AJ’s Potty Training Made E-Z

I skipped classes, I never studied and I still passed the test. Or something like that. My daughter is potty training herself. Here is how we didn’t do it.

Step 1. Don’t really try.

When Little Miss was 21-months-old, I wrote about her first Potty Training Triumph. After a week of having her sit on the toilet two or three times a day, she produced a single spec of poop. Then she began saying "No!" when we asked her to sit on her potty. Like forty-niners disillusioned that we didn’t strike it rich after our first week of gold panning, we lost interest and stopped the training.

Step 2. Find an excuse.

Around the time of the second birthday, we wanted to relaunch the training, but our potty chair had been sabotaged. Our daughter threw away the plastic catch bucket that sits inside the potty seat!

Mom asked, "Where is the potty bucket?" and pointed inside the potty. Little Miss escorted Mom to the kitchen and pointed to our trash can. That bucket was long gone.

We picked up a duplicate potty chair at a garage sale a month later. It
was only 50 cents, so I didn’t have to barter like a pervert with the
question, "How much just for the bucket? I only want the bucket.
Please, I want your child’s poop bucket. Let me have it."

Step 3. Encourage peer pressure.

Our daughter’s friend is 4 months older and is a Potty Master.
Little Miss has seen her friend use a potty a couple times a week for a
few months. We encouraged her to watch. Nothing seems to come more
naturally to a toddler than watching other people use a bathroom.
Someone could write a pretty good horror film on that premise.

We hung stickers on the bathroom wall and told our daughter she
could have one when she used the potty. She begen sitting on the potty
after her friend, but without results.

Step 4. Be surprised after 26 months of diaper changing.

Last Friday, Little Miss excused herself from the dinner table to
use the potty—a first. She returned a few minutes later and
matter-of-factly reported to us that she had pooped. Not only that, but
she gave herself a sticker too!

The next day was the same deal, although she got excited and did a
victory dance that resembled a quarterback who had just run 50 yards
for a touchdown.

On Sunday, we had to prompt her to use the potty, but she came through like a champ. She didn’t even take a sticker. Our new problem is convincing her it’s time to stop using the potty, that she can’t just keep sitting down every five minutes and expect something to happen.

Step 5. Is there a step 5?

So it seems our secret to potty training was to wait for our daughter to want it for herself.

The sad thing is that on her second birthday I bought a potty doll
with a "potty train in one day" booklet. I was looking forward to
attempting a day of intensive training, but we slacked off on that too.
On the plus side, a mother in-the-know advises us our daughter’s
initial excitement will wane and the doll will then become useful.

My wife reports she will be happy when Little Miss no longer
accompanies her to the bathroom, standing in front of her, spreading
her legs and announcing, "I want to see you pee! I want to see you
poop! Poop more!"

Our cats will be equally happy once Little Miss stops following them to the litter box. Imagine if you had a toddler pointing at your butt and yelling, "Poop!"


3 Responses to “AJ’s Potty Training Made E-Z”

  1. Tom N. says:

    The sad thing is, I don’t have to imagine. Although it only happened once, my daughter did to me something similar to what yours did to your cats. :-) Thankfully, I’m pretty relaxed and non-chalant these days about being “helped” (read: observed) on the toilet.

    I’ve read a number of people recommending prizes (stickers, candy, whatever) for using the potty, but I’ve never seen any comments on how to wean the kids off the prizes. I mean, they’re going to be in trouble if they demand a sticker for using the potty in 8th grade. How do people handle that problem?

    August 14th, 2006 at 8:43 pm

  2. Charu says:

    this seems cool…at least I will be saving my camera from that little devil.

    August 15th, 2006 at 12:54 am

  3. melissa bryant says:

    I have a 7 year old and a 3 year old. My 7 year old was potty trained through the night @ 2. We did not push her, waited for her to tell us and go herself. If you do not wait until they are ready, you are just stressing yourself out. My 3 year old just this week has taken it upon himself to do the pottying all by hisself. And has remained dry through the night, to wake up in the am and potty by hisself. He was just not ready @ 2 like my daughter. My sister’s son who is three and her first is royally stressing herself out over her son not wanting to potty. She cannot understand why my son has taken the step and hers has not…He is very very smart…..I simply state, he’s not ready and you are stressing yourself out and frustrating him in the process……just let him alone and forget it, dont mention it, when he is ready it is like someone flips on a light switch. We shall see what happens.

    This approach has worked for me twice, with male and female children.
    This approach was advice given to me from a kindergarten teacher of 20+ years. It works!!!

    November 16th, 2006 at 7:23 am

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