Thursday, January 12, 2012

Potty Training

Photo Credit: Stroller Adventures
When our now 6 year old was born I didn't know much about potty training, all I knew was that everyone around me -friends, family- had a bit of a challenge potty training their kids. I always heard terrible stories that were discouraging to say the least. So I vowed that as soon as Adventure Girl (AG) turned 2 I would do my best to potty train her. I read and  read, researched on the Internet, asked our pediatrician -who is amazing! really!- and finally I felt I was well informed to work on it.

It was summer 2007 and the first thing I did was get a potty and 2 books, one of the books potty training related from Elmo and the other one a fun Nemo book that made sounds. When I went to the bathroom I would let "AG" come in and sit her on the potty fully dressed, give her a book and explain what was going on. After a couple of times she would follow me and sit on her potty with a book in hand.

Her second birthday was coming up soon just 3 more weeks to go so I decided it was time to take her shopping for some fun pantie's. I let her choose the ones that were most appealing to her and I also bought a bag of m&m's (her favorite candy), a package of star stickers, a medium sized bad of cheeto's (her favorite chips that she only gets to enjoy on special occasions). Armed and ready I designed a reward chart with a marker, ruler in a sheet of white paper.

The day of her birthday arrived and after a week when I knew I wouldn't get distracted by anyone or anything we got right to it. We started on a Wednesday right after Adventure Dad left for work. I turned off the TV, locked all the bedroom doors (the places where we have carpet) and set the potty in the center of the family room with the rewards chart and rewards around. Dressed in her new pantie's "AG" was excited and nervous at the same time, but with some reassurance she felt more relaxed.

We played, singed, colored and our first "accident" happened. Needless to say we had several (6 to be exact) accidents so I called our pediatrician and asked what I was doing wrong. I was then suggested the "bottomless" training. This means the child is not wearing any pantie's, no diaper, no pull-ups, no training pants. Completely bare bottom, it was summer so I gave it a try.

I watched her like a hawk! and as soon as I saw what could seem like a sign that she had to go potty I sat her down on the potty and she went! I laughed, jumped up and down, sang, danced, congratulated her, gave her 1 m&m and placed a star sticker on her reward chart. I explained in detail that is what going potty was and that each time she did so in the potty she would get the same reaction and reward. She got it! that day ended with success. We continued this routine for 2 whole days at home, no TV, no visitors, no playdate. On the third day we had to go out for a quick errand so I packed the potty in the car, towels, clean clothes, plastic bag and reward chart. An hour later we were back home with no accidents!

Her final reward after a whole month would be a trip to a theme park she had been asking to go for a long time and that we had planned on going to, so turned it into the ultimate reward and motivation for her.

Now I only trained her for during the day so at night she would still wear a diaper to sleep, but when we started potty training we began to hold off any liquids after 7:30 p.m. and after a week "AG" was waking up with a dry diaper and that is when we decided to try sleeping with a panty. She was already in her big kid bed with bed rails and knew that if she needed to use the potty during the night she would come and wake me up so I would take her.

It's been 4 years since I potty trained "AG" and it was both our success story that we both like sharing with other parents.

As you know Adventure Boy just turned 2 in December so I think the time has come to do the same. I have to admit I'm again a little fearful of not being as successful but each child is different and have different needs so you must tailor your potty training according to your child.

In no shape or form am I sharing this for you to follow it exactly, I am just doing so to give you tips and share what worked for me. Just remember to:

  • Make it fun
  • Be Patient
  • Be Tolerant
  • Encourage positively
  • Reward 

Positive reinforcement and consistency are key.

When you do potty train, let us know your story in the comments section or feel free to e-mail us at


  1. Great advice!! Thank you for sharing. Tips are good especially for 1st time mommies like myself who need help potty training their little one.

    1. You're welcome, hopefully this will help accomplish success in potty training and make it easier for moms.