• 1

I Just Said NO to Potty Training

I believe my Just Say No to Potty Training Method will be the wave of the future. As a mom of three boys, I feel like I have expert status in the area of potty training. I earned it.


11 years ago the following scene happened in an Ultrasound room at a local hospital:
US Tech: So, you have two boys, huh?
Me and my husband: uh, huh.
US Tech: *pointing to screen* Do you see that right there?
Me: Oh Lord…I have to potty train THREE BOYS?
Let me clarify that I was excited about having another boy because realistically, I have all the stuff and I am getting into the groove of this, but the horror that is potty training overwhelmed me at that moment and has come back to haunt me now. I figure that God sent me this last boy to potty train to entertain Himself. I can hear the heavenly mocking laughter now.

Let’s have a potty training review–
BOY 1: I read ever article, book, pamphlet, Internet advice and watched the Dr. Phil potty train in one day show. I got all the stuff recommended. I started just after Ryan turned 2 in hopes that he would be potty trained by the time his brother was born. I followed the Dr. Phil plan to the letter. Throwing massive pee parties complete with favors and noise makers. By day three I was a huddled mass on the bathroom floor yearning to be free. Free from the hell of potty training. Free from the restraints of living in the bathroom. Free from the FAILURE. I made an executive decision to stop the hemorrhaging. We discontinued the potty training. Didn’t mention it until well after the baby was born. Didn’t do anything else until Ryan was 3. Didn’t do anything but write a scathing email to Dr. Phil.

BOY 1: Round Two: Ryan has always been smart. Too smart. He has always been conniving. Too conniving. Waiting to potty train a child until after 3 who is smart and conniving is a recipe for disaster. Overall, it was easier to get him to go on the potty and complete the necessary tasks, BUT then the bargaining began. He started holding his poop and pee hostage for ever escalating demands. “I will go pee on the potty if you give me this”. “I will go poop on the potty if you will give me that”. Lord help me. I made an executive decision to stop all rewards and then suffered the consequences. But finally well after mommy exhaustion had set in, BOY 1 was FINALLY potty trained.

*insert angel choir singing here*

BOY 2: I can sometimes learn from my mistakes. I didn’t even think potty training with Boy 2 until age 3. I set aside 2 weeks to vegetate on the bathroom floor and we began. Boy 2 is a very different soul from his older brother. Boy 2 has no interest in rewards or winning. Boy 2 lives in a different world. I often describe Reid as being “on island time”. So, for 2 straight weeks of me obsessing about the potty, Reid did not go on the potty. Not. one. time. Then on day 10 he suddenly went pee while standing and afterward never had an accident. The switch had been flipped. Hallelujah, except for one tiny issue: poop. Yes, my dear island boy didn’t poop on the potty. Not. one. time. He stood to pee and then would go poop in his underwear. This went on and on for NINE MONTHS. Nine months. Nine months. Yep, you read that correctly, nine months. Then he decided to poop on the potty and hasn’t had an accident. Boy 2 was FINALLY potty trained.

*insert angel choir singing here*

BOY 3: Soon after Boy 3 turned 2 (although he believes he is 5) he continued his trend of shunning all things baby and started shunning the diaper. He was obsessed with the potty. When we are out shopping he will ask to go to the potty. I politely tell him that he isn’t potty trained and I am not going into a disgusting public restroom with him for that purpose until he is. Don’t get me wrong, if we were HOME and he wants to go potty, I obliged. BUT I wasn't not doing anything extra to encourage it. WHY? Because I was tired. Because I was terrified. Because I heard heavenly mocking in my head. Because I am lazy. Because I knew my life will never be the same once we start. Because, because, because…

What would happen if I just said no to potty training?

Would that be so wrong?

I just kept telling Boy 3 no until he insisted.

And then I said no again.

He begged! He pleaded. He kept at it and finally convinced me to potty train him.

We started one morning at around 7 am. He was fully potty trained by 7:15.

The key was HE was in charge and HE was motivated.

Please tell me YOUR potty training story in the comments below! I truly feel like misery NEEDS company!

Ha! I did the SAME THING. We waited and waited for my kid to be ready. I didn't want my life to be all about diapers and bathroom breaks. One night, he peed through his diaper and I got frustrated. "When are you going to be a big boy and wear underwear?" I said. "Now, Mommy. I want to be a big boy now," he said. So we threw away the diapers right then. He had two accidents. That's it. We even went on a 7-day cruise (just him and me) the following week and I brought ZERO diapers. He made it the whole trip without a single accident. I truly believe that when they are ready, they will let you know and it will be easier on everyone.


arena_blake, this was exactly our experience...

My daughter was my first. She started training herself at 15 months. WONDERFUL! Then there was regression and trained then regression then trained. FINALLY a week before her 4th birthday (around Thanksgiving) I sat down and told her "If you aren't potty trained by the time you are 4, Santa isn't coming this year." She was done with diapers the next day.

My first son was 3 when I got pregnant with my second son. He was potty training before I got pregnant but it was back and forth just like my daughter. I got morning sickness SOOOO bad (the doctors wanted me to stay in the hospital but my husband was out to sea and I had 2 kids to take care of...I couldn't just go and stay at the hospital...but I was there every other day for fluids, sometimes with my kids if I couldn't find a babysitter willing to take them for 2-4 hours or longer). My mom came out to help me clean my house right before my husband came home from under the water (2 kids, lots of Uncrustables and me only staying in bed or on the couch...I didn't even get up to get the uncrustables...my kids did that. 3 meals a day. for 3 months. Thankfully my friends from church would bring them by twice a week so we didn't run out). So, I changed my mom changed my son one day while I was at an appointment. She told him he was old enough to go on the potty and she didn't want to change another poopy diaper again. I changed the next one. Then I was so sick the next time that my mom did another one. She was stern with him about how she said she wasn't doing it again and he needed to use the potty. He never went in a diaper again and was potty trained.

My second son is now 3 years old. If he has the toddler potty in the living room, he goes in it. If it's in the bathroom, there is no way he will use it. So I'm done. He doesn't talk yet, he's behind in many aspects of a 3 year old. He's smarter than smart, that's not the problem. He's just stubborn. So I'm not even trying anymore. I'm over it.