Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Adventures In Potty Training – Part 1

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We are nearing the end of our second adventure in potty training.  I am by NO means an expert at this, but I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned along the way.

Finding The Perfect Potty

When my first son was born, I registered and received The Royal Potty.  Unfortunately, he was really slow to potty train and never sat on this thing.  Well, unless he wanted to drag it in front of the TV to use as a Lazy Boy. 


It sat in our basement for years, until recently when Braden entered the potty training phase.  That’s when I realized the true problems with this potty.

  • Too many bells and whistles (literally).  All B-boy wanted to do was stick his fingers in front of the sensors to make the potty “sing”. 
  • The “deflector cup” is kind of nasty to clean.  It’s removable, but it has lots of groves and crevices for “fluid” to leak in and hang out.  Ugh.
  • The removable bowl gets stuck and sometimes the contents splash around when taking it out!

Time for a new potty.

After some pretty thorough Googling of “best boy potties”, I fell hard for the froggy potty (a.k.a. the Fisher-Price Precious Planet Potty).


It has bucket that just lifts straight up and a built in deflector cup.  No more nasties getting into unnecessary gaps since this little guy is only two pieces.  A breeze to clean! 

Simple, effective, cute AND one of the cheaper models around!  I’ve also read great things about the Baby Bjorn models.  They are built very similarly to this one.

Stepping Up (To Wash Our Paws)


I’ve found that praising both of my kids as being “Big Boys” during potty training was a HUGELY important.  Letting them have all the perks of big people bathroom usage, including washing their own hands, is part of the process.

Unfortunately, most munchkins can’t reach the adult sized sinks and “steps” must be made to accommodate them.

The step above is in our main floor powder room and this one below is in the boys’ bathroom upstairs.  I like these steps that kind of blend into the decor a little bit.


Getting them their own stool once again makes them feel super special. 

Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Clean UP

Use of the little potty chair adds an extra elements to the bathroom cleaning routine. Lately, I’ve been using some homemade household cleaners for most of our general day to day cleaning. 


All the potty chair cleaning can really burn through some household cleaner.  Why not save some bucks and make your own?  (I’ll post the recipes I use soon!)

I’ve also found Lysol and Clorox wipes to be helpful in a pinch.  Boys have this whole drippage factor that you have to constantly be aware of.  Ew.

When To Start?

Now that you’ve got your basic potty gear in place, when is the best time to start?  Well, I personally believe that each child is SO different, my two included.

My mom was ready for my to start trying to potty train my oldest after he started walking and turned 1!  NO WAY!  She had both my brother and I potty trained at an early age….but she also used read cloth diapers.  That’s motivation!

With my boys, I set the potty in the bathrooms after they turned 2.  Even though they weren’t ready to use it, I think it encouraged them to check out the bathroom happenings. 

Eventually, they started to sit on it with their clothes on.  Then one day, they’ll drop their drawers and attempt to use it.  Or at least, that’s what happened in our house.

Again, each child is different.  My oldest didn’t completely train himself until he was over 3 years old.  He was too tall to even use the little potty by the time he was ready to really use it. 

My youngest has been MUCH easier to train and we’re almost completely done before his third birthday (he turns 3 in May).  This might have something to do with watching his older sibling. 

I’ve also heard that girls are easier than boys.  Not sure if that’s true, but I do know several mom little gals that have shown more interest in potty training at an earlier age.  My neighbor is having a rough go with her little girl though and she’s a little older than Braden. 

Toddlers…each one is special and different!


How about you?  Any great tips to share on this lovely subject?  I’d LOVE to hear and I’ll add them to Potty Training - Part 2 post.

Until then, I have some drippage to attend to….

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  1. Thank goodness my boys pretty much trained themselves. I never had anyone in diapers past 2. Summer time was the best, because they ran around in the backyard with no pants and figured it out!

  2. Good luck. PTing was by far the hardest phase for me. I didn't think I was going to make it through. All of my kids were well over 3 before they were ready. My two cents - making sure the child is ready makes the whole process easier on everyone and be patient with them. Remember no child ever went to college in diapers.

  3. Oh those days where fun NOT!~ Both my boys where almost three...boy are tougher I think. The second time around I used the microwave timer and I timed it every 15 minutes...did this for a coupl of days...we sang songs read books...love that potty video....yes where going to a potty potty...I still remember it....anyhow at the end of the week, bribery worked like a charm too...I don't care what the experts say,,,bribery is good! LOL works for me too! glad to see you over at my blog....see you again.

  4. I finished potty training our 3 yr old a couple of months ago. (So he was just over 3). It took him less than a week to understand and then insisted on big boy underwear.

    We never used the little potty, though. He just has a smaller seat that fits onto the regular toilet. There's enough "drippage" like that...you're much braver than me, because I would NEVER want to dump out the other one!!

  5. Try the towel potty training method.


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