Potty Training: Live Blogging, Day 1

Check back often and scroll down to the bottom of the post to see how we do and for the latest updates!  What do you think?  Will we have no children in diapers for the first time in 13 1/2 years?

Our baby is 21 months old and is showing definite signs of being ready to potty train, so we’re going to see how it goes today.

Although I’ve successfully potty trained 8 children, I do not consider myself an expert at this and always feel lost.  So please feel free to give me advice if you have some to share.

If you have questions about specifics, readiness, or how we do it, etc. please feel free to ask in the comments.  Since, I’m tied to the kitchen (where we’re potty training) I’m going to be updating live as the day goes on, so you can get a glimpse into what it’s really like at our house when it’s time to potty train.

9:00 Fixed koolaid (only used to dye playsilks, yarn and help with potty training)

9:15 Took baby’s pants off and let him sit on the potty. (A baby potty set up in the kitchen because there’s no carpet or furniture, room for him to play and plenty of things for me to do.)

9:18 Let baby watch big brother  (3) use the baby potty.  Sang the potty song and gave big brother a treat.

9:20 Start giving baby KoolAid.

Baby continues to play in the kitchen without pants and sit on the potty occassionally.

10:04 Baby wets on the floor.  I pick him up and quickly move him to the potty and say, “yeah, that’s pee pee, put it in the potty.  Good boy!”

Continue to push KoolAid while I work on my Bible reading on the kitchen floor.  Big brother (3) wants to use the baby potty again and get a treat. Um, no.

10:16 Baby sits on the potty again.

10:17 Just after getting off the potty baby goes on the floor again, repeat 10:04 process.

10:23 Baby wants to stand on the small rug in front of the sink.  Remove rug from the kitchen.

Bring out peanuts to snack on so baby will be thirsty and drink more KoolAid.

10:28 Baby spills Kool Aid all over the baby potty.  Big brother (3) cleans up and then spills Kool Aid all over the kitchen floor.

10:32 First SUCCESS!  Baby sits on potty and uses it.  Call all the kids up and we sing the potty song and do the potty dance and give baby a treat. (A piece of candy left over from decorating graham cracker houses.)

10:38 Second SUCCESS!  Baby runs to potty and ditto 10:32!

10:40 Baby goes on the kitchen floor.  I say, “Uh oh, pee pee goes in the potty.  This is a no no.”  Sit him on the potty and say, “Good boy!”  I clean floor and switch out the laundry.

10:46 Baby goes on the kitchen floor again.  Repeat instructions from 10:40.

11:17 Baby pees on the potty. No not while sitting on it, while playing beside it.  This time I say, “No, no baby, please make pee pee on the potty”, while placing him on it.

11:28 Big brother says, “Please can baby stand up and go potty?”  “Um, not yet.”  I’m going to make lunch now.

11:35 Baby says, “Potty.”  runs over and sits down.  A few minutes later we have another SUCCESS.  This is the first time that some of the urine makes it into the potty.  We sing and dance and give him a treat and he wants to sit on the potty again.

11:44 Baby climbs into the potty and tips the whole thing over, comfort baby and am happy that the potty was empty.  Next baby proceeds to drop a peanut into the potty, pull it out and eat it before I can stop him.

11:57 Another SUCCESS! As part of our success festivities we let the baby empty the baby potty into the big one and flush, a huge perk.

12:14 Baby begins to go on the floor and stops himself.  Doesn’t go in potty… waiting.

The big kids are eating lunch and playing downstairs in the huge tent that they’ve made.

12:47 SUCCESS, but the boy is camping out on that potty.

1:01 SUCCESS.  Baby said, “potty”, ran over sat down and did.  I feel like we’re making progress.

1:20 Whew! Time for a break.  Read 3 little ones a story, prayed with them and tucked them in for a nap. 🙂

3:01 Woke up from nap with a wet diaper and a VERY cranky attitude.  Asked to sit on the potty, but then began to cry.

3:27 Still very fussy, considering being done for the day and starting again in the morning.

Ended up putting a diaper on baby and letting him take a break.  Will repeat again tomorrow, hopefully with more success and less wet floors.

UPDATE DAY 2: My mommy instinct is telling me that even though he did well yesterday, he’s just not ready to take the plunge.  He got up at 7:30 last night and asked to sit on the potty.  I could tell he had just wet his diaper.

This morning he’s not so big on sitting on the potty, he’s pretty fussy and I just don’t think he’s ready.

We will put him back in diapers and try again in a week or so if he gives us more signs.

Something unclear?  Am I doing it all wrong? Please feel free to leave me any questions or advice!

UPDATE May 19: Nicholas is completely trained.  Here is the rest of the potty training story.

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72 Responses to Potty Training: Live Blogging, Day 1
  1. Amy @ Raising Arrows
    January 19, 2010 | 10:43 am

    I don’t feel much like an expert, but thought I’d offer some humor (cuz when you’re potty training a little humor is needed!) Here are my posts on potty training (and one of them is specifically on potty training while pregnant!)

    Good luck!


  2. Jama
    January 19, 2010 | 11:45 am

    Sounds like a good day so far…some in the potty with other teachable moments. I would say you are off to an excellent start. I’m planning to train Andrew in another month or so. This is def. my least favorite Mommy job!


  3. Donna Jackson
    January 19, 2010 | 12:04 pm

    I don’t know if this will help any…my daughter loved stickers. So we did little stickers on a “potty chart” each time she was successful. Then you don’t have all the sugar! She is 13 now and the other day while cleaning out some scrapbooking stuff, I found the potty chart! She got a big laugh out of it!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Stickers is a good idea. Thanks!


  4. Tristan from the Crew
    January 19, 2010 | 12:33 pm

    Brave woman! We do not potty train that young because you are mostly mommy training. By that I mean mommy is trained to ask “Do you need to potty?” at regular intervals throught the day and night.

    We had one child (the oldest) choose to train herself at 24 months. And actually she asked grandma is she could go potty when she went. They rest was history for her during the day, but at night she wet the bed often until nearly 6 (family history).

    The other two potty trained ones were ready at 3 years old (35-36 mos). One was a boy(now 5), one a girl(now 4). The girl was much more reluctant and I had to encourage her, but within a week she no longer needed reminded. She is now 4 and still wets the bed at night like big sis did. (Some genes I wish the kids didn’t get from their dad…LOL!).
    The boy trained in about 36 hours and I think had one accident at night in his life.

    I don’t enjoy having 2 and 3 kids in cloth diapers, but have found that it is easier to wait until the child is 3 to expedite the process, and to really train them and not train me. 😉

    I have two in diapers right now, both boys. One is 10 months and the other is 27 mos. The older is still not ready, not verbal enough and he is not dry overnight, nor is he ready to be responsible for the process.

    However, each family is different – so if early training works for you go for it! I just don’t have enough energy and patience to keep reminding them and cleaning up the accidents.


    Tristan from the Crew Reply:

    Oh, I forgot, we use chocolate chips as the treat for the first week or so. 1 for pee, 2 for poop. And then after 1 week with no accidents they get to buy underware of their character choice. Diapers are ceremoniously passed down to the “baby” of the family, and their dresser drawer is stocked with lots of neat underware.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks Tristan. We’ve found that for all but one of our children they are basically self-sufficient (tell us when they need to go, etc.) by the time they are two years old. One of ours completely potty trained himself at 15 months.

    I do think that if you’re having to constantly ask and having lots of accidents after the first couple of weeks or so it might be a good idea to put them in diapers and wait and see if they are ready later.


    Nikki Reply:


    As always, you are an inspiration! My Hammy-Gremlin is 2 years and 8 months now. I’m tired of changing big kid poops! I think after our big birthday party this weekend and everything calms down, we’ll start the preparation for potty training.

    I think the way you are doing it is best. No carpet, lots of motivation and encouragement (in the form of Kool-aid, salty snacks, treats, praise and potty dances), no underwear, lots of fluids. Your mommy instinct knows he’s ready. I wish my kids showed readiness at such a young age. But I definitely know my Hammy is ready. Now it’s about ME being ready. I swear I get an ulcer just thinking of the training.


  5. Brandie
    January 19, 2010 | 1:37 pm

    Wow you are an overachiever. That is exciting about no diapers just until new baby comes along though hehe!! Hope it goes well.


  6. Michael Riecken
    January 19, 2010 | 2:30 pm

    We do kind of the same thing. I think that you’re spot on.

    Currently we’re training #7 of 7 (last one!) – a girl. She turned two in October.

    We do the same thing that Tristan does – one piece of [favorite small candy] for pee, two for poop. (This one is giddy for starbursts and skittles)

    We buy her “princess underwear” as she is less inclined to mess those. [note: for 2T sized, you need to look in the diaper section at WalMart, they’re not in the girls section at sizes that small]

    We don’t have a potty chair (though we have used them in the past). Instead we have a step up to a regular toilet and keep a kid sized seat (an insert for the regular seat) in place.

    We then place her on the potty at regular intervals.

    She still sleeps (naps and overnight) in a diaper, but often wakes up dry.

    When she goes, we have a “potty parade” with the other six kids singing a potty song and marching through the house.



    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I like the idea of nice underwear. Have to try that one, when/if we get to that point. 🙂


  7. Dawn
    January 19, 2010 | 2:33 pm

    Brave Mommy! I applaud your efforts. Where were you about 8 years ago? I could have used this mentoring.


  8. MomStarr
    January 19, 2010 | 2:40 pm

    Jim was reading this over my shoulder and we both laughed out loud at the peanut in the pot episode. I usually start boys at 2 and they are fairly successful in a reasonable amount of time. To be honest I dislike potty training very much!! I even contemplated letting my 11 year old train my current 18 month old son for $50. I don’t think he is interested. I don’t like to train earlier than 2 b/c for us it is more work for mommy. My girls were easier and trained faster. I tried for the first time, with my last potty training, putting the child to bed in training pants as soon as we had consistent success during the day and letting the wettings happen a few times in hopes that it would help train the bladder faster. I think maybe with some kids delaying at night by using diapers can delay their nighttime control. It worked for this child and staying dry at night happened faster than usual. I will try again though and see if I can get the same success. Happy training and keep sharing the escapades it is a real blast to read!!!!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Our 9 year old is beging to train the baby. I just don’t think she’s ready.


  9. Jami
    January 19, 2010 | 2:45 pm

    I wonder if you’d be willing to potty train my 2 year old? LOL This is the one area of parenting I will admit I am BAD at. 🙂 Maybe you will inspire me to get going on it. I am thinking I might wait until it is warm enough to just stop putting pants on him? He is TERRIFIED of the hole in the toilet, so I guess I can’t try to train him on the big one like so many people suggest… 🙁

    Best of luck to you.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    No extra potty training for me. This is my least favorite parenting job.


  10. Jo Shabo
    January 19, 2010 | 2:51 pm

    This was so funny to read!! It might not be so funny for you right now but it made me LAUGH!! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!!!


  11. Smockity Frocks
    January 19, 2010 | 3:19 pm

    So is he completely undressed from the waist down? Or does he have on undies?


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Completely undressed. We put on undies when they start being consistent in the potty or when I’m not watching like a hawk.


  12. Michelle
    January 19, 2010 | 3:23 pm

    OK.. while I’m reading this I’m thinking. He’s peeing a lot! Does he really pee that much? My Lily is 28 mo. I really WANT to potty train her, especially with 2 in diapers right now. We bought her potty before she was two and she went twice and got stickers. After that, she just really didn’t care. She would cry if I tried to get her on it and now she just says “no” when I ask her if she’s ready for the potty. I’ve thought about waiting for her to want to but everyone around her is being trained her age. She tells me and even takes her diaper off when she’s wet. Oh…you wanted advice but I need it. ME ME ME! LOL.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    That’s the result (and purpose) of Kool Aid (our kids never get it outside of potty training) and salty snacks (so he’ll drink more). Lots of potty means lots of training opportunities in less time.

    I’d definitely wait on your 28 mo old. You’ll know when she’s ready.


  13. celee
    January 19, 2010 | 3:47 pm

    Wow, you are so patient and sweet! I freak out way too much and can’t stand those little potties. I tried potty training my now 3 year old while pregnant with my now 1 year old, but just couldn’t make myself do it. I waited until she was born, which probably wasn’t ideal. I think you’re wise to try and train him now before baby #10!

    How long do you keep them in diapers at nap and night?


  14. Susan
    January 19, 2010 | 4:04 pm

    Can I just say that I loathe potty training! The magic age for our boys was 3-1/2. For the oldest girl it was 2, almost on the nose…we’ll see when this little one is ready.

    Do you ever find that once you’ve started the potty training routine, you wish you could turn back but it’s too late (you’ve crossed the threshold from relying on diapers but the mastery aint there, if ykwim)? Once the full transition is done, it’s great, but getting there…!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Me too. My least favorite job.

    Yes, with one child. On the other hand, there have been times when we started training and realized that baby wasn’t ready and so just stopped and tried again later. However, that one child had been reliably trained for nearly 5 months and then just stopped. Weird!


  15. Kimberly @ Raising Olives
    January 19, 2010 | 4:11 pm

    Sweet and patient on the FIRST day. 🙂

    It depends on how they are doing during the day. Some of ours have come out of night and nap diapers as soon as they “got it” during the day. Others, not so much.


  16. lesley
    January 19, 2010 | 4:36 pm

    i looked up all kinds of info when my son (then 20-24mo)started training – but it was the best day-care lady, ever, who got him started and talked me through the process- i don’y remember any really bad things about the process, except that it took 6 mo!! i think you have some really great ideas that i will be using myself in the future.


  17. Stephanie
    January 19, 2010 | 5:33 pm

    Sounds like the same process we use. I’ve only been through it twice but in my eperience, it sounds like your son is right where he needs to be. He understands that it should be in the potty and is acknowledging that he is going – potty or not. When we were not seeing that, we would stop and try again a few months later. Good luck! I [finally] trained my first when I was 8 months pregnant with #3. It was not a fun time for either of us. #2 was sooo easy. (Which was probably foreshadowing, now that I look back on it…) When we finally decided he was ready (on attempt #3), we spent the first few days in the kitchen. No pants. He had no accidents. He went on the potty every time. We started letting him on the carpet (with the potty close by) and still no problems. Sent him out of the house in undies – no problems. For over a month, he was perfect. Christmas vacation came and it all disappeared. We still have not recovered. Home or out, he just goes. He says nothing. You only know if you see a puddle or occasionally he takes his pants off and hides them somewhere. Then, of course, he can’t remember where he was when it happened. I feel like we are back further than when we started in November – at least then he was interested in succeeding. Kimberly, you said you dealt with this once – WHAT DO WE DO??? Do we go back to diapers and wait for him to bring it up again? I really don’t want to do that…
    (Sorry, I know you were the one asking for advice… 🙂 )


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hmmm, that’s a tough call and one that you’re going to have to just trust your gut on.

    Since it’s only been a month I’d be tempted to put him back into diapers and then try again later, but listen to your mommy instinct.


  18. Tammy
    January 19, 2010 | 5:57 pm

    I think this is everyones least favorite job. We use the same basic idea as you. We go in the kitchen(uncarpeted), give lots of opportunities to drink, they get 1 m&m for pee… 2 for poo, we rejoice over success and try not to make a big deal of the other… I find that most of my kids have been ready between 21 and 36 months. My son pretty much potty trained himself at 21 months and I had heard boys were so hard to train! My third daughter was the most difficult. She was 4 1/2 before she really got it! Uggggg!!!! We have managed to train 8 kids… so I guess they all figure it out sooner or later. Our kids move out of nighttime diaper when they have gone a week dry at night.


  19. Nikki
    January 19, 2010 | 6:35 pm

    Apparently I’m a little s-l-o-w in the commenting in the right place department. Oops! My comment is way up there!


  20. Deb
    January 19, 2010 | 6:40 pm

    I hate potty training with the burning fire of a thousand suns.

    I am in the throes of it with my daughter right now. I keep sending my husband graphic emails at work about the buckets-o-pee I am dealing with. The other day he came home complaining he had a hard day. I was all, “Did anyone at your job actually PEE on your actual FOOT? Twice? No? Well then, I WIN!”

    Clorox wipes (for the potty) and m&m’s (for the bribery) are my friends.

    I don’t know how you guys with large families do it. Part of me feels like “look, I already taught someone how to do this – keep up, chickie”

    She’s doing great, though. I upped the ante to Hershey’s kisses for a poo on the potty, and she is right on board with that.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    This comment completely made me laugh. I even had to share with my husband and kids. Thank you! 🙂


  21. Christine
    January 19, 2010 | 7:00 pm

    Hi Kimberly! Wow, this post came at a perfect time for me! I am currently potty-training my daughter (she is my oldest) and I am adoring your expertise in this! I like the Kool-Aid idea too.


  22. Shelli
    January 19, 2010 | 7:26 pm

    Your killin’ me. I’ve just about spit tea all over the place reading this and the comments. Maybe because I’m training my 3yo son too. Well I was. He just didn’t seem to really get it so we chilled out for a bit. I’m loving the advise, support and the stories here, lovin’ it all.

    I’ve trained 3 girls without a problem one but have heard nothing but horror stories about boys. Thanks to those with quick boy stories. I’m not so nervous about it now. I never used treats with the girls but I think tiny marshmellows are the key to this little mans heart.

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes tomorrow. Thanks!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hope you saw my update. My mommy instinct just told me he wasn’t quite ready so we’ll wait and try again later. I keep ya’ll up to date.


  23. thesleepyknitter
    January 19, 2010 | 8:53 pm

    Depressing, depressing, this post and thread are depressing the b’jeebies out of me (even as I’m, ah, laughing to the point of tears over the peanut in the pot incident)! I’m ready to train the little one, K, and potty training is the thing I have dreaded about parenting all my life. Diapering, no problem, but potty training? EWWWWWW! We have kept the potty chair next to the tub all year, so K knows what it is. One day when she was taking a warm bath, she stood up, said “Pee”, and proceeded to do just that. So the next time she took her bath, I said, “If you have to go pee, I’ll take you out of the tub, and you can do it on the potty chair.” That’s worked well — she has volunteered three times over the last six weeks, and has had success each time, and we’ve practically thrown a party over it, so she knows what it is and what it’s for. And she’ll turn any round object into a “potty” for her bears and lions and so forth. But she has no interest in the potty for herself when she’s not taking a bath. Maybe I need to try this in the kitchen with the Kool-aid, peanuts, M&Ms, and absent diapers.

    Anyway, thanks for the live blog! I’ve been checking it all day. 🙂 Hang in there!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Sounds like your well on your way to success. That slower method doesn’t tend to work for me, but I know many who’ve had great success with it.

    I think that because I’m so busy doing everything else that if I don’t stop other things and really focus on potty training I forget and baby doesn’t get the help and encouragement he/she needs from me.

    I’d say keep up what you’re doing and she’ll be potty trained in no time, or at least she’ll be trained when she’s ready.


  24. Debbie
    January 19, 2010 | 9:02 pm

    Oh, this brings back memories! I’m sooo glad we’re past the potty training here! Sounds pretty much like what we did. My oldest was 19 months and the other 3 were 2 years. We did the no undies with #4 and I think that helped a lot–wish I’d done it with the others. Good luck.


  25. Keeslermom
    January 19, 2010 | 11:04 pm

    Oh, how I hate potty training! My first two took two weeks to get them fairly reliable, the third took six months. Not kidding, six months!!! My youngest I left home with daddy for the weekend while I went to a homeschool convention, and when I came home he was done! I told hubs he was in charge of potty training for any additional kids!


  26. Nicki
    January 20, 2010 | 12:53 am

    Yep, I hate potty training, too.

    But, stickers were a big success for my last 2 kids. In fact, with 4yoBoy, within a week or 2 of a homemade sticker chart, we were done!

    Now with 22 month old boy, I’m thinking it’s time. Especially with an older brother who he wants to copy on everything! Just recently he was watching big brother stand up and go. He watched intently until the stream stopped, and then proclaimed, “I want one!” I think it’ll go easier this time.

    I’m going to try your potty dance, kool-aid method. Can you share your potty song with us?


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Oh, I just knew that someone would ask.

    Baby makes the pee pee, baby makes the pee pee, baby makes the pee pee in the potty. (yep that’s it.) When they begin wearing underwear (usually on the third day or so) the song changes to Baby keeps it dry, yes, baby keeps it dray etc. baby keep his pants dry, dry, dry. 🙂

    No I won’t put up a video of us singing it for you. 🙂


  27. Mama Mirage
    January 20, 2010 | 1:53 am

    I have been snorting and giggling reading the post and following comments! Ah the joys of potty training! 🙂
    My daughter “Chicklet” was ready at 11-12 months. I knew it. But I was not ready. So I excused myself from starting by reading lots of opinions of people who believe that children that young cannot possibly be ready. Now, I believe that there are definately kids who aren’t! But I don’t believe that ALL kids are automatically not ready until a certain age. My mom said I trained myself by 18 months so maybe early-readiness runs in my family, IDK. What I do know is that if they are ready and you wait, you run the risk of missing your window and having to wait for another onw which could, as in my daughter’s case, be years in coming. 🙁 Bigtime bummer. When she was 18 months or thereabouts, I was 3 months preggo with my son “Bug.” I decided to get her trained ASAP before I got too huge to do it. And because changing #2’s while preggo is an ordeal all it’s own. Well, like I said, I’d missed my window. She was now fully in control of her bladder and fully in stubborn mode. She would drink a gallon and STILL be able to hold it until naptime or bedtime. Every. Single. Day. Until she was over 3 years old. I tried evewrything I could read about or think of to get her to train, but no. Stubborness runs in both hubby’s fam. and mine too. 😉 So I tried for nearly 2 years to train her, with occasional breaks for a month or two, and nothing worked. One day when she was just over 3 years old she was supposed to be napping but went #2 in her diaper, took her diaper off, dumped the contents onto the floor, and I found her on her bed with the dumped out diaper beside her, wiping her bottom with her bath towel which she had climbed up and gotten off the peg herself. I about lost it. I decided that if she was old enough to change her own diaper, she was old enough to go in the potty. So I told her no more diapers ever. I took them totally away. SHe didn’t believe me the first 2 times I told her. She kept asking for a diaper all day and I told her that she doesn’t get diapers ever ever again so she will just have to go in the potty or hold it forever. I figured if I was going to have to clean up pee and poo from the carpet, bedding, clothes, towels, etc. then I was going to do it for a good reason from now on. No sense in changing diapers AND cleaning poo off random surfaces in my home, right? That same night, before bedtime, she told my husband she had to pee, sat down, peed, and after a shaky start to day 2, and then tackling the #2 obstacle on day 3, She hasn’t really looked back. She did start to test me and get lazy one day. She got busy playing and then went to the bathroom too late, then brought me her soiled undies. I told her that she had to be disciplined for being lazy. She got her discipline, apologized, and has stayed dry ever since. She’s 3 1/2 now.

    My son “Bug” is now 17 months old and he’s showing signs of being ready. He’s as opposite as can be personality and learning wise from his older sister. Hoping my newly aquired experience with big sis will give me an advantage training him. He loves to sit on the potty. I need to get started before I miss my window again. But oh how potty training is so not my favorite thing to do! I just finished up 2 years of it thankyouverymuch! So I’m gonna have to give myself a kick in the pants to get going on it. I think I’ll start tomorrow. Thanks for the laughs and the inspiration! 😉 I hope your little one trains fast for you! What a nice thing a pregnancy free of diaper changes is! 🙂
    Sorry for the 10 mile long comment! :p


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hoping you have an easier time with bug. 🙂


  28. Mama Mirage
    January 20, 2010 | 1:53 am

    P.S. Oh, we do a hershey kiss for #2 and a chocolate chip for #1.


  29. pam
    January 20, 2010 | 8:51 am

    this is what we have done with all but our last child. She woke up one morning and told us no more diapers and that was it she never wore diapers again, we could not believe it. but then 2 months later she got sick and was in the hospital for 15 days with ulcers and a gastric bleed and has not gone back on the potty to have a bm (well once at home and once at a bowling alley). we are at a loss as to what to do


  30. Michelle
    January 20, 2010 | 9:27 am

    It seems like the times when I was ready and the child was not, it took longer and was more frustrating. In my experience, if the child is truly ready, he can be trained in 3 days.

    Kimberly, do you have any experience with children who have been trained and then regressed? I have one that trained early (near 2), but then he regressed and I had to retrain him again a few months before he turned 3. Looking back, I am wondering if he just wasn’t ready and I trained him too early.

    What would you do if your child was trained for a good 6 months and THEN regressed. Obviously, they know HOW to go ~ do you think it is a behavior issue at that point?

    You seem to have a solid stance on potty training, so I am interested in how you would handle that!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I generally find that our kids are fairly reliable with in a week, if they are ready. You’re right, it is good to wait until they are.

    If you know that your child knows, then I think that there is a good possibility that this is a behavior issue. Trust your mommy instinct, you know best.

    We had one child regress. He actually did it several times. My gut tells me that we hadn’t trained him too early. He was very quick to learn and just didn’t have problems. I really think that he just forgot or didn’t want to come in and go. For him we just didn’t make a big deal about it, but I didn’t let him go play outside without having him come in at regular intervals.

    Does that help?


  31. Lisa
    January 20, 2010 | 12:09 pm

    I just let my kids play outside with just short pants on…NO UNDERWEAR. They hated the feeling of the wettnes on their legs. I didn’t have a mess to clean up in the house and they got tired of asking for new dry pants. Eventually they would come in and go potty more than they would wet their pants. From there, they kind of took over. I hated every minute of the dreded potty training too. I like your idea with the kool-aid in the kitchen though.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I agree that having nothing on their bottom half is great to help them learn. Since we use cloth diapers, wet underwear and pants feel no different than life in diapers. Whereas wet down the leg or on the floor really gets their attention.


  32. Multi-Tasking Mommy
    January 20, 2010 | 9:28 pm

    Cute post!

    I giggled, but I shouldn’t have simply because this will be me in a few months.

    All I know is consistency is key!

    Now that you have done it like this, he will probably tell you when he’s ready. I would welcome and encourage any time he asks you to go on the potty and go from there.

    Good luck!

    No matter how many times you do it, each child is different.


  33. Allyson
    January 20, 2010 | 10:11 pm

    Lots of giggles here. I’m in the midst of training our third kiddo (20 months). Good days and bad days. Keeping at it is key, I’ve found in our family. I do use the pull-ups and start with ‘potty-break’ times just as I would diaper changing times (outside of extra explosive changes)! With out third one, I’m training straight onto the big toilet with a kid seat attachment. She’s seen her sisters using it so she wants to use it too! I’m getting her used to the actions of sitting, wiping, etc. then as she gets more comfortable with that, I will increase the liquids about twenty or so minutes before a ‘break time.’ We’ll see. I know I’m more calm about training this time around than I was with our first one (and second too). Just keep at it, he won’t be going to college toting the Pamper’s box. 🙂


  34. Dee Stafford
    January 20, 2010 | 11:43 pm

    I LOVE this story! I was cracking up the whole time! My youngest was about 16 months when she thought she was ready. I of course said, “NO! You’re my baby! You can’t be ready for the potty yet!!!” Well, that worked until she was about 18 months and she potty trained herself!

    13 1/2 years of diapers. You are going to seriously miss those! I thought doing it for 4 years was bad and boy did I miss not doing diapers anymore!


  35. Nikki
    January 20, 2010 | 11:54 pm

    Wow. I’ve been reading the comments and getting oh-so-scared to start training my fourth. My fourth! I know I survived the first three, but with my sanity barely intact. I LOVED Mama Mirage’s comment. It’s so funny how something like that is what seals the deal- it’s like the point of no return. Sometimes I wonder if I took on that mindset early in the training then it would be completed a lot faster. With my two boys I trained, to get the training complete BMs and all in the toilet, I had to have them go around with no britches on whatsoever for about a week. There was never a single poop accident. I wouldn’t guarantee that would be the case with every child though. But my two boys were potty-trained at least six months before the poop training. With my daughter, she was three years and 2 months when we trained. She was a very late walker (20 months old) so we didn’t start training when she showed an interest because she was still very unstable on her feet. But when I did start to train her, I zoned in on her Love Language (which isn’t always easy to detect in a small child but was with her) which is Words of Affirmation. We made her a chart that said, “Gabby is a BIG GIRL!” Every time she used the potty we gave her a sticker to put on her chart. Actually it was more of a poster with stickers all over it– not really a grid-like chart. When she had a BM we gave her a big sticker to put on it. We sang the potty song and cheered her on! We called Grandpas and Grandmas so they could cheer her too. She was completely trained in 10 days.

    Here’s hoping the same will happen with my fourth. and your ninth. 🙂

    I wish for you a diaper-free pregnancy. And for me to only have two in diapers instead of three. 😉


  36. Jenny
    January 21, 2010 | 9:21 pm

    This was great! And it’s wonderful to hear other moms who waited until their children were closer to three than two. I’m also glad to know that it’s okay to postpone if it just seems like they’re not getting it or not ready.


  37. Jenn
    January 22, 2010 | 7:53 pm

    We just go right back to diapers if one of us (mommy or child) gets too frustrated, sometimes this happened within a couple hours (really not ready!) and sometimes we lasted 2 days. (We also do lots of drinks, salty snacks, and bare buns) We had four separate attempts with my son over a nine month period until he got it(at 33mo). Once he got it though he was in real underwear within an hour and has had only a few wet accidents since -it has been 7mo.! Just did the same with my daughter and at 21mo. she was in undies after 2 days nude and we have had five wet accidents since. Waiting until they are ready really is worth it. You either spend the time cleaning up messy floors and clothes worried about when they will go next, or just change a diaper. For me waiting until the child is ready pays off since training goes so much smoother and faster then!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Going back to diapers if someone isn’t ready is exactly what we do also.

    We also find that they are ready for underwear by the third day and usually pretty well trained after a week. I really think the key is the child’s readiness.

    In the days since this training day, Nicholas has come to me several times saying potty and it’s always been just AFTER he has wet his diaper, so I know that he learned something and that he will probably be ready in the next few months. I can wait. 🙂


  38. Gwenyth
    January 22, 2010 | 9:23 pm

    I personally don’t care for the ‘potty-training-in-a-day’ style, because I think it puts too much pressure on the child (evidenced by the fussiness after naptime, etc.). The advice that has worked for me includes:

    ~ If they’re really ready, they can be trained within a week.
    ~ Child might be ready if he/she stays dry during a 2 hour nap. (My kids were potty trained long before they were dry at night!)
    ~ Child is rarely ready before he/she can jump with both feet off the ground at the same time. I don’t have scientific proof for this, but I’ve heard that the muscles used to help a child jump in such a manner are also used to hold the bladder. Has anyone else heard this? It’s been true for my kids thus far…

    I start by allowing the child to sit on the potty whenever he/she has interest. First time for anything to happen (i.e. to actually pee in the potty) almost always happens just before getting in the tub (i.e. tub water is running). Doing this for a few days or weeks then leads to the child wanting to try to do it at other times.

    THEN, we go pick out special undies and make a big deal out of wearing underwear on Day 1 of training. I then take them to the potty every 1.5 – 2 hours to help avoid accidents, with an M&M or Smartie for success. We stick close to home, but I can’t stand the thought of personally being unclothed from the waist down for an extended period of time… so I just count on a little extra laundry!

    I love to potty train in the winter instead of the summer, because there is more clothing (i.e. sweatpants, etc.) to soak up an accident and less to clean up off the floor. 🙂

    My kids have been completely trained in about a week, at about 2 years and 3 months, except for one who had trouble sitting down to have a bowel movement. For her, a sticker chart worked well.

    It’s been interesting to read all the various ideas and perspectives on this blog! Certainly there’s no one right or wrong method! My main goal is to make it a low-pressure, positive experience for all!!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks for your input. We have been working with baby and he has asked and has gone in the potty several times before we started this.

    We’ve tried slower methods of potty training before and for us, in this very busy house, it has been frustrating for all involved. If I do not stop other things and take the time to focus on potty training, it just doesn’t get the attention it needs. I’ve heard of many people that have had great success with a slower approach and think that it is probably a perfect fit for different households.

    Since we use cloth diapers when our children wet in underwear and clothes they don’t notice any difference than wetting in a diaper. They don’t even stop or pause in their play. However with a bare bum, baby stops playing immediately. In my above post I even mention that he began to pee but then stopped. The cool thing is that by day 3 our babies are usually in underwear and by the end of the week they are usually reliably trained.

    I think that for those who use paper diapers, moving to clothing would be sufficient to help baby recognize the difference between wet and dry and accomplish the same results that we get by moving to a bare bum.

    The key is readiness. Our current baby is close to being ready. He’s still been coming and asking to use the potty, so I don’t think that it’ll be much longer.


    Jenn Reply:

    I have also noticed the cloth diaper/clothing confusion. My brand new trainers think nothing of wetting underwear since it feels just like a diaper, so for us without is the way to go until they “get it”.

    Gwenyth- my daughter just trained but is not yet able to jump with both legs. She is 21mo. My son however could jump with both legs when he trained at 33mo.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Interesting about the jumping with both legs. The current baby that we are trying to train can jump with both legs. I’m not sure about the others.

    It makes sense that certain muscles would have to be developed. Hmmm.


  39. Meghan V.
    April 1, 2010 | 3:34 pm

    I was inspired to use your potty training method after reading this. One question though, have you ever had a child think their underwear could be treated like a diaper? My 21 month old son is “potty trained” when he has a bare bum however, when I put underwear on him he seems to think that it is okay to pee in them. Any suggestions?


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hmmm, I would try really thin underwear and no pants. Other than that just try to explain that pee pee in the underwear is a “no no”.

    My guess is that it will just happen in time, but I don’t really remember any of my kids doing that.

    Sorry I’m not able to be more helpful.


  40. Cindy
    April 28, 2010 | 12:31 pm

    I have successfully day-trained 6 kids and I wouldn’t have done it any different than you…I try and if it doesn’t look like it is going anywhere we try again in a month or so. I always use cloth training pants through the day at home, but pullups for going out and at nighttime, especially when I am pregnant and no energy to change beds.

    I am loving your blog…I too am expecting, but only #7 in a week or so. Having big kid to help this time has made it alot easier to handle.


    Cindy Reply:

    I also start sitting them on the toilet or potty around 18 months after every diaper change and before a bath and by two we are well on our way to potty training..this also helps with the ones that aren’t so comfy with sitting on the toilet or potty at first. The first week needs to be pretty free with no committments to do so you can concentrate solely on potty-training..I haven’t found it too bad…it is just getting down and doing it that is the problem for me. I do believe it takes some training with little ones to give them the idea…some need more nudging than others from what I have found.


  41. Serene in Singapore
    May 14, 2010 | 8:41 am

    Ooh! I really dislike potty training. I have always said that if I could pay someone to do it, I would! 😛

    And I would really hold off potty training when I am pregnant! It is waay too stressful, especially in the last few weeks of the pregnancy. You are too brave! Lol!

    After the disaster of potty training my first, I always waited till they are past 2 and closer to 3 to even start. And after training 6 out of our 7 children (#7 is 13mths old) I find that just waiting has been helpful.

    FWIW, this is my piece on Potty Training, http://buildingupmoms.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/potty-training/


  42. Krystle
    May 17, 2010 | 10:53 pm

    Okay so I consider my daughter potty trained since 21mths. We’ve had maybe 1-3 accidents when she was having issues (possible bladder infection or such) anyways I still wipe her but she tells me if she has to go. She is 32mths and I still wipe her because I don’t think she gets the front to back concept is that a bad thing or am I being over protective? Thanks!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I do not think that still wiping your daughter at 32 months is being over protective. I think you’ll know when she’s ready to do it herself (or she’ll know).


  43. Crystal
    May 19, 2010 | 8:05 am

    I’m definitely eager to see how this works out. My youngest is around 23 months, and he seems to be showing some signs of being ready. My oldest, however, wasn’t fully trained until he was almost 3 1/2, so I’m a little scared to start the whole process.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:


    Did you see my update post? He’s doing great.


  44. HOPE
    June 1, 2010 | 9:50 pm

    my daughter is not ready for potty training yet but i had a lovely time reading all these blogs and know what i’m in for in the future. thanxs for all the knowledge.


  45. Tasha
    January 24, 2012 | 8:51 am

    I never thought about putting the potty anywhere else but the bathroom! What a great idea! Thanks.


  46. Kate
    February 16, 2014 | 10:52 pm

    I know this post is years and years ago now, but I remembered it and I remember being amazed at how well your little ones do with their training. We have twins that will be 2 in just a few months, and they are both showing interest. I’m trying to get myself motivated to train two babies at once! Thanks for sharing your process! Makes me think that we really will get there one day! 🙂


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