Adventures in.. Potty Training?

Dare I say it? At our 18 month well-baby check-up, the doctor said we could start potty training with Keeley at any point. I was kind of shocked, given that my brothers with their kids (over the last 10 years or so) were told not to start until the kids ASKED to use the potty themselves. Yikes. Yup, they were around 4 when they were trained, and a couple of them kindergarten wasn’t too far away-some of them even had to clean up their own diapers/clothes if they had an accident. I was surprised that I didn’t have to ask if we could start potty training before 2, he was all for it.

I’ve never been of the opinion that potty training was a choice that kids got to make (like what to eat for dinner every night, whether or not they go to bed early, what they wear, and so on)–to me it just makes more sense for the parents to make that kind of decision, because kids aren’t really capable of making the decision reasonably, even if they are capable of the act. Does that make sense?

Hey, I’m new at this parenting thing, and doing the best that I can. Anyway. Point being we have started some potty training with Keeley. Not all the time and not while we’re at the grocery store, if that makes sense. However, we did get her a soft seat to help her transition, because she didn’t feel ‘safe’ up on the big potty.

The one we bought is here.

We have let her watch Sesame Street, so she recognized Elmo in particular and appreciated the characters, which was nice. We have a couple of picture books with hard backs in the bathroom, one of them is numbers and another first words, so there’s animals, and phones and other common items that she can see. The pages are kind of waxy so if anything gets on them, they wipe off. Since there are several items on each page, it doesn’t get too repetitive for me, and she likes making animal noises, pointing at things she doesn’t recognize and asking about them-so I can tell her what they are.

So far she seems motivated by claps. As in with EVERYTHING she does that is new or special, she gets ‘claps’ or praise for saying new words, trying new things, and she even claps for herself. This probably all started about the time she started crawling after me into the bathroom. I couldn’t really leave her alone anymore, so I started ‘praising myself’ for using the bathroom. Pretty soon she was doing it for me, and now, when the tables are turned, it’s familiar to her. Now, hopefully she won’t always clap when she pees, but it’s better than bribing with m and m’s for us! You NEVER end up with daddy eating all the claps, now do you? M and m’s aren’t safe around here!

The doctor told us to take her every 90 minutes. I’d be changing her about every 2 hours anyway, so it isn’t that much different. He suggested a kitchen timer, for a Pavlov’s reaction, but I think it would annoy the snot out of me and quite frankly, she already runs to the kitchen over the timer, I’d hate for her to start to pee each time an alarm went off. (Ha!) So anyway, I just watch the clock. I’ve also started paying attention to her a little more. Like if she gulps a glass of juice, in 1/2 hour I take her to pee. I take her as soon as she wakes up from sleep and nap (we have caught several pees and been able to use the same diaper over again because of it) and sometimes, before nap.

So far it’s working out okay. I don’t have really high hopes of it all the sudden clicking for her, she is still pretty young, but I am happy for the dozen or so pees we’ve gotten and guess what? A #2 today! I was very happy! I thought that wiping her would be disgusting, I was dreading that the MOST about potty training, but guess what? It’s WAY less gross than wiping up after toddler poo in a diaper! Bonus! The things you don’t realize as a first time parent!


  1. First kid we sort of forced the issue. And he had a lot of accidents and didn’t achieve nighttime dryness until he was 5.
    2nd one… we let her decide. She was nearly three, but she trained literally overnight and never wet the bed even once.

    I think it varies by child (and parent) and that everyone gets to find their own path.
    And hey, we’ve all been through it.

    I still don’t pee the bed at night.


  2. I didn’t force it with Morgan, but was a little on the “let’s do this!” team. And it failed. Sure, this meant she was wearing Pull-Ups when she was 3 1/2. But, one day…it clicked with her. Literally. No accidents during the day, but she was still wearing a Pull-Up at night. I was becoming concerned with her not staying dry during the night but, her pediatrician assured me it was okay. And, now? We’ve gone two weeks of her waking up dry in the mornings and are moving into wearing underwear overnight.

    If your girl shows even the smallest sign that she’s not loving this, back off for now. Some parents start young, get some good progress and then when it starts heading South, they try and push through only to have full regression take place.

    Happy pottying! 🙂

  3. Stacy Wolfmeyer

    I was trained pretty well for several months with the kids. But THEY weren’t. Somehow, things just suddenly came together with Jacob when he was 3 years and 2 months old. And he did great during the day, but was still wetting at night about 3 nights a week. That was after we started wearing underpants at night at 3 years 4 months. She’s been doing that for about 9 weeks now and had 3 accidents. And was VERY upset when she was wet. Anyway, with Lauren, SHE had to decide she was ready. I could take her like clockwork and she would go, but she could have several accidents in between. Then suddenly last November, when she was 2 years 9 months, she just suddenly wanted to wear panties, and we started her in panties during the day right then, and rarely had accidents. But it had to be her idea. So sure, try with her. If she will sit at regular intervals and put something in, that’s great, but I wouldn’t push it, either. She’s not even 2 yet. It would be different if she was 4.

    They do say cloth diapered kids tend to train earlier, and I would believe that, because the disposables are SO absorbent, I don’t think the kids can tell very well when they’re not clean.

    But anyway, do what you want, and by all means go with it while she’s interested! But for both of your sakes, if there becomes ANY sort of struggle, or if she isn’t bothered one bit by having an accident, you should back off. She isn’t ready. And you’ll pay for it. And don’t be surprised if she is doing really well for a while, and then suddenly starts having problems or doesn’t want to stop playing to go. That’s very common.

    I HOPE that it’s clear sailing for you. It is for some people. And after Lauren decided she wanted those panties, it really was pretty clear sailing for us, too. But I just don’t want you to be surprised in case things take a funny turn! Hopefully Keeley will make the rest of us sound like we don’t have a clue – I love it sometimes when the kids prove me wrong!

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