January 16, 2012

Potty Training


Potty training has been the beginning of a new epic adventure in our household.  For the past few months, we have been potty training our daughter Brie in earnest. After all, she starts school in September and she’ll need to have mastered that very important skill.  Now Brie, having just turned three, is very precocious in so many different ways yet at the beginning, she was reluctant to start potty training.  So after researching all of the different methods that we could possibly use to potty train a child, I decided to go with my own approach, one that took Brie’s personality into consideration.

Our epic potty training adventure started with a visit to Toys "R" Us to shop for a potty seat.  After perusing the shelves, we decided on a classic – The Elmo potty seat! To go along with that theme, I also bought her the book “Potty Time with Elmo”.  This book was a big hit because as we read the story, she got to press buttons that made fun noises.  I also decided to get her a potty box that would stay in the bathroom.  The potty box was a treasure trove of books, a hand puppet (that we would use to perform plays), a recorder (because sometimes you just need some tunes) and a few toys.  But the most important thing in that box was the stickers.  You see, that was our reward system.  She would get a sticker for going pee or poo on the potty, and that motivated her a lot.  The other reward she would get is a song that I made up for her. If she had a potty success, we would all gather hands, dance in a circle and sing the “Happy” song!

My biggest breakthrough was when I got a girl’s potty training video from a friend of mine, and Brie’s godmother brought us a simple Ikea potty that she had used successfully with her two girls.  I sat her down on the potty in front of the television and she watched the video where the little girl went from wearing a diaper to potty training and that cinched it for her.  She decided that if the little cartoon girl could go on the potty she could too. 

As I mentioned before, we’ve been potty training Brie for the past few months and would say it’s been a resounding success.  She lets us know when she needs to go, and can identify what it is she needs to do.  She marches into the bathroom by herself, gets up on her step stool and sits on her throne.  It’s so awesome that after months of doing this routine, we are actually seeing results.  She sits there reading her books and if her brother even so much as walks by the door she tells him imperially, “I need some privacy"!  So we give her as much space as she needs and let her do her thing.  

Potty training is not easy moms and dads!  There’s going to be a lot of accidents.  There’s going to be some tears (possibly from both parties).  There’s going to be fear around the whole potty experience because it’s new for them.  But all in all, it’s necessary.  Even after they’re “potty trained” they will still have occasional accidents and that is absolutely normal.  Every one of us had to learn this skill.  The blessing is that we don’t remember being there and doing that!  Yet, it’s up to us to help our kids to learn these new skills too.  Remember, our method doesn’t have to be by the proverbial book.  Some of the best suggestions are from other parents.  So let’s pool our collective ideas, moms and dads!  Leave a comment below about your creative potty training solutions.  We want to know what worked for you.  After all, that could be the trick that will work for other readers too!  

Here’s my potty training quick list


I hope this quote by Dave Barry will encourage you in your potty training adventures.

"A child can go only so far in life without potty training.  It is not mere coincidence that six of the last seven presidents were potty trained, not to mention nearly half of the nation’s state legislators.

 Now go forth, and potty train those kids!


  1. Agreed. It’s not easy. Whoever says potty training is easy never had kids. Keep up the good work.

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