What I’ve learned about potty training

Harper Q is potty trained {if that’s ever a thing you’re done with…}. “I wear good {big} girl panties – I no wear diapers, only babies wear diapers.” “I tried, mama.” “I need to go potty!!” “I get an m&m because I peed. I get it myself.”

All those are things we hear on the regular these days.


It actually happened faster than I thought it would, now that I can look back and see the past few weeks from a spot that is not eye-level with our or any other toilet that we’ve visited.

But in the middle of it???  I thought I was going to die. I was signing myself up for the crazy house & packing my bags.  And lucky for y’all {?} I wrote about it at the time.  I waited to post it because I didn’t want to jinx my sweet girl or our carpet, but I feel like if she regresses now it’s pure rebellion, so that’s a another issue {and another visit to the crazy house}.

Here you go.  The truth about potty training…


Oh, friends.  We started potty training last Friday afternoon.  Harper had school in the morning, so we started that afternoon after naps. We did the whole strip her down the first day thing & it worked like a charm. She peed the first time, looked down like what the heck is happening down there, started to go a 2nd time and then turned into this child who told us when she had to go potty & hit the mark every time. For the evening. And the next day.

{By the way, there’s a 2/3 day regression/rebellion/visit to hell. My friends said they didn’t want to tell me about it until I got there. Cool. Thanks, guys.}

Nothing can be that easy, and obviously we’ve had our fair share of accidents & trying not to poop & washing big girl panties with pee in them. Overall, I’m a huge fan of the strip-them-down method & I think it worked super quickly for Harper, but not in the 3-day way. I’m not sure if the 3-day thing ever really works, but for us it took longer than that. And in that time, here’s what I learned:

  1. It will give you all. the. emotions. Thank GOD I didn’t do this when I was pregnant with the twins. I would’ve been a hot mess. It’s literally the highest high when she goes all by herself and you can see on her face how dang proud of herself she is. Or when she goes all day without an accident & it’s party central up in this house. Or when she makes it on 2 hours worth of errands without an accident and then goes on her own when you get home. YAYYYYYY!  But then there are the lows….ohhhh man, there are the lows. When she has her first accident in a couple days and you blame yourself for not asking her, but you are also like come on kid, what the f. When you have to sit eye level with the Trader Joe’s potty twice in a 30 minute span only for nothing to come out. When she jumps down says “okay, I tried” after approximately 2.5 seconds and you have to somehow get her back on the potty  or watch her like a hawk until she finally goes again. Emotions, y’all.
  2. The regression/resistance day is a b. Like I said, Harper took to the whole potty training thing SUPER well for the first 2 days. Rockstar. I’m over here doing a happy dance and getting all excited about all the pee going into the potty. And then day 2/3 hit. I say 2/3 because it was late Sunday morning, so since we started mid-day it was almost at the day 3 mark. When I started complaining to a couple of my best mama friends about what was happening, they were like “ohhh yeah, we didn’t want to tell you, but this is the resistance day. enjoy!” How’s that now??  So apparently it’s a thing. It lasted 24 hours of her not wanting to go on the potty/she’d “try” but nothing would come out & then later she’d pee on the floor, etc. And then it stopped. Just like that it up & stopped and no more accidents & she was back to telling us when she had to go. Now this may sound all easy breezy and just like 24 hours worth of pee, but y’all. In the moment?? I was GOING. FREAKING. CRAZY. It’s not a good time. Get wine/liquor/coffee/chocolate & just ride it out. Trust me.
  3. You’ll eat at least as many m&m’s as your toddler. She gets 1 for pee & 3 for poop. I have no idea why we skipped 2. I get a handful every single time. Yay for being a mom.
  4. You’ll be done with public bathrooms in 2.5 seconds. This is the part I was dreading the most. It’s just as bad as I anticipated. The first couple of days that we went out we did the whole go to the potty when you 1st get there & when you leave & any time she says she has to go thing. It was terrible. I spent way too much time waiting for her to try to go on a public toilet & telling her not to put her hands/face/whatever else on all the surfaces in the bathroom. And thinking about that fun “how far poop particles fly when you flush” trivia. Gross. Then we realized she’s a camel. And she legit didn’t have to go that often. So now when we’re out we only go when necessary, thank God.
  5. It actually IS easier than diapers. Eventually. People kept saying “oh you have 3 in diapers, oh my gosh” blah blah blah. And I thought YES, but I get to choose when I change my kids {unless they poop}, I’m not running to a public bathroom with 2 babies hanging on for the ride, my toddler isn’t peeing her carseat, etc.  And while that was true, now that HQ has the hang of this whole potty deal, I am definitely not missing changing her diapers. She’s doing such a great job and it makes it way easier on me that she’s not having millions of accidents and she’s doing so much “by myself,” like she loves to do. Plus, she loves the dang princess panties & one less kid using the box of diapers we buy or the cloth that we wash is a win in my book. So carry on, potty training mama’s – fight the good fight…and don’t forget the travel potty.


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