Potty Training 101: It Stinks!


potty training stinksOnce upon a time, I lived in a beautiful home with brand-new carpets.

Allowing your toddler to be free in your home is one thing. But don’t forget the mess you will need to clean when (not if) your child pees or poops on the floor—possibly simultaneously.

Don’t start potty training before your baby is ready. If they are interested in the little potty we have all purchased, you might get lucky. But honestly, potty training stinks! Pun intended!

My toddler loves being naked, and I don’t mind letting her roam free when it is just us. Even if family is visiting, my daughter is often naked in the house. She has often said “peeps” and then squatted and peed on the floor right where she is standing. At first, I was happy she recognized that she had to go.

Then I started rushing her to the bathroom to at least put the two together. “Peeps” and “Potty.” After a while, she got the idea and would go into the bathroom to pee…on the floor. The few times she peed on the potty, we celebrated with a cookie and a song. Neither has enticed her to continue her “training.” 

Then there were a few times she pooped on the floor. The first time it happened, I was using the bathroom. She didn’t follow me as she always does, and I should’ve known I was in for a surprise as I finished my own business in the bathroom (door open because, well, you know). She walked in, staring at her hand. I quickly looked at the mess that was the naked toddler in front of me and sighed.

After sticking her in the tub, I peeked out to analyze the mess. There was a trail of poop-covered footsteps and a handprint or two leading her through the first floor of our house. I reminded her to go on the potty and tried not to show her how upset I was. After all, it was quite a learning curve for both of us. Since that incident, I have yet to go to the bathroom alone.

Not all methods work for everyone. 

My daughter likes to play on the little potty and will go from time to time. She often sees me on the “big girl” potty and requests to sit on it but FREAKS out when I sit her on it, like meltdown status. She’s afraid she will fall in, although we have a smaller seat atop the normal-size one, even if I am holding her. Not that she has fallen in, but squirming around isn’t helping.

We have tried the three-day potty training method, where you request your child sit every 15 minutes. This would work if my very bright daughter did not argue her case with, “No, Mommy. I’m fine. I no peeps on the floor.” If I fight with her to sit, it’s exactly that—a fight.

On her second birthday, we took her to buy big girl underwear. She loves her Minnie Mouse undies and frequently requests them. However, she treats them as diapers and neglects to mention or acknowledge if she has gone to the bathroom in her new undies. Her response is always the same when asked if she had an accident. “No. I’m fine.”

There have been a few occasions where she has requested to sit on her potty. Then, she requests the iPad to watch her favorite videos. She will sit there for 45 minutes if we let her, not doing anything. When she gets up, she does her business immediately on the floor or after we put her diaper or underwear back on. She has learned if she sits, she will get praise and a few minutes of “muffin man.”

I will repeat it: potty training stinks!

What methods have you used that have or have not worked for potty training your little one?



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