Potty Training: almost sent me to therapy…


Potty training is hard. 


There should be local support groups for this kind of thing.  Like, we should sit in circles and tell everyone why our potty trainee is the most stubborn and un-cooperative little learner ever.  And then when you hear the next story, hopefully it will cheer you up and give you hope.  You know, that your kid isn’t the only one completely happy sitting in 3 hour old poop that his mommy never caught wind of.  Ugh.


However, I no longer need to attend mentioned support groups.  Because, yes my friends, we have reason to celebrate in our home.  Our monkey of a boy (child #2) is trained.  Completely.  I know, there are way cooler things to blog about on a “craft/sew/create” blog…………but potty training success stories always trump everything else.  All other projects were put on hold. 

Because hallelujah, my 3 1/4 year old finally figured out that undies are much cooler than soggy diapers.



After a lot of potty training ups and downs, I inwardly decided that I was letting go of the potty training idea until he was 4.  I don’t know why age 4 was going to be my limit……but it just seemed like age 4 was way too old to wear diapers.  (But 3 years and 11 months was okay.  haha!)  And then if he still didn’t want to master the potty by age 4, I decided that all diapers were going in the trash and the kid would have to sit, play, sleep, etc in the bathtub…..where his mess would be contained.  And he would remain there until he was completely trained.  (I know.  Lame.)


Is there anyone out there struggling with a stubborn potty trainee?  Well, maybe our story will help.  Or make you glad your child wasn’t as stubborn as ours was. 


Either way……





Humor me, while I rewind.


We have talked and talked about the potty.  We told him big boys use the potty, showed him potty books, talked about getting his very own potty, etc.  He was so excited.  Then we finally bought him his own potty this past July.  He was thrilled.  We even bought him ‘Cars’ and ‘Toy Story’ underwear, which he thought were so cool.  So one morning, we decided to give this potty training thing a go.  He snacked, drank juice, and watched “Elmo goes Potty” DVDs while sitting on his portable potty in front of the TV. He got lucky and went pee 2 times in the potty that day.  But then he got tired of sitting in front of the TV so long……and said, “this takes too long”, and was done.  He peed his pants the rest of the day. 


And during all of the pee pee accidents that day, he even pooped his pants.  This all happened while he was in the bathroom, refusing to just sit and try.  He realized what he had done and pulled down his underwear to show me what happened and……..his little treasure tumbled out of his pants and onto the floor


He just stood there with his undies around his ankles, and stared at that thing.   


And then he threw up all over the floor.


Yeah, 2 treasures for me to clean up that day.


I washed that kid up, disinfected the floor, slapped a fresh diaper on him, and we gave up for the day.

. . . . .



We tried many times after that to build his enthusiasm again.  We talked about new toys, new movies, new undies, etc.  We even told him that once he was potty trained, we could go to the toy store and he could pick out anything he wanted. 

Seriously, anything.  He was so excited about that but then looked us right in the face, like it was no big deal, and said, “hmmm, maybe when I’m 4!” 


Then, one day he pulled this book off the book shelf and asked me to read it.  He loved it.




I told him there was a Lion King movie that was just like the book.  His excitement grew and he asked (pretty please) if we could buy the movie.  So then I told him “sure”……but after he learned how to go to the potty.  I told him I would even get him some Lion King toys to play with, while watching the new movie.  I don’t know, I just thought it would motivate him.  He kept saying “yeah, I will get the Lion King movie after I go potty!!”  He was so thrilled at the thought but then when we’d mention sitting on the potty to try, he’d quickly turn completely disinterested and say, “no thanks!”.  Grrrrrr.


So I took matters into my own hands and ordered a whole slew of Lion King garb so that he could see it up close and know that it was real.  And that he could have it once he used the potty.  I set it in the bathroom and brought him in there to see it.  He was through-the-roof excited.  Especially about the movie.




He was hopping up and down with excitement and wanted to watch it so badly.  So I reminded him that it was for after he learned to use the potty.  I excitedly asked him if he wanted to sit on the potty and give it a try…….without even breaking stride, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “nope”, and walked out of the bathroom……like the Lion King stuff didn’t even exist.  I mentioned to him that we’d probably have to put the stuff back in the box and send it back to the store if he wasn’t going to use the potty.  He then told me to just put it in the box and save it for him for when he was 4.  Because that’s when he stated he would learn to use the potty.  I just laughed inside.  And realized it wasn’t worth forcing. 

. . . . .



This kid was far from interested.  So we decided we would bring it up every now and then……but we’d give him his space.  And just see what happened.



We went through several more casual underwear-drive-by’s at the store, mentioning he could pick out any kind of new underwear he wanted.  He always simply said, “No thanks!!”.  So we left it alone.


But then, about a week and half ago, I was thinking we should start the potty training thing again.  And no joke, my husband came to me a few hours later and said he was going to have a pee pee party with our little boy that weekend, so we could get him trained.  Fantastic.  We were both going to be home all weekend and were excited to give this another try.


Now, we had to convince our 3 year old that he would love it too.


So, Saturday morning, after the kids were up and breakfast was eaten, we grabbed our little boy his clothes and a diaper to put on him for the day.  But instead of grabbing his regular sized diaper, we did a little tricking.  (And knew once we did this, there was no going back.)




Yeah, we bought newborn size diapers in the same brand as his regular diapers so that the color and style would look mostly the same (we call these the ‘monkey diapers’….so if there was no monkey on it, he would have noticed).  Then, my husband tried putting the newborn sized diaper on him, like it was his regular diaper.  Then, he got all concerned and said, “Oh no buddy!  Your diaper isn’t fitting you!”  He kept pulling and struggling and grunting, while trying to make that diaper fit.  My little boy kind of giggled and said, “stop tricking me daddy!”  Then he told our boy, “No buddy, these really aren’t fitting.  Look!”  And he showed him how it wouldn’t wrap around on both sides.  My husband then shrugged his shoulders and said, “I guess your diapers don’t fit you anymore.  You are such a big boy now, diapers don’t fit you anymore.”  Then he told him it was no big deal and then explained that he could put on underwear today and we would have a pee pee party to celebrate.  Our little guy looked concerned but his eyes quickly brightened as we explained that we would have a party the whole day to help him learn how to use the potty since his diapers didn’t fit him anymore.  (By the way, I got the diaper idea from one of you, who left it in a comment one day.  Whoever you are who mentioned it, thank you a million times!)



So here’s how the Pee Pee Party went. 


We bought all sorts of salty snacks.  Mostly chips…..because this kid adores them.  (And we figured one day of pure chips wouldn’t kill him. Ha.)  And tons of juice.  He was allowed to eat all the salty chips he wanted, so that he would drink, drink, drink.  We wanted his little body to produce lots of pee so that there would be plenty of practicing throughout the day. 




But not only did our little boy feast on the treats, so did my husband.  Because we decided he would need to be his potty role model.  So anytime daddy had to use the potty, my husband would jump up all excited and they would both run in there so that our little boy could watch.  And see what daddy was doing.  And let’s just say, I lost count of how many times my poor husband had to use the potty that day.  But, he took one for the team!


After watching daddy go potty and seeing that it wasn’t so bad…….he sat down and gave it a try.  And emptied his very full bladder. He jumped up so excited and we all hooted and hollered.





We told him that for every time he peed he got 3 pieces of candy and every time he pooped, he got 5 pieces of candy.  He loved that!  (His big sister got the same amount…..so she became his biggest cheerleader because she wanted the candy as badly as he did.)

(By the way, after 2 days we knocked it down to 1 candy for pee and 2 for poo.  Once the bowl of candy was gone after about a week, he didn’t get any more treats for potty…..and surprisingly, he’s okay with that.)



We also bought all sorts of obnoxious boy underwear.  The kid doesn’t even know what a transformer is, but he thinks they are so cool.  And all of the super heroes??  Yeah, he thinks he loves them too.   (I’m sure his father has something to do with that!)




However, be sure to learn the super hero names before slipping them on your little boy.  He asked me who the guy was on his undies……and I said, “the Hulk”.  He later told his daddy that the super hero on his bum was the Hulk and his daddy quickly corrected him and told him it was Thor.  He pointed his accusing finger at me and ratted me out.  Ooops, he’ll never trust my super hero knowledge again. (Yay!)




My husband continued to take him to the bathroom to watch him, all day long.  And this little guy continued to pee in the potty all by himself.   He did have an accident or two……but we never scolded him.  Just moved forward.  He did eventually poop that day too.  Hooray……that boy was excited for 5 pieces of candy.


On day 2, he woke up and we told him we were going to have another pee pee party.  He was ecstatic!  I think the day before was near the best day of his 3 year old life.  Non-stop chips, juice, and plenty of candy.  A 3 year old dream!  (Okay, we did make him eat meals too, just so he wouldn’t get sick.)  But day 2 was just as successful……..plenty of action going on in the potty.  He did have one more accident that day…….on grandma’s hard wood floor.  (sorry mom!)  But after that, he was done.  He always told us when he needed to go potty.  He always ran to the potty like it was the most exciting thing of his life.  And then he would hop off, so thrilled with himself.  He mentioned to me on several occasions while giggling, “Aren’t you just so proud of me mommy?”  Haha……I guess I told him I was proud of him about a billion times.  It stuck! :)





And guess what?  Not a single accident since then.  Okay, maybe twice he has leaked just a bit in his undies……but he ran as fast as he could to the potty, where he finished his business.  So I consider that a success.  


No more poop.  And no more pee.  Halle-stinkin-lujah!!!!



 I know, I’m acting as if we’ve won the lottery or something.  (Well, we kind of did considering the money we’ll save on diapers.)  But we were so done with the diaper thing.  And we’re so glad he is too.



And just so you know, after filling out a potty chart and not having any accidents for one whole week, he finally got all of this.  We even had a Lion King movie night, and ate dinner on a big blanket in front of the TV to celebrate.  He was beyond excited.




Yay buddy!  You’re 3 years, 3 months, and 24 days old today. 




Thank you for not really waiting until you were 4.   And bless your sweet little self for saving us some grief!







Thank goodness.



 Something we learned: 

Once we knew he was capable and it was more like a power struggle mixed with some fear, we decided to go for it with the pee pee party and knew we couldn’t go back.  Seriously, there was no going back.  We told him that diapers didn’t fit him anymore so we couldn’t suddenly “find” some if we decided this wasn’t going to work.  So, we had to decide mentally that we were okay with pee on the carpet, poop in his pants, accidents every day, etc.  (And we have night time diapers that look different and he knows those are ONLY for night time.  So we still put those on him at night.  He didn’t question it.)




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277 Responses to “Potty Training: almost sent me to therapy…”
  1. 1
    Heather says:

    What an awesome post! I love all those ideas, especially the diaper trick. Wish I had thought of that when my kids were smaller. I am so happy for you that you are through this stage – I agree, potty training is NOT easy (it is still fresh enough in my mind that I am still rejoicing I never have to do it again!)

    • 1.1
      Rachel says:

      What a fab idea!! Nappies that are too small! Potty training is by far the least attractive aspect of babies. I did night n day together for child 2 as child 1 who was potty trained at two was almost a full year still in nappies at night n woke up soaked in a morning. I despaired until I said that’s it no more and she was dry straight away! Turns out she was weeing because she could! ps that nappy money just seems to vanish! Pps yes I’m in England! I can’t even pronounce the word diaper properly!

  2. 2
    Stephanie says:

    I’m potty training my son right now. Happy for you! He’s doing well, and my goal is to have him completely trained by Christmas. Yikes! :)

  3. 3
    Courtney says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am curently trying to potty train my daughter who is going to be 4 in April. It’s been an ongoing process for months without any real success. We’ve tried just about everything we could think of. Even bribbed her with tickets to Disney on Ice since she loves anything princess. I think I’ll try that diaper trick.

    • 3.1
      Ashley says:

      These stubborn willed children……if only they knew how cool disney on ice tickets were. I was seriously willing to throw down hundreds of dollars to bribe him! I hear ya on this one!! Let me know how it goes!

      • 3.1.1
        Anonymous says:

        I feel 1,000 times better after reading this post! My daughter will be 3 in February ANC I have felt HORRIBLE that she’s not potty trained! We’ve offered candy, Disney tickets (we live in Florida) and nothing helps! She’s so tiny u don’t know if the trick will work quite yet but it’s going in the memory bank!

  4. 4

    Hilarious! After 4 girls I’ve heard horror stories about how hard boys are to potty train. Thanks for the heads-up and my not having to feel so alone!

  5. 5
    Cathy says:

    You give me hope! I laughed all the way through your post today. My son is 2 1/2 and we’re potty training right now. He’s perfect at day care, but at home? Someone less than interested (throws a fit whenever we take him). Nice to see that there might be an end in sight. I’m TOTALLY going to try the ‘your diapers are too small’ trick. I love it! Thanks for sharing…..see you in therapy

    • 5.1
      Ashley says:

      Oooh, he totally already knows how. Little turkey. Let me know how the diaper trick works for you. Good luck! :)

    • 5.2
      Kathy says:

      My son is now 31, but I still remember how hard he was to potty train. He was like you son in that he went at day care but not at home. My mother-in-law promptly told me that there was something wrong with me! All she had to do was tell her 2 boys to pee pee on a bug and they were miraculously potty trained! I still resent her comment. It took a while, but he finally got it.

  6. 6
    brookie_d says:

    I’m feeling your pain! My first daughter was no problem at all potty training. I just bought her pretty panties and that was that! But then my younger daughter was 4, yes 4, before she was completely potty trained. She would pee in the potty, but REFUSED to poop there. We finally had to bribe her with candy. It may not be the RIGHT way to do it, but desperation called for it! I was afraid she was going to start school in diapers.

    • 6.1
      Ashley says:

      Oh no, all rules cancel out when potty training. Bribery is definitely A-okay!!!!!! :)

    • 6.2
      Linz says:

      Hi my son was 4 at Halloween and still won’t poo on potty/loo? Any tips?? Tried reward with sweets/toys etc??

      • 6.2.1
        Kristen says:

        My son refused to poop in the toilet too, and was not at all interested in rewards either. We finally started throwing away one of his toys every time he had a poo accident. It only took a few days of that before he relented.

          LaurainKs says:

          This may sound harsh, but I don’t mean to do it with a mean spirit: if your son won’t poo in the toilet, then every time he poo’s in his pants stand him in the tub and wash him with cold water. Tell him you’ll do that every time he poo’s his pants. Don’t be mean, but show no sympathy because he knows how to do it. I would imagine that very soon he’ll decide the toilet is a much better option! Good luck! (and make sure the water is COLD! and make him dry himself off…don’t make it a nice, fun mother-child moment.)

  7. 7
    Maureen M. says:

    Woohoo!! Hallelujah and amen. Even though it has been a long time, can you tell that it is easily remembered? Pretty sure I can hear all the other mommies amen-ing as well :) And the too-small diaper is genius and made me laugh. Congrats!

  8. 8
    Stefanie says:

    I love this story! It really encourages me to try more ideas! I’m glad I am not the only one with this problem! Thank you so much for the great post!! Hopefully I will have a post somewhat like this with a happy ending!

  9. 9
    Kati says:

    Yay!!! My son was about 3.5 years old when he finally got it.. And when he did-it just clicked–even at night! I was amazed!
    I started potty training my daughter yesterday….the first day was rough, but so far on day two, it has gone much better! Here’s to hoping! :)
    Congrats to you, your husband and son!!! Yay!!!

    • 9.1
      Horatio says:

      I totally read that as “My son was about thirty-five years old when he finally got it…”

      I’m only hoping that my son takes after his (slightly) dominant twin sister when she decides she’s ready. He tried once, and we had a day without accidents, but then he got sick and had a poo that hurt his bottom. Now I think he’s a little scared of it.

      He’s only 2 and a half, so I figure we’ve got time (and diapers. OH the diapers.)

  10. 10
    Shandra says:

    I’m impressed! And stealing the idea! ;) My oldest was 4 when she was potty trained. I finally told her that I wouldn’t let her wear diapers anymore, and we sat in the bathroom all day and watched Mary Poppins on the portable dvd player. Because my kids are big and by the time she was 4, her bottom wouldn’t FIT on the portable potty anymore! We’d had it since she was 18 months and she never really used it because she HATED the idea of going potty! We did the same thing when my son turned 4. Only now he’s 5 and he wears a watch to tell him to go potty every hour and he STILL wets his pants at least twice a day! Argh! At least he stays dry at kindergarten, so I don’t have to worry there. But kiddo #3 is almost 3 and I am NOT waiting until 4 to potty train again! I think in a few weekends we’ll have a pee pee party for BOTH of the big boys and I’m MAKING my husband take one for the team! He goes to the bathroom all the time anyway, so he can take the boys with him!

  11. 11
    kimbowest says:

    lol. loved this post! I just got done gettting my 3 year old potty trained…and i dreaded it. i have two older kids so i knew it was possible but i still hate the process! my 3 year old has been potty trained for like 3 months..but still to this day when she poops in the toilet she says, “i poop…i need a snickers bar!!!!” (5 skittles wouldn’t have worked for her….she wanted BIG satisifaction if she was going to poop.) i have a feeling she is going to be 35 and everytime she has bowel movement she is going to think she needs a reward!

  12. 12
    Kimberly says:

    Oh that is a happy, happy day!! The only thing better is when you realize you’ll never be potty-training again. :) Love the too-small diaper idea, definitely sending this to my sister to see if it helps her little boy get this done.

    • 12.1
      Ashley says:

      Oh my word…..I can hardly wait!! (Except I don’t want my 7 month old to grow up too fast. She can stay in diapers forever! Eeeeek, what’s wrong with me?!!)

  13. 13
    Jennifer says:

    Potty training boys is just a nightmare! I thought my younger daughter would be trained before her older brother was. When it finally happens they pick it up so quick and you wonder why did he protest so much? I don’t know if it’s just plain stubbornness or what. We are trying to potty train my youngest nephew and it’s a hard road with this one. Glad it all worked out for you!

  14. 14
    Jennifer H says:

    Oh my goodness…..this backstory was exactly what it was for our little guy who is 3 years, 5 months..and we just in the last 3 weeks or so finally got him trained. Although – I had resigned myself to being okay with it till kindergarten it was getting so frustrating! I wish I had known about using a different size diaper – we just told him that we ran out of diapers for him and they were all gone and that if he wanted to go anywhere – he needed to wear underwear. And treats – lots and lots and lots and lots of treats. whew! High five to you guys AND give your son a big ole fist in the air and yell “You’ve got POTTY POWER!” for me! (lots of potty video too as you can see)

  15. 15
    elizabeth c says:

    finishing potty training IS like winning the lottery…i’ve done it twice so far and another one eventually (he just turned two)…after we finally got our last one trained (still working on the night time thing – any suggestions?) i vowed our third will just be allowed to wear diapers until kindergarten because potty training is my least favorite parenting task :(

    thanks for sharing…i love the tiny diaper idea!

    • 15.1
      Catherine says:

      They make a bedwetting alarm that wears as a little wrist watch as well, and I know people who says it is the only thing that ever worked for their nighttime diaper-pull-ups wearers…

  16. 16
    Caroline says:

    Well done!!

    We had a 3.11 month old refuser – a third child too – we tried all sorts of bribery that had worked with his elder siblings. In the end it was the chance discovery that he would use the toilet FOR MONEY, not chocolate, not DVDs, not any other sort of treat but hard cash. Hard cash he could then save up to use on those annoying ride on toys outside the supermarket. Fortunately he had cracked the potty training before he’d saved up enough money to go on a ride and discover he was scared!

    • 16.1
      Ashley says:

      Haha, now that cracks me up. He is no dummy!!! He knows what’s worth more!

    • 16.2
      Katie says:

      My husband says he’s going to try money for our 2.5 yo. We’ve been trying to get him to use the potty since he turned 2 probably. He has no interest. When you ask him if he wants/needs to use the potty, he says “no, watch TV” lol. I have this article saved so I can use tips when our son is finally there!!

  17. 17
    Jordan says:

    I see you taught this boy to pee sitting down. That is not how it is done in our family. No ma’am! Teach that boy to pee standing up like a REAL MAN so he can use his imagination in the potty. Shoot, he can pretend to put out fires, play waterfall or even make bubbles! Wait till I get up there in a couple of weeks and his uncle is going to show him that boys don’t even need to go inside to go potty. We are going to help grandpa water his garden. There are only a few perks to being a man and that is one of them.

    • 17.1
      Ashley says:

      Haha……..okay, right! What’s wrong with me?!! Except this kid would probably start peeing on mailboxes on our walk around the neighborhood. So you better not teach him to pee outside! Okay, unless we’re camping (the cabin doesn’t count!). Can’t wait to see you guys!!!

      • 17.1.1
        Jordan says:

        Maybe if you had taught him how to pee on those mailboxes a while back, we would have no need for this post. And oh yeah, the cabin = camping. It is on like Donkey Kong! We will be marking our territory to prevent Bear attacks!

  18. 18
    Regena says:

    My son wasn’t quite three yet and got some Barney undies..that was it. he made up his little mind and that was that. Then, it was getting time to train the girl. I prayed she’d be trained before kindergarten…….stubborn and logical are a deadly combo. she said she liked the way it squished in her diaper. I had no argument for that and it was just too grody to think about. LOL
    When she turned 3, we told her for her birthday that she was too big for diapers and when they were gone, they were gone. I never did so much laundry in my life and it was a very long few months……but she was trained before 4!!

    • 18.1
      Ashley says:

      Hahaha!!!! That was like my little boy. The wet diaper didn’t bug him a bit. I was beginning to think he loved that soggy mess! You’re right, they are too logical….and that’s a killer! :) Glad there was a good outcome!!

  19. 19
    Collette says:

    Oh my…..thank you for taking time away from your crafting to blog about this TODAY!!! I just gave up after day 1 on my 2 1/2 year old girl. She’s been SEEMING sooooo ready for so long and then just refused to put on big girl undies yesterday. Finally convinced her this morning to put those undies on and within 10 minutes we’d had a pee accident and a poop accident. I was done after that. But reading your story of success gives me HOPE and some IDEAS of how to approach it the next time I feel ready to try. The last time I dealt with potty training, I only had one child and could focus solely on her. Now I have that said first child, the 2 1/2 year old who needs to go on the potty AND an almost 6 month old. Crazier around here this time around. But thank you and congrats on your potty trained boy!!! Soooo exciting!

    • 19.1
      Ashley says:

      Oh gosh, your house is as busy as mine…….whew! I totally feel ya! But when you try it again, let me know how it goes. We did that try and fail thing too…..and then finally it worked. Your day is coming and you will be thrilled to only have the baby in diapers!!!!

  20. 20
    Vivian says:

    Congratulations! My son was past 3 when he trained as well, but I didn’t even try until he told me one day that he was in the process of peeing in his diaper. That’s the day I sighed and decided to do it.

    I read the part about him throwing up to my husband, we both had a good laugh! Thanks for sharing this awesome story!

  21. 21

    Yay!!! Potty training can be such a pain when the child isn’t interested! I’m so glad he is finally done.

  22. 22
    stacey says:

    LOVE it – and your timing couldn’t be better :D :D :D

    I share your blog regularly and this is definitely one of the MUSTS!!!

    thanks from the bottom of my heart and wallet – i’m going to give this a whirl next week with my twins.


  23. 23
    Lystessa says:

    Congratulations! I’m definitely going to have to remember this for next time… although supposedly girls are easier to train. Hopefully. :^)

    • 23.1
      rebecca says:


      • 23.1.1
        Lystessa says:

        We potty-trained our girl about 3 months ago. She actually was a lot easier than our boy, but we had two things going for us. She hates having wet legs so much that it was a strong deterrent, and we started before she turned 2. With my son we had waited until he was nearly 3 and I think the stubbornness had already set in, hehe.

        For my girl I relied heavily on this website: http://www.themoesfamilyintexas.blogspot.com/search/label/Potty%20Training . She was younger than recommended and took several days. We still use diapers at naps and nights just to be sure, but she rarely wets them anymore. :)

  24. 24
    Sarah says:

    This might be your best post ever. All the parents who have been there are rejoicing with you. I love the diaper idea and will remember that if I ever do it again. My first was a dream to potty train but my second was definitely harder. He actually learned from his brother and it happened all of a sudden (after months of refusal) and was his own idea. It is such a blessed day when you can retire that last diaper! Great job!

  25. 25
    Aleisha says:

    Well aren’t you a bunch of smarties! I’ll keep this in mind for in about a year for my upcoming son. I am no hero and don’t have any desire to be that mom trying to potty train her 18 mo. old. My daughter was the same age as your son and told “I’m not done growing up yet” (when I asked if she wanted to be a big girl and go potty). I knew she wouldn’t do it until it was her idea, and the waiting was killing me, but I waited. And lo and behold about 2 months after her 3rd birthday, she was suddenly aware that everyone else in her church class and her joyschool class wore panties… and she was the only one still in diapers. (dun dun dun) It was done almost instantly, she still had to learn control of course so we still had accidents, but she never put on another diaper (even at night), and I was surprised at how fast she caught on when it was her idea. (The waiting really did almost kill me, I wasn’t sure if I could have held out til 4, but I had decided to drop talking about it too at that point). It taught me that mental preparedness is an important part, whether they decide it themselves or through trickery :) And I’m all for trickery :) Congratulations, that is so blog worthy!

    • 25.1
      Ashley says:

      My word, it’s these little smarty pants kids that are so hard to train. Darn them! Glad she figured it out and that it worked so quickly. Hooray!!

  26. 26
    nicole says:

    Ha! Love the story. Sounds very similar to ours….I eventually threw in the towel on the whole potty training thing. Way too many tears…on her end and mine! My mom is actually the one who ended up potty-training our youngest. The girls went to stay at Grandma & Papa’s, and the next day I went to go pick them up and my mother informed me that Breckyn was trained. Talk about making me feel inept. I gave her the mother of the year award and consented defeat. Why does potty-training have to be so hard?!?!?! Anyways, enjoyed your post. Nice to see that others have had troubles and it’s not just me;o)

  27. 27
    Valerie Nelson says:

    YAY!!! Congratulations to you and your little guy! :) BIG accomplishment! I’m still mustering up the courage to give it a go with my daughter… we tried about 2 months ago and gave up after an hour =/

  28. 28
    Jen says:

    Way to go Dad!!!!!! What a great idea. I’m not looking forward to officially training with my 2 yr old (though she already will pee on the potty anytime we put her on it). Our new baby is now 4.5 mth old and I think I may have the energy to deal with the challenge :)

  29. 29
    Sophia says:

    I loved this story! I swear, this sounds exactly like my son!! I am definitely going to give that diaper trick a try tomorrow morning. I am expecting baby #2, so buying newborn diapers is no big deal. :) I was planning on giving the pee pee party a try too this week, but it’s so good to read a success story. :)

  30. 30
    Hannah says:

    Potty training has been the most frustrating stressful part of parenting so far. I prefer the wait-until-they’re-ready-and-don’t-push-it and Hubby…let’s just say he believes the sooner the better. So we (read, ONLY ME) spent over 18 freaking months potty training dear daughter. It was a horrible experience for both me and Princess. And then, one day she “got it” and was completely trained from that point on. So this time around, I am NOT pushing my son to potty train until he is doggone ready. He’s 17 months old and Hubby’s made a few comments about getting the potty chair out (oh, the bad memories!). Nope. Not going to happen at this point. Chances are that he’s not going to college in diapers. When the time comes, I’m totally trying out the “too small diaper” trick! BTW, I HAD to pin that picture on pinterest. I laughed so hard!

    • 30.1
      Ashley says:

      Oh wow, that was us! Potty training our older daughter took way too long and I didn’t want to do that again. I just didn’t even really think about it until he was 3. And then for some reason my mind changed and I was tired of diapers. Whew, our past experiences definitely taint our current ones. Good luck though. And you’re right, he won’t go to college in diapers. Kindergarten maybe, but not college. Haha…..that’s what I told myself! ;)

  31. 31
    Amber says:

    omg, potty training is so hard! And every single mom it seems like I talked to had a story that went like this “We used this method (or that method) and he/she was trained in a day/week!” And meanwhile I had a kid who was potty trained on poop (she quickly figured out that pooping on her potty meant no more long butt wiping which she hated) but pee was oh, that took like a year. No joke. I’m grateful that the poop part was fast, but nearing the end of the year, I was just so frustrated with everyone who had an easy potty training story.

    CONGRATS on your potty training victory!! Now I think you deserve a peepee party or maybe a date night ;)

    • 31.1
      Ashley says:

      So true. Everyone has a great story. Attempts 1 through 8 didn’t work for us. Haha!! Glad the pee finally caught on. Whew!!

      And yes, we need a victory date! :)

  32. 32
    Baker4Boys says:

    Thank you for sharing! My 3 year (and almost 2 months) old is stubborn too. When we tell him it’s time to sit on the potty he always responds, “No. I like diapers.” Ugh!! We will have to try the “too big for diapers” bit with newborn ones! Great idea!!

  33. 33
    Dominique says:

    I strongly recommend for your 3rd one – to go with “elimination communication”…a couple minutes after feeding her – put her on a potty if she’s comfortable enough to sit up on her own!
    We started around 5 months with our son and he did great. Google it – it’ll save you the potential “waiting until I’m 4” nightmare!

  34. 34
    Tina says:

    I’ve GOT to try the diaper idea (but since he’s been wearing pull-ups for so long, I’ll have to get the tiniest size of those to make him uncomfortable I guess. My lil’ man just turned 4 two days ago! He told his teacher at preschool on Thursday that he would wear underwear when he was 4. Now that he’s 4, he STILL won’t try! I see lots of potty time this weekend with lots of salty snacks and water! I completely understand the jubilation!

  35. 35

    I’m so stinkin’ jealous!!! Excited for your success but wish it was me too. My little guy turns 3 in January and is fine with going pee on the toilet but will not go poop. We have the COOLEST toy from Grandma that he gets whenever he goes for the first time and he tries but it never seems to work. Thanks for the idea of the small diaper. Hopefully I’ll have some good news here shortly.

  36. 36
    Toya says:

    Thank you for this! I need a good chuckle. I even had flashbacks to training my now 7, 9, and 11 year old. The 11 year old was by far the WORST!!! She too told me she wasn’t gonna do it. Thank goodness she is now perfectly trained.

  37. 37
    Kara says:

    I LOVE this idea! It’s so great! I’m SO happy for you. I have 5 kids, and 3 are potty trained, and my 4th is wanting to do it so badly, and I HATE potty training. I’ve deemed it the WORST part of being a parent, lol. I might have to try this with my 4th. I’m super happy for you all. That’s so awesome! You and your husband deserve to go out and get ice cream, lol.

    • 37.1
      Ashley says:

      I agree. Nothing is worse. I take the flu over potty training any day. The flu ends…..potty training never ends!!! And thanks, I agree, we need ice cream. Haha!

  38. 38
    Shelly says:

    Thanks for sharing and congrats! I thought I’d wait until 3 with our 2.5 YO, but she never tells me when she poops and fights me about changing the diaper when I discover it. Consequently, she has big problems with rashes, and it makes for a bad cycle (not wanting a change because wiping hurts, but without the change, it hurts more). I’ve been trying to talk up training to help her want it, but she insists she’s a baby, not a big girl, and doesn’t want to use the potty. Argh! I’m going to have to find her motivation…

    • 38.1
      Ann says:

      My girl was 3 and said the same to me. The pediatrician recommended, “The Potty Book,” comes for girls or boys. That did the trick for her. Thought I’d share in case you haven’t tried it. It hasn’t worked for my boy, though, who will be 4 next month. We’ve been in the potty-training process off and on for over a year. I enjoyed reading this post, gave me other ideas.

      • 38.1.1
        Shelly says:

        Ah, yes, I think our library even has a copy. I’ll have to get serious about this here soon and it would be great if that does the trick!

          Ann says:

          This book was designed to read it while the child is on the potty. On the page, “she sat and sat and sat…” you keep reading until she goes. Then you stop reading that page, then go on (saying just in case you didn’t already know).

          It worked right away for my girl; my boy has other incentives: playing Angry Birds on my phone (he has to perform before he plays), construction vehicle stickers, etc. Good luck!

  39. 39
    Heather says:

    I feel like your story could be my story! I LOVE the diaper “trick” I might just have to try that! I’m desperate for anything at this point! Happy to hear about the success in your home!

  40. 40
    Thesha says:

    Thank you so much for doing this post! My son turned three last month and has zero interest in using the potty, I am so ready to have him out of diapers. A while back we tried doing the potty party thing but we gave up after a day and a half of fighting him to use the toilet. He absolutely refused to poop on the potty and became so constipated that he litterally cried from pain when he finally had a BM in his diaper. Needless to say I’ve been wary of trying again for a while. Maybe we’ll give to diaper trick a try and see if that helps.

  41. 41
    Helen G. says:

    THANK YOU, Ashley! Love this post! My husband and I had reserved a whole day a few weeks ago to train our son… but without success. After a lot of juice, candy, and ‘treats’, we gave up and were very discouraged. But the small size diaper idea is genius! We’ll try that, for sure! Thanks again… the only problem is that we have a 3 month old daughter who’s wearing a size 3 diaper, and if our son seeks that the newborn sizes are smaller, he might try the size 3… hmmm… we’ll see how it goes! Thanks again!

    • 41.1
      Ashley says:

      Oh, I totally know your pain. We were there a few months ago. Yuck! But try the diaper thing…..our little baby girl is in a size 2 but he didn’t even think about it. Once we told him that his old diapers were too small…..he didn’t even notice the “N” on the diaper that we were trying on him. We just wadded it up and threw it away. He just thought he was too big for all diapers. (Except for those “special” night time ones.)

  42. 42
    AnnaPK says:

    Congrats! I just got my son potty trained and it is a big accomplishment for the parents and the child!

  43. 43
    KellyS says:

    Yay to your big boy! I am not looking forward to training my twins, good grief I will be in the bathroom all day!!! But that day is coming, and fast, since they are almost 2.5 years now… but with a newborn, I have listed potty training as a lower priority to taking care of baby and sleeping. Good job momma and thanks for the tips when we do get around to training our guys.

  44. 44
    Tara says:

    We had a potty party for my oldest — I even made a banner and blew up balloons for the day — but just like yours, it worked :) Now my youngest practically trained herself, so here’s to hoping yours will too!

  45. 45
    Emily says:

    LOVE the idea of using diapers that are too small! Brilliant! Great job :)

  46. 46
    nikki says:

    Finally, a USABLE idea!!!!! My son (my third kid) is about a month younger than this and flat out is beyond disinterested. I know he can do it. He has done it. He just refuses. AND, if one more mom with only one kid, who was potty trained before age 2 tells me to “try offering him candy if he goes”, I will scream, ha! Anyway, thanks :) I can’t wait to tell my husband about the pee-pee party.

  47. 47
    Ashley says:

    My daughter is only 18 months, so its not like we are in a huge rush to potty train or anything. But I know it is one of those big hurdles we are coming up to. This was so helpful to read! Thanks a bunch.

  48. 48
    Jennie {Cinnaberry Suite} says:

    I hear ya GIRL!!! YIPPEEE!!!

  49. 49
    Marin D says:

    I feel your pain. Our three year old just won’t work with us. She does great for the most part at home. But as soon as we leave or something, she is terrible. She has already wet two pairs of underwear today. We even diapered her last week while at Disneyland because I wasn’t going to carry that many changes of clothes with me. Uh, didn’t wet or poop in a diaper once. ??? I am baffled. Here’s to hoping it works before she is four.

  50. 50
    kendascrafts says:

    Congratulations! i’m so jealous. :-) lol about the trick diapers. We may have to try that. We are in the middle of this with our son. He does so well at day care then comes home and forgets everything. We are also trying to get over the pooping hurdle. He refuses to poop in the potty. There does need to be a support group…

  51. 51
    Patty V says:

    Great post! Must be something about boys born that year! My son turned 3 last May, has been pee potty trained since last year, but the pooping thing we have had a time with. He has finally accepted it and goes, but he will still hold it in until he absolutley has to go! Thanks for all the ideas I’ve got another little boy on the way so these ideas will come in handy in a few years! :)

  52. 52

    What a great story! My son is 25 months old and my husband and I are really trying to get this potty thing down.

  53. 53
    LeAnn says:

    I sure hope this is me in a month. Our son (almost 3) just refuses to want to do it. I know he can but no amount of bribery will make him interested.
    My first two were relatively easy. My second refused until she decided it was time, then she did it all on her own. Lucky for me it was on her third birthday.
    My last is like yours. He says he’ll do it when he’s 6…. Um… no.
    Right now he is saying that he will do it when we run out of this latest batch of diapers. I’ll believe it when I see it but if there are no more diapers you gotta come up with a new plan so… here’s hoping.
    I’m big into the “no turning back” theory so when we decide to do something more than talk about it then I guess I’m in it for the long or the short….I’m hoping its short.

    • 53.1
      Ashley says:

      Haha! 6? Um…..no, is right!! Little stinker!! My goodness, good luck! You’re invited to the support group! :)

    • 53.2
      Caralee says:

      I know this post is old but I just have to add… When my son was little I spent 18 months trying everything to get him to potty train. When he turned four he said he would do it when he wAs 5…so he had a birthday the next week. Complete with cake and presents (old toys he hadn’t played with in awhile) and he turned 5. Amazing thing he was completely potty trained in 3days. For his next birthday he turned 5 and a half…

  54. 54

    Yay!!! Isn’t it such a great feeling to have the potty training done?! Woohoo!

  55. 55
    Brittany says:

    I am potty training my almost 3 year old daughter. I might need some of your tricks! Cause she never wants to poop in the potty!

  56. 56
    Kelsey says:

    This had me cracking up!! Only because I am right there with ya sister! My 2 1/2 year old has been going in the potty on and off… well last month we ran out of diapers (at night the day before I was having a garage sale), so I decided we were going full speed ahead and not buying diapers again. After four days I almost gave up. As you mentioned, poop on the floor, puddles, you name it – I cleaned it. Then it was like all of a sudden he understood and we have only had a few messes here or there since. One mess from the other day did include him going #2 without telling anybody, getting off the toilet, smearing poop on the seat, his leg, and somehow backing up into the bathroom closet door. That one had me and our spray bleach working double duty!

    Kelsey :)

    • 56.1
      Ashley says:

      Hahaha…….why do gross messes make us all laugh?? I think it’s because we’ve all been there and it’s therapy! Glad it’s getting better and hopefully you can retire the spray bleach until the next time potty training.

  57. 57
    Meagan says:

    What a hilarious potty story! I love the idea of the diaper trick and the pee pee party! So glad it worked for you! I wish I could say my potty-trained 3 year-old never has accidents but she’s getting better every day! So funny! congrats!

  58. 58
    Jennifer says:

    Funny I just had a friend who had a Potty Party a few weeks ago with her son. She had the book – How to Potty Train your Child in One Day (or something to that affect) and it walked you through the whole Potty Party experience, we even came over at the end of the night to celebrate. He got presents, threw away his diapers in front of us as we cheered, and ate cupcakes adorned with fondant toilets and underwear. It worked! He has had a few accidents, as expected but he is for the most part potty trained!! Congrats on your little one!

  59. 59
    Lyndsay says:

    This post came at the perfect time! I have been planning a “pee pee party” with my little boy for next week during my fall break! I love the diaper trick. I think we may have to try it! Thanks so much for the motivation. I think I will have to have the “no going back” determination. :)

  60. 60
    Mary says:

    I’m going to have to use this idea when I’m ready to really commit to this thing. My son is 3 years and 2 months old and the first half of your story sounded exactly like ours. We can offer him anything and everything and he just says no to the potty. He’ll sit on it, only fully clothed, and only for about 1 minute. This is a great idea and a great way to get Dad involved too.

  61. 61
    Chelsey says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I am currently potty training my daughter. She totally gets it but since she is in daycare she will be nearly potty trained after a weekend with me, but then returns to daycare where she wears diapers and we have to start back where we were. I know she gets it…she LOVES sitting on the potty singing songs and reading books but it is so time consuming to be consistent. Congrats…we look forward to the day we win the lottery as well! :)

  62. 62
    Heidi Ceto says:

    Yay for you little guy!! I love the diaper trick! That is a great idea! Thankfully my son was potty trained at 21months but he was 100% ready. Every kid is different and learn on their own time. I wonder if my 7month old will be as easy as my first or the total opposite?..HOPE not!

    Good Job mommy and daddy too!!

  63. 63
    Maria R says:

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for this post! My son just turned 4 and we are still having potty issues! Just like your little boy, anytime we would try or make a suggestion about trying, he would always say “I’ll be a big boy when I’m 4, then I’ll use the potty.” We tried not to pressure him and just kept actively making suggestions and trying different things to get him interested like praise, stickers, new toys, candy, etc., but to no avail. Finally he turned 4 and we told him he had to start going in the potty now. Well, in just a week or two he had pee-pee down perfectly. We have not had any #1 accidents, however #2 is a totally different story. And I guess he feels like he needs to hold it when he feels like he has to go #2 because he does a very small #2 in his big boy underwear, multiple times a day!! And he is content to just walk around in it, sit in it, play in it, whatever! It doesn’t bother him, but it is driving me crazy!! I’ve begged him not to hold it, explained to him how it could cause him to get sick and have it hurt if he holds it, but it doesn’t faze him. I’m not quite sure what to try next. Thanks again for this post and the ideas!

    • 63.1
      Emily says:

      Your kid and mine should be best friends. My son was totally trained. Poop/pee–everything a little before his third birthday. He did it himself, and I thought, “That wasn’t so bad.” However, back in June he started holding his poop. He does the little poop things all day in his underwear and just sits in it unless I get a wiff of it. Then in July/August it got so bad that we were doing suppositories to finally get him to go. After way too many of those, our doctor recommended Miralax to just get things moving. Then he was pooping and pooping and not necessarily in control of things, so pull ups bacame our lifesaver because I’m pregnant with #3 and can’t handle the messy underwear right now. Things are better now that we can back off the Miralax a bit, but he wants a pull up when he goes now, and I quickly cave because I just want him to go.

      I have no tips for you. Just sympathy since we’re are in the exact same boat.

  64. 64
    Jennifer says:

    this made me laugh. You are funny. I am so glad your little guy is using the potty! We are at 2 years, 3 months and still not doing so…but we had one afternoon of underpants-only for 2.5 hours. I couldn’t get him to put them back on by himself. He also had six accidents in 2.5 hours. So we decided to try again in a few weeks.

  65. 65
    Felicia says:

    I am so happy the diaper trick worked for you! It worked for my sister! And we haven’t had to try it yet with our little guy, but soon we will. Pee’s fine. Poop no such luck!

  66. 66
    Becky says:

    fantastic idea! sooooooooo glad it worked for you! i’ll have to keep this is in mind!

  67. 67

    Thank you so much for sharing this story! My little Noah will be three in March and we tried to start potty training and he is doing ok, but we are having the same type struggles. It’s nice to hear, even when you know they exist, that there are other parents going through the same ordeal.

    Yay for little man!!!!

  68. 68
    Angi says:

    Congrats! This is a great idea. My twins were stubborn up until their 3 yo check up. Our pediatrician just looked at them and told then they couldn’t wear pull ups anymore and had to use the potty. That’s all it took for them! So much for all my months of pleading, bribing, etc.

  69. 69
    sara says:

    I have to say I have 3 yr old stubborn twin boys and I too have set my ideal surrendor to diapers date in my head and found your blog a breath of fresh air and inspiring. I am so getting NB diapers!!!

  70. 70
    Joanna says:

    Congrats little man and momma! We are at the beginning of it all. My guy can pee in the potty but will not poop-maybe we just need to buck up and deal with it to help him move on-or you could come and have a pee-pee-party and train him for us :o)

  71. 71
    Ashley says:

    I had to tell all my co-workers to come and look at the title of this post! I was just going on and on about how I’m dreading potty training our 2 1/2, almost 3 yr old because she is not interested at all. There is nothing I dread more than potty training! THanks for your post. I loved reading it and might just have to try it too. A few weeks ago a decided that Thanksgiving weekend is our weekend to go balls to the wall with potty training as we will have 4 whole days at home. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • 71.1
      Ashley says:

      Haha…….”hi co-workers!!” That’s too funny! But yes, a long weekend is perfect. Do it!!!! And then let me know how it goes! :)

  72. 72
    Jenny says:

    What a great and funny story! I’m sorry you had to live through it but so glad for you that it is finished now! Thanks for sharing all these great ideas too!

  73. 73

    Holy Cow, I am laughing so hard right now at the picture of candy with the words “pee” & “poo” underneath! You crack me up!

  74. 74
    Steph says:

    Congratulations! Your story brings back so many memories of potty training my son. Glad you are down to one child in diapers! :)

  75. 75
    Marci Childs says:

    So funny you posted this today! My son the last week or so is loving the toilet. He kept asking and asking to sit and pee. I think its time…but he seems so young to me. Oh well i think i am going to have to run with it and hope for the best. You have given me hope…and at the same time fear…yours is almost a whole year older than mine. Can i survive? I surly hope so!

  76. 76
    Jenn says:

    For my son it was the temporary tattoo’s that got him motivated. He looked like a burly biker at one point with hardly any clear space on his arms & legs, but it was the only thing that really got him excited to go.

  77. 77
    Sarah Walker says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience! My daughter will be 4 in May & is partially potty trained. She’s good about going pee in the potty, but is terrified of pooping on the potty. She’s never pooped on the potty, so I’m not sure why she’s afraid.

    I’ve spent many times crying over the fact that my daughter just doesn’t want to potty train. All of our friends who had daughters around the same time as we did already have their kids potty trained. It makes me feel like a failure & I’ve even had mothers tell me that Kennady should be potty trained & they don’t understand why she doesn’t get it. She does get it, that’s the problem. She knows she can control when she goes to the bathroom, but she doesn’t understand why her 15 month old brother gets to stay in diapers while she has to wear undies.

    I know that it will click & she will get it. I love her dearly & potty training is by far the most difficult thing a parent has to endure.

  78. 78
    Patty C. says:

    That sounds awesome we still can’t get out 3 year 5 months old boy to go potty he goes when we change diapers he pees no problem he will NOT poo and when we’ve tried the underwear he doesn’t have accidents but he doesn’t go at all :(…we are so frustrated that we just gave up trying our Pediatrician said to just let him be we’ve tried EVERYTHING and nothing seems to work we even took away all his toys and movies and he was just like OK mommy that’s fine :(….WHAT SHOULD WE DO?!?!

  79. 79
    Katie says:

    That’s how old my son was also. He really had outgrown all of the diaper sizes, and all of the big boy pull-ups too and had no choice but to potty train.

    Getting him to stop wetting the bed was a little harder. A dollar a day for every day that he didn’t wet the bed, BUT he had to go a whole month to actually collect. So if he had an accident, he had to start over. My husband actually had $100 set aside (we did this over summer vacation) and ended up giving him all the money when he went a whole month without wetting the bed. He hasn’t wet the bed since.

    I swear potty training is the worst!

  80. 80
    SLS says:

    Yay! I was so nervous about teaching my son to use the potty. Lucky for me my parents trained him while he was visiting them- easiest.potty.training. ever. I may not be so lucky for future babies so I will have to keep this in mind :)

  81. 81
    Michelle says:

    sounds like a great idea! we are trying to potty train my almoast three year old sister right now But I really dont think that would work seeing as her little sister and her share diapers so she will still know they are there. I thought about trying to train them both at once but she is only sixteen months. I think thats a litttle young to try. Oh well I guess we just continue cleaning up nasty messes untill she decides she is ready :( thats not a very nice thought.

  82. 82
    Heather says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’m going to show this to my husband for our 3 yr 3m old son. Before his little brother was born he was doing great on the potty – now, not so much. He is “just fine” in his diapers and “no, I don’t want to go on the potty”. Meanwhile my husband and I are pulling our hair out over just how to get him to go on the potty again. I think we will try your method on our first available free weekend.

  83. 83
    Carolyn says:

    Congratulations! I have some friends with a stubborn 3 year old of their own who are in the same boat. I can’t wait to share you tale with them!

  84. 84

    The too small diaper trick is genius! We really struggled to potty train my son. He was just shy of his fourth birthday before he was completely out of diapers (day and night). We even did the super cool toy bribe. He was so excited to see it, and would ask all the time about it, but still did not motivate him to use the potty. I am hoping my daughter will be easier to train. Girls are supposed to be easier, right?

  85. 85
    ChicFitMommy says:

    I loved your post!!! Thanks for the idea! Now, I’m trying to convince my husband to “take one for the team!” My son will be turning 3 next month and I have been trying to potty train him for the past year and he just doesn’t seem to want to. I know, he knows, when he’s supposed to go poo poo in the bathroom but he just does not want to. I will definitely try your idea and hopefully I can potty train him in time for his 3 birthday…hopefully:/ lol THANKS AGAIN!

  86. 86
    Gine says:

    This is so cute…good luck for your boy! :-)

  87. 87
    Beth says:

    Thank you so much! I was in tears today over potty training and your post really cheered me up! Lots of good ideas and good to know there are people out there in the same boat as me!

  88. 88
    Angela says:

    ugh potty training! my 2 1/2 year daughter will poop in the potty but will NOT pee! I have almost given up on the whole thing!

  89. 89
    Kadie says:

    This has to be the best post about potty training ever!! I relate to you completely. My now 4 year old was so difficult to train. It was a total shock because my older 2 were a piece of cake! We went back and forth a time or two. Then he was doing really well (for a day or two) and ended up breaking his arm. Had to have surgery and was pretty druggie for a couple of days. So….. yeah we were back in diapers. He got it eventually but it was not fun.:( My 2 year old is about ready to start training, I had been putting it off because of last time. But this post gives me hope and some great ideas! We are so doing the too small diaper thing! It would be so nice to only have one in diapers! Congratulations to you and your boy….. oh and to your husband. What a trooper!

  90. 90
    Mindy says:

    So many things about this post made me laugh. Starting with the poop on the floor and subsequent vomit.


  91. 91
    sorahart says:

    Would you recommend using a potty chair? Just curious. I’ve heard pros and cons about them. Such a timely post! As soon as we are all adjusted to having a new baby in our house potty training will be the next order of business for our soon-to-be 3 son.

    • 91.1
      danielle m says:

      my son hated a potty (i posted my experience below). he stands on a stool to pee, and we have one of those seats that fit on the regular pot for pooping (in all 3 bathrooms), and i keep a fold up one in my purse for outings. good luck!

  92. 92
    Tawnya says:

    My daughter will be 3 in November. She has been COMPLETELY pee trained for two months. Seriously, NO accidents. But, she refuses to poop in the toilet. Poops her pants every time. The other day she finally pooped on the potty.. and I thought my dreams had come true!! Nope. Two days later, poop in her pants. I am so done with POOP. Seriously. Just said POOP about ten times in this comment. Go away poop.

  93. 93
    Kameron says:

    OH MY GOSH, CONGRATULATIONS!! This entire story sounded so frighteningly familiar… even the comment, “I’ll wait until I am 4” from my son who didn’t get potty trained until two weeks before his fourth birthday (the whole 3 years and 11 months thing!!!) after a YEAR of struggling on my part! I had to turn over the “party” (juice and salty snacks and all) to my husband while myself and my toddler daughter hightailed out out of the house for a day and let those two do their thing. Dad is much more relaxed than Mom in our house so I think that helped alleviate some pressure as well as him being able to see how “all that” works… so it turned out I could cancel my order to Pampers for college-student-sized diapers because I had completely lost hope.

    BIG congratulations to the whole team! A FAMILY success!!

  94. 94
    Anna M says:

    Thanks for the ideas. We are going to give it a go starting Monday. Getting things prepared this week though.

  95. 95
    kateh says:

    Best parenting advice from a mom of 4 to me, (i am now also a mom of 4, but at the time, mom of 1): Potty “training” is a misnomer. We can no more “train” a child to use the potty than we can train a 6 month old to walk! Leave it alone. Of course, they need to see us using the potty, they need to know they get big kid undies, etc… But, let them do it when they are ready. If we try to “train”, we instead initiate a power struggle from which there will be no satisfactory resolution. We end up bribing, begging, yelling, crying and all together miserable. All 4 of my kids initiated the conversation, took the initiative to use the potty and were trained by 3. What a joy for each of them to have accomplished this all on their own!

  96. 96
    Lynette says:

    Hooray! I’m so happy for your family, and I love the idea of putting newborn diapers on them. How smart for stubborn kiddos!

  97. 97
    Monica says:

    That is just awesome! I LOVE the idea of diapers being too small. What a wonderful story to share with your son one day when he’s older. Perhaps when he’s potty training his one kids? :)

  98. 98
    Katie B says:

    Oh my goodness!! This is my life as we speak with my 3 years and 4 months old son. He uses some of the exact phrases, like “no thanks” and “nope” everytime we attempt training. One day I decided to brave underware on him. When I put them on him I explained not to go potty in them ext. He looked at me and said ” Oh good, something to catch my poop.” Seriously. I just about died. He remained dry all morning and we finally went out to lunch with Grandma. My mom and I both took him to the bathroom at the restuarant with no results, knowing full well the child needed to pee. My mom was concerned he would pee in his chair. I was like oh no he wouldn’t do that. Minutes later i felt pee hit my foot. The kid peeed in his chair. Today we tried underware again. He peed in his chair again. Thankfully at Grandmas. So, this is exactly what I needed to read today. Thanks so much for sharing. I know we will have to bite the bullet and just make him stop wearing diapers, but with 7 weeks left in my 3rd pregnancy and a 13 month old the ole energy level is pretty low. Oh well, wish us luck. So happy for you!

  99. 99
    Sheralee says:

    Thank you for sharing this! We are “trying” to potty-train our daughter right now who is giving us the exact same problems. We are trying the small diaper and “pee” party this weekend!

  100. 100
    Nicki says:

    My little boy will be three in two weeks… and he’s not interested at all in the potty, though we’ve tried many times. We’d like to have him done before baby #2 arrives in February, but so far, he doesn’t care at all. The diaper being too small is a GREAT idea…. I’m pretty sure that would totally psych him out, and might be what we need. Thanks so much for this post!

  101. 101
    KathyH says:

    Hey, whatever works! Congrats!

  102. 102
    Angela says:

    i could have written this post–but instead of your happy ending, the Mommy ends up going completely crazy and starts wearing diapers, herself, because WHY NOT? EVERYONE ELSE DOES.

    my own little fella is now 3 years, 4 months and 18 days–i think we’re going to have our very own “pee pee party” next weekend. (i’d do it this weekend but it’s older brother’s birthday party saturday and we don’t want to steal his thunder, right?)

    THANKS FOR THE TIP–and if it doesn’t work, there will be a little boy named Gage coming to live with you. In diapers. But he’s super cute. ;)

  103. 103
    Kristie says:

    My daughter is 22 months and she loves the potty. I think I am the one that is not quite ready for the switch. We tried big girl panties a few weeks ago and she made it 2 days with only 2 accidents and 1 was during her nap. I got tired of asking her every half hour if she needed to go potty. I know, I am terrible! However, I think I am ready now, we are going to jump on this potty training boat here soon and be done with diapers too! Wish us luck! Glad you finally found something that worked for you little guy! Congrats!

  104. 104
    Audrey says:

    Ugh! I potty trained my nephew, he was almost 3. Luckily it was summer time and I told him he could pee outside. He thought it was the greatest thing in the world (still does, its a boy thing I think) We also hung up 2 giant packs of hotwheels on the wall so he had to look at them when he went potty. If he went poop he got a car. and if we went pee, he got to put a sticker on the poster board we hung up for him. He thought it was awesome and I never had any accidents with him. My son is 20 months and we have been putting him on the potty to get used to it. He screams bloody murder… I have a feeling he will be much harder to potty train than my nephew

  105. 105
    charity says:

    I love the diaper idea and the potty party idea! My little girl is 100% able to go potty on the toilet but just doesn’t want to give up the diapers. She says she’s a baby. sigh. I think I will try this next week.

  106. 106
    Kel in Oz says:

    This is clearly setting off a commenting storm – something that is clearly a battle for many!
    While I’m not a mummy yet – I hope to be and I’ll be remembering this along the way…. It’s FABULOUS!

    on a p.s. I’d like to share my bestie’s experience…. She has her kids potty trained by around a year and a half. She puts them on the potty from when they can sit up, a couple of times a day – she reads to them, lets them sit and look at books on their own, sings, plays with them (stays with them obviously) and they just get used to it. She doesn’t make a fuss about it (as you need to do when they’re older to trick them and keep them interested!!) it just becomes the norm. And it really works! Her youngest (a gorgeous hunka chunka boy) who’s 17 months old is in undies during the day now (still nappies at night) has been for around a month… Her little girl (eldest) was a bit harder as she gets terribly ill when pregnant so just didn’t have the energy but she’s 3 and half now and has been at night without nappy for quite a while… It’s hard work – but as she says, she’d rather do all that than change poopy nappies all day every day! Hahaha….

  107. 107
    Heidi says:

    Potty training my three boys was the hardest thing I have EVER had to do in my motherhood career.

    Please pray for me with the newest little boy….I know I still have about 2 years…but I think I might cry in my sleep when it is time. I know I did for the others………I am just NOT looking forward to that. The only good thing is that he hates to be wet or dirty…the complete opposite of the other three. They could have cared less.

  108. 108
    danielle m says:

    potty training also almost sent me to therapy. i’m not sure i’m completely over the trauma yet. but i love your story! my sweet boy turned 3 june 6th. and, like you, we talked and talked and talked about going potty – i felt like a broken record. you would think that the smallest one in the family would want to be just like all the bigger people. nope – apparently babies want to stay babies forever, well my baby anyway :) like your sweet boy, he didn’t care about it – wanted to wear a diaper all his life, i’m sure (and why not really?). he didn’t want treats – would not be bribed with anything. any time he would say he wanted a new car or “fill-in-the-blank”, i’d say if you go potty we’ll buy it – and he’d say, “nah, i don’t want it anymore”. and like you, 4 years old was my limit too – mostly, i think because i wasn’t dealing with it in the winter – too many layers to deal with.

    3 weeks ago tomorrow, i changed his diaper after breakfast – and decided that this was it, no more, i put undies on him (i’ve done this before and it didn’t phase him, somehow this felt different from the beginning). we went to get sissy at school at 3pm, still dry. i’m inwardly terrified that i will be utterly embarrassed – after all, the kid hasn’t peed in 6+ hours. and i made the decision too fast – parent/teacher conferences were that night, my dad was keeping the kids, so i could have my 15 minutes of fame in peace. however, i wanted to spare my dad the mess, so on goes a pull-up. i pick them up, of course its wet. ok, well, small step back. underwear go back on after baths.

    friday morning, he wakes up dry. friday is my grocery day. that week it was chilly here in cinci, so i dressed him in jeans and a sweatshirt. i’m a nervous wreck my groceries will get drenched, but we do it. keep in mind, he has not ever peed in the pot. ever. we get home, he is dry! i bring in the first load of groceries and he’s standing in the middle of the kitchen floor in a huge puddle of pee screaming. i made him clean up the mess on the floor, and told him he was going to have to wait until i got the groceries in and put away. i took my sweet time, he cried the whole time. i knew he was miserable in those soaking wet jeans, but i was secretly hoping this would be it. i got him all cleaned up and changed, knowing it would be a long time before he needed to go again. so, after sissy got home from school, and after their snack – i started keeping a full cup of water on the table for him, and reminding him to drink it. all the while i set the timer and we visited the bathroom every five minutes. probably 32 minutes in, (i’m in the middle of browning pork chops), he pees a little in his pants – and stops and tells me he needs to go! and finishes in the pot! we called everyone we knew, and all he could think about was going to target and getting a watch!

    not one accident since. i’m so relieved! and so proud!

    maybe i should blog about this. . .

  109. 109
    Anonymous says:

    I LOVE that story! My son is two and was totally interested in going potty. Would go and everything, but shortly became uninterested. So I’m thinking that a pee pee party in the near future will be occurring at our house!

  110. 110
    Heather says:

    THANK YOU for posting this! I am going through this with my almost-3-year-old and this is some great advice!
    Oh, and I’m also making Brad the Peter Pan costume using the directions from your site here for Halloween. It’s almost done and he loves it!

  111. 111
    Tara says:

    That was the best post! I don’t know you, but I am trying to potty train my boy and we are going to have a pee pee party! I think I will get myself some salty chips and a diet coke and enjoy the day with him. Thank you for the ideas and sharing your experience.

  112. 112
    Caren says:

    Hooray! We waited until my son was 4 and then tried, but believe it or not he still has accidents (he’s 5 + a couple months now). Two things for your consideration: 1. the doctor told me some boys go through growth spurts that their bladders can’t keep up with for a while, so they look like they’re regressing (having way more accidents than normal for a time). Don’t sweat it if that happens. Just take it in stride, no big deal, and keep praising him for the positive. And 2. It’s ok to make him sleep on the floor/toddler bed once in a while (we had to take his twin size bed away for a time because he was leaking so much, but it’s not forever)!!! Thanks for the reminder – I’ve got a girl who just turned 2 and a baby boy, 9 months old. It’s good to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (i.e. no more diaper/wipes expense!!!!)

  113. 113
    Autumn says:

    OMGoodness, I can so relate right now. I’m potty training my two and a half year old girl who lets me know when she needs a new diaper and is constantly saying hers is bugging her and still she refuses to go. She even knows how to do it!! Just stubburn, ugh!! They say boys are harder, but that’s not my experience. Boy number one was trained in two weeks, number two figured it out while number one was training and boy number 3 took about two and a half weeks. The girl has been going at this for just over a month and I’m already so frustrated,lol I could never have lasted as long as you. I may have to steal some of these ideas for her. Thanks for the laugh, this will make a great story for your son when he’s older,lol.

    Have a great day!!

  114. 114

    Thanks for sharing. We have an almost 3 year old who was completely potty trained before baby brother came seven months ago, and he has not wanted to go since. It’s been a frustrating struggle. Thanks for reminding me that it will happen!

  115. 115
    Nicole says:

    Awesome trickery! Great job mom & dad for sticking to it !!

  116. 116
    Kristy says:

    Thank you for this — mine will be 4 in February and I am at my wits end — same thing “oh I’ll get that when I’m potty-trained” but it doesn’t actually motivate her to do anything about it. But this is a wonderful idea so I may just have to plan a party day (or two or three) myself!!

  117. 117
    Camille says:

    I loved this post! Mostly because I am JUST AS EXCITED as you are! Yep, I just finished training, too. My 2 year old (and 4 months) is finally trained. And she is my third, so I am thrilled to be out of diapers for the first time in over six years! I used the 3-day potty training method and it was very similar to what you did. One thing she suggested for night time is to take them potty 1 hour after they fall asleep, and 1 hour before they usually wake up. I was surprised to find that my daughter actually goes right back to sleep both times! We still have “night time” undies on her for accidents, but they’re getting fewer and fewer every night! Hurray!

  118. 118
    abby says:

    Thank you for posting….I seriously laughed out loud about the peeing and then throwing up on the bathroom floor. I have a little guy too that we are getting ready to fully encourage to be a big boy and these tips help! Thanks!

  119. 119
    Robyn says:

    I wish we could have done this with our 2.5 year old daughter. Unfortunately her 7 month old little brother wears the same size diapers as her. He’s huge and she’s tiny! Good idea for next time though. So happy for you! We’re 2 weeks into it and things are going well, but every now and then there’s an accident. Wish us luck!

  120. 120
    Maria says:

    I loved your post about your little boy’s potty training trials and success! How funny to read it all! I love that idea of the tiny diaper and the peepee party! That is the best idea ever! I am so using that idea when we have another baby someday! Your kids are so lucky and blessed to have such wonderful parents:-)

  121. 121
    Kim says:

    Thanks for reminding me that I am not alone. just this last weekend we ran out of diapers and forced ourselves to potty train our 3 year 3 month old and it worked. Since he couldn’t go back to diapers he went in the potty and has only had 1 accident because he didn’t get in the bathroom fast enough. I am over the moon! All of our family and friends are asking him about it and congratulating him. he just beams when he goes and when someone asks him about it. I am so relieved because potty training is SOOO HARD! It has helped my older son remember to pee too. I say brag about it to the world. It is truly an accomplishment for us and them and it is so nice to see I am not the only one who struggled. Congrats to you and your little guy!

  122. 122
    Gealean Murray says:

    Congrats to you and your litte boy!! And let me say, my son is about the same age as yours and it took upwards of 9 months to potty train him! His best friend, the same age, it took almost a year! The BF finally poops in the potty, a new development… His Mom tricked him by sitting him on the potty in a Pull Up, and after a day or two of that she put on a Pull Up with the bottom cut out. Poop falls in the potty, no more mess, and that trick worked too! He goes on his own free will now!

    Totally great idea, btw, about pee pee parties and too small diapers! :)

  123. 123
    Kelly says:

    OMG!! We just celebrated with our 3 year 2 1/2 month old. 5 days with no accidents. He got a big, ol’ talking dinosaur and got to eat off the special dishes. So many parts of your story rang true to ours I just giggled as I read it. Three cheers to our stubborn little men!!! Your mommies are VERY proud of you!!

  124. 124
    Skye says:

    Thank you sooooo much for this. I live in Australia and have a very stubborn 3 year old who is quite happy to wear nappies and have someone sort out the mess for her. We’ve tried different things on and off for the last year and are thinking about getting serious soon, so I love the diaper trick idea. I think it might be something that will finally work!

  125. 125
    leanne says:

    Congrats on training your little boy! I am just starting to train my miss 2 (she is 3 in january) so far we have gotten lots of poos and wees in the potty but she always cries for a diaper. The 2 days she goes to daycare where the other kids are potty training she comes home all excited wanting to wear knickers and use the potty but then on the other days she does not want to use it. I am trying not to push her. Maybe getting her a dvd like you got your son might do the trick to interest her. Anyway congrats on not having to change poopy diapers anymore!

  126. 126

    Congrats I recently went through the same thing. I totally agree with the support group idea. My son is 3 1/2 and has been out of diapers for almost 2 weeks. He just REFUSED to go on the toilet. No matter what I tried, and I tried it all nothing worked. Then one day he just did it and didn’t look back. No accidents and no more diapers. I really think kids know they have control over this and we can’t make them do it. They know when they are ready. My advice to any struggling potty training mom is…they know when they are ready. And if you are patient and you wait you will be rewarded and they will do it.

  127. 127

    Oh gosh, this is one of the most frustrating parts of being a parent. I wrote a two part series that might offer some help. Regardless of how young or old your un-trained children are.

  128. 128
    Cheree says:

    Thanks for making me laugh my head off today. This post was awesome. I’m so happy for YOU!!! I have to say having daddy as a role model is huge….after potty training 3 kids…I think the one common theme that helped all 3 was seeing an example. The oldest was the worst, since he didn’t see anyone ever…and for us to expect him to just get it was plain ignorant of us. Since then, we’ve become a much more “open” family…and the third one has pretty much potty trained herself. Again…congratulations!!! You guys are troopers! The diaper trick was pure genius ;-)

  129. 129
    Ivonne says:

    AWESOME!!! Isn’t the best feeling EVER!!!!

    I potty trained my 2 1/2 yr old by using the Yo Gabba Gabba song, There’s a party in my tummy! but I changed the Lyrics to There’s a party in the POTTY!! lol! He had to make the potty happy with pee and poo, if not it will be so, so sad :( ! hahahaha! and it worked!!!

  130. 130
    Gail says:

    I have one girl, she’s three and she was was trained by two and a half. It was hard to deal with the soiled undies and cleaning the potty pots. She didnt like soiling her undies and clothes. I really got determined after I became pregnant (it miscarriaged); I wasn’t about to be cleaning no boo-boos from her potty. That’s what the toilet is for. One of the tricks I did was letting her watch me use the bathroom and I put her little potty near to the “big” toilet or potty. So she learnt through observation and soon she enjoyed the “big” potty because it flushed. Also I praised her even when she showed effort in trying to get to the toilet.
    Now we have to work on the “tire tracks” in her undies.

  131. 131
    Nat Mac says:

    Yay for him and yay for you!!! I have a 3 year 2 month old little boy who is crazy stubborn. He will go poop and pee on the potty one day and totally not want anything to do with it the next. I pretty much convinced myself the exact same thing you did. I’ve been thinking this was a total lost cause. I too have tried bribary and it is not working what so ever. I am for sure doing the too small diaper trick and potty party day! Those are both genius!!

  132. 132
    Kristina Noall says:

    You seriously had me LAUGHING OUT LOUD at all this stuff. Isn’t it funny what you get excited about after you become a mom? Because if my 2 1/2 year old became potty trained, you can bet I would be shouting it from the rooftops, too! You’re too cute. And your husband sounds like such a good guy. :) Congrats on being back to having only one bum to change!

  133. 133
    Mary says:

    What an amazing post. Congratulations!!!

    I have an almost 3 year old daughter who is soooo stubborn about using the potty. This post gives me hope … and ideas. Thank you for posting this.

  134. 134
    Chelsea Eastwood says:

    You have NO idea how much i needed to read this. My mister 3 Fynn just started toilet training yesterday. we had bought potty’s and little seats for the toilet ages ago but didnt pursue it when he refused to use it. I think it was me making excuses for him. He has never done a formed poo (sorry about the over share) its always quite a liquid consistancy (he has trouble tolerating gluten) so i just used it as an excuse. And the other excuse was that we’d wait till summer so he can just run around in the nude (I live in Western Australia so we are just coming out of winter). well yesterday he put his big boy jocks on and went to the potty twice. today however he has wet 6 pairs of jocks. we were a little distracted today because we had visitors so i wasnt reminding him very often. I was almost ready to just give up till I read this. talk about perfect timing. thanks. he just doesnt seem to care about wetting himsef. we shall soldier on. i might try the nappy trick. CONGRATULATIONS ON THE SUCCESS!!!!!

  135. 135
    Stefanie says:

    Wheeewww! Glad I am not alone. My little guy will be 3 in January and I honestly cant even get him to set on the potty with his pants down. Every once in a while he will sit down on the potty with his pants on and I am at the point where I give him a sticker just for that. I have decided not to push it…. I don’t think he will be in diapers forever… but I could be wrong. :) but congrats to you and your little guy… I am jealous!

  136. 136
    Sarah says:

    LOL…Hi Ashley…i have totally gone through the same thing in this house hold…i end up turning the toilet/bath room into a dinosaur cave! My little guy is very much into dinosaurs at the moment so i quietly covered the walls and ceiling in streamers with dino bags goodies. This did work for a while but in the end I had to tell the stubbon little bugger that the transformer undies will have to go in the bin if you leave little surprises in there as no super Mummy should put them selves through that…haha. I’m just new to this blog world so swing by and say hi as i’ve already linked you to a post…hope thats ok…you’re just fab ;o)

  137. 137
    Cherie says:

    Oh man, I can’t even BEGIN to tell you the struggle we’ve had with my son!! It would take HOURS to go through it all!

    My son is a perfectly normal, average kid. No medical issues, no special needs, nothing. Just a kid. We started when he was just over three. Right away I knew it was a problem. He always had poop issues (constipation) but this sent him over the edge. He held it. For DAYS. He would sit on the potty for an hour at a time, shaking he was holding it so hard. It broke my heart! Putting a diaper or pull up on didn’t help, he refused to go. So daily doses of Miralax were added. And it didn’t get any better. He once held if for nearly two weeks. I cried, begged, pleaded, bribed, threatened, ignored, and drank! Nothing made any difference. Many, many trips to the pediatrician and we finally decided he was just considered “resistant”. No amount of waiting or anything we did was going to change it, this is his battle and he’s fighting it to the bitter end! He also holds his pee for HOURS. He goes before bed at 7:30, then not again until usually 10 or 11 am, when I make him. The only good news is that he doesn’t have accidents. But, he does refuse to play or walk every three days or so. It’s when he’s been holding his poop for so long that he realizes it’s going to come out soon. So he lays on his tummy for hours, refusing to do anything.

    He’s no 4.5 (over actually!, he’ll be 5 in Feb) and he STILL fights it. In the year and a half that I’ve been dealing with this he has told me he has to pee/poop MAYBE 10 times. The rest are me demanding that he go. He’s recently added in fighting me over peeing (although he held it before, he never fought going). So ever day is a multi-time battle over peeing and pooping.

    My daughter is not quite 2 and has been asking to pee and poop on the toilet since she was 15 months!! I know I could have potty trained her by now but I just can’t bring myself to face this battle again. I’m sure she’ll be different, but if she’s not, I may run away to Paris for 2 years and let her dad deal with it!

    • 137.1
      Kiersten says:

      Cherie, I had a similar problem with my daughter, but she would at least poop when I put a diaper on her. Since she was still wearing diapers at night, she would just wait until then and poop in the diaper. Finally we got rid of the diapers all together and she held her poop for a week. We used suppositories. If she didn’t poop and was constipated, she had to get one. Not fun. I went back to diapers at night for my sanity and her health. A few months later we got rid of the diapers again. Of course she held her poop again for a week (until she couldn’t hold it anymore) and after much distress and fighting, she went in the toilet then started crying. Then she asked for all of the rewards that I had promised her in the past year (a trip to Disneyland, Sea World, movies, candy, stickers, etc.). But after that first time pooping in the potty, it got better. It was still tough for a while, but she eventually got it. She was pee trained a whole year before she actually pooped in the potty. I understand your frustration. Good luck. He’ll eventually get it.

  138. 138
    Sandy says:

    What a great story, I loved reading this! The things that poor moms (and dads) have to go through to get their kids potty trained! I don’t have any children of my own, but my mother tells me that I was quite the handful when it came to potty training. Apparently I just did not want to do it, but she would sit me down on that little potty and I would stay on there so long I would fall asleep (with my thumb in my mouth) and STILL not pee! Once she got me up off of it and put a diaper on me, then I would pee. Drove her crazy! So I guess she and my Dad decided not to pressure me about it, and once they didn’t do that, I decided it was okay to use the potty! Hmmn… stubborn much??? Ha ha…. and still stubborn to this day! :)

  139. 139
    ira lee says:

    what is it with boys and using the potty!!!!!!!!!! my daughter, 2 weeks at 2 years old-done easy peasy!! i thought for sure my little guy would be content in pull ups in kindergarden!! at 4 years old and about 2 years (that felt like 20) of trying to train i just got really mean and i gave him a cold shower everytime he had an accident!!! i know- horrible. but i tell ya what, no more accidents for him!!

  140. 140
    Danae says:

    Ugh. I *HATE* potty training! My youngest (of 5) is 2 years and 7 months, and we really need to start working on it. I think it’s the same thing– she is capable, just not willing. When I bring it up, she just says, “I don’t pee in the potty.” How do you argue with that? I just need to find her motivation. (And some for myself– finding the time to sit around with a sippy cup and a potty chair for days at a time isn’t easy!) Actually, *my* motivation is that my couch is old and needs replacing and I refuse to do it until she is potty trained. I’m not potty training a kid on a new couch! ;-) I have to say, you win with the poop accident and then throwing up on the floor! I’d have given up right there until he was 12 and begged to use the potty!

  141. 141
    Dara says:

    i just sent this to my boyfriends sister who is currently potty training her son who just turned 4! it will be very helpful!

  142. 142
    Jessica :) says:

    Ugh, I am dreading potty training. I tell people I’d rather have teenagers than have to potty train. And I haven’t even done anything yet! But watching/helping my mom potty train the youngest five in my family (I’m the oldest) has made me absolutely dread potty training my own. I do think you are right about the no going back idea, especially when you know that they know and they are just being stubborn/asserting their independence. And I love the diaper trick. I’m seriously going to remember this – and be very careful to never mention diaper sizes around my girl. Congrats on being done!

  143. 143
    Emily says:

    We potty-trained my almost 4 yr. old daughter with the original Rocky DVD. She’d sit on the potty and talk to the cover. She couldn’t open it until she had success :)

    The smaller diaper idea is genius!! We actually did have to put her in a newborn diaper when I had her and baby brother at the doctor’s office and she needed a change. Great idea!

  144. 144
    Steph says:

    One of my friends with twin boys (who took their sweet time potty training) had the best outlook – she’d say, well… if they don’t get it figured out by the time they’re married their wives can deal with it! :-)

  145. 145
    megan says:

    I love this post!! We had a crazy time trying to potty train my 3yr old daughter this summer, so I totally feel your pain. I wish I would have known the newborn diaper trick! I will definitely be trying that in the future with my younger daughter!

  146. 146
    Annie says:

    Hooray for potty training! My daughter’s potty training was very gradual and started using the potty at 2 and she was trained by 2 and 3 months (with an accident every once in a great while and pull-ups at night). Might I suggest for your next baby, reading Diaper Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh. She talks about the practice of Elimination Communication (aka infant potty training/natural infant hygiene). We always had a potty on the floor since she was a baby so she would be comfortable with the potty and had an open door policy for the bathroom so she could see us using the toilet, gave her diaper free time and potty-tunities at a very young age (and sometimes caught a pee or poo in the toilet just randomly) so she could get used to sitting on the toilet even if she wasn’t going. It sounds like more work but I like how gradual it is and that this idea of potty training isn’t just sprung on the child all at once. It like something they work up to like eating solids or something. Just an idea – people told me it was crazy but I sure was happy to be done with daytime diapers by 2 and 3 months!! My sister did even better than me and her daughter was pretty much diaper free by 18 months!

  147. 147
    Anonymous says:

    Man! I seriously wish we could try that potty trick lol. Unfortunately my kid knows all too well that there are cloth diapers that fit him :\ haha. He knows exactly which diapers are his, too. Oh well. He’s not quite three (but almost! just a little over a month) and we are making *some* progress. For whatever reason he refuses to poop on the potty. He actually fell asleep on the potty one afternoon when we were visiting my parents because he refused to poop :P It seems that if I let him run around naked he will always pee in the potty with no accidents, we’re trying to transition that knowledge to underwear. He’s been pretty good about always peeing in the potty with underwear on, just not pooping in the potty :(

  148. 148
    laura magu says:

    You have so many comments … but THANK YOU for sharing this. My #1 was totally motivated by “big girl” panties. #2 is your boy. Excited – then “NO!” pronounced NOWAH!! Love the tips & hearing about the triumph!

  149. 149
    Christina says:

    I read your blog religiously but I don’t comment often. This time, I HAD to. I have a near 3 year old boy that doesn’t want to even go near his potty. I think that the fact we want him so much to go, it’s not just interesting anymore! We, like you, had to give him so me space. He even said to me he’ll have diapers until he will be big like me!

    I might try this pee pee party next weekend…No going back, hum? Bring it on!! ;)

  150. 150
    Jaci says:

    this is awesome!! I never thought of the “they don’t fit” approach, but i bet that would work on my youngest. I don’t think we are quite there yet (he’s not even 2 1/2) my oldest is a whole other story..he’s turning 5 in 3 weeks and has down syndrome and still isnt potty trained. But i think its a power struggle and i don’t wanna take time to do this, I know he knows all the pieces to go but yet he still doesn’t…..whoe knows maybe this would work on him too?! We shall see!

  151. 151
    Kathryn says:

    After potty training 4 kids and teaching 2 to drive, I have to say these are the things I like least about being a mom. Potty training drove me and them insane. When our 3rd child was potty training we had a puppy as well and every time our child would have a accident our puppy would mark over it. In our new house! Sooooo glad those days are over!

  152. 152
    Amy L says:

    My son is 3 yrs 5mths and 23 days and we are battling as well. I love your inspiration and so glad it worked for you! My daughter was a breeze, nothing to it. I am so paying for that now. Put undies on little man then I hear the dreaded words: “CHANGE MY DIAPER!” and just cringe b/c I know he’s not wearing one. He does the same thing yours did, tells us “no thanks” or “I can’t want to go potty”. Stubborn and hard headed. We may have to try a potty party too!

  153. 153
    michelle says:

    I am def gonna use this with my soon to be three year old diaper wearing baby girl! I am having so much trouble training her too! thank you for posting this i really enjoyed reading it and it gives me hope Congrats!

  154. 154
    Ardis W. says:

    You have NO idea how much I needed this post today. My son is going to be 4 in February and seems to be the most difficult of my 3 kids, to potty train! My hubby has a 3 day weekend so we are definitely doing a pee pee party this weekend!! Please work, Please work, Please work! hahahahaha!

  155. 155

    This was one of the the funniest most relatable (is that a word?) posts I’ve read in a while. I’m so glad to be beyond diapers (just barely, but still at night). For a while there I was worried the kid would go to his senior prom in diapers.

  156. 156
    cindy says:

    Enjoyed reading this a lot :o) We have done something with all of our girls that has worked too. At the time my second was potty training , my first had just started loosing teeth and she was just as excited for the tooth fairy to come as my 1st born was, so we decided that the “Diaper Fairy” needed to come visit her (she was beyond ready too and just stubborn). So one night, the “Diaper Fairy” came in the night and stole all of her diapers and left under wear in their place. She never had an accident after that! We loved it so much that we have done it with the other siblings too. But same thing, you have to know that they are ready and you are not going back when you do it! But I love the small diaper idea and we have hinted a version of this too to prepare them for the “Fairy” to visit and let them know that they ARE too big to be using diapers. But congrats on being diaper free!

  157. 157
    Regina says:

    Oh your blog brought back so many memories for me as I thought back to training my 4 children. When I was training my first child, I had a friend who also had a son the same age. This friend also had a 2nd home in the Bahamas. When she finally succeeded in training her son, she informed me she was going to the Bahamas, because she needed a break after all that work. I was happy for her, but sad for me. What reward did I get for all that work in training my son? NOTHING!

  158. 158
    Janice says:

    Oh my land this post was for me! Let me tell you I seriously do want to go to therapy some days because of this very issue. My 4 1/2 year old (that’s right-I’ve been potty training this girl for 2 1/2 years!) refuses to use the potty consistently. She was potty trained at 2 1/2 years old and then has regressed and I have tried every trick in the book. She does good for a while, then quits, then does good, then quits. Now my 2 year old boy just suddenly wants to potty train. He is half hearted about it most days so I don’t know whether to keep forging forward or give up till he’s serious about it. So I’m potty training 2 kids and I have a 4 month old baby. I’m so tired of having 3 kids in diapers! Well, my oldest only wears the night time pull ups & underwear during the day, but I would LOVE to get rid of that expense! So glad my kids aren’t the only stubborn ones. Hopefully this ends soon cuz I’m tired of it. I’m totally trying the pee pee party with my son and maybe my daughter too. Such a great idea!

  159. 159

    OH my goodness, this is hilarious ! This is inmy very near future for my #4 and I am stalling! A friend needs to also, and we’ve talked about training together!

  160. 160
    Evelyn says:

    Oh my! I was where you are now, 21 years ago!
    If I had to do it all over again I would have potty-trained my children by 18 months. Yep! You heard me right. When I was coming along-a baby in the late 1950’s- most moms had their babies totally potty-trained by 18 months. My mother told me I was under 2 years old when I was potty-trained! With no disposible diapers and only rubber pants to stop the leaks everyone was quick to potty-train early. When I potty-trained my children, it was a popular pediatrician that told moms to let their children dictate potty-training time. It takes effort and time, but it can be done!

  161. 161
    Angela says:

    Thank You!! You had me in tears, my little guy was not quite this hard, but it brought back the frustrations that we too overcame, but congrats to your little man! He can go on to bigger and better things in life now! Congrats! Great story, great photos and you always bring me a smile when I read your posts!

  162. 162
    Chrissy says:

    Someday he’s going to hate you for posting this.

  163. 163
    Patty says:

    This has to be one of the cutest things I have EVER read!! CONGRATS!!! Loved all the potty training ideas. When I get there in two years I will remember this post for sure :-). And loved all the pictures of your adorable son!

  164. 164
    lesley says:

    Wonderful post. Congrats! Great timing for me, too. I’m hoping my son is just about ready…whew. I’m all tired just thinkin’ about the work. Ugh. Ya gave me hope! ;)

  165. 165
    Rachel says:

    We may have to try the too-small diaper/pee pee party combo with Dex soon. We were starting to feel like maybe it’s time for baby #3 since Dex was pretty interested in the potty. With his wishy-washy potty interest I am putting baby talk away. My biggest fear is that I’ll be potty training Dex and Veda at the same time (they are 15 months apart) and have a newborn. I have a few friends who have little girls who potty trained at 18 months. That’s only 3 months from now for Veda. I just don’t think I could survive 2 at once, I didn’t sign up for that! On the other hand…. both done at the same time…. hmm.. Maybe that could be a good thing. Anyways, thanks for this post. There is hope for us!

  166. 166
    Eileen says:

    Fabulous! Congratulations to you all. How I wish I had known this trick 4 years ago when we went through this. I will certainly be passing this advice along to my mom friends :-)

  167. 167
    Kates says:

    Why oh why oh why do moms push their kids to do something they’re not ready to do yet? I will never understand this. All three of my boys were “potty trained” at the age of 4. They were way too busy to use the potty before then and I was way too busy to do all the work just to have it fail every time because my boys were just not interested. I saved myself so much frustration by just allowing them to wear diapers until THEY were ready. I asked each of them when they turned three when they were going to start wearing underwear and go potty in the toilet. All three of them said “when I’m four”. I don’t know why that was the magic number but it worked! I gave them a countdown, when they were three and a half I reminded them that their fourth birthday was coming soon, and so on. My third boy kept saying he would use the potty when he turned four but he figured it all out even before then. Every child is different and every child’s abilities are different. The best advice our pediatrician gave us was that they will tell you when they are ready to use the toilet. Meaning they will say “I want to go potty in the toilet now”. So glad I avoided this power struggle with my kids.

  168. 168
    Rocio Estrada says:

    This story had me cracking up!!!! I can picture his little face as he saw “his treasure” roll (or drop) on the floor! Just like his expression when he saw the pot belly pig poop! I’m still cracking up. I swear lil boys are harder to potty train than girls. My lil girl was potty trained in 1 month when she was 2 yrs. 9 months old. My lil guy….took A LOT longer, but I’m happy to say that at he’s been potty trained for 1 month and he’ll be 3 on Halloween. He even sleeps with underwear at night…that just happened by accident because one night I was so exhausted (single working mommy) that I fell alseep and realized in the middle of the night that I did not put on a pull up on him. I checked the bed and it was dry! I know you are estatic that he’s using the potty….I know I was! Now, I just have to be careful when he uses the big toilet because sometimes he gets the front of his shirt wet (teaching him how to tuck and sit).

    The other day I was doing yard work and he went potty by himself. Well, I guess he got his shirt wet and his sister (4 yr. old) came out to the yard to tell me that he got his shirt wet. When I looked up I saw him standing behind her COMPLETELY NAKED! I was like “what in the world are you thinking????”. Needless to say, he took it upon himself to take his wet clothes off…since he’s a big boy now and wanted to let me know. I guess we have to be careful of what comes with “I’m a big boy” mindset!

  169. 169
    Aimee says:

    I have been trying to potty train my son for months now. We’ve tried candy treats, watching daddy, making a big deal and praising him, to letting him run around naked all day. I just have to tell him like every 30 min to go and he does, but when we get him dressed to go to town or something he never tells us when he needs to go. I KNOW he is capable because we do it at home, so its frustrating.

    I absolutely loved your story and could relate 100% right now. I am going to try the small diaper trick though. I’ll try anything at this point. Thanks for sharing!!!

  170. 170
    Vanessa says:

    Hi, Ashley

    I am happy for you! I’ve been there and done that. I am still working on getting my little girl off the diaper at night. This is my problem now. I hope to be done with this by Christmas. Great post.


  171. 171
    Marissa says:

    That’s funny. I just blogged about this a second before I came on your blog and found this post. I am in the midst of the same thing. My son is 3 1/2 and just won’t do it. It’s a complete power struggle. I need to get my husband on board. If I had a weekend to do it I would. That’s a great idea tricking him with diapers. I have one kid who is 7 and still wears pull ups every night to bed, my 3 yr old who wears diapers, and a 17 mo. old in diapers and I’m expecting number 4 in March. Too many kids in diapers. We’ve been trying to 2 1/2 weeks and still no success. I’ll have to try your party idea.

  172. 172
    Erica says:

    Thanks for a great laugh! What a great daddy! Our little boy was a stinker too for training and our little girl decied at 22 months that she was soooo done with diapers and never wore on again. Kids are all so different. I was totally cracking up at him ignoring the undies and lion king goodies… totally my M.

    Congrats on this momunental step!

  173. 173
    Jenna says:

    Thanks for posting! This is exactly what I needed for encouragment and motivation. My daughter has been reluctant just like your son (saying “No, I’m good” when we ask her to use the potty and meltdowns when we tried to put underwear on her). I’m going to give this a try the next weekend we are home – I hope it works. I just stumbled upon your blog today during a google search of sewing crafts and am pleased to have found an abundance of ideas and a parent in the same boat as myself! So thanks!

  174. 174
    Tara Erwin says:

    I’m going through potty training my little girl…first time potty training a kid for me and boy is it hard! It’s so hard to find something that will work! Luckily she’s only 2 so I’m not freaking out yet but I would LOVE to have a diaper break between kids! :) So my goal is to have her potty trained before I have another baby…which I’m not even prego yet so I guess i have LOTS of time to work on it! thanks so much for sharing your story though! The too tiny diaper is really a great idea and one I’ve never heard before!

  175. 175
    CathGrace says:

    I always feel a little like I missed a right of passage for parenting when it comes to potty training, when my son was 2.5 he wanted to go to preschool 2 days a week to play with other kids, but I had to tell him he would need to wait until he was a big boy, because the school only took potty trained kids. He never had an accident again without me doing anything else! (I put him in diapers at night until he had 2 dry weeks in a row) and I had to enroll him in preschool.

    My daughter was 2.5 when my son went to the dentist for the first time, she begged me to let her go to the dentist (which I wasn’t sure our insurance would cover since she was so young) so I told her only “big girls” get to go to the dentist. When she asked me when she would be a big girl, I said potty trained. She decided then and there that she was potty trained and she was. (She had one accident that week when she fell asleep in the car, but never had another one.) I had to get her a dental appointment for the next week!

    I have always felt like I missed something that would put me in the club of struggling moms who had to resort to some hardcore parenting to get a potty trained child………. I guess I’ll get over it though compared to cleaning up poop and vomit!

  176. 176
    Kizzie says:

    Love this post! I’m in the thick of potty training my little boy who turned 3 July. We’re on day 5 and so far so good, we’ve had accidents but nothing terrible and luckily for me he caught on to #2 super fast, so the only accidents we’ve had are pee! I can handle a couple of those. We’re trying to get him independent in the bathroom by December, I’m due to have #3 at the end of December and I don’t want to still be dealing with it! Thanks for the encouragement! : )

  177. 177
    Tanya H. says:

    Congratulations! That’s a big milestone.

    I never potty trained my oldest — we just put out a potty seat, told him what it was for, and waited for him to use it (just past 3 yrs). Accidents have been pretty much non-existent. My second turns three in December and is still fond of his diapers, so we’ll wait for him, too but with school coming up in 10 months, there’s more pressure. Will definitely keep that diaper trick in mind if it becomes necessary.

  178. 178
    Molly says:

    I had to crack up when I read this. This is how my mom potty trained my little brother (who is now 19) too! Haha. Gotta love bribery. Although I’m pretty sure my Sophomore in college brother would deny every word I just wrote! Thank god there weren’t really blogs in the early 90s!

  179. 179
    Annie says:

    Thank you so much for this. I am in the thick of it now so this was very helpful. My son was potty trained (except for #2) by 2 1/2. Then we had my daughter. He totally refused to go at all after that. Now he is 3 and after reading your post I get him into underwear every day, 3 gummy bears for pee, mini CHOCOLATE bar for #2, potty dance, lots of fluids …. the works. This kid refuses to #2. “How ’bout next Friday.” he says to me. Oye. Here’s hoping!

  180. 180
    HW says:

    Congrats on your creative ideas to get your boy potty trained!
    I just read “Diaper Free Before 3” by Jill Lekovic (http://www.amazon.com/Diaper-Free-Before-Healthier-Toilet-Diapers/dp/0307237095) and wish I had read it sooner (my son is 20 months). This book totally made sense to me. Her approach for early potty training can start before age 1, so maybe it will be useful with your younger daughter. What I really like is that sitting on the potty becomes part of the child’s daily routine. It is a more gradual approach but started younger and so in the end the child is out of diapers sooner.

  181. 181
    Ann says:

    So what has anyone been successful with helping boys notice they are having BMs? We explain pressure, something coming out, etc. but he still poops in underwear and swears he didn’t feel anything coming out! And once it does, then he tells me.

  182. 182
    Tish says:

    Congratulations on the potty training! That’s definitely a milestone you’ll be glad you’ve hit! I guess I was lucky with my son, because potty training went the same way as when he gave up the baby bottle and the pacifier earlier on. We talked it up for a long time about being a “big boy” and “when you get to be a big boy and don’t need this baby *thing* (pacifier, diaper, whatever it was),” etc. and one day he just said “No more, I’m a big boy now!” and threw down the diapers (pacifier and bottle before this) which we promptly made him throw away in the trash with much ceremony. When he wanted them back later on, we said, “Sorry, you threw it away, remember?” End of story. It was do or die from that point! And since it appeared to be his choice and he was too stubborn to retreat (he’s too much like me, I guess!), he couldn’t go back. Ha ha! Tough love, I suppose, but it worked!

  183. 183
    Catherine says:

    Thank you for sharing your Potty Training experience. We have just been in the process of training our 3 yr old boy too. It is hard work. But he is finally getting the hang of it. Yay. I know how exciting it can be. I had to laugh at some of the similar experiences we have had.

  184. 184

    I have a friend that is struggling with potty training her 3 yr old… I will definitely pass this on to her!

  185. 185
    Kelly Green says:

    What a great story! We are all trained at my house, but if we have another child, this would be great!

  186. 186
    Kristin says:

    Thank you so much for posting this!! It was like I was reading a story of my middle son! (minus a happy ending) I’m praying this will work! With 3 boys I’m thinking potty training may be the death of me!

  187. 187
    Mary Beth says:

    We had a similar experience with our son. I distinctly remember him yelling at me and saying that he would never stop wearing diapers. We had a “potty party” for him, similar to your pee pee party, and at six and a half years old, he still asks to have a potty party.

  188. 188
    Aunt Jeri says:

    Brilliant! I think Spencer was about the same age before he mastered the potty so don’t feel too bad. I think it is a boy thing. Spencer did decide that is was better to wear his underwear backwards so he could see the picture so we went through a long time of backwards undies, but hey he loved it so whatever!!!! Good job C !!!!! Love ya!

  189. 189
    Kelly says:

    This is completely what I need right now. I’m locked in a power struggle with my 2 year old daughter. She goes commando throughout the day (at home), and she HOLDS it until nap time. She doesn’t want to have an accident, but she refuses to use the potty. I’m going to use that diaper trick. Thanks for the amazing idea.

  190. 190
    Holli says:

    Oh my goodness, that is awesome! it took me 11 months to potty train my now 3 year old, we just finished in June! YAY! done! Now my 2 year old needs to be trained. She gets so excited and runs to the toilet, then she just sits there. No pee, no poop. no nothing. this is going to take forever. If it goes on like this I’m seriously trying your diaper trick.

  191. 191
    Leigh Anne says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! A support group would be GREAT! I’m mostly finished training my 2.5 yo son. My 1st son was just barely 3 when he was trained and it was soooo easy. Well, #2 decided to train himself at a little over 2yo. It has def. been so much harder training a 2yo. I’ve cleaned up waaaay more pee and poo than I ever have. He is doing really good most days, but we still struggle with nap time. He physically can make it through, but sometimes he doesn’t nap and just pees and poos in his bed instead….yuck! We’ve even used duct tape around his diaper so he couldn’t take if off in his bed. Yep, he figured out how to get out of it :( I’m so tired of cleaning up poo. Thanks for the post! I appreciate hearing someone elses story and knowing that I’m not the only one!! Yay for your little man!

  192. 192
    Penelope says:

    I really loved the too small diaper trick! I’ve had lots of chances to potty train (11 children….trained 10 so far) And my first was by far the easiest. She was ‘ready’ at 16 months. But she wasn’t physically able until about 22 months. 1 accident only after that, and I didn’t have to do much at all. My poor husband thought all the kids should be like that. *sigh* I had a couple that I probably should have waited until they were 4 to actually push the training because we had several horrendous messes to deal with (no amount of rewards/bribery had any effect), and because I am still dealing with residual issues with those 2. #10 was thankfully easy as I was newly pregnant. I’ve got a couple years before I do it again…. I can most definitely wait….

    p.s. love your tuts. Thanks for it all.

  193. 193
    Holly Anne says:

    I totally understand. Recently me and my husband went through the same thing with our 3 year old daughter, Charlie. She just wouldn’t use the toilet. Finally she went in the toilet, but not after many treats and pleading. She still has a lot of accidents though. Like she’ll be sitting on the couch and have to go and go. For example, yesterday, we went to the mall to buy new shoes and she just went pee on the shoe store floor. This also happened with my oldest daughter Stacie(7) and my middle daughter Kennedy(5). They have to get used to it. Oh dear, I better go, Kennedy just fell off a swing!

    Holly Anne
    Kansas City, Kansas

  194. 194
    Sreekala says:

    Goodness! That story gave me a lot of hope! My kid #2 is about the same age – he’s a July baby – somehow he’s pee pee trained, but still won’t do poo poo – he has to do it in a diaper! I think he feels kind of insecure in letting his “treasure” go down the loo so callously. I haven’t resorted to giving candy for poo poos as yet, but it seems a good idea! Thanks for the story! It’s so good to know there are others who have struggled and won – and when it was so easy with kid #1 too – I know, I know, one is not supposed to compare, but still!! :-)

  195. 195
    Margarita says:

    Woah… we’ve just started potty training and this is a pretty fantastic idea! Kidlet turned two in August and moved into the two year old room at daycare and since he saw the other kids doing it, he has been as well. No #2s yet– and we still have wet diapers but no where near as often– and we learned pretty quickly about the necessity of a potty upstairs and downstairs. The peepee party sounds pretty awesome… will defintely be thinking about that in a couple of months depending on how the training goes!!!!

    I say YES to saying potty training in a GREAT reason to interrupt the crafting blog!!!! Congratulations!!!!!

  196. 196
    Heather says:

    UHGHGH I have 2 1/2 year old twins and I cant for the life of me get them to go. He could care less. At daycare, they work with them and one of the girls got a sucker. He flipped out and yelled ” I go potty too” ripped his diaper off and pooped on the floor. He doesnt care. Her on the other gets it but wont do it. She knows when she has to go and when she has to go #2, she yells her butt hurts and lets one rip. She has gone before on the potty, shes not scared of it, she loves flushing, she will even tell you “Im a big girl and I go on big girl potty” and yet SHE.WONT.GO Its very frustrating.

    • 196.1
      crystal says:

      not to make a small thing of your frustration
      but I laughed soo hard.

      one day you’ll look back and find it hilarious, even if its frustrating now

  197. 197
    Laura says:

    Congratulations! A few weeks ago I FINALLY got my son fully trained, so I understand your excitement. And he will be 4 at the end of November, so the pressure was on! The too-small diaper idea is BRILLIANT! I wish I’d thought of it. We just went with the “help me gather up all of your diapers because we have to throw them away since you are a big boy now” method. Kudos for a diaper-free life! It’s awesome, isn’t it?

  198. 198
    Katy says:

    Thanks for sharing such a well-timed story. I just started potty training this week with my almost 3-year-old and the first few days were really awful and lots of accidents. I think I’ve spent 1/2 of the day in the bathroom either cleaning accidents or waiting for the miracle. But we are getting there…I think? I hope?

    My tips so far:
    1. I found some rubber underwear covers and started using those. It helped keep the accidents from getting all over the house…mostly.

    2. When there is a protest, put child on toilet anyway. The kids are supposed to do everything else we tell them to do, right? So why not potty?


  199. 199
    Sarah M says:

    Love this potty training story thank you for sharing, you’ve given me hope! Our 3 year old has been 70% trained for over a year and after a minor incedent where he tried to change himself (yes poop) he refuses to wear underwear. So I think we’re going to give this method a shot on the next long weekend.

  200. 200
    Vanessa says:

    This is something I’m SO not looking forward to when I have kids. But, I’ve heard a lot about Elimination Communication (google it!) and that seems like a logical idea – introduce the potty from a really young age (even just a few months) and it’s nothing scary from then on! Anything to miss the Potty Training struggle!!

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    Shellee says:

    Do you have any tips for me? I work in a daycare and my newly 2 year old daughter goes to work with me. We’ve been putting her on the potty since she was about 15 months old. She loves going to the potty and she will pee and poop in it, if we time it right. We make it a BIG deal and give her 1 piece of candy for pee and 2 for poop. But I don’t know how to potty train her on a daily basis while I work. And we don’t get home until late. Can you help?? (PLEASE!!!)

    • 201.1
      Misty says:

      The biggest thing is to wait until they show signs of being ready to train. Our youngest is 2 1/2 and it took about a week to fully potty train him. He was showing signs he was ready and that’s when we started. His signs were that he 99% of the time was staying dry overnight. He did not pee that often during the day, every couple of hours or more. He would tell me he needed a clean diaper. One day he looked at his diaper and said, “it’s coming”. We went straight out of diapers into underwear, pull ups at bedtime just in case. The best thing is to ask every 10-15 minutes if she needs to pee pee. Every 30-45 minutes you should put her on the potty anyway and try to get her to go. We asked our son, “where is the pee pee, I can’t see it?” and he would try to make pee pee. The key is to constantly ask and put them on the potty. Especially when they are only 2, they are not going to tell you they need to go they are learning what the sensation feels like. When we would go out we would sit him on the potty before we left and take him potty when we got where we were going. We asked him constantly while out and made sure he went again before we got back in the car. If she is not in your class in the daycare, her teachers need to know you are trying to train her so they can ask her and take her very often. Good luck.

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    Lucy says:

    After going through a similar nightmare with my 2 eldest sons ( the last one, took until he was nearly 5!) I am totally dreading it with boy number 3. He’s nearly 2 so I know that next year will be all pooping and peeing everywhere! Apparently boys are much harder to train than girls as they seem not to mind playing in soiled pants! I hope that I remember the small nappy trick, I will definately be trying that one! Your totally right about no going back, you have to be prepared for all or nothing. We tried training pants with our last boy and I just think that they totally confused him, leading him to take ages! Well done!

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    Maureen says:

    I bought my son a peter potty toddler urinal and it worked amazing! He thought he was all grown up and it only took him 2 days to potty train! Hopefully it will work with my youngest, but I have time to wait for that.

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    leanne says:

    yep boys must be much harder than girls. I have been training my daughter who is 2 and 3/4 for about 2 weeks now and she has managed to get all of her poops in the potty (except one she ran and hid and pooped in her night nappy) and has only had about 5 or 6 wee accidents. I just put her straight into underwear. i recently did buy pullups to go out with and she does really well. We can go out shopping and to friends houses and she uses the toilet.
    We tried at the start of the year as soon as she turned two but she was scared and wouldn’t co-operate. I think wait till its summer if you can so you can put them in underwear and a t-shirt and nothing else and wait till they are really really ready and it shouldn’t be too hard. I have been pleasantly surprised by how easy it has been. That said I have a girl and it is much much easier than boys I think.

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    Anonymous says:

    Congrats to the boy! My little sister (now 10) was a bit over 4 when she was potty trained. My mom had such a tough time with her, but things worked out eventually. When she got mad at my mom she would threaten her with pooping in her pants! My mom also tried taking her to a friends house to get her to want undies like her friend had but it backfired and her friend started asking for diapers!

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    connie says:

    That’s great that worked!
    another idea we did with our daughter, Right after her 2nd Birthday. I told her she was too big for diapers and she helped me throw them out, we waited for the trash guys to come and we waved and said “bye bye” to them. Then I gave her the gift I bought her. Princess undees, I told her that the princesses would be very sad if she went pee pee on them, we also bought her a very simple potty. Nothing with lights or bells, it’s not play time it’s potty time. She had a few accidents but we pretty much got her trained within 2 weeks. One thing I learned watching other is they kept giving in and letting them go back into diapers. I might be a mean mommy but once I tell her things will change… I do not go back on my word. It’s maybe my little stubborn one be a lot easier to raise.

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    Maria says:

    Thank you for this. I hate potty training. My 3 1/4 year old has also tried absolutely everything. We have puzzles and duplo fire trucks on top of the fridge for when he goes accident free for so many days. He talks all the time about all of the things he will get wen he goes potty, and then he just doesn’t care. Anyway, the biggest problem is that he is super super tall, as in tall as a 5 year old, so I am fearful I will have to start buying depends soon since he will grow out of his diaper. Anyway, we will give this pee pee party a try and the outgrown diaper thing too. Here’s to hoping I will have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

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    Eva Scott says:

    Congrats! My son is three in February. We are taking a paycut at the beginning of the year so I decided no more diapers! Ha! He has been showing signs for a little while now. We would go for it, he would do moderately well, then it was like he would get bored. I read your post and tucked it away. He began showing signs again last week so this Tuesday, we got rid of the diapers, went solely with big boy undies and four days later, it’s looking good! Our second day was the worst but the poor guy a stomach ache. Other than that, zero accidents!! Thanks for posting this. It was a great idea!

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    crystal says:

    One time when my son was potty training we were at a restraunt eating lunch. He said he needed to go potty so we went. He took soooooo long that when we came out, the waitress had thrown away our food and sat someone at our table!! LOL all because he wouldnt sit until he was finished, he had to keep getting up and down

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    Anika says:

    We are SO doing this! My son will be 3 next month and is way too big for diapers…I’m surprised they fit him at all! I just had a baby last month, though, so we’re waiting a few more months to start. I’m so done with diapering 2 kids!

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    Michelle G. says:

    OMG… I’m so jealous. My son is 4 years and 3 months, and we have been trying to get him trained for a year and a half! I am so sick of cleaning up poop I could scream. I’d try a “potty party” but its not the concept of potty that my son doesn’t “get” its just that he FIGHTS me on going. When I finally can get him on the potty, he can go and does. But often he waits too long and refuses to go. UGH.

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    Raquel says:

    I love this story. I am totally going to try this, but first is weaning my 3 year old daughter… We are having a weaning party for her in a few months, maybe I’ll make it a weaning/pee pee party!

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    Kathryn says:

    24 years ago, when my daughter was 2 years and 2 months old, I used a book called Toilet Training in Less than a Day. The concepts are similar to many that I’ve seen here, and it absolutely worked. The trick is to use a doll that wets so that the child can comprehend exactly what is expected. My daughter had very few accidents after the initial training session, which only took a few hours. I assume the book is still in print. Good luck, everyone!

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    Anonymous says:

    My youngest son is 3 years 21 months and we still spend entirely too much time in pullups. Some days he is all about it and others he wants nothing to do with it:( This post does inspire me that there is hope!

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    Jenny says:

    Old book, “How to Potty Train Your Child in Less than a Day.” If you are struggling, I highly recommend it. It worked with all four of my children. Well, three really. My second got up one morning and said, “No more diapers.” And she never had an accident. Otherwise, the others did it according to the book in one day, and between the three of them – I think we had two accidents. So, look it up – it’s totally worth the read.

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    Monica says:

    We had a similar situation with our son when he was three. I waited until June to get him trained by the time preschool started in September. After a week I gave up. He wasn’t getting it. The next day — a Saturday my hubby decided to take over. I said Good luck and went out for the day. Well, I guess I was doing it wrong. Daddy showed him how to pee standing up! That was very cool and he almost never had an accident again!
    My daughter was almost three. She was so stubborn. She would stand in front of my and pee her adorable Arthur panties on my dinning room carpet. I said Barbie would never darken my door step. What was the only thing that would motivate her? Barbie!

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    Sara C. says:

    We had the same troubles with our son. Just not interested. I finally realized he wouldn’t still be wearing diapers in college, and just gave up for awhile. He trained himself in one day, just shy of his 4th birthday. He’d slept in our bed (a rarity) and first thing in the morning we made him march straight to the toilet and pee. That was it.
    We’ve had a few accidents since, but nothing unusual. Funny how some kids just have to do it on their own schedule. Ours has never been one to be rushed into decisions.

    Love the story!

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    Prissilia says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I’ve also been toilet training my daughter without much success. I followed your candy method and it actually works :)

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    Lisa says:

    Please don’t reward your kid with food. He’s not a dog. Candy as a desert or snack is all ok, but not as a reward.
    Potty training is hard, because if you believe Freud and his child development phases (I do) then you could “mess up” starting too early or too late. Glad he finally made it :) Oh and I remember those undies from my Au-Pair-Child, he loved them so much even though he never really knew anything about the super heros on them :D

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    Wendy says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, i’m going to have to try this, my little boy was doing so good and now he backed up again. Thank you again! Love your blog!!!

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    Misty says:

    This was such a cool idea. I will pass this along to people I know. Thankfully our youngest of 6 is 2 1/2 years old and completely potty trained. It took about a week. All of ours were fairly easy to train and it didn’t take too long. So glad this worked for you all and I do love the idea of the small diaper and pee pee party.

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    Charlene says:

    You should be a writer!!! I think that is about the best story I ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We are going to try that on my granddaughter!!!!
    Thanks for taking the time to share this!!!

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    misty says:

    Your son sounds exactly like mine. However, mine is 4 years and 1 month old as is still refusing to be potty trained. He was doing well before we moved 3 months ago but ever since has completely sworn it off. I’ve tried everything even potty watches and pullups with lightening McQueen (that I said I’d never buy). Your idea of too small diapers sounds fabulous except that my skinny little boy wears the same size 4 diapers ad his 2 year old brother. Now the thought has come to mind that I could train both but I don’t feel his little brother fits required “listening” criteria yet. Terrible twos. What would you suggest? I’m at my wits end with him!!!

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    rachel says:

    Its a blessing i found this article tonight, my son just turned 3 and i feel like he’s never going to be potty trained, reading this article made me feel so good that im not alone or a failure as a parent!

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    Alison says:

    My little girl is 3 years and 10 months old. She is extremely stubborn as well and I have tried everything. I loved this post and going to use this mentioned. I am really hoping this works because I am out of ideas. Thanks for the post!

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    Deb says:

    Thank you for the reminder about the older sibling getting a reward too and would become their cheerleader. My 2yo DD is interested and has gone, and my 4yo DS asks if he gets a treat too and I said no b/c he was already a big boy but his sister was still learning. I’m changing that plan today!

  227. 227
    Megan says:

    My son is 3 years and almost 2 months. He’s been peeing in the potty since Election Day (haha I know I was super excited) but he refuses to poop in the toilet. Any ideas?! I’d greatly appreciate them!!

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    Kim says:

    Thanks so much for all of this! I was feeling like such a terrible mom – my 3 y 11 mold refuses but his 2 yr 11 mo younger brother is a potty pro! I don’t feels bad and will definitely try these ideas! Thanks again!

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    Nancy says:

    Not to be a negative Nancy here, but don’t all you people think it might be easier to potty train your kids when they’re 1-2 years? Both of mine were potty trained by 15 months and we had no problems because it wasn’t about testing will power or any of the other stuff that 3 year olds pull. Using the potty was just what we did.