Toddlers Without Tiaras

… tales of my threenager

The Extremely Unpopular 12 Month Potty Training Method

Someone once told me – toddlers can control 2 things.  What goes in their bodies, and what comes out of their bodies. The following outlines the extremely unpopular 12 month potty training method.  Why do it in 3 days when you have 365!

Month 1.

Step 1.  Google 3 day method (as found on Pinterest).  Get excited! Find a 3 day window when you can commit to potty training.
Step 2. Stock up on essential items including 30 pairs of underwear, a potty, and juice boxes.
Step 3. Day #1. Set timer for 20 minute intervals.  Take child to the potty every 20 minutes.  Cheer if it happens.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t.
Step 4.  Day #2 and #3.  Repeat day #1 process.  Be patient. It might take a few extra days. The 3 day method isn’t scientific.

Month 2. 

Step 5. After following the 3 day method for 3 weeks try introducing bribes to encourage your child to stay on the potty longer (she will go eventually right?).  20 stickers, 3 boxes of smarties, 4 books and 1 toddler mani/pedi will last about 2 hours.

Step 6. Don’t turn your back. I made this mistake to restock the stickers. My daughter stood up and peed on the floor. If this does happen to you, reset the timer. 

Months 3-5. It is now fall.

#ParentingFail Automatic Flushing Toilet and Potty Training do not mix!

Automatic Flushing Toilet and Potty Training do not mix!

Step 7. At this point you may consider taking a hiatus.  I did, but then, you will experience a glimmer of hope.

I consider taking a hiatus.  Then, it happened. In public, she asked to go potty! Beaming, I repeated “You have to go potty?  Let’s go!” (Loud enough for other parents to hear. It was a moment of pride!) 

I carefully helped her up on to the public toilet. I started to imagine my financial freedom (no more pull-ups!) Then, all too quickly, my dreams ended. NOOO! I’m too late! The automatic flusher triggered.  It was the loudest flusher I have ever encountered. Within in nanoseconds my daughter jumped off the toilet and ran for the door; bare bottom exposed, pants around her ankles.

Step 8. All progress made to date is erased. You will require toddler therapy to overcome the trauma. Add post-it notes to your diaper bag to block future sensors.

Month 6. 

Step 9. It is time for a new strategy. Buy a toy potty and a few children’s story books on the topic. You may even catch your child sitting on the toy toilet. Hope she doesn’t actually use it. 

Step 10. If the Toy Potty does not produce any results try another tactic – Underwear Shopping. It is an important step to help your toddler experience ownership over the potty training experience.

This is the last thing we needed (as I stocked up on sizes 2-6 when Zellers went out of business.) Back to Costco we go.  Reassured my daughter we would not use the washroom. She picks her underwear. She is proud of her new ‘Big Girl Panties’. She wears them. After numerous accidents we switch back to pull-ups for the rest of the year.

Month 7. New Year! New Attempt!

Step 11. Spend all of your money on potty training gimmicks. Try a travel potty, musical potty, cartoon potty.

My daughter still refuses to go in public washrooms.  This results in many “scenes” (as my mom would say) in public. After one such “scene” a stranger suggests I buy a portable travel potty.  This sounds brilliant. I rush to Toys’R Us.  In addition to the travel potty, I buy a Dora potty, and a musical Duck potty.  I hope the travel potty will help my daughter’s recovery from the “Costco incident.” It doesn’t.

I now have 40 pairs of size 2 underwear (with Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake, and Disney Princesses), a variety of Monster and Princess Pull-ups, 5 potties (2 floor, 2 seat and 1 travel), 1 toy potty, and 2 potty themed children’s stories.

Month 8.

Step 12.  Forget privacy. Perhaps sharing bathroom time with your child will help them along.

In month 8 my daughter became very interested in bathroom time.  (Giggling any time I asked for privacy.)  She would also cheer “Yeah Mommy!” while clapping her hands, when I go to the bathroom. I’m not sure whether to be encourage or defeated at this point in the training.

Months 9 – 11. Spring Arrives

Step 13.   No time to stop the party. Be prepared for set-backs.

In the weeks leading up to turning 3 my daughter masters number 1 on the potty.  Number 2 will come in time. We stop wearing diapers. We have dry naps and night times. The day of her birthday party she is too excited to take care of business. She has multiple accidents.  No problem. It will correct itself tomorrow – wrong!  Fast forward another 2 months, I suggest we get rid of her underwear.  She agrees.

Month 12. It is summer again!

Step 14.  Peer Pressure can be a good thing??

In one final attempt I rely on peer pressure.  It is a low-blow, but maybe it will work. I notice the girls at daycare are in underwear. I ask my daughter if she would like to wear underwear to daycare.  She says yes. We strike a deal that she can wear underwear if she starts using the potty.  The deal also involved 5 smarties every time she goes number #2. One day I am out of smarties. This does not go over well.  She has an accident.  I suspect it is on purpose.  I restock on smarties.  Thus far, no more accidents. (Why are they so smart?)

Finally – SUCCESS! One year to the day my Threenager is finally potty trained. The 12 Month Method Worked!
(Although now I have to figure out how to get her off of the Smarties.)


Sun, July 20 2014 » Potty Training

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