilet, and still often needs help with wiping his bottom. I so agree with your comments about the milestones we look forward to and that they’re not all they’re cracked up to be. #familyfun

  15. January 4, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    Wow, well done, that’s great. With both my two we have used a potty from 6 months. Not to potty train them as such but would just sit them on it every time we did a nappy change or before bed or a bath etc so that it was something they became used to. With my son this worked great and he never pooed in his nappy after 1yr old and by two he was practically dry, even through the night so when we did finally ditch the nappies at 2yr old we had very few mishaps (although plenty of abandoning of shopping trolleys!). Naively we thought the same system would work with our youngest too but she’s having none of it. Until recently she would happily sit on her potty for hours reading a book and generally use it for poo but still fills her nappies every day. We have recently bought her a Peppa Pig toilet seat and thrown out the potty and for a while she was wanting to ‘use’ it every 10 minutes but the novelty soon wore off. She’s two and half now but I’m not going to push her and I’ll wait till her nappies are lasting a little longer before we finally take the plunge, mainly because shopping trips and car journeys with a potty training toddler fill me with utter dread, we were lucky once, I know it won’t happen again!

  16. January 4, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    Very detailed write up. I’m sure you get used to it after a while but putting up with the mess on your furniture must be stressful at the start and make you wonder why you bought any white stuff.

  17. January 5, 2017 / 4:59 am

    Ah, potty training, so very much fun! It’s almost like a game and I’m very stubborn so insist on winning, lol, but it isn’t a pretty fight!

  18. January 5, 2017 / 4:59 am

    oh, and #FamilyFun

  19. January 5, 2017 / 10:33 am

    Not sure my 2 year old will ever be ready the rate we are going. She will sit on the potty and toilet – if she has a nappy on! She isn’t quite getting the concept of it all lol #familyfun

  20. January 5, 2017 / 10:40 am

    Urgh, I’m going to have to tackle this this year and I’m not looking forward to it. Just when you think you’ve got all the messy stuff out the way (weaning – tick, off the bottle – tick, no more dummy – tick) you remember you’ve got the mother of all learning to go. (I’m in denial about the cot to bed thing still!) It’s interesting reading your experience. I’m planning to wait for the girl to lead too because she won’t be forced either. I’ve introduced a potty as a ‘thing’ and she knows you use the toilet for a wee (to the extent that whenever any of us go to the bathroom she’ll tell everyone else that whoever it is has gone for “a wee-wee poo” – lovely!). She’s not quite ready yet though . That gives me time to buy a travel potty….

    Well done you on getting through it. Just remember that in about 18 months you’ll home and (hopefully) dry with both of them! #FamilyFun

  21. January 5, 2017 / 1:09 pm

    Oh how adorable, what a little headstrong lady you have there! It sounds like something Ben would do. He already refuses tummy time and prefers to stand rather than sit which makes me think he’s going to skip the crawling stage completely!
    The doing her business in the living room made me chuckle, reminds me of how the only way my mum would get me to go to the toilet when potty training was to give me a chocolate digestive for each hand! hahaha

  22. January 5, 2017 / 6:02 pm

    I’ve been putting off potty training my girls and hope they’ll let me know when they are ready. #FamilyFun

  23. January 5, 2017 / 9:08 pm

    My son has learning disabilities so wasn’t toilet trained until he was 5! Typical to him though he went from being in nappies to totally dry day and night within the blink of an eye. I remember a couple of accidents but very few. Middle child – Elsa. She decided one day at 22 months that she no longer wanted to wear nappies and that was it, done! However, night times were a challenge and it took her a good few years to conquer being dry.
    Youngest – she’s 17 months and loves to play with her potty and sit on it occasionally but we’re a long way from starting that joy again…fingers crossed she cracks it like her sister :)

  24. January 5, 2017 / 9:36 pm

    This had me laughing! We are still far away from potty training, but I think you went about it the right way in waiting until your girl showed the intiative, you can’t force nature, being able to “know when you need to go” is a developmental step, just like walking or sleeping through… thanks for sharing the less glamorous side of parenting (or shall I say one of many) šŸ˜‰ xx #familyfun

  25. January 5, 2017 / 10:38 pm

    This post made me laugh and feel a lot of sympathy as well! I have no kids at the moment but this really opened my eyes to some of the many hardships of parenting. Good to read she’s potty trained now though :) #familyfun

  26. January 6, 2017 / 8:18 am

    Oh this brought back lots of ‘fond’ memories LOL. Potty training was my nemesis. I think your advice was spot on you must wait until they are ready and I allowed people to push me into starting when my eldest wasn’t ready so it was a disaster! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime šŸŽ‰

  27. January 6, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    I’m so not looking forward to this stage as much as I hate nappies. Xxx #familyfun

  28. January 6, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    Oh man I am actually really not looking forward to potty training! It does sound like you’ve been fairly lucky though – 3 days is quick!! I am still waiting for my daughter, she’s just turned 2 and she’s not ready yet.. She likes to tell me when she’s done a poo but she’s not at knowing about wee yet (at least I don’t think!) #FamilyFun

  29. January 7, 2017 / 1:44 pm

    We are at this stage top. We started in November and he was “trained” in 2 days but, and not completely. He goes to the toilet just fine but needs to be reminded about it, accidents still happen, and he refuses to use the public toilet (blame the loud and automatic flushes and hand dryers) so we have to carry a pee can when we go outside, just in case…When he was in diapers, I couldn’t wait to toilet train him, now, honestly there are days I wonder why I felt the rush…oh well… so happy to read your training worked well. #familyfun

  30. January 9, 2017 / 8:35 am

    Ah good one her – funny but she sounds like she has done a fab job and 3 days is great! My daughter cracked the wees really quickly but refused to poo anywhere but a pull up for agggggges! A few accidents but rare. Then one day nursery cracked it with her…love them!!! xx #marvmondays

  31. January 9, 2017 / 10:18 am

    Haha. She sounds like a right little character. Oh potty training how I love you (NOT)! My little girl wasn’t too bad at 18 month she just decided she wanted to ‘go toilet’ so a little surprised I let her and she did great but at 4 she is still in nappies for bedtime. I am however dreading potty training with my son, I’ve heard some stories…

  32. January 10, 2017 / 11:59 pm

    I also started potty training my 2 year old just before Christmas, when she was 25 months. She spotted her older friend on the potty one day and announced she wanted to do it to. With a then 7 month old going through weaning, you can only imagine all the wiping up I’ve been doing! But like you, anything to get one of them out of nappies.
    It was going ok at the start but my daughter isn’t good at remembering when she’s out and about. And today, she just wet herself at home. I’ve no idea what makes her want to go most of the time, but then sometimes she doesn’t/can’t/won’t. I’m wondering if I give it up and wait another 6 weeks before trying again. I honestly thought she’d be completely dry by Christmas. I’m glad to hear you aren’t still mopping up wee/changing pants in Gregs at least. My will is starting to falter…#bigpinklink

  33. January 11, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    Ah such an interesting read as we’re thinking of potty training Emma soon! I am trying to hang on til next summer still but I’m not sure she’ll wait that long as she keeps taking the nappy off. Thanks for hosting #familyfun great to join in xx

  34. January 12, 2017 / 5:36 am

    Why oh why did I decide that adding another baby to our family was a good idea. I already have the oldest two potty trained, although one of them still refuses to wipe his own behind. #BigPinkLink

  35. January 12, 2017 / 11:58 am

    Love this, sounds almost identical to my potty training story with my eldest. Thankfully she will now only pee on the toilet so no more travel potty or potty in the middle of the lounge… that is until its the youngest’s turn! Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink x

  36. January 12, 2017 / 9:32 pm

    this made me smile, potty training is long gone although ill have to do it all over again in about a years time with son. good times! #ablogginggoodtime

  37. January 14, 2017 / 11:03 pm

    Yay for potty training! It feels like such an achievement when they are finally potty trained and out of nappies, although you realise pretty quickly that it is by no means any less time consuming than changing nappies is. The declaration of needing the toilet in the middle of shopping when you have no idea where the nearest toilet is, is always fun, especially when you have a baby in tow. As is the late night toilet visits at bed time that they clearly dont actually need. Oh the fun! Now im counting down the days until she can wipe her own bum and take herself to the toilet, ha, ha! Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily