The Potty Files: Gearing Up

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Marlowe Martino wears a tweed suit and pink kitty shoes and stands by her potty

There’s been a lot of Potty Talk around my house recently.  And I’m not talking about Poop and Pee jokes (although if you see a picture of my kid laughing there is a 99% chance I had just told her there was a big poop on the camera.  Whatever, it works!).  I’m talking about chatting, pleading, bribing, fighting, and crying about the actual Potty– namely, getting Marlowe to use it.  And guess what? It aint happening.  Because this has been such a big event in our home, I thought I would create a series where I track her progress and what we are doing to help our (very) reluctant Potty-Aged Toddler pass this major milestone.  Welcome to The Potty Files!

Let me back it up here for a moment.  Marlowe WAS potty trained! Seriously.  If you scroll back on my Instagram, say, a hundred years (aka to around January of last year) you’ll find a video where a One-and-a-half year old Lowie is telling me not to touch the poop in the potty.  Hilarious! So cute! And impressive, in retrospect.  I hadn’t planned on potty training her so young, but she has always been very verbal and at her 1.5 year old check up our pediatrician suggested we try it.  In under a week she was pooping AND peeing in the potty.  Of course this was kind of like a party trick at this point.  We hadn’t transitioned her in to underpants or anything, and we were basically just doing it as much as we could get her to throughout the day.  But she was doing SO well with it.  “This is going to be easy!” I thought to myself in my naive first-time-mother brain! I patted myself on the back and thought, “Hello World! My toddler is a genius!”

Then we moved.  And then my daughter never wanted to look at, talk about, or sit on a potty ever again in her entire life.  Sooooooooooo. Yeah.  I’ve tried everything to get her excited and motivated.  I’ve shown her videos and pictures, and reminded her how great she was at the potty: she doesn’t care.  I’ve tried to bribe her with sweets and treats: she doesn’t care.  I’ve tried to pretend to take all her diapers away and give them to babies who need them: she cares a lot and cries uncontrollably until she pukes.  I’ve tried telling her about all her friends and family members who use the potty: she tells them Congratulations and lets me know that she goes in her diapers.  I’ve even tried explaining to her that there is a Big Girl Glass Ceiling in which you must learn how to use a Potty if you ever hope to do any Big Girl things ever again like go on special trips with Mommy or eat Ice Cream, or move to the preschool at Daycare, or be an Astronaut:  She shrugs and tells me to go to the potty by myself.  Then we had another baby and she ABSOLUTELY does not want to be a Big Girl if somebody else gets to be the only baby.  Regression 101, people!  But my kid is smart and she can manipulate me, come up with a million reasons why something can’t happen, and of course tell me that she is going to try it some day…just, like, not in this lifetime.

Marlowe Martino wears a tweed suit and pink kitty shoes and stands by her potty

It’s a problem.  Because now she is two and a half, is smart enough to tell me the full address of every home she has ever lived in, and we are over this shit.  Pun intended.  So I started doing something I never do– read instructional parenting books.  A friend of mine had success with THIS BOOK so I bought it.  The title is hilarious, and I can really relate to the author’s entire approach.  I felt it was a sign when another busy Mom with a couple of kids came over, pointed at the book and said “THAT is a lifesaver.”  Yesssss!! I think I’m on the right track! I won’t reprint the entire book here (read it if it seems interesting to you) but basically it tells you to put a weekend on the calendar to potty train, and roll your sleeves up.  No gradual progression, no “waiting until they’re ready” or any of that.  It’s more like you strip your kid down, hang out with them all day without a diaper, learn their potty cues, and teach them how to put it in that potty! Pretty practical.  We are going to aim for March and go for it!

In the meantime– we found out one night, while really delving deep with Marlowe about her allergy to the toilet, that she is scared she is going to fall in there (LOL but also Awww).  So Mama came to the rescue and bought one of these potty rings.  I did a whole dog and pony show when it arrived, and presented it to her like a big important present.  Lowie kind of side-eyed it, but did seem a little relieved.  We also have this little potty.

Stay tuned for another update in the next installment of The Potty Files!

(Also PLEASE contribute any foolproof Potty Training tips and tricks to add to the community in the Comments below!)

Photographs by Stephanie Elliott Photography


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  1. Rachel says:

    I had a very similar situation over here. I have 2 daughters, both very verbal, but different personalities. I used a similar method to the one you are going to be trying and it worked for us with both of them. They were just over 2 1/2 each time. I had also tried everything i could think of. With my older daughter i had to act super excited the week we stayed home and thats all we did. I had to act like i just snorted coke to maintain that energy while also having a newborn..ha. with my second daughter, she’s a lot more stubborn and there were a lot of tantrums the week we did it with her. But we made it and she gave in and got there too. I cried a lot, but we got there. I never post on here but know how much anxiety i had over potty training too. Everyone told me they will do it when they’re ready, but mine totally had to be forced into it. We also pretended her dolls are using the potty too! That worked with my older daughter. I would go through the whole process and congratulate her doll like a person. Good luck! Before you know it this will be over! Ha!

    02.06.17 Reply
  2. kathryn says:

    My son (now 3.5) was resistant to everything. We tried sticker charts, treats, his clues, but nothing seemed to be consistent enough to work. Finally about a month ago we switched to underwear and with help from his daycare have gotten him potty trained. I know boys take longer and my son is very strong willed but I didn’t want to rush it if he wasn’t ready. Plus we also had a baby just before he turned 3, so I knew it wasn’t going to happen around that time. Good luck!

    02.06.17 Reply
  3. Tami F. says:

    I can relate. My oldest and youngest (I have 3) are both extremely stubborn and the only thing that worked was the naked approach. Started on a Friday and by Monday, could safely navigate going, unless of course Mommy or Daddy suggested it, it had to be their idea. Good luck!!

    02.06.17 Reply
  4. Sophie says:

    I had my son (almost) fully potty trained by 2 (still having a few accidents and hell be 3 in May) using the method you describe. I didn’t do it in 3 days, but I just completely stopped putting anything diapers on him when we were at home. Actually, he went completely pantless for almost a month! The first few days were kind of gross, but I left a little potty out for him and soon he figured out where the poop and pee is supposed to go. When we’d go out, I would put a pull up on him over his regular undies. This was key, we couldn’t always make it to the potty in time and it saves you a lot of mess and stress! Also, a travel potty is essential for your car.. he couldn’t hold it for very long at first!

    Good luck, this was the most challenging part of parenthood for me to date! SO much patience needed!

    02.06.17 Reply
  5. Britta says:

    Potty training outside! Maybe be a little cold right now in the midwest, but come this summer my daughter will be almost two and I am going to plop that mini potty on the sand and pretend we are at a nude beach (just her, not me!). I’m hoping to kill two birds with one stone – fun in the sun for both of us and potty training accomplished for her. We shall see how it goes, but my neighbor did it last summer and it worked like a charm. And, as an added benefit, if there is an accident, you just kick a little sand over it, dip her in the lake, and all set to go again.
    Good luck!

    02.06.17 Reply
  6. Shireen Motivala says:

    That book is the shit! Pun 100% intended. I used it with my daughter and the training part was over in about 2-3 days. good luck, mama!

    02.06.17 Reply
  7. virginia says:

    I just waited til the week before mines third birthday, did the same as you are planning, rolled my sleeves up and dug in! Lol, Two Pee-pee accidents in two days she was trained! No pull-ups nothing! I’m and advocate of waiting if they aren’t interested for me the older the better! Best of luck for your weekend in March! ?

    02.06.17 Reply
  8. Sava says:

    While I totally realize every situation and every child are different, I have potty trained 4 toddlers in a weeks time,(not all at once though, ha!) with no regression! My trick? They were all nearly 3. I know, I know. I took a lot of crap about it. Everything from comments on my laziness, to my child being “10 years old” and still in diapers. And while some days I actually did wonder if we’d ever succeed, I just kept to my plan.(And honestly, I potty trained my first daughter while I was 7 1/2 months pregnant with number 2. Not too shabby, in my opinion 🙂 But you know what? They had confidence in their ability. And the one child I attempted to potty train at 2 1/2 has had the hardest time of them all. But I ended up just dropping it for a good 5 months. No potty talk. Then reintroduced it about 2 weeks before his third birthday and he did super! (This little guy also took forever to talk, so he was actually potty trained before he could talk!) Also we haven’t had any ‘wet the bed’ problems. Sure, we have the occasional accident, but it’s not a regular thing. I know I’m really blessed with good kids. Children are all so different and when you’re in the thick of it, it’s super stressful! You’ll probably laugh in a few years when you look back on how big a deal it is. I know I do. It’ll happen 😉
    Wishing you the best!!!

    02.06.17 Reply
    • Averill says:

      I similarly didn’t really throw down until my boys hit their 3rd birthdays. Both sons were a tough ride (first one so much so I think I had some PTSD about it and delayed the second as a result), but we got there shortly before they were 3.5 (including overnight). Interestingly, training on no 1 came easier than No 2 (both had some anxiety about it, the older one more than the younger.) anyways, that’s all to say I really don’t have any good advice, I feel like I would grade myself a “C” in the potty training arts but best of luck! Nothing beats being diaper free!

      02.06.17 Reply
  9. Megan says:

    We tried to push my son too early and it backfired! He was really scared of pooping in the toilet. So we backed off and gave him some time. Peeing happened super quick – lots of naked time helped 🙂 But pooping was a struggle and we just had to wait until he was ready. Our pediatrician said if you pressure them too early, they can start holding their poop and get constipated. Ugh. Just be patient! And good luck!

    02.06.17 Reply
  10. Tanie says:

    The only thing that has worked for me with my kids is just going cold turkey off of diapers (other than nap or bedtime). I hate pull-ups so it was just no diapers at all during the day. I know you said that Marlowe cries herself sick when you take the diapers away but maybe if she knows she can have them at night still (for now….) will mitigate the screaming?

    I also waited until they were absolutely ready because I’ve found making a big deal about it or pressuring them just made them more resistant and exacerbated the struggle. My oldest girl was potty trained before she was two and a half, but my middle kid was over three before she got the hang of it. The youngest is only 4 months so who know how it’s gonna go with him.

    02.06.17 Reply
  11. Alicia says:

    Girl, we were in the SAME boat (minus the grow back training at 1.5 lol). My daughter is about 2 months older than Marlowe and was not having it. She would straight up tell us no. I knew she could do it, but she strictly did not want to. She didn’t care about peeing on herself in underwear (which shocked me) and even if we left her 2 hours (yes this happened while watching a movie lol) she would hold it until she was literally grabbing herself in pain. Drama!!! We would randomly try every few weeks and then the weekend before Christmas Eve I was like, ok we have a week off of activists and will be home.. let’s do this! We watched her like a hawk all day the first day and ran her to the potty a million times to go (for us the big potty with a ring worked best- and cleaner!). We made a HUGE deal each time and bam! She was ready. Literally the next day she told us like a pro and has worn underwear every since.. these little divas!!! Now she was scared to poop about 2-3 weeks after we did pee and held it until bedtime when she had her diaper on. I, again, watched her like a hawk and finally timed it just right where she went on the potty. She did lose her mind and shake and cry uncomfortably! Lol we made a HUGE deal again and facetimed all grandparents to celebrate. After that day, bam! Pee and poop trained. She does wear a diaper still at night because I have no desire for her to walk up (and wake us up) to pee when she still sleeps 12 hours. Mama ain’t got time for that! Haha. Little brother is due this month and I am hoping she doesn’t do some weird regression and stop. Ah!!! Good luck!

    02.06.17 Reply
    • Alicia says:

      Ok I didn’t proof read so hopefully you can understand my errors! Haha! I also forgot to add– look up a foldable potty seat on Amazon. AMAZING for public outings. It comes in a little clear case and I just keep a travel size Lysol can inside with it. $8 worth of magic! 🙂

      02.06.17 Reply
  12. Lindsey says:

    I was going to suggest “Oh Crap! Potty Training”! It worked great for our then 2 year old. It was an exhausting weekend (especially since I was 16 weeks pregnant) but SO worth it.

    02.06.17 Reply
  13. Shannon O'Connor says:

    The best advice I ever got was “If you start potty training at 2 they’ll be fully trained when they’re 3. If you start potty training at 3 they’ll be fully trained when they’re 3.”

    Also let her pick out some underpants at the store that she really likes. She won’t want them to get wet or dirty.

    02.06.17 Reply
  14. Amy says:

    My son was a mess at 2.5. It just wasn’t happening and I thought for sure he would be going to college in diapers. Then he turned 3 and something clicked and he was potty trained in 3 days.

    No my second is almost 2.5, he tells me he needs privacy to poop and is probably ready for the potty, but mama is too tired. My boys are 17 months apart. We’ll get there eventually…

    02.06.17 Reply
    • Bre says:

      I have a daughter just under 2.5 and a 6 month old and work full time. I’m so freaking tired as baby 2 still gets up 2-3 x a night. I’ve been feeling like a lazy bad mom but just do not have 3days to deal with this. so your post made me not feel so alone. Thank you!

      02.08.17 Reply
  15. Shelby says:

    Use only underwear! My daycare provider helped us train our 2.5 year old son who is a couple months older than Marlowe. She said no more diapers have to stick to only underwear no matter what. Took 2 weeks with sticker charts, candy and “presents” but he is potty trained and now he doesn’t even wear a diaper to bed. (For the first month he did at bedtime, but he was waking up dry every morning)Be consistent like every 2-3 hours worked for us. At first we did every 30-60 mins and he hated the toilet, made it way worse. It also helped to see the other big kids go at daycare. Good Luck! It’s the best thing ever once it’s done!

    02.06.17 Reply
  16. Stephanie says:

    I have been a nanny for years and potty trained lots of girls like Marlowe. Buy her super nice undies and use only pull-up for nights. Girls can feel the urine sensation and don’t want wet clothes. Make sure she goes potty right before her nap and then have her go again as soon as she gets up.

    Be consistent and don’t feel guilty about it. ?

    02.06.17 Reply
  17. Pam Zeleznok says:

    I just potty trained my 2.5 year old son. I thought it was going to be tough and forever… it wasn’t! He seemed ready around the time he turned 2, that lasted about 2 weeks and then he despised it. I did not push. We waited. I felt like he was now more ready, the cues of waking up dry from nap and bed, etc. We got the summer potty… it looks like a real potty but mini with a flusher, etc (just to make the noise, but super cool for him). I prepped with mini m &ms which are a big deal as he gets very little sugar, a star chart, underwear and a timer. Started out putting him on the potty every 30 min. He would get an m&m and pUT a star on the chart each time he went. After he filled up so many spots on his star chart, he got to pick a present (I was stocked with match box cars, stickers, books, etc). Once he filled the chart he got to go to the store and pick his own present. After a few days, we set the timer to 40 min, then 45 min, 50 min. We talked to up every time. When he went poop he got 2 m&ms and 2 stars. He was potty trained in about 2 weeks. I tried to stay home as much as possible especially the first 4 days or so. We started on and Friday. He nows weas underwear all day except bed. Be diligent, patient and super excited!! But i totally recommend the summer potty! He loves it. Lots of luck!

    02.06.17 Reply
  18. Samantha says:

    We had the same experience with our first. Quick to the potty at 2 1/2…and then we moved and had another baby. So everything stopped. At first I was worried and pushed, but then I stopped. She started peeing on the potty all the time at 3, but would NOT poop. My pediatrician reassured me that she would not be 7 in diapers. Finally, right before her 4th birthday everything clicked. I think letting them take their time as annoying and frustrating as that can be, works. She never had an accident and we never had pull-ups etc. less pressure equals an interested child. Good luck!!

    02.06.17 Reply
  19. Nancy says:

    That’s the book I used with my 3 year old son. I stripped him down, made zero plans & truly kept him naked for a 3 day weekend. I put the potty chair in the main living area of the house for a visual reminder to him and he caught on quickly. After 3 days, I started putting underwear on him and moved the potty chair to the bathroom. I chose not to use a reward system (treats, stickers, etc), but always made sure to act excited and praise him heavily!

    02.06.17 Reply
  20. Victoria says:

    I am actually a preschool teacher (and expecting baby number one this July) and have potty trained many children. My co-teacher and I suggest this to all of our potty training parents. Pick a weekend, take away the diapers, except for during nap and nighttime, and just go with it. But DO NOT put them back in diapers or pull-ups no matter what. We’ve had a lot of kids struggle with regression after a new baby but don’t lose hope! Let her teachers know as well so you’re both consistent! Goodluck!

    02.06.17 Reply
  21. Lee says:

    First off–good luck to you! Secondly–Having a potty seat is a HUGE yes in my book. I also have a couple of potty training toilets around my house on each level for the first couple of months as they are still learning their cues and sometimes they need to be able to go on their own–like when I was in the bathroom the other day (unable to get up quickly) and my son was saying, “I have to go pee-pee!!”. Floor resting potty training toilets allow them more independence then climbing a stool to sit on a potty seat/toilet. I just clean them out after each use. Both of my young kids have been terrified of falling in and particularly of pooping. They both have gotten peeing in the toilet pretty quickly, but for whatever reason, pooping in one is terrifying. Anyway, I’m in the middle of potty training my second one (who’s 2.5) and I blogged about some tips that really came in handy the second go around since my daughter was potty trained. I hope they prove helpful. <3

    02.06.17 Reply
  22. Tracy says:

    We used M & M’s to bribe our five year old son. Hershey kisses, gum, lollipops, etc…It took about six months but so worth it! Best of luck!

    02.06.17 Reply
  23. Emily S says:

    I know this isn’t what you want to hear but honestly when she is ready to use it and do it, she will! Everyone learns to use the potty when they are ready!! But go for it girl if you have the energy and desire. My mother told me to choose my battles and potty training just wasn’t one. Good luck and keep us posted!!!

    02.06.17 Reply
    • Samantha says:

      I completely agree!! Every child goes at their own speed.

      02.06.17 Reply
  24. Caitie says:

    If she’s going on a regular potty with a potty seat, make sure you have a stool or something that she can rest her feet on. It’s really hard to go to the bathroom when your feet don’t touch the floor! (Seriously, I’m 30 and my aunt’s house has this one ridiculously high toilet and my toes barely touch the floor when I use it and it makes it tougher than I had ever consciously realized.)

    02.06.17 Reply
  25. Christine says:

    Yes to the whole weekend thing. My son potty trained himself but still had a ton of “pee accidents”. Pregnant with #3 and felt it was time to get my 2.5 year old daughter on board. I let her run around with no inderwears. She has leggings or a dress on though for a whole weekend. We had accidents the first day, but after that we have had zero accidents at home and she has had zero at school!!! Hoping we don’t have regression in a few weeks when the new baby comes.

    02.06.17 Reply
  26. Vicky says:

    We had a very similar experience with our little guy. He started to be interested on his own last summer without prompting around 2.5 would pee no problem took a while but he pooped too. Oh easy done right! Hi five we are parent pros … think again he regressed and we could get him to pee again, but thought we would try the major push – no pun intended after the holidays. At his 3 year check up the Dr said it’s time to get rid of those pull-ups. So we hunkered in & took a few days to set aside and get the job done. We tried potty treats, a great App from Pampers that you set towards your child’s personality & has a reminder timer for your Tot & you. They get a new game after consistently using the potty. Worked great for the P. But was NOT having it for the poop. We tried M&M treats, special car toy rewards, stickers, praise, sit with books , you name it- nothing! We went bottom less for a week at home ( fun being stuck home -not) nothing – he wouldn’t go for a week- caved in put a pull up back on & he went in the pull-up – stopped up boy:(. So I googled really stubborn toddler potty tricks. Found one that worked we put underwear only on him except when he had to poop- he would tell me- we would put on a pull-up & business done…. then we encouraged him to go in the actual bathroom in a pull up – getting comfortable with the space & explaining you pee in the toilet – there is nothing to be afraid of to go poop too. That the rest of the family goes in the bathroom. We encouraged either the Big potty or the little one – anything as long as he would actually go…Just when we almost gave up, thinking ok hopefully before kindergarten he’ll go someday right ??? He just decided to go on his own one night and job done – what?? I think he had to have the control himself -we prepped him & backed off & he finally went – so glad he isn’t going to high school in diapers✨? Good Luck!

    02.06.17 Reply
  27. Lisa says:

    We followed the same book and it was magical. Trained my twins at 19 months!

    02.06.17 Reply
  28. Shauna says:

    OMG – I used that book too. My daughter is so stubborn she would (and does) hold it for hours!! Like 16 hours! I started to panic and gave up after the first week because she REFUSED to go on the potty and would hold it for so long. Sooooo, long story short (and its long) we are in our 4th month of ‘That’s it no diapers.’ and it’s going ok. She still has accidents and REFUSES to use any potty but daycare and home. BUT she is going on the potty -but we broke a cardinal rule and let her play with the iPad and LeapFrog while on the potty. So sometimes she won’t go unless we let her take them with her. We also have a seat that fits in the lid of the seat and its been really great. She knows to pull it down and sits on the big girl potty. She won’t use her little one anymore.

    02.06.17 Reply
  29. Patti says:

    My experience potty training my three girls was it had to be 100% their idea. The more I begged and bribed, the less they were willing to try. So, I would make a giant show of putting the potty back in a closet and would say “let me know when you want to be a big girl”. Eventually, each of them in their own time would ask to do it. The oldest was within days, the middle hours and my baby, six long months. ? The upside is, once they announced they were ready, they were 100% trained within a week. Good luck!

    02.06.17 Reply
  30. Grace says:

    I dreaded that time with My oldest as a first time mom. He was about to be 3 (4 months before his bday actually) and I did just that. Took his diapers off in a weekend and put him on a pair of Jake from the neverland pirates undies. He was excited but was scared of the toilet even with the ring thingy as well. We had quite few accidents until he was ready to sit or even want to try to aim at it to pee-pee. Number 2 was a whole different story. It took him a good month to go in the toilet. He would hold it in (poor thing it broke my heart) and would not want to go even if I offered to put a diaper. So that created another nightmare when he was constipated from holding it. That made me so miserable almost cried a few times. I had to then start sitting in front of him and chat with him and play games so he could relax and it ended up working. What I learned and then heard is that every child is different and they are ready at different stages (some sooner than others duh) and the most important thing is to be respectful of their process, times, readiness and just be patient and give it a little more time until they are ready for it so we don’t end up forcing them to do something they are not ready for. Having a baby brother I understand how Marlowe is wanting to be a little baby as well so I’d just give her a little more time until she is ready. Be patient Mama! Xoxo

    02.06.17 Reply
  31. Julie says:

    We just used that book to train our 21 month old son. It’s great and works! Consistency was key for us and not giving in after 3 days of a pants off party. The author is anti-bribing which we gave into when I was in tears on day 3. But eventually they get it. Just give her space to do it on her own. I hovered majorly and finally just had to chill and take a step back. We have #2 arriving in 7 weeks and I’ve had everyone tell me he will regress. Every kid is different and eventually – they all get it. Just be patient and plan the time (we stayed home for 7 days straight…)! She will do it!!

    02.06.17 Reply
  32. She is still young…don’t stress…it can get frustrating….In my experience closer to 3 she will become a pro!!!!!!!!

    02.06.17 Reply
  33. Mandy says:

    This post came at the perfect time! I’m about to start day 4 of this method with my 2 1/2 year old. I didn’t read any books but a friend of mine suggested it. So far, so good but she held out on #2 until right at bed time when we put her diaper on to sleep. The next step is getting her to understand this whole poop in the potty situation. This is my definition of torture!!

    02.06.17 Reply
  34. Monica says:

    I have 3 boys and they all potty trained at different ages. My oldest was over 3, my 2nd was 2.5 and my youngest was a little under 2.5. I like the method you described above, totally my style, the only advice I have is that,I put potties pretty much every room of the house, even the kitchen, and would ask them every 30 minutes if they had to go. I wanted the potty to be always in their line of sight and very close proximity and accessible. Good luck, and remember, no one was ever scarred for being made to potty train, we all have to use the potty eventually!

    02.06.17 Reply
  35. Kerstin says:

    Dear Eva!
    I am writing you from Germany, where Potty training is not really a thing!
    My daughter turned 3 last September.
    Last Easter we chose as the weekend to get rid of the diapers. We did a lot of things to make going to the toilet fun, but after 3/4 accidents, we put the diaper back on and gave her some rest!
    During the next months there were a lot of days, where she wanted to go diaper-free, but she did only realize the need to pee after it was to late. Of course we were wondering, how this was going change -a lot!!!
    And two weeks ago she just startet to take off her diaper and uses the toilet since then.
    We have always been told, that the kids will decide, when the timing is right, but of course we did not believe it!
    Don’t push Marlowe too much, everything will work out on its own!

    02.07.17 Reply
  36. Jo says:

    Hi Eva, don’t panic. Take a breath. Marlowe will get there eventually, she really will! As a Mummy of 2, the advice I offer is simple. Don’t stress, don’t try and force the issue if you get push back from Marlowe and very, very definitely ditch the potty! I didn’t use a potty with either of my children; a conscious decision partly driven by my rebellion against major retailers pushing all manner of kit and caboodle we are told we must buy and can’t possibly parent without, but also because in my mind, why teach a child to do something you then swiftly expect them to absolutely stop doing…… For this reason I didn’t use any kind of pacifier. Not because I think they are awful or frown upon anyone choosing to use one, definitely not, but simply because I didn’t want the stress of having to wean my child off nor did I feel comfortable actively encouraging my child to form a strong attachment to something I would one day insist they stop using… I think sometimes we expect our children to do things we wouldn’t be happy doing ourselves. Would you use a potty? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be too enamoured doing my business in a pot in the sitting room/garden/side of the road! My top tip is invest, as I think you have done, in a really comfy padded toilet seat cover that fits the proper toilet, maybe with handles to overcome the fear of falling down the toilet. In the absence of a potty, just encourage the use of the actual toilet from day 1. After all, that is the ultimate goal so why make the journey harder and longer by adding extra steps along the way? As adults, we use the toilet in the bathroom, our children are familiar with it, god knows it isn’t often we get to close the bathroom door and pee without an audience! Teach by example. Kids love to copy. They watch us. Lots of ‘this is how big girls do it’ and ‘just like Mummy/Daddy/’. Boom, no transitioning from potty to toilet required (which in some cases ends in complete regression – again! No thank you!) If she needs more encouragement have a bag of new, exciting story books that you only read while she sits on the loo….. Good luck! Just like every other stage she has passed through, she will get there x

    02.07.17 Reply
  37. Mel G says:

    Hi Eva,
    My tip would be to stop making a fuss about it. Negative attention is still attention, right? So at the moment your cutie-patootie is TOTALLY in charge here! So I would be making a big fuss when she deigns to do her wees and poos in the potty and ignoring the nappy (diaper?). Change it as needed obviously, but more of a get in-get out kind of way. Whip it off, clean it up, new nappy and move on. You may find she starts to want the positive attention as she will not be getting much of a reaction to a dirty nappy.

    As for practicalities, I found my 2 kiddos weren’t that keen on a potty per se, but the big toilet? Like the BIG KIDS use?? Bingo. Seat insert so they don’t fear falling in, some sort of step stool arrangement so she can get up and down herself (also allows her to feel her feet on something rather than dangling such a long way off the ground), and books. Get her on there, give her a book and read with her until she’s done. Obviously it can be a bit tricky timewise with a baby too, but you’ll get there.

    As my mum used to tell me, 99% of kids are toilet trained before it’s time for big school….. don’t stress 🙂 You’ve got plenty of time, and summer seems to work better – less clothes to remove, put her in a pair of undies and let her run free!

    Good luck xx

    02.07.17 Reply
  38. Courtney says:

    Just stripped them down, no diaper until they learned how to use the toilet. We use the Potette which is great because you can throw it on any toilet and bring it with you when you’re out or traveling, and no clean up!

    02.07.17 Reply
  39. Brianna says:

    We did this over a 3 day weekend with my 2.5 yr old boy and it worked (mostly) like a charm. We still have accidents every now and then but for the most part that’s all it took.

    *caveat, #1 was much easier than #2, so we used little treats ($1 hot wheels, his baby crack) to encourage successful pooping in the potty. That only lasted a week or so before he got the hang of it.

    Hang in there! It’s hard and gross and frustrating but you’re doing great!!

    02.07.17 Reply
  40. Alex says:

    My daughter refused to pee on the potty too! At three, she started school full time and the teachers basically potty trained her. Long story short: PEER PRESSURE works wonders! If I were you, I’d try the weekend bootcamp, and if it doesn’t work… wait until it becomes a mandatory part of school and she will jump right on that potty bandwagon! Good luck!

    02.07.17 Reply
  41. Lauren says:

    Uhg potty training. With my oldest daughter we made a poster with pictures of all her loved ones (daddy, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents..) so when she went she got to pick who she wanted to call and share the news. The excitement from her mom mom and her combined really made it special.
    With my 2nd daughter I got oh crap potty training… aka the best book! Hang home, 3 days and make sure your wine fridge is stocked best of luck xo

    02.07.17 Reply
  42. Shar says:

    MADDENING! Had our son potty trained early also. Piece of cake! Then Daddy showed him you could STAND UP and pee–so he wouldn’t poop in the potty anymore unless he could do it standing!! I was jumping through all kinds of hoops, until I finally decided to back off so I wasn’t the one “controlling” it all. Waited a month, read aloud many potty books for “fun” and tried again. That cooling off period did it for us. Good luck (and maybe drink a glass of wine before starting the next session!)

    02.07.17 Reply
  43. Tina says:

    Thank god i am not alone…:-)
    God this is hard!!! I had the same exact experience and now my kid is 3 in 3 days… i’m in the middle of potty training because since last friday she accepted to talk about the potty… before that she was allergic to potty talk and was talking about something else or looking the other way around everytime we were talking about stopping diapers…:-) so now she is ok 🙂 (thank god!!!!!!) and at home it is almost complete but in daycare she keeps peeing everywhere and i look like the crazy mom who’s saying “yeah no problem skip the diapers at home it’s really working…but everyday i come to get her and she’s wearing different outfits because it didn’t work for the whole day… :-((
    so i’m felling a little lonely right now… i know it’s not that big of a deal but she is the smartest kid i know so why???? well this is apparently not her priority and i’m felling a little crappy for being so pushy… but she is almost 3!!!!!
    ok that was good to tell about it and now i’m gonna go drink a glass of white wine (it’s 7 pm in Paris it’s about time….:-)))))

    02.09.17 Reply
  44. Amy says:

    Oh Crap Potty Training and the “absolutely no diapers” rule worked for us. Good luck!

    02.09.17 Reply
  45. Anonymous says:

    We used the book “Big Girls Use the Potty” by DK Publishing (can find on Amazon) and our daughter was potty trained in 2 days at 18 months.

    02.09.17 Reply
  46. Anne says:

    We did the whole “three day potty training” with our oldest daughter (she is not 5; was a little over 2 at the time) and it WORKED! We stayed at home *most* of that weekend and sent her to daycare after the three days in underwear (with pull ups as a back up) and she didn’t have any accidents (at least not right away). I will say that we waited until she was ready but ended up getting really lucky – the weekend we ended up doing it she came home from daycare that Friday and told me she was done wearing diapers. Hoping we have the same luck in a few years when we potty train our younger daughter (now only 6 months old). Good luck! Lowie will do great!

    02.13.17 Reply
  47. Stacey says:

    I have three children. They are of the ages; 12, 14, and 16. I just like most parents want my children to succeed in everything. I have and will do most everything to help my children be successful. However, based on my experience with potty training my three children I found out there is no magical advice or device to help with potty training your child. Your child will go when he or she is ready.

    03.25.17 Reply
  48. Shanna Ames says:

    I have a almost 3 year old boy and I think the naked thing is a great idea… the only question I have for everyone is.. My home is all carpet. Did anyone experience this issue and if they run around naked all weekend shouldn’t I expect wet carpets?
    Thank you Moms & Dads

    03.30.17 Reply
  49. Laura says:

    Two very different experiences here.
    First time, I put a whole load of pressure on myself, and at 2 and a bit, I decided it was time. However nice I tried to be with DS, he wasn’t having it. We had accidents, it was disastrous. We gave it up as a bad job, and let him go back to pull-ups.
    But, by the time he was three, he had it sussed day and night.
    I was constantly informed that “Girls get it quicker” (and DS has ASD too, which is meant to make a difference) and thought we would be all done WAY earlier when DD was learning.
    She is now 3.5. She is in underpants day and night now, and rarely has an accident. But she is not as reliable at all as DS was straight away.
    My words of what passes for wisdom, is, they all, barring special needs, get there, and “when were you potty trained” is never, ever a question that comes up in any of life’s important interviews, tests or exams. So, it probably doesn’t need as much stress as it feels like at the time?

    04.01.17 Reply