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Potty training is the single most unpleasant job in my journey of mothering.

Honestly, I don’t like it. I wish there was some way to avoid it all together.

So that’s how I really feel about potty training.

Unfortunately, avoidance isn’t an acceptable way of handling the situation so let’s get real here right?

I have 7 children, if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that every child is different.

Still the one thing that remains consistent is that they all eventually transition from wearing diapers into underroos and all of a sudden you get to stop changing diapers that are equivalent to a nuclear explosion of varying degrees and colors I might add.

No matter how long it takes it will happen. My mom always said “Jamee, they won’t be in college wearing diapers”. So true. But in the moment, it sure can feel like it. So, that’s the good news.

Let’s get to the exciting part already. There are a few things that make the journey less excruciating.



Your child will show signs of interest. An important aspect to remember is that the interest won’t grow I to something more. The simple interest will come and if you don’t act on it, it’ll be gone before you know it. Like a fleeting glimpse of a shooting star through the night sky.

A good age is between 20 and 24 months but don’t let that discourage you. I have never had a child train at that age. In fact, one of mine didn’t fully potty train until months before his 4th birthday. I seriously thought he was going to college in diapers. But he didn’t.

You have to take into consideration whether you are ready too.

Honestly, I am never ready. I already told you how much I dislike it. But what I mean is where is your attitude about it. Do you have a failing attitude or one of success? Are you able to keep up with accidents and laundry that will come with it? Can you remember to ask every 20 minutes? Are you willing to get out of a line you’ve been standing in for 20 minutes already and your next, when your child says I have to go potty mommy?

Timing means you have to commit.

No back and forth with diapers and underroos. It’s all-in mommy. If you’re not ready don’t start. You’ll just frustrate yourself and worse… your child.



What to use is entirely personal preference. There are some things that can help along the way. I’ve used it all but these are a few I’ve found more useful than others.

Potty chair:

Having a small potty chair that you can set in the living room, dining area or even outside in the backyard while you are out there is helpful. This technique eliminates having to travel (especially upstairs) to the toilet. It also keeps it front in your mind to see the potty chair sitting there. And it’s their size.

Your child can practice sitting on the potty without feeling isolated in the bathroom. the flip-side to that is going to the bathroom is a private event to it defeats that purpose. Something to consider if that is something you are concerned about.

Seat Topper:

I personally prefer this option because of the privacy that comes along with going to the bathroom. I have 5 boys in a row so getting them to not run around the house naked is a big enough task. I would rather keep the potty time in the bathroom.

The thing I like about this is that they don’t have to fight falling into the toilet. The hole in on an adult sized toilet is gigantic in comparison to a toddler.

Of course, there are always caveats to these things. As I mentioned before I have 5 boys, one thing I’ve noticed about every chair and seat cover is that it makes it difficult for them to push their penis down when they sit. Either the little (and I mean extremely little) hoods that are made to house their penis is oddly placed and unrealistic in my experience. You don’t want pee going straight up. That’s an avoidable mess.

If you use a regular toilet, they will have to hold their self-up but children are stronger than you think. Boys can easily push their penis down without struggle. Even more than that I learn by experience that their behind go lower into the toilet and create a fold at the waist making it so much easier to poop.


These are great to remind yourself to ask them if they have to go potty. With the daily task and chores going on, it’s tough to remember and before you know it you’ve got accidents all day long. Do yourself a favor, automate as much as you can. Pick up timer and save your sanity.

Pro Tip: They typically say no but if you follow that question up with “Do you need to go practice” They will 85% of the time say yes. When I found this out it was amazing. The fight to get them to go seemed to diminish by 75%. That is huge in my book of potty-training chronicles.


I personally don’t recommend books. I’m not into hanging out in the bathroom. I like to get in get er’ done and get moving. But I had one child that struggle to go poop. He could go pee all day long but he had a fear of pooping. So, we spent quite a bit of time in the bathroom as I sat with him. Reading was to help get his mind off of what he needed to do and relax his body.

I highly recommend you read them to your child to avoid unnecessary sanitary issues. Children touch everything and you don’t want books that are filled with fecal matter and pee-pee fingers making their way through the house. and goodness forbid in the baby’s mouth. You know they love tasting everything.

Flushable Baby Wipes:

Great for when they go poop. The little behinds aren’t really big enough to handle toilet paper. It gets stuck and rips all over the place. Invest in some flushable baby wipes and save yourself the frustration and a half roll of toilet paper. Inevitably you’ll attempt to get it a little bit wet. Firstly, yea right. Secondly, that makes it worse. Ask me how I know. 😉


Lysol Wipes:

I mentioned Children touch everything. YES, yes, they do. In fact, my latest potty-training extravaganza had my child leaning so far over the toilet (boys, they stand up to pee) he had his head against the underside of the toilet seat. I was so grossed out I wanted to throw up. He was potty trained in one weekend but in that three days he took close to 50 showers. No kidding dude. I was not having it.

Also, with boys, their penis tends to follow where they look so making it into the toilet is not a guarantee. I love having these wipes on hand. They wipe up quickly, I can wipe the whole toilet down and be done with it.

Pro Tip: Do not entertain one of those cute rugs that go around the bottom of the toilet. They are nothing but pee catchers. You’ll need to wash them three times a day so your bathroom doesn’t smell like pee. It’s gross.


Rewards- I don’t recommend rewards. It devalues the act of going to the bathroom on the toilet and also give your child the choice to not want the reward so they forsake the toilet altogether. What if they get tire of said reward or they don’t see the reward as more valuable than getting up to go to the toilet? Then they don’t go because they don’t care about the reward.

What you want is the focus to be on creating an understanding of the appropriate place to go relieve their self of pee and poop. That is not on their self.

Instead attempt to make it fun or make memory. For instance, when my son was done, we’d wash his hands to twinkle twinkle little star. He looked forward to that. But he was washing his hands “because” he went potty. It was secondary. I actually tried to sing the ABC’s like some suggest the time length of hand washing but every time I started, he would start signing Twinkle twinkle, so I adjusted instead of forcing what I read was the “right thing” to do.

He was potty trained in one weekend.


Go into potty training knowing germs are gonna be a big part of this process. Children don’t know the seriousness of holding on to the toilet then stuffing a hand in their mouth. Just like a baby that slobbers all over and doesn’t seem the least bit effected by the wet, sticky, maddness happening down the front of their shirt, toddlers don’t get it either.

Go all-in with a right attitude. Prepare for the gross to happen. Keep calm. And remember, they won’t go to college in diapers. Be consistent when you are doing it but if you can’t or something changes and cause undue stress. forfeit mission and pick it back up another time. a few more months of changing diapers is not worth your sanity.


I joined Positive Parenting Solutions a few years back when I was at my witts end about yelling at my children to get things done. Come to find not only did I get help with that issue but potty training is a topic they cover along with allowance, bedtime battles, chores, Mealtimes Hassles and so much more. Check it out if you want your mind blown about some of the ways we basically sabotage ourselves when it comes to parenting our children.


If you are looking for an easy Potty-Training  101 Preparation Guide. Grab the password to our FREE Resource Library and download it today.


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