Potty Training: 101

I swear, this was probably the most challenging part of motherhood to date LOL. I think I expected it to be a little easier than I thought so maybe that didn’t help me. I also felt like it was more emotionally draining than I thought it would be as well. But when I look back at those few weeks of potty training now, I really saw how much Carter grew, and how much stronger our relationship is now! I think through the struggles of trying to get the hang of things, we became even closer than we already were. That might sound a little weird since he is only two, but if you are a mommy, I’m sure you know what I mean! I’d love to share a few tips and basically what our routine was throughout most of the month of January while we were training.

Consistency

I remember when people would say that they stayed home for 72 hours and their child was completely potty trained. So I decided to try it! The Sunday before we planned to start, I had everything ready. The potty chair, lysol wipes (if you’re a boy mom, you know why LOL), our potty chart and potty stickers, some pull-ups, and our little jar of treats. Maybe I didn’t need all of the extra stuff but I felt like I did… first-time-mom syndrome LOL!

I knew I needed to keep a schedule going. Staying consistent was huge for us! I mean I was asking Carter literally every 15 minutes if he had to go potty. It helped out in the long run because eventually he caught on, and would tell me when he had to go! I think the main part for Carter was learning how to pee without a diaper on. I’m sure it’s an odd feeling at first for any little guy. Once he started going on his little potty, it started to click with about two weeks I’d say. Which seemed like a year at the time, but he was getting it!However, there are other rules with boys too, such as AIMING. That step took us a little longer!

The Naked Truth

There were lots of boy mamas that told me to just let Carter go naked and let him figure it out on his own. I think there are pros and cons with this one!

  • Pro: No pants to try and take off before having to use the bathroom. You can get in and get out real quick!
    • Con: Your child might start to LOVE being naked and never actually want to wear pants…
  • Pro: Less clothes to wash if your child has an accident.
    • Con: You will be cleaning up lots of pee puddles instead… and sometimes sterilizing toys too…
  • Pro: It helps your little man learn more about his physical body parts. Great time to teach him the proper names too!
    • Con: Discovery also means lots of extra touching down there, both naked and clothed! But I suppose at this point it’s time to get used to that being a boy mom LOL!

I do think this did help us overall though during the first week!

Potty Chart & Rewards

This was HUGE for us. Yes I was that mom that downloaded a cute potty chart and potty cards for Carter to use. I probably didn’t HAVE to do this but honestly it made this process much more fun. I liked that Carter had a fun and colorful visual aid. I found my templates on “The Joy of Boys” mom blog! Side note: The Joy of Boys blog has tons of other great tips and tricks if you are a mama to a sweet little man! Go check it out!

But having these potty cards to start was a great intro. I printed off two sets of them, just like it was recommended on the blog! I hung one set up on the bathroom wall in front of Carter’s little toilet, and then had one set that he could look at and read himself. Before we started the process, he was looking at his own set on the couch! I also printed off The Joy of Boys, “Potty Chart” to keep track of Carter’s good potties. It was a fun chart for him to be able to keep track of and work for. He would put a star sticker on the paper each time he went, and work towards getting ten stars so he would get a “Potty Prize!” Potty prizes would be something simple like a little car, or getting to go to the chocolate shop downtown. Honestly, those potty prizes were everything.

I will fully admit how much bribing went on during this potty training phase. A LOT. And it worked LOL. NO SHAME. Eventually it would be “fun” when Carter would go potty and get excited to get one sticker closer to a potty prize. Sometimes he would even get an m&m for going too. Anything that helps, right?! After a while he forgot about getting a sticker and m&m, and would just go potty, wash his hands, and head back out to play. We did eventually fill up the entire chart, which you can see above, and now we where our big boy underwear!

Big Boy Underwear

This wasn’t a huge motivator at the beginning. Carter was so into wearing his diapers that it was hard at first to entice wearing underwear at all. We started by transitioning to pull-ups first. How could he say no to pull-ups with Buzz and Woody on them! We wore them for a little over a month, and we still wear them at bed time now. We haven’t quite conquered the bed time potty training part yet… but that is just fine! We eventually bought some cute little boxer briefs for Carter and said they were “just like daddy’s” that made him like them more. I can’t even handle his cute little butt when he wears them! If you feel like this might work for you, buy a small pack of underwear with your little one’s favorite characters on them!

Repetition

This is HUGE and coincides with the consistency. Especially during those first few days, it might take some time for your toddler to realize that he or she has to go. You want them to learn what that “feeling” is. Besides the first few day of asking them if they have to go every 15 minutes, make it a part of your daily routine now too! If you are leaving the house, use the potty. If it’s been over an hour since they’ve went, use the potty. If bedtime is coming up soon, use the potty. The list is endless. Yes, it is one more thing to remember as a mom (as if we need one more thing LOL), but it will be a huge benefit in the long run. I think because I ask Carter if he has to go all the time, he’s really learned to just tell me when he has to at this point! It’s been pretty neat seeing him become potty trained.

Patience

This is probably the number one rule. I was losing my marbles by day two when I had cleaned up my third pee puddle. Not to mention the pee all over the bathroom floor because somebody forgot to “point it down.” But I needed to remind myself to be patient, and realize that Carter is still a young boy. Potty training is completely new for him, so he most likely won’t just pick up on it the first time we try. It’s a process, but don’t be so hard on yourself. When you’re almost done grocery shopping and your toddler says they have to go potty and you have to rush to the bathroom before they have an accident?! Remember, patience is key. Continue to lift up your little ones as much as possible. They thrive on that positive reinforcement. The light in Carter’s eyes when he knows that I’m proud of him or that he did a good job is one of my favorite things to see.

I really think the main thing you need for potty training is TIME. Well, time and patience! It wasn’t easy, but like I mentioned above seeing Carter finally “get it” and be so proud of himself is honestly SO heart warming. Every time he uses the potty he has to run out and tell whoever is around “I went potty!” It’s such a big accomplishment (honestly for both of us, I feel pretty awesome too), and makes me realize what a big boy he is becoming. Plus one less diapered child to change now is very helpful LOL. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me!

Thanks again for catching up with the Next Play!

Lots of love and God Bless,

-Alyssa

About Alyssa Janis

Hi Everyone! Welcome to my lifestyle blog! Thank you so much for coming to my site to learn a little more about me and our family. I am 28 years old, (oh my goodness almost 30...), and have been married to my amazing husband, Jeff, for four years. I am also a mom! Carter James is our adorable, little blondie who is two, and Payton Jeanne is our newest baby girl who was born this past July. Bella is our yellow lab, and Chuckles is our cat. Of course I had to mention the fur babies because I'm sure they will come up in this blog at some point. I've been wanting to start a blog for quite some time now, and I think God finally gave me the courage to do it. I have always enjoyed writing, and while this is new to me, I'd love to share a little more about my life with you. My hope is for you to read this blog and feel like you're having normal conversation with me, so feel free to ask questions and make comments! I look forward to sharing our former NFL family life, mommy tips, recipes, favorite bible verses, and more. Looking forward to sharing the next play with you!