Real Life Potty Training STories
About This Series
This is the sixth installment in our series of real-life stories about how real parents helped their children move from diapers to fully potty trained. We created it in recognition of the fact that all kids are unique and that no two potty training journeys are exactly the same. There truly is no better way to grasp what needs to be done (and to motivate yourself) than learning how other parents tackled this major milestone!
Our six story is from Cassie. Let's find out how she potty trained her daughter, Violet!
Question #1 - Please Tell Us About Yourself and Your Family!?
Hello! My name is Cassie and I am the mom of two little girls, Violet who is five and Ivy who just turned two. We live together with my husband in a small town in Indiana that is literally right in the middle of the cornfields. I am a special education consultant and my husband is a school principal. Violet just began kindergarten (ahhhh!) and Ivy heads off to be with her grandparents on the farm during the school day.
Question #2 - When Did You Start Potty Training?
Being in education, we decided to begin potty training Violet as soon as we were off for the summer holidays, which happened to be when she was 26 months old. We knew she was ready to start potty training because she showed interest in sitting on a small potty that we'd gotten her and she would tell us that she was wet or dirty right away so we would change her diaper. Also, we were planning to have another little one, so we didn’t want to have two in diapers at the same time if we could avoid it!
Question #3 - What Helped You The Most?
We relied on the internet, our moms, and potty board books to get Violet going with her potty training. At first we really focused on the books like Princess Potty, Potty Time, and A Potty for Me! Princess Potty comes with a pop-out crown and stickers for each time Violet used her potty, but it was hit or miss on how much she cared about the stickers.
While the books helped some, in the end, consistency in training was really the key. My husband and I also tried to maintain a super positive attitude throughout, which I think was helpful in keeping Violet engaged.
Question #4 - How Long Did It Take to Click?
Violet was actually very easy to potty train (first child!), and was pretty much fully trained by the end of the summer. She made the connection to urinating in the potty very quickly. Poop came later, but she didn’t have the fears that I’ve heard a lot of kids do. She just let it drop after a month or so!
Question #5 - When Were You Really Confident They Were Trained?
There was some transition between knowing she was good to go at home and knowing that we could take her out, like to the library or a restaurant. We always asked her if she had to potty and then reinforced that she should try to go before we left. I think we finally were able to leave the house without a change of clothes just in case by the early fall. There were still accidents occasionally, but those stemmed from Violet getting caught up in playing and not making it on time.
Question #6 - How Did You Tackle Poop?
Like I said before, Violet didn’t have that same fear that other kids have when it came to poop. I will say that one trick we tried right off the bat was to use the small potty for poop. She had one of those potty inserts for the big toilet, which was fine for peeing. When poop was a little bit troublesome in the beginning, I think not feeling like there was a huge void underneath her helped her to get comfortable.
Question #7 - What About Training Outside Your Home?
Potty training on the go was important because we travel a lot to visit family out-of-state. We would always bring extra clothes with us and we would stop and potty often, even when Violet didn’t think she had to go. In her car seat, I placed a thin layer of waterproof sheeting in case of an accident. You can buy it at most retailers, like Target, and you can cut it to size and make openings for the buckles and things. We also used a travel potty seat some, but she really just wanted me to hold her arms so she could feel comfortable when we went in somewhere to use the potty.
Question #8 - How About Nighttime Training?
Nighttime training happened naturally, so we didn’t push it. We didn’t see any regression with Violet using training pants at night, so we just gave her some space to get used to potty training and being successful during the day. My mom told me that once she had been dry for five nights in a row, she would be fine to go without training pants. That was true in Violet's case, and we’ve never looked back. She’s had accidents in bed a handful of times, but very, very rarely.
Question #9 - Any Potty Training Hacks You Can Share?
Get them naked outside and let it fly! Learning to go on command is hard when you’re wearing a barrier, so we would take Violet outside (again, we live in a cornfield) and take her clothes off. We also would sit her on the potty and then turn on the bathtub before putting her in. The sound would encourage her to go and then we would immediately reward her with positive praise and affection. My mother-in-law would reward her with candy, but she is an intrinsically-motivated child, so the praise meant more. One more trick was that we let her try on her panties and wear them around right after a diaper change. She felt like such a big girl and wanted to wear them more!
Question #10 - Any Last Words For Parents Just About To Embark On Their Potty Training Journey?
Keep it positive. Kids who are shamed for having accidents or not getting it right away will develop fears around potty time. Parents can really set themselves back months when they yell or shame their children. If the child isn’t getting it, maybe they’re not ready. Give it time, patience, and lots of hugs and kisses.
More Interesting Reads
Real Potty Training STory No. 3
The third installment in our series showing how real parents potty trained their kids. See how this family potty trained their son during the height of the pandemic in New York City!
Real Potty Training Story No. 4
The fourth installment in our series showing how real parents potty trained their kids. See how this father of five potty trained his kids while his wife proudly stood on the sidelines!
Real Potty Training Story No. 5
The fifth installment in our series showing how real parents potty trained their kids. See how this actress in L.A. potty trained her two-year-old son in between auditions!