Potty Training: Phase One

First, let me preface this by claiming that Waverly is not completely potty trained yet.  We (because I definitely consider both of us part of this process, probably even me more than her), have a really good start & I am ecstatic to say that I do think this will be a 100%, permanent thing soon.  Yet we totally have some more work to do, I just thought it could be helpful to some of you to share what has worked for us so far.  I also felt I owed it to the blog world, since I relied on so many potty posts over the last few weeks (which helped save me at least some sanity). 😉

Waverly has always been really interested in the whole bathroom situation in general, so starting around 18 months we went & bought a potty to at least get her familiar with it.  It basically was only used as a place for her to throw her toys in or to accessorize on top of her head most days, but every once in a while, I could get her to sit on it to watch Sesame Street or read a book.

My goal was to really focus on it this summer, since most of what I read said that warmer weather is better (less clothes) & for us, that made the most sense since I was off school & could be consistent.  Fast forward to when summer really came, I kept putting it off until randomly a few weeks ago, I looked over & Waverly was sitting on her potty “doing her thing” for the first time ever.  I was over the moon excited (I’m pretty sure we called every contact in my phone to share the news), & immediately decided to start the three-day boot camp the next day.

Call me naive, but I was totally not prepared (like at all) for how hard those few days were going to be.  I’m even willing to chalk this one up (right up there with breastfeeding & maybe even sleep-training), as one of my most challenging parenting experiences to date.  I certainly don’t want to scare anyone because obviously, every child is different, but for us, it was a very rough start.  I took the tips & let her go pick out her big girl underwear, got the treats & the stickers, but what I forgot was to mentally prepare myself for the amount of mess (& frustration) that was to come.  I guess I was expecting magic but instead I got the opposite, Waverly went to the bathroom everywhere else besides the potty for most of the first day.  By naptime (which was right after I had run out of paper towels from all the clean-up & was bent down pulling the treat stickers out of Waverly’s girl parts (which was about the only thing she had interest in with the whole process!), I called my husband & mom to let them know that she wasn’t ready, she was still too young, & that we were giving up to go to the waterpark.

Then she woke up & immediately asked to go to the potty, which she did … IN the potty for the rest of that afternoon & night.  Everytime, we would do a song & dance, get a treat & call daddy to share!  Apparently something had clicked, she was really, really proud of herself, & could not stop smiling every single time she used the potty. 🙂

We did stay home for the next two days & during those, still had lots of accidents, LOTS of frustration, but also, lots of successes!  They definitely were not my favorite parenting days ever, but somehow we made it through & for that, I felt accomplished.  I really think part of the biggest challenge for us was actually staying home.  We are usually on the go so much that Waverly was not only adjusting to getting rid of diapers, but also, to only me & the dog to entertain her.  It clearly made her less impressed & she was stir-crazy about an hour in. Yet staying home is also the same thing that I think pushed her over the edge to actually understand the concept, so I really am glad that is the route we took.

Since then, for the most part, when we are home she will use the potty. Waverly still gets the biggest, proudest smile every single time she has a success & obviously immediately asks for her treat!  With that being said, it is still a challenge to get her to pull her underwear down so we spend a lot of our time at home naked (or she does). 😉  So our focus right now is to master the whole underwear thing & obviously, also to get her trained when we are not at home (we ordered this portable potty to help with that!).  I definitely don’t expect any of that to happen overnight, but really am so very proud of her & how far we have come!

I am hardly an expert but my best advice would be to prepare yourself (where I totally failed) & to remember that even if it doesn’t feel like you are making progress, you probably are.  Also, while you are stocking up the undies & treats, get some wine for you.  I don’t know how you could do it without it. 😉

Have the BEST weekend, everyone!!


  1. August 8, 2014 / 1:41 pm

    Thanks for this post! We tried the three day thing, but Grace will NEVER say she wants to sit on the potty and I hate making her ALL the time. So I am glad yall have had lots of accidents too! Makes me feel better. Definitely not my favorite part of parenting!

  2. August 8, 2014 / 2:06 pm

    good to know for the future!!! When the time comes, I'll make sure there's lots of wine 🙂

  3. August 8, 2014 / 2:18 pm

    Yay Waverly! Love her proud smile! We have been doing lots of naked time in the backyard to avoid messes, and I think it is slowly clicking. I don't think I could handle a 3 day boot camp, so I'm hoping slow & steady will work in my favor!

  4. August 8, 2014 / 3:22 pm

    This is the one transition I am terrified of!!! We are always on the go and the thought of staying hkme all day for three days terrifies me!! I think we will do it on a weekend so daddy can help! Thanks for sharing though, I'll remember this when I'm on my hands and knees cleaning up pee from every corner of the house. Are you still using diapers for naps and bedtime?

  5. August 8, 2014 / 3:56 pm

    You girls are doing a great job! Maddie was so interested, for about a week, and now is scared of the potty, so we've eased up and will try again when she's ready again. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend xx

  6. August 8, 2014 / 4:05 pm

    yay Waverly! Yes I agree, the mental part is SOOO hard! I wasn't prepared for that either, and I waited till he was almost three! You feel so so bad for getting frustrated at them, for something that they really don't have totally control of yet…but eventually it works and it's the best day ever!

  7. August 8, 2014 / 4:50 pm

    Yay! Great job!! ANY progress when it comes to potty training is a win in my book!

  8. August 8, 2014 / 4:55 pm

    oh man…even on day 3 at noon I was ready to throw in the towel! She had so many successes, but so much failure and the morning of day 3 she was happier to pee in the floor than the potty…however, after her nap on that day, she woke up and it was a whole new ball game! We still have an accident every once in awhile (even one right before dinner last night), but she has gotten it over all and is even staying dry the majority of time overnight. I don't think we've had a naptime or nighttime accident in over a week! Knock on wood! Great job momma…it's a tough, tough job!

  9. August 8, 2014 / 5:08 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this! Marli is 16 months and has started taking an interest in the toilet and when she's about to poo, she always tells me which is so cute. I know it's still a little early to get her started, but you have definitely help me "prepare" I would definitely enforce over the top praising because I know she responses to that well and she feels "proud" of herself. hahaha Gosh – babies are such cute and smart little humans 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  10. August 8, 2014 / 5:29 pm

    That is great news! And this is actually a very encouraging post.

    We just started our lil girl with potty training…if you can call it that. I guess she is getting acquainted with it? And every evening after bath time, she will sit down on her potty. Whether she goes or not is totally up to her, but just so she starts to get the feel of it. I'm slightly scared about all of this, so reading how you approached it and where you are now certainly helps. Thank you!

  11. August 8, 2014 / 6:16 pm

    I can't even tell you how stinking TERRIFIED I am for the potty training days! But at the same time, I can't picture Mia ever being interested in potty training, so who knows when that day will come, HA!
    You're an amazing momma!!

  12. August 8, 2014 / 9:02 pm

    Loved reading this post. Mostly because I know my potty training days are coming with Caleb, and I am NOT looking forward to them! But it's good to be prepared for when they do arrive, eek! Way to go for both you and Waverly for sticking it out:)

  13. August 8, 2014 / 11:27 pm

    It truly is one of the hardest thing. I am about to train kiddo #3 and you would think that I would be a pro. Nope. I am actually not looking forward to it at all. Hope all is well. 🙂 🙂

  14. August 9, 2014 / 4:38 am

    YAY Waverly (and mama!!!). I am terrified of potty training. The only interest Mason shows in the toilet is… sticking his hand in the water and splashing around. So we are obviously VERY far from starting to train! Ha!

  15. August 10, 2014 / 5:20 pm

    Yay Waverly!! That is awesome!! Sounds like she has a great start to it! We are still not there yet… Which I am ok with and not stressing over (so that's good!) 😉 I am still not pushing it on Charli, but she still doesn't grasp that she is supposed to go potty IN the potty… She says to me ALL the time "Momma, pee pee on potty" but won't go or "Momma, poo poo on potty" but won't go. And she has no problem chillin in a pair of soaking wet panties… doesn't bother homegirl one bit (which I had heard usually does and that's when they start to understand the concept)… oh well! haha! I think though with talking about it to her and occasionally putting her on the potty (and not going) she has learned to hold it because almost every morning and after every nap she is completely dry!! But still won't go on the potty! hahaha!

  16. August 11, 2014 / 12:56 am

    You and Waverly are doing such a great job! Marcus has about zero interest in potty training. I'm fully convinced he's just never going to be interested in peeing in the toilet…

  17. August 12, 2014 / 7:26 pm

    Thanks for sharing!! I'm not sure how/when we'll really dive in since we aren't home full time together, but eventually. I'm thinking dollar store shower curtain liners all over the carpet/rugs? 🙂

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