Our Potty Training Journey and What Worked For Us

Potty Training

So we actually introduced the whole “potty” thing to Ava when she was about 19 months old.

We didn’t have any intentions on potty training her at 19 months but we wanted her to be familiar with a potty and how it works. I found this super cute potty to put in her bathroom. Her reaction was the cutest thing ever! It was like her and the potty were best buds.

I often bring Ava into the bathroom with me (not by choice) so the potty is something she was familiar with at a young age. Sometimes I would encourage her to sit on her potty like mommy does. We also put her on the potty without her diaper before every bath while the water was running in the bath tub. For awhile nothing happened and then one day she peed and freaked out (they say this is normal). We kept talking about the potty and interacting with it even though she was still in diapers and we weren’t “officially” potty training her yet.

When Ava turned two she was moved into the two year old room at daycare. Her teacher requested she be sent with pull-ups to school. This helped get the potty training started. Her teacher has been a HUGE help through all of this.

At first Ava hated the pull ups because the smallest size they offer didn’t really fit her. She’s so petite that they were really big on her and uncomfortable. Eventually she got use to them. While she was in pull-ups (August- late December) we still took frequent trips to the potty. Sometimes she actually peed on the potty.

My goal was to start potty training her full throttle during my Thanksgiving break (27 months), but then Thanksgiving happened and we were so busy that I pushed it back. We had plans to go to our parents house during the holidays and I didn’t want her having accidents on their carpets. Plus, we had a lot going on during then (emotional stress) that it just wasn’t the right time. We also transferred her to a toddler bed. With all the transitions and changes already happening it was best to wait another month.

December came and it was time for Winter Break. Ava was 28 months old. My plan was to keep Ava home for a week, put her in panties, and start potty training full throttle. A week turned into 3 days at home. For those three days, she wore panties under her clothes and every 30 minutes I took her to the potty. After day one I slacked off on the every 30 minutes but I did take her frequently. She averaged about 2 accidents a day. Thankfully just pee, no poop. Pee got everywhere! All over our carpet, tile, and rugs. Stain remover was kept very close by. During those days I put her in a pull-up during nap time. After the 3 days she headed back to school. We sent her in her panties, with 5 changes of clothes.

Thankfully, she did really well. I think she had an accident every once in a while for about a week or so. Her teacher is AMAZING at frequently taking the kids to the bathroom. There were a few days her teacher was absent and Ava had an accident almost every day.

They say that it takes children a little while to get use to going poop on the potty. Ava’s had two poop accidents in her panties since December, but for the most part she goes on the potty. I think the reason for this is because Ava doesn’t poop everyday. She poops maybe every other day or so, and she’s often constipated. She will go off in a corner or into another room when she has to poop and I can see her red face. This gives me time to take her to the bathroom.

When we started “officially” potty training it only took a few accidents in her panties before she started letting us know when she had to go. I think we are VERY blessed because Ava caught on pretty quick. Some people recommended giving her a treat after she goes on the potty or doing a sticker chart but we didn’t end up needing anything like that. If she didn’t catch on as quick as she did I would have definitely tried something similar.

Also, I want to mention that Ava caught on quickly but we also had her in pull-ups for a while before going to panties. She went to the potty soooooo many times while in pull-ups but probably only went on the potty maybe 10% of the time. It was annoying. Very annoying, but we stayed positive, praised her attempts and said, “Maybe next time.”

Below is a little video from when we first introduced the potty to her. It’s one of my favorites!

Our Current Situation

Currently, I think we’re just about done with potty training. Ava very rarely has accidents, she goes to the potty on her own and only wears a pull-up at bedtime. She often wakes up with a dry diaper but we’re going to wait a while before using panties at night. Not sure why, I guess I just think she’s too young to expect her to get herself up at night time to go to the bathroom.

Her new favorite thing is to say she has to go potty 100 times during our bedtime routine. I’m pretty sure it’s her way of avoiding bed time. I usually give in the first 50 times (more like 3) because I feel awful telling her no if there’s a chance she really has to go. Usually on the third time she does go. Of course, a few nights I freaked out and thought maybe she had a urinary infection and immediately Googled all of the signs (she got me) but she didn’t have one. Now on the fourth, “I’ve got to go potty.” I say, “NO! Lay down right now! You have a diaper on, you can go in that.” Ok, maybe not that extreme but I do tell her no.

She also loves to do the same thing when we’re shopping and she doesn’t want to be in the shopping cart anymore. Fun times.

Potty Training Must Haves

I absolutely HATE taking Ava into public bathrooms. Some are so gross. As adults we can squat and hover over the toilet seat without actually touching it but obviously toddlers can’t really do that. For public bathrooms I recommend this foldable reusable seat cover (my friend has it and LOVES it) or these disposable seat covers. Both are in my Amazon cart right now to purchase. ​

What Worked For Us

  • Introducing the potty at an early age (19 months) but not forcing her to actually use it. Officially potty training at 28 months.
  • Starting with pull-ups first for a couple of months and taking her to sit on the potty even if she never actually went pee.
  • Communicating with daycare and receiving their help.
  • Staying home a few days while putting her in panties under her clothing and taking her to the bathroom every 30 minutes.
  • Not rushing it. Doing what best fit our family and what worked for us.

Some Other Ideas

When we first started thinking about potty training these were some ideas others recommended that worked for them.

  • Stay home for a week or so and have them walk around with no underwear or diaper on (too scary for me).
  • Use some sort of incentive. Every time they go potty give them a treat (skittle, M&M, stickers, etc.)
  • For boys put a little sticker in the potty for them to aim at, or a cheerio.
  • Some people are recommending to begin potty training when they’re a little older (3 or older).

The best advice I can give after going through this journey is to do what best works for your family and your child. Try different things. Pay attention to signs to see if your toddler is ready for potty training. Some take longer than others to catch on and that’s 100% OK! Don’t beat yourself up about it.

​Are you currently in the potty training phase? What has worked for you?

Our Potty Training Journey

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