To pee or not to pee. When it comes to potty training, it’s a crapshoot.

I’ve been casually getting the little hummingbird used to the idea of potty training for a while and have been reading any and everything about it. I’ve come to find that I still don’t know shit about potty training. I think I rather stand on my head while somebody set my feet on fire instead of this.

I’m gearing up to get more serious with it but have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. My sister told me that with one of her kids, they came to her and said they don’t want to wear a diaper anymore and they were potty trained in no time. Yep, I want to strangle my sister too.

It seems like I always hear that girls are easier to potty train than boys but I don’t agree. I’ve used a men’s restroom before and by the looks of that and my hubby’s bathroom, they obviously never really seem to get the hang of it. Bada bing!

The hummingbird will be 3 this spring so I figured it was about time to start and she seems interested but as soon as she’s on the toilet with her cushioned toddler seat, she’ll hop down and run to her bedroom. Then she runs to the office and down the hall back to our bedroom and into the bathroom. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Way before I had the little hummingbird, I always thought when I have kids they would be potty trained by 2 years old. I could fill a book with ALL the things I thought I would do and how I would be as a parent before my daughter was born. Now I occasionally bribe her with chocolate although I’ve found that a dixie cup with a little bit of water is just as exciting for her.

I give her books to look at for the 5 seconds that I can actually get her to stay on the toilet and then vroom….she’s off and running. There are also times when she will actually stay on for longer and not go but as soon as I put on her big girl training pants, she’s standing in a puddle of pee.

Well, not really a puddle since we have carpet and it just soaks the pee in and then not only does our house have a litter box smell but also a walking down the street in NYC and you smell urine but you wonder if it’s from an animal or a person and you also try to figure out if that large dark stain on the sidewalk is from blood or crap and you have no idea which one you’d rather have it be because both choices suck smell.

I’m at the point where I don’t know what to do next so I would love any advice on potty training. I don’t care if it would involve monkeys and juggling, this mama needs help or the shit will hit the fan.

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19 Responses to To pee or not to pee. When it comes to potty training, it’s a crapshoot.

  1. OpinionsToGo January 30, 2012 at 19:25 #

    Love your post! I think your sense of humor will get you through the whole potty training thing.
    And then it’s just elementary, middle school, oh, let’s not forget puberty and then high school.
    Believe me, you will long for the potty training days.

  2. Ash @paperheart12 January 30, 2012 at 19:42 #

    If you figure it out, let me know. This is a frustration in our hour right now too. I’ve tried treats, games, the potty song, purchased big girl panties as a daily visual reminder. Nothing. I’ve heard they won’t go to kinder on diapers, I hope that’s true. Good luck!

  3. weezafish January 30, 2012 at 22:47 #

    I have two boys so my comment will be completely unhelpful I’m sure! I think boys seem easier to train, the four year old was out of diapers at two and the second one, soon to be two, is following suit. The first child is hardest to train, the second wants to be like his Dad and his brother so he’s very keen to learn – I often find him in the bathroom, pants around his ankles trying to release his little fella from his diaper. Neither of them want/wanted to use a potty though, they both want to be big boys like Daddy and stand and pee at the toilet. So we use a step, the garden on a sunny day (!) and let the youngest practise his ‘handling’ skills in the flower beds. I don’t know what I would do if I had a girl to train!! The thing that’s truly helped the most though is showing them what to do. Allowing them free reign in the bathroom when Mummy and Daddy use the toilet. I know, some people think it’s weird, even unhygenic but kids want to do what we do and sometimes the quickest way is to just do it yourself. Go on, sit down alongside the Little Humming Bird and look at a book together!! Or maybe not …
    weezafish recently posted..Fully Charged ParentingMy Profile

  4. kveta January 31, 2012 at 01:46 #

    we’re just starting out with potty training our 2.4 year old son, but have found that the best thing is to take it slowly, and at the moment we just let him use the potty at nappy changes. Sometimes he produces sometimes, others he runs off and piddles under his bed. And when he does pee in the potty, he wants to do it again and again and again, which is irritating! From speaking to nursery and our childminder, it seems that between 2 and 3 is normal to start training, and some kids get it quicker than others. It’s nothing to worry about! is a useful starting point, and there is a whole forum on there to discuss it with other parents who are despairing!! Good luck 🙂

    • Elle February 3, 2012 at 18:25 #

      Thanks so much for the potty training advice and the link. From everyone’s advice, it sounds like I’ll get grey hair from this or I’ll be pulling my hair out. 😉

  5. Catherine January 31, 2012 at 05:46 #

    M&M’s. 1 for pee, 2 for poop. We also just use underwear. Yes, my house probably smells like a litter box, but after a while you don’t notice it. Just kidding! Although it is a good excuse for me to get new rugs. And if the training pants don’t keep the pee off the carpet, I guess you wouldn’t mind the underwear! I’m not an expert though……we’ve been trying for almost 7 months! The only thing that’s REALLY still a problem is that they don’t tell us when they need to go so we still have to be on top of them constantly. It’s a process.
    Catherine recently posted..Winter RutMy Profile

  6. Sarah K. January 31, 2012 at 15:40 #

    I would just like to say that if your sisters’ children asked to stop wearing diapers then they must have been 5. That is ridiculous. You need to wash her mouth out with soap for lying. I have potty trained 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. Bottom line it sucks. My advice – be sure she is 100% ready and go all in. Once you start no more diapers or pull ups except at bedtime because you need your sleep. We struggled with one of our children because my MIL was lazy and put her in pull ups after we told her mot to. I had to hide them from her.

    • Elle February 3, 2012 at 18:28 #

      From just what I’ve experienced so far, it does suck. The hummingbird wants my full attention so it’s not like I can bring my US Weekly or something in the bathroom while I wait for her which makes it more irritating. I can send her to you for potty training, right? 😉

      • Sarah K. February 9, 2012 at 13:07 #

        My kids always did better after we introduced a sticker chart tracking their progress. We started with a reward of a small toy (like a Pet Shop pet) at only a couple of stickers and then gradually increased the number needed. Feel free to ship the hummingbird to me. We will have lots of fun and get super messy and then I will send her home.

        • Elle February 9, 2012 at 14:58 #

          Only if you promise to feed her expired chocolate coffee beans. 😉

  7. Monica DeLaCruz January 31, 2012 at 19:40 #

    have potty trained four kids. two before two and the other two before three. AND i consider it to be my biggest and best mothering accomplishment thus far. ;o) GOOD LUCK! i have employed: bribery, public shaming, peeing and pooping dolls, practicing, running around naked, and did i say bribery? ;o) when i write my parenting book a good deal of it will be devoted to potty training.

  8. Sarah January 31, 2012 at 20:20 #

    It all depends on the kid…for me it was bribery, begging, praying to the potty gods, having her older girl cousins talk to her about how the cool big girls use the potty and FINALLY the one thing that worked was having her help clean up her own messes. If she wet her panties, she had to rinse them out, if she peed on the floor she had to clean it up (i went back over it afterwards) but her having to take responsibility for her actions seemed to be the biggest thing that kicked in her “i want to use the potty” mentality. Good luck!!!!

  9. michelej January 31, 2012 at 20:45 #

    I’ve got 3 kids – 7yrs, and twins (b/g), 5yrs. 3 different personalities, and what worked for one didn’t for the other two. They all started at about 3 1/2, and it took a few weeks. My biggest advice: take a deep breath – she will get it eventually! I found that the more I stressed over it, the more control it gave my kids (Watch! I can make Mommy crazy!). We took away the diapers and didn’t go back, but only after waiting as long as possible to be sure we were all ready.

    Also, when we were ready to start with our twins, I found the best books ever: Princess Potty (the girl is sooo into princesses) and Pirate Potty, both available on Amazon. So cute – we love them. The books got them interested, and we took a Saturday morning and did the big deal, putting on the underpants and all.

    Get all the tips and tricks you can, and in the end, you’ll find what works for you. Be patient – with yourself, as well as with your little one – and, from a mommy who knows, you’ll get through it. 🙂

  10. Diane R January 31, 2012 at 21:12 #

    I just went through this with my youngest daugher, she will be 3 in May. I tried bribes & all that other junk but eventually took away the pull-ups & stuck her in panties. When she pee’d them I would stick her in the tub & rinse her off, starting with warm water & gradually making it colder (never actually cold water just not comfortable for her). It only took two days of this & she is now willingly peeing on the potty.
    Potty training sucks!

  11. Corinne February 1, 2012 at 03:53 #

    I have no further advice I’m afraid, your post made me chuckle, the joys or parenting hey?!
    Corinne recently posted..Two Better Than OneMy Profile

  12. Alicia February 1, 2012 at 18:06 #

    My daughter will be 3 in a month and she’s finally gotten the hang of it in the past few weeks…it takes time, patience, bribes and making sure they are truly ready. I tried potty training this past summer and every time, she would pee in her panties RIGHT AFTER I had just made her sit on the potty. And…she wouldn’t care about being wet.

    Friends of ours put the panties on their girls, then a diaper so that they could get the feeling of being wet, talk about how it’s yucky, how the princess on the panties doesn’t like being wet, etc. I was about to try that with my daughter but then she started going on her own.

    Naked time helped a LOT! In the beginning she was more apt to go pee in the potty if she was naked.

    GOOD LUCK!! Just remember that she’ll get it eventually. 🙂

  13. Bibiana February 2, 2012 at 03:43 #

    I waited till both my kids (G & B) were over 3 years old. Diapers are just so much easier! Once you potty train, you have to know where EVERY toilet is in the mall, at the park, and on the highways. Once I did potty train my kids, they didn’t even want to wear pull ups at night. When DD was potty training, she peed in her pants 6 times the first day, 4 times the next and then no more. I had her wash her panties when she peed in them. She thought that was fun for the first 2 times.

    Relax about it. She will probably be potty trained before kindergarten.

  14. The Mommy Patient February 3, 2012 at 13:28 #

    Hi. I just read this post and I can’t resist the urge to comment. My daughter is a little over 3 years old. I swear I am going to end up being “that Mom” – the one who all the other moms judge, because I will be in the bathroom with my 5 year old girl (in two years from now) changing a huge poopy diaper. I have already gotten the looks and the advice from well meaning friends and acquaintances. And that’s sweet, I know everyone is just trying to help me. But really, it does feel like I am going to be “that Mom”, and if that proves to be the case, that’s fine. I only know one thing after all this. I will never, ever, ever judge another Mom as long as I live who has a walking, talking, intelligent young child who is still in diapers. I will go to her in the bathroom and say, “Hey, would you like me to hold your bag for you while you are changing your remarkably mature but still wearing diapers child? Could I dab your brow for you with a damp paper towel while you are wrestling with this situation?” That is my pledge to you other Moms who feel ostracized for your seeming lack of expertise in this particular endeavor. You will never be alone. I will understand.
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  15. sarah February 7, 2012 at 05:19 #

    Start using cloth diapers. You can use liners to catch the poo so it’s not as gross. Disposable diapers are the reason that our kids don’t know what the hell is going on in their pants. Pullups are a joke.

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