You guuuuuuys, I’ve been keeping a secret from you for almost 3 weeks now and the secret is that we’ve been potty training! Why keep it a secret? Well, for one thing it’s exhausting so I kind of didn’t want to put in the time of giving continual updates about it and I figured it would be a “two-steps-forward-one-step-back” kind of process (which it totally has been) so I didn’t want to broadcast successes because I knew it would take a while for it to all really fall into place. Now, all that being said, we are only 3 weeks into the process so it’s not all working perfectly yet but we are so proud of Lola and it’s been amazing to see how proud she is of herself in the process, and honestly, that’s been the best part of the whole thing. I’ve never seen her get more excited about anything than she does of a successful potty trip and I love the reaction every time. We did the Oh Crap! Potty Training method solely because of how many of you Moms recommended it to me on my Instagram. I had never heard of the book until that point but I really love how she breaks the process down into manageable stages and has a lot of troubleshooting material in the book as well so you can realize you have a problem and just go look up that section again to remind yourself how to handle it (we did that a lot). It’s basically one of those 1-3 days of being naked at home methods and then you venture out with small outings and longer ones as they get more confident (and no underwear until 3-4 weeks in) but she has so many great tips and approaches to different things that we found so helpful.
For example, Lola was pretty scared of using a public bathroom pretty early on so we followed her advice not to push and force her if she really didn’t want to go in and try to use the potty and we would keep the little training potty in the car and offer her the choice of going in the car or the big bathroom. She would usually pick the car (and go successfully there) but we would keep taking her in to bathrooms to just visit them or have her come help Mommy use the potty when she wasn’t too scared and eventually she would sit and try and actually use the potty there too! I tried to be conscious of making it more fun and less scary by things like letting her pull out a lot of paper from the TP holder (she’s not allowed to do that at home) or making sure not to use the electric hand dryers (SO LOUD!!) but honestly I think just doing it over and over again in different bathrooms for weeks helped. We would go out for quick trips to stores, the library, or Starbucks just to use their bathroom and basically head home—it felt a little insane but I think it really helped acclimate her to different bathrooms.
I bought this seat to keep in her diaper bag (I guess we just call that her backpack now??) for when we are out and we use this little potty at home and still bring it in the car if we think we may need it as a bathroom alternative (or if there isn’t one very nearby where we are going like a park). I thought Lola might have trouble sitting on the potty for very long (she’s such a busy girl) so I bought this light that she loves at our pediatrician’s office and a glitter wand that both helped keep her seated for longer when trying in the beginning. Once she decided she wanted to use the big potty at home (surprisingly early on) we got her one of these to keep in that bathroom and she uses this stool for the potty and to wash her hands (I added some non-slip strips to the bottom feet and across the steps too).
If you have a more strong-willed kid, it can be an extra challenge as they start to push back and say “no” when you tell them it’s time to sit on the potty, but the book was super helpful with that as well and we tried being more firm with telling her it was time to try (when there was a small amount of resistance) and when to drop it and say “ok, come tell me when you need to pee then” when there was a lot of resistance. Making her sit when she was adamantly against it never resulted in successful potty use, but dropping it and letting her tell us usually went much better (even if it took a little pee on the floor to get her to realize she did have to go).
Also, other side note that the book suggested is that sometimes privacy is the only thing that finally releases the pee or poop into the potty and I’ve definitely found that to be true at times. Most of the time Lola wants us right by her and doesn’t want us to leave but I noticed quickly that pretty much every time she had a time out in her room after potty training she would pee or poop, even if she had just gone recently, and it wasn’t out of anger (she’s actually usually quite happy in time out-haha!) but it was because she was left alone and she would automatically just release whatever she had stored up. Even 3 weeks in if she has a lot of false alarms (with poop especially) I will sit her on her little potty in her room and go to get something I “forgot” in the other room and I just stand in the kitchen until I hear shouts of joy about 20 seconds later…it’s kind of funny actually!
Like I said, we are still not perfect every day but she’s doing so well and we’ve even had some successful meals out at this point and that feels amazing. Since she sleeps with a sleep sack and in a crib we are delaying the night training until she’s in a big bed so we’ll still have some diapers to wash until then, but it will be a lot less for sure. I’ll try and come back for a Part 2 update in another month or so as I know some kids may have problems pop up later in the process, but for now we are so proud of Lola and how well she’s doing so far. Hope some of this was helpful for you other parents making the leap out there! Sending you a virtual hug right now if you are in the middle of it, you can do it!!