8 Ways I'm Potty Training My Toddler: These May Not Be for Everyone But They're Working for Me

My potty training motto: whatever works.

We were reading one of her Elmo books for the third or fourth time in ten minutes when I hear it.  We hear it.

The undeniable trickle of peepee in the potty.

A glorious sound, the first time your child pees in the potty.  A sound that should be accompanied by a heavenly choir, by angels trumpeting.


I look at her and she peers back at me with saucer eyes.  Awestruck: the expression like a flower blooming, her rosebud lips dilating into an O of amazement.

After watching me demonstrate peepee in the potty dozens of times she absolutely can’t believe it is happening.  Understanding dawns on her face like sunrise.

My peepee!” She shouts.

“Yes!  Your peepee!  Look!  You are peeing in the potty!”

I have to admit, my reaction was a little over the top because my screams of excitement prompted Serge to come running in alarm.  But, oh my.

After three years of buying diapers, three years of changing diapers, to actually bear witness to the light of my life depositing her peepee where it belongs is nearly as exciting as giving birth, I tell you what.

Not only that, but to witness this huge milestone, to see her do this, to watch her eyes widen, sweet lips cracking into a grin of accomplishment so bright it hurts your eyes…  Well, man.  It was something.


She’s 3, barely, and had showed no signs of really giving a crap where she peed but we just decided to do it anyway because we’re just exhausted with all the diaper changing.  Yeah, we still have Henry’s diapers to contend with but we kind o figured if this kid can feed herself dinner, can walk up and down stairs, can memorize story books from beginning to end and can maintain conversations with adults then this kid can certainly pee in the potty.

I did quite a bit of internet research.  Some tips I agree with, some I think are silly but the bottom line for me is, if it works DO IT.  Here then, is how we got Violet peeing in the potty after just a couple days of potty training.  A lot of these may not be for you or fit in with your style of parenting, but I’m certain you’ll find something helpful in the tips below.


  • Cold Turkey 1 of 8
    Cold Turkey
    I like to go all in. Just ask my husband about the last time I spent 24 hours at the blackjack table in Vegas. I don't go in for this pull-up potty training pants business. Just another way for Pampers and Huggies to siphon your cash out of your pocket. We talked up underwear, said bye-bye to diapers and that was it. Just make sure you have a solid underwear supply on hand because those first couple of days you will go through a lot of underwear.
    Image: twotuttlesfourpaws
  • Nudity 2 of 8
    My own nudity, that is. I try to time my own pit stops with Violet's so that we go to the bathroom together like a couple of drunk college gals out on the town. I whip down my paints and point to the peepee and act super excited about the whole bathroom experience (again, much like a couple of drunk college gals). I figure if pee by example doesn't work, seeing me naked ought to scare the piss right out of her.
  • Bribery 3 of 8
    Whomever said bribery teaches kids a bad lesson never had kids, is what I'm thinking. If I can get Violet to pee in the toilet by offering up a cookie or a car every time she does so then I am all about it. WHATEVER WORKS is my personal motto.
  • Interrogation 4 of 8
    Our potty training days have gone a little something like this: Violet, do you need to pee? Five minutes later: Want to go sit on the potty? Ten minutes later: Let's go to the bathoom! Seven minutes later: Do you have peepee pants?
  • Groping 5 of 8
    Not five minutes goes by that I'm not groping my toddler to make sure she hasn't wet herself. C'mere, let me feel your pants!
  • Potty Humor 6 of 8
    Potty Humor
    We spend A LOT of time in the bathroom together. We paint her fingernails and toenails, we sing songs, we read Elmo books a lot. In fact, the first peepee in the potty occurred whilst reading Elmo. I get her so distracted she isn't thinking about it and then BAM. Enter peepee.
  • Harassment 7 of 8
    We are constantly interrupting her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Viewing to talk smack about diapers or about pee and poop and potty and the awesomeness of underwear and pointing out all the people who wear it and peepee in the potty. Dad does it, mom does it, Grammy does it... Ten minutes later: Dora does it, Santa Claus does it, the Easter Bunny does it...
  • Did I Mention Bribery? 8 of 8
    Did I Mention Bribery?
    If the cookies aren't cutting it, up your bribery ante. Seriously. Why not?


Top image:

You can also find Monica Bielanko on her personal blog, The Girl Who.

Article Posted 5 years Ago

Videos You May Like