Our venture with potty training

In an effort to combat the ugliness that has turned into diaper changes, I decided to turn our long weekend into a potty training experiment. Sounds fun, right? Maximus is 2 years and 4 months. Young for the stereotypical potty trained boy. I’ve wasted enough Internet space talking about pooping and more pooping. I’ll just say that a two year has a mind {and attitude} of his own. He wants to be independent and does not have time for diaper changes. We either get flat out denials or he kicks and screams during the change. Giant belly, plus kicking toddler = daddy diaper changes!

Here’s what we did…

Friday morning we woke up and convinced an upset toddler to sit on his potty in the bathroom. We read a potty book that he basically knows by heart and explained that when we wake up in the morning we sit on the potty and pee. He wasn’t into it, but he wasn’t crying alligator tears either. He talked to us about the book and got pretty pumped up about being a big kid. After an unsuccessful session, we put him in a long sleeve shirt and underwear. We ate breakfast and then got him to sit on the potty again. Another unsuccessful session. I set a timer for another 30 minutes. This time I moved the potty chair to the living room and turned on cartoons.


He sat there for 30 minutes and was unsuccessful, again. He got up and colored a little at the coffee table. Next thing we knew, a small puddle on the floor. We changed his underwear and sat him down on the potty. Now we at least had a timestamp, but we didn’t really know how often he would need to pee.

We watched more cartoons, with him sitting on a blanket or a towel. {Perfect timing, new couch!}


We were on a bit of rinse and repeat actions. The timer made him mad and he made me stop using it. I asked him every 30 minutes and he always responded with, “no.” After the first few hours we had a hard time getting him to sit down. We got a good idea that he peed about every 1-2 hours. {Not nearly as often as his 9 month pregnant mama!} We had three or four accidents on Friday. Ironically, we had successful poops every time we got him to sit down in the afternoon and evening. Towards the end of the night he even told us he needed to go. The last two times he peed and we tried to explain that when he felt like that he needed to sit down on the potty. Just when you think they catch on to something, he ended the night with “uh oh mommy.” Peed in the kitchen.

I was hopeful because he appeared to be understanding. When I was making supper on Friday, I let him watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse but bugged him every 10 minutes. I finally said, if you need to go potty what are you going to say to mommy? We hadn’t talked like that, we’d only asked him if he needed to go. “MOMMY POTTY!” he said. I gave him some high fives and was feeling great about the progress.

Saturday we had two “accidental” pee successes. I call them accidental because we convinced him to sit down and he sat there long enough that he peed. But he never told us he peed. When he finally stood up and we told him he did then he’d get excited for a m&m treat. As the afternoon went on, he started whining about wanting treats. He peed while eating supper but didn’t say anything. We sat him down after eating and told him that’s what we do after we eat. We tried asking him if he felt like he had to pee. All of a sudden he said, “like that daddy?” We looked and he had peed a lot! We made a huge deal about it and talked about the feeling of going. He headed down in the basement to “help” Bryan sort through junk. We put sweat pants and shoes on him because it was cold down there. He had an accident about an hour later, but said, “uh oh daddy.” I’m not sure if he said it right when he started going or if it was after. Either way it was still good. Onto the next pair of sweats. An hour later it was time for bed. Bryan had tried to get him to sit down but he wouldn’t. We tried to convince him that before bedtime you have to go pee. We decided to let it rest and Bryan changed him into pajamas. We found that he’d peed in those sweat pants, but he hadn’t said anything. And then we had an epic meltdown that lasted at least 30 minutes.

Sunday morning when we heard him wake, I rolled over and said, “just put him in a clean diaper. I think it’s too much for him.” He didn’t mention anything all day. I asked him a few times if he needed to go potty, but he always told me no. We decided that we didn’t have enough successes so he probably wasn’t grasping the concept yet. There’s a good chance he isn’t recognizing the feeling yet. We gave it a shot to see if he was ready to pick it up. He’s not so we’ll try again some time after little brother arrives. There’s no hurt in trying and nothing wrong with him not being ready.

I just may wait until it’s warm outside and let him run around naked! Do you have any advice on potty training?

4 thoughts on “Our venture with potty training

  1. I don’t have any advice but I love reading about your potty training antics 🙂 It’s in our future so I wanna read up as much as I can before we start trying. Good luck!

  2. Marissa

    I can proudly say Bella (2 years 4 months) has been potty trained for about a month and has been completely diaper free (bedtime and all) for a week. I know girls are easier but our biggest success was not asking Bella if she had to go but telling her to make sure she let us know when she had to go. It was a long process…..they sat on the potty every 2 hours (every diaper change) at daycare since she was 2. We noticed that she was often times dry so we took one weekend and just did it! She caught in really fast and has only had 2 accidents ever. I found she got mad at us when we were asking her every so often if she had to go so we stopped that. And, Bella didn’t like the little potty so she had to use the big potty and that was much better! I have heard from many parents that boys are easier in the spring/summer because they can go outside. Sounds strange but it works! Like you said, it might be early but there is no harm in trying! Maybe try every weekend? Repetitiveness might be key! Good luck! It’s frustrating at first but so rewarding in the end!

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Marissa! I knew she was potty trained but it’s nice to hear how others do it. I know he’ll be potty trained eventually, I just hoped I could make it sooner than later. Oh well! I know we made some good progress last weekend and hopefully we’ll continue to build on that.

Leave a Reply