Home » Family » Potty Training: almost sent me to therapy…

Potty Training: almost sent me to therapy…

Potty training is hard. 

There should be local support groups for this kind of thing.  Like, we should sit in circles and tell everyone why our potty trainee is the most stubborn and un-cooperative little learner ever.  And then when you hear the next story, hopefully it will cheer you up and give you hope.  You know, that your kid isn’t the only one completely happy sitting in 3 hour old poop that his mommy never caught wind of.  Ugh.

However, I no longer need to attend mentioned support groups.  Because, yes my friends, we have reason to celebrate in our home.  Our monkey of a boy (child #2) is trained.  Completely.  I know, there are way cooler things to blog about on a “craft/sew/create” blog…………but potty training success stories always trump everything else.  All other projects were put on hold.

Because hallelujah, my 3 1/4 year old finally figured out that undies are much cooler than soggy diapers.

After a lot of potty training ups and downs, I inwardly decided that I was letting go of the potty training idea until he was 4.  I don’t know why age 4 was going to be my limit……but it just seemed like age 4 was way too old to wear diapers.  (But 3 years and 11 months was okay.  haha!)  And then if he still didn’t want to master the potty by age 4, I decided that all diapers were going in the trash and the kid would have to sit, play, sleep, etc in the bathtub…..where his mess would be contained.  And he would remain there until he was completely trained.  (I know.  Lame.)

Is there anyone out there struggling with a stubborn potty trainee?  Well, maybe our story will help.  Or make you glad your child wasn’t as stubborn as ours was.

Either way……

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Humor me, while I rewind.

We have talked and talked about the potty.  We told him big boys use the potty, showed him potty books, talked about getting his very own potty, etc.  He was so excited.  Then we finally bought him his own potty this past July.  He was thrilled.  We even bought him ‘Cars’ and ‘Toy Story’ underwear, which he thought were so cool.  So one morning, we decided to give this potty training thing a go.  He snacked, drank juice, and watched “Elmo goes Potty” DVDs while sitting on his portable potty in front of the TV. He got lucky and went pee 2 times in the potty that day.  But then he got tired of sitting in front of the TV so long……and said, “this takes too long”, and was done.  He peed his pants the rest of the day.

And during all of the pee pee accidents that day, he even pooped his pants.  This all happened while he was in the bathroom, refusing to just sit and try.  He realized what he had done and pulled down his underwear to show me what happened and……..his little treasure tumbled out of his pants and onto the floor.

He just stood there with his undies around his ankles, and stared at that thing.   

And then he threw up all over the floor.

Yeah, 2 treasures for me to clean up that day.

I washed that kid up, disinfected the floor, slapped a fresh diaper on him, and we gave up for the day.

. . . . .

We tried many times after that to build his enthusiasm again.  We talked about new toys, new movies, new undies, etc.  We even told him that once he was potty trained, we could go to the toy store and he could pick out anything he wanted.

Seriously, anything.  He was so excited about that but then looked us right in the face, like it was no big deal, and said, “hmmm, maybe when I’m 4!”

Then, one day he pulled this book off the book shelf and asked me to read it.  He loved it.

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I told him there was a Lion King movie that was just like the book.  His excitement grew and he asked (pretty please) if we could buy the movie.  So then I told him “sure”……but after he learned how to go to the potty.  I told him I would even get him some Lion King toys to play with, while watching the new movie.  I don’t know, I just thought it would motivate him.  He kept saying “yeah, I will get the Lion King movie after I go potty!!”  He was so thrilled at the thought but then when we’d mention sitting on the potty to try, he’d quickly turn completely disinterested and say, “no thanks!”.  Grrrrrr.

So I took matters into my own hands and ordered a whole slew of Lion King garb so that he could see it up close and know that it was real.  And that he could have it once he used the potty.  I set it in the bathroom and brought him in there to see it.  He was through-the-roof excited.  Especially about the movie.

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He was hopping up and down with excitement and wanted to watch it so badly.  So I reminded him that it was for after he learned to use the potty.  I excitedly asked him if he wanted to sit on the potty and give it a try…….without even breaking stride, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “nope”, and walked out of the bathroom……like the Lion King stuff didn’t even exist.  I mentioned to him that we’d probably have to put the stuff back in the box and send it back to the store if he wasn’t going to use the potty.  He then told me to just put it in the box and save it for him for when he was 4.  Because that’s when he stated he would learn to use the potty.  I just laughed inside.  And realized it wasn’t worth forcing.

. . . . .

This kid was far from interested.  So we decided we would bring it up every now and then……but we’d give him his space.  And just see what happened.

We went through several more casual underwear-drive-by’s at the store, mentioning he could pick out any kind of new underwear he wanted.  He always simply said, “No thanks!!”.  So we left it alone.

But then, about a week and half ago, I was thinking we should start the potty training thing again.  And no joke, my husband came to me a few hours later and said he was going to have a pee pee party with our little boy that weekend, so we could get him trained.  Fantastic.  We were both going to be home all weekend and were excited to give this another try.

Now, we had to convince our 3 year old that he would love it too.

So, Saturday morning, after the kids were up and breakfast was eaten, we grabbed our little boy his clothes and a diaper to put on him for the day.  But instead of grabbing his regular sized diaper, we did a little tricking.  (And knew once we did this, there was no going back.)

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Yeah, we bought newborn size diapers in the same brand as his regular diapers so that the color and style would look mostly the same (we call these the ‘monkey diapers’….so if there was no monkey on it, he would have noticed).  Then, my husband tried putting the newborn sized diaper on him, like it was his regular diaper.  Then, he got all concerned and said, “Oh no buddy!  Your diaper isn’t fitting you!”  He kept pulling and struggling and grunting, while trying to make that diaper fit.  My little boy kind of giggled and said, “stop tricking me daddy!”  Then he told our boy, “No buddy, these really aren’t fitting.  Look!”  And he showed him how it wouldn’t wrap around on both sides.  My husband then shrugged his shoulders and said, “I guess your diapers don’t fit you anymore.  You are such a big boy now, diapers don’t fit you anymore.”  Then he told him it was no big deal and then explained that he could put on underwear today and we would have a pee pee party to celebrate.  Our little guy looked concerned but his eyes quickly brightened as we explained that we would have a party the whole day to help him learn how to use the potty since his diapers didn’t fit him anymore.  (By the way, I got the diaper idea from one of you, who left it in a comment one day.  Whoever you are who mentioned it, thank you a million times!)

So here’s how the Pee Pee Party went.

We bought all sorts of salty snacks.  Mostly chips…..because this kid adores them.  (And we figured one day of pure chips wouldn’t kill him. Ha.)  And tons of juice.  He was allowed to eat all the salty chips he wanted, so that he would drink, drink, drink.  We wanted his little body to produce lots of pee so that there would be plenty of practicing throughout the day.

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But not only did our little boy feast on the treats, so did my husband.  Because we decided he would need to be his potty role model.  So anytime daddy had to use the potty, my husband would jump up all excited and they would both run in there so that our little boy could watch.  And see what daddy was doing.  And let’s just say, I lost count of how many times my poor husband had to use the potty that day.  But, he took one for the team!

After watching daddy go potty and seeing that it wasn’t so bad…….he sat down and gave it a try.  And emptied his very full bladder. He jumped up so excited and we all hooted and hollered.

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We told him that for every time he peed he got 3 pieces of candy and every time he pooped, he got 5 pieces of candy.  He loved that!  (His big sister got the same amount… she became his biggest cheerleader because she wanted the candy as badly as he did.)

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(By the way, after 2 days we knocked it down to 1 candy for pee and 2 for poo.  Once the bowl of candy was gone after about a week, he didn’t get any more treats for potty…..and surprisingly, he’s okay with that.)

We also bought all sorts of obnoxious boy underwear.  The kid doesn’t even know what a transformer is, but he thinks they are so cool.  And all of the super heroes??  Yeah, he thinks he loves them too.   (I’m sure his father has something to do with that!)

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However, be sure to learn the super hero names before slipping them on your little boy.  He asked me who the guy was on his undies……and I said, “the Hulk”.  He later told his daddy that the super hero on his bum was the Hulk and his daddy quickly corrected him and told him it was Thor.  He pointed his accusing finger at me and ratted me out.  Ooops, he’ll never trust my super hero knowledge again. (Yay!)

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My husband continued to take him to the bathroom to watch him, all day long.  And this little guy continued to pee in the potty all by himself.   He did have an accident or two……but we never scolded him.  Just moved forward.  He did eventually poop that day too.  Hooray……that boy was excited for 5 pieces of candy.

On day 2, he woke up and we told him we were going to have another pee pee party.  He was ecstatic!  I think the day before was near the best day of his 3 year old life.  Non-stop chips, juice, and plenty of candy.  A 3 year old dream!  (Okay, we did make him eat meals too, just so he wouldn’t get sick.)  But day 2 was just as successful……..plenty of action going on in the potty.  He did have one more accident that day…….on grandma’s hard wood floor.  (sorry mom!)  But after that, he was done.  He always told us when he needed to go potty.  He always ran to the potty like it was the most exciting thing of his life.  And then he would hop off, so thrilled with himself.  He mentioned to me on several occasions while giggling, “Aren’t you just so proud of me mommy?”  Haha……I guess I told him I was proud of him about a billion times.  It stuck! :)

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And guess what?  Not a single accident since then.  Okay, maybe twice he has leaked just a bit in his undies……but he ran as fast as he could to the potty, where he finished his business.  So I consider that a success.

No more poop.  And no more pee.  Halle-stinkin-lujah!!!!

 I know, I’m acting as if we’ve won the lottery or something.  (Well, we kind of did considering the money we’ll save on diapers.)  But we were so done with the diaper thing.  And we’re so glad he is too.

And just so you know, after filling out a potty chart and not having any accidents for one whole week, he finally got all of this.  We even had a Lion King movie night, and ate dinner on a big blanket in front of the TV to celebrate.  He was beyond excited.

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Yay buddy!  You’re 3 years, 3 months, and 24 days old today.

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Thank you for not really waiting until you were 4.   And bless your sweet little self for saving us some grief!

potty training



Thank goodness.

 Something we learned:

Once we knew he was capable and it was more like a power struggle mixed with some fear, we decided to go for it with the pee pee party and knew we couldn’t go back.  Seriously, there was no going back.  We told him that diapers didn’t fit him anymore so we couldn’t suddenly “find” some if we decided this wasn’t going to work.  So, we had to decide mentally that we were okay with pee on the carpet, poop in his pants, accidents every day, etc.  (And we have night time diapers that look different and he knows those are ONLY for night time.  So we still put those on him at night.  He didn’t question it.)


. . . . .


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  1. Jennie {Cinnaberry Suite} says:

    I hear ya GIRL!!! YIPPEEE!!!

  2. Ashley says:

    My daughter is only 18 months, so its not like we are in a huge rush to potty train or anything. But I know it is one of those big hurdles we are coming up to. This was so helpful to read! Thanks a bunch.

  3. nikki says:

    Finally, a USABLE idea!!!!! My son (my third kid) is about a month younger than this and flat out is beyond disinterested. I know he can do it. He has done it. He just refuses. AND, if one more mom with only one kid, who was potty trained before age 2 tells me to “try offering him candy if he goes”, I will scream, ha! Anyway, thanks :) I can’t wait to tell my husband about the pee-pee party.

    1. Ashley says:

      Hahaha, I totally hear ya!!! All the candy in the world can’t fix a stubborn child! Good luck……keep me posted!

  4. Emily says:

    LOVE the idea of using diapers that are too small! Brilliant! Great job :)

  5. Tara says:

    We had a potty party for my oldest — I even made a banner and blew up balloons for the day — but just like yours, it worked :) Now my youngest practically trained herself, so here’s to hoping yours will too!

  6. KellyS says:

    Yay to your big boy! I am not looking forward to training my twins, good grief I will be in the bathroom all day!!! But that day is coming, and fast, since they are almost 2.5 years now… but with a newborn, I have listed potty training as a lower priority to taking care of baby and sleeping. Good job momma and thanks for the tips when we do get around to training our guys.

  7. AnnaPK says:

    Congrats! I just got my son potty trained and it is a big accomplishment for the parents and the child!

  8. Helen G. says:

    THANK YOU, Ashley! Love this post! My husband and I had reserved a whole day a few weeks ago to train our son… but without success. After a lot of juice, candy, and ‘treats’, we gave up and were very discouraged. But the small size diaper idea is genius! We’ll try that, for sure! Thanks again… the only problem is that we have a 3 month old daughter who’s wearing a size 3 diaper, and if our son seeks that the newborn sizes are smaller, he might try the size 3… hmmm… we’ll see how it goes! Thanks again!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh, I totally know your pain. We were there a few months ago. Yuck! But try the diaper thing…..our little baby girl is in a size 2 but he didn’t even think about it. Once we told him that his old diapers were too small…..he didn’t even notice the “N” on the diaper that we were trying on him. We just wadded it up and threw it away. He just thought he was too big for all diapers. (Except for those “special” night time ones.)

  9. Thesha says:

    Thank you so much for doing this post! My son turned three last month and has zero interest in using the potty, I am so ready to have him out of diapers. A while back we tried doing the potty party thing but we gave up after a day and a half of fighting him to use the toilet. He absolutely refused to poop on the potty and became so constipated that he litterally cried from pain when he finally had a BM in his diaper. Needless to say I’ve been wary of trying again for a while. Maybe we’ll give to diaper trick a try and see if that helps.

  10. Heather says:

    I feel like your story could be my story! I LOVE the diaper “trick” I might just have to try that! I’m desperate for anything at this point! Happy to hear about the success in your home!

  11. Shelly says:

    Thanks for sharing and congrats! I thought I’d wait until 3 with our 2.5 YO, but she never tells me when she poops and fights me about changing the diaper when I discover it. Consequently, she has big problems with rashes, and it makes for a bad cycle (not wanting a change because wiping hurts, but without the change, it hurts more). I’ve been trying to talk up training to help her want it, but she insists she’s a baby, not a big girl, and doesn’t want to use the potty. Argh! I’m going to have to find her motivation…

    1. Ann says:

      My girl was 3 and said the same to me. The pediatrician recommended, “The Potty Book,” comes for girls or boys. That did the trick for her. Thought I’d share in case you haven’t tried it. It hasn’t worked for my boy, though, who will be 4 next month. We’ve been in the potty-training process off and on for over a year. I enjoyed reading this post, gave me other ideas.

    2. Shelly says:

      Ah, yes, I think our library even has a copy. I’ll have to get serious about this here soon and it would be great if that does the trick!

    3. Ann says:

      This book was designed to read it while the child is on the potty. On the page, “she sat and sat and sat…” you keep reading until she goes. Then you stop reading that page, then go on (saying just in case you didn’t already know).

      It worked right away for my girl; my boy has other incentives: playing Angry Birds on my phone (he has to perform before he plays), construction vehicle stickers, etc. Good luck!

  12. Kara says:

    I LOVE this idea! It’s so great! I’m SO happy for you. I have 5 kids, and 3 are potty trained, and my 4th is wanting to do it so badly, and I HATE potty training. I’ve deemed it the WORST part of being a parent, lol. I might have to try this with my 4th. I’m super happy for you all. That’s so awesome! You and your husband deserve to go out and get ice cream, lol.

    1. Ashley says:

      I agree. Nothing is worse. I take the flu over potty training any day. The flu ends…..potty training never ends!!! And thanks, I agree, we need ice cream. Haha!

  13. Toya says:

    Thank you for this! I need a good chuckle. I even had flashbacks to training my now 7, 9, and 11 year old. The 11 year old was by far the WORST!!! She too told me she wasn’t gonna do it. Thank goodness she is now perfectly trained.

  14. Keri Christensen says:

    I’m so stinkin’ jealous!!! Excited for your success but wish it was me too. My little guy turns 3 in January and is fine with going pee on the toilet but will not go poop. We have the COOLEST toy from Grandma that he gets whenever he goes for the first time and he tries but it never seems to work. Thanks for the idea of the small diaper. Hopefully I’ll have some good news here shortly.

  15. Tina says:

    I’ve GOT to try the diaper idea (but since he’s been wearing pull-ups for so long, I’ll have to get the tiniest size of those to make him uncomfortable I guess. My lil’ man just turned 4 two days ago! He told his teacher at preschool on Thursday that he would wear underwear when he was 4. Now that he’s 4, he STILL won’t try! I see lots of potty time this weekend with lots of salty snacks and water! I completely understand the jubilation!

  16. Dominique says:

    I strongly recommend for your 3rd one – to go with “elimination communication”…a couple minutes after feeding her – put her on a potty if she’s comfortable enough to sit up on her own!
    We started around 5 months with our son and he did great. Google it – it’ll save you the potential “waiting until I’m 4” nightmare!

    1. Vanessa says:

      I second this suggestion – get them used to the potty early!

  17. Baker4Boys says:

    Thank you for sharing! My 3 year (and almost 2 months) old is stubborn too. When we tell him it’s time to sit on the potty he always responds, “No. I like diapers.” Ugh!! We will have to try the “too big for diapers” bit with newborn ones! Great idea!!

  18. Amber says:

    omg, potty training is so hard! And every single mom it seems like I talked to had a story that went like this “We used this method (or that method) and he/she was trained in a day/week!” And meanwhile I had a kid who was potty trained on poop (she quickly figured out that pooping on her potty meant no more long butt wiping which she hated) but pee was oh, that took like a year. No joke. I’m grateful that the poop part was fast, but nearing the end of the year, I was just so frustrated with everyone who had an easy potty training story.

    CONGRATS on your potty training victory!! Now I think you deserve a peepee party or maybe a date night ;)

    1. Ashley says:

      So true. Everyone has a great story. Attempts 1 through 8 didn’t work for us. Haha!! Glad the pee finally caught on. Whew!!

      And yes, we need a victory date! :)

  19. Hannah says:

    Potty training has been the most frustrating stressful part of parenting so far. I prefer the wait-until-they’re-ready-and-don’t-push-it and Hubby…let’s just say he believes the sooner the better. So we (read, ONLY ME) spent over 18 freaking months potty training dear daughter. It was a horrible experience for both me and Princess. And then, one day she “got it” and was completely trained from that point on. So this time around, I am NOT pushing my son to potty train until he is doggone ready. He’s 17 months old and Hubby’s made a few comments about getting the potty chair out (oh, the bad memories!). Nope. Not going to happen at this point. Chances are that he’s not going to college in diapers. When the time comes, I’m totally trying out the “too small diaper” trick! BTW, I HAD to pin that picture on pinterest. I laughed so hard!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh wow, that was us! Potty training our older daughter took way too long and I didn’t want to do that again. I just didn’t even really think about it until he was 3. And then for some reason my mind changed and I was tired of diapers. Whew, our past experiences definitely taint our current ones. Good luck though. And you’re right, he won’t go to college in diapers. Kindergarten maybe, but not college. Haha…..that’s what I told myself! ;)

  20. Sophia says:

    I loved this story! I swear, this sounds exactly like my son!! I am definitely going to give that diaper trick a try tomorrow morning. I am expecting baby #2, so buying newborn diapers is no big deal. :) I was planning on giving the pee pee party a try too this week, but it’s so good to read a success story. :)

  21. Jen says:

    Way to go Dad!!!!!! What a great idea. I’m not looking forward to officially training with my 2 yr old (though she already will pee on the potty anytime we put her on it). Our new baby is now 4.5 mth old and I think I may have the energy to deal with the challenge :)

  22. Valerie Nelson says:

    YAY!!! Congratulations to you and your little guy! :) BIG accomplishment! I’m still mustering up the courage to give it a go with my daughter… we tried about 2 months ago and gave up after an hour =/

  23. nicole says:

    Ha! Love the story. Sounds very similar to ours….I eventually threw in the towel on the whole potty training thing. Way too many tears…on her end and mine! My mom is actually the one who ended up potty-training our youngest. The girls went to stay at Grandma & Papa’s, and the next day I went to go pick them up and my mother informed me that Breckyn was trained. Talk about making me feel inept. I gave her the mother of the year award and consented defeat. Why does potty-training have to be so hard?!?!?! Anyways, enjoyed your post. Nice to see that others have had troubles and it’s not just me;o)

  24. Aleisha says:

    Well aren’t you a bunch of smarties! I’ll keep this in mind for in about a year for my upcoming son. I am no hero and don’t have any desire to be that mom trying to potty train her 18 mo. old. My daughter was the same age as your son and told “I’m not done growing up yet” (when I asked if she wanted to be a big girl and go potty). I knew she wouldn’t do it until it was her idea, and the waiting was killing me, but I waited. And lo and behold about 2 months after her 3rd birthday, she was suddenly aware that everyone else in her church class and her joyschool class wore panties… and she was the only one still in diapers. (dun dun dun) It was done almost instantly, she still had to learn control of course so we still had accidents, but she never put on another diaper (even at night), and I was surprised at how fast she caught on when it was her idea. (The waiting really did almost kill me, I wasn’t sure if I could have held out til 4, but I had decided to drop talking about it too at that point). It taught me that mental preparedness is an important part, whether they decide it themselves or through trickery :) And I’m all for trickery :) Congratulations, that is so blog worthy!

    1. Ashley says:

      My word, it’s these little smarty pants kids that are so hard to train. Darn them! Glad she figured it out and that it worked so quickly. Hooray!!

  25. Sarah says:

    This might be your best post ever. All the parents who have been there are rejoicing with you. I love the diaper idea and will remember that if I ever do it again. My first was a dream to potty train but my second was definitely harder. He actually learned from his brother and it happened all of a sudden (after months of refusal) and was his own idea. It is such a blessed day when you can retire that last diaper! Great job!

  26. Lystessa says:

    Congratulations! I’m definitely going to have to remember this for next time… although supposedly girls are easier to train. Hopefully. :^)

    1. rebecca says:


    2. Lystessa says:

      We potty-trained our girl about 3 months ago. She actually was a lot easier than our boy, but we had two things going for us. She hates having wet legs so much that it was a strong deterrent, and we started before she turned 2. With my son we had waited until he was nearly 3 and I think the stubbornness had already set in, hehe.

      For my girl I relied heavily on this website: . She was younger than recommended and took several days. We still use diapers at naps and nights just to be sure, but she rarely wets them anymore. :)

  27. stacey says:

    LOVE it – and your timing couldn’t be better :D :D :D

    I share your blog regularly and this is definitely one of the MUSTS!!!

    thanks from the bottom of my heart and wallet – i’m going to give this a whirl next week with my twins.


  28. dannyscotland says:

    Yay!!! Potty training can be such a pain when the child isn’t interested! I’m so glad he is finally done.

  29. Vivian says:

    Congratulations! My son was past 3 when he trained as well, but I didn’t even try until he told me one day that he was in the process of peeing in his diaper. That’s the day I sighed and decided to do it.

    I read the part about him throwing up to my husband, we both had a good laugh! Thanks for sharing this awesome story!

    1. Ashley says:

      Haha, totally not funny at the time but it’s one of my favorite things to laugh about now! :)

  30. Collette says:

    Oh my…..thank you for taking time away from your crafting to blog about this TODAY!!! I just gave up after day 1 on my 2 1/2 year old girl. She’s been SEEMING sooooo ready for so long and then just refused to put on big girl undies yesterday. Finally convinced her this morning to put those undies on and within 10 minutes we’d had a pee accident and a poop accident. I was done after that. But reading your story of success gives me HOPE and some IDEAS of how to approach it the next time I feel ready to try. The last time I dealt with potty training, I only had one child and could focus solely on her. Now I have that said first child, the 2 1/2 year old who needs to go on the potty AND an almost 6 month old. Crazier around here this time around. But thank you and congrats on your potty trained boy!!! Soooo exciting!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh gosh, your house is as busy as mine…….whew! I totally feel ya! But when you try it again, let me know how it goes. We did that try and fail thing too…..and then finally it worked. Your day is coming and you will be thrilled to only have the baby in diapers!!!!

  31. Regena says:

    My son wasn’t quite three yet and got some Barney undies..that was it. he made up his little mind and that was that. Then, it was getting time to train the girl. I prayed she’d be trained before kindergarten…….stubborn and logical are a deadly combo. she said she liked the way it squished in her diaper. I had no argument for that and it was just too grody to think about. LOL
    When she turned 3, we told her for her birthday that she was too big for diapers and when they were gone, they were gone. I never did so much laundry in my life and it was a very long few months……but she was trained before 4!!

    1. Ashley says:

      Hahaha!!!! That was like my little boy. The wet diaper didn’t bug him a bit. I was beginning to think he loved that soggy mess! You’re right, they are too logical….and that’s a killer! :) Glad there was a good outcome!!

  32. Jordan says:

    I see you taught this boy to pee sitting down. That is not how it is done in our family. No ma’am! Teach that boy to pee standing up like a REAL MAN so he can use his imagination in the potty. Shoot, he can pretend to put out fires, play waterfall or even make bubbles! Wait till I get up there in a couple of weeks and his uncle is going to show him that boys don’t even need to go inside to go potty. We are going to help grandpa water his garden. There are only a few perks to being a man and that is one of them.

    1. Ashley says:

      Haha……..okay, right! What’s wrong with me?!! Except this kid would probably start peeing on mailboxes on our walk around the neighborhood. So you better not teach him to pee outside! Okay, unless we’re camping (the cabin doesn’t count!). Can’t wait to see you guys!!!

    2. Jordan says:

      Maybe if you had taught him how to pee on those mailboxes a while back, we would have no need for this post. And oh yeah, the cabin = camping. It is on like Donkey Kong! We will be marking our territory to prevent Bear attacks!

  33. Caroline says:

    Well done!!

    We had a 3.11 month old refuser – a third child too – we tried all sorts of bribery that had worked with his elder siblings. In the end it was the chance discovery that he would use the toilet FOR MONEY, not chocolate, not DVDs, not any other sort of treat but hard cash. Hard cash he could then save up to use on those annoying ride on toys outside the supermarket. Fortunately he had cracked the potty training before he’d saved up enough money to go on a ride and discover he was scared!

    1. Ashley says:

      Haha, now that cracks me up. He is no dummy!!! He knows what’s worth more!

    2. Katie says:

      My husband says he’s going to try money for our 2.5 yo. We’ve been trying to get him to use the potty since he turned 2 probably. He has no interest. When you ask him if he wants/needs to use the potty, he says “no, watch TV” lol. I have this article saved so I can use tips when our son is finally there!!

  34. elizabeth c says:

    finishing potty training IS like winning the lottery…i’ve done it twice so far and another one eventually (he just turned two)…after we finally got our last one trained (still working on the night time thing – any suggestions?) i vowed our third will just be allowed to wear diapers until kindergarten because potty training is my least favorite parenting task :(

    thanks for sharing…i love the tiny diaper idea!

    1. Catherine says:

      They make a bedwetting alarm that wears as a little wrist watch as well, and I know people who says it is the only thing that ever worked for their nighttime diaper-pull-ups wearers…

  35. Jennifer H says:

    Oh my goodness…..this backstory was exactly what it was for our little guy who is 3 years, 5 months..and we just in the last 3 weeks or so finally got him trained. Although – I had resigned myself to being okay with it till kindergarten it was getting so frustrating! I wish I had known about using a different size diaper – we just told him that we ran out of diapers for him and they were all gone and that if he wanted to go anywhere – he needed to wear underwear. And treats – lots and lots and lots and lots of treats. whew! High five to you guys AND give your son a big ole fist in the air and yell “You’ve got POTTY POWER!” for me! (lots of potty video too as you can see)

  36. Jennifer says:

    Potty training boys is just a nightmare! I thought my younger daughter would be trained before her older brother was. When it finally happens they pick it up so quick and you wonder why did he protest so much? I don’t know if it’s just plain stubbornness or what. We are trying to potty train my youngest nephew and it’s a hard road with this one. Glad it all worked out for you!

  37. Kimberly says:

    Oh that is a happy, happy day!! The only thing better is when you realize you’ll never be potty-training again. :) Love the too-small diaper idea, definitely sending this to my sister to see if it helps her little boy get this done.

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh my word…..I can hardly wait!! (Except I don’t want my 7 month old to grow up too fast. She can stay in diapers forever! Eeeeek, what’s wrong with me?!!)

  38. kimbowest says:

    lol. loved this post! I just got done gettting my 3 year old potty trained…and i dreaded it. i have two older kids so i knew it was possible but i still hate the process! my 3 year old has been potty trained for like 3 months..but still to this day when she poops in the toilet she says, “i poop…i need a snickers bar!!!!” (5 skittles wouldn’t have worked for her….she wanted BIG satisifaction if she was going to poop.) i have a feeling she is going to be 35 and everytime she has bowel movement she is going to think she needs a reward!

    1. Ashley says:

      Hahaha…….she’s no dummy! And she and I both know what the best kind of candy bar is. Mmmm….snickers!

  39. Shandra says:

    I’m impressed! And stealing the idea! ;) My oldest was 4 when she was potty trained. I finally told her that I wouldn’t let her wear diapers anymore, and we sat in the bathroom all day and watched Mary Poppins on the portable dvd player. Because my kids are big and by the time she was 4, her bottom wouldn’t FIT on the portable potty anymore! We’d had it since she was 18 months and she never really used it because she HATED the idea of going potty! We did the same thing when my son turned 4. Only now he’s 5 and he wears a watch to tell him to go potty every hour and he STILL wets his pants at least twice a day! Argh! At least he stays dry at kindergarten, so I don’t have to worry there. But kiddo #3 is almost 3 and I am NOT waiting until 4 to potty train again! I think in a few weekends we’ll have a pee pee party for BOTH of the big boys and I’m MAKING my husband take one for the team! He goes to the bathroom all the time anyway, so he can take the boys with him!

    1. Ashley says:

      Ooooh good idea…..make it a family affair! All the boys are mandated to attend! :)

  40. Kati says:

    Yay!!! My son was about 3.5 years old when he finally got it.. And when he did-it just clicked–even at night! I was amazed!
    I started potty training my daughter yesterday….the first day was rough, but so far on day two, it has gone much better! Here’s to hoping! :)
    Congrats to you, your husband and son!!! Yay!!!

    1. Horatio says:

      I totally read that as “My son was about thirty-five years old when he finally got it…”

      I’m only hoping that my son takes after his (slightly) dominant twin sister when she decides she’s ready. He tried once, and we had a day without accidents, but then he got sick and had a poo that hurt his bottom. Now I think he’s a little scared of it.

      He’s only 2 and a half, so I figure we’ve got time (and diapers. OH the diapers.)

  41. Stefanie says:

    I love this story! It really encourages me to try more ideas! I’m glad I am not the only one with this problem! Thank you so much for the great post!! Hopefully I will have a post somewhat like this with a happy ending!

  42. Maureen M. says:

    Woohoo!! Hallelujah and amen. Even though it has been a long time, can you tell that it is easily remembered? Pretty sure I can hear all the other mommies amen-ing as well :) And the too-small diaper is genius and made me laugh. Congrats!

    1. Ashley says:

      Ha ha ha!! So true! A mom never forgets!

  43. brookie_d says:

    I’m feeling your pain! My first daughter was no problem at all potty training. I just bought her pretty panties and that was that! But then my younger daughter was 4, yes 4, before she was completely potty trained. She would pee in the potty, but REFUSED to poop there. We finally had to bribe her with candy. It may not be the RIGHT way to do it, but desperation called for it! I was afraid she was going to start school in diapers.

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh no, all rules cancel out when potty training. Bribery is definitely A-okay!!!!!! :)

    2. Linz says:

      Hi my son was 4 at Halloween and still won’t poo on potty/loo? Any tips?? Tried reward with sweets/toys etc??

    3. Kristen says:

      My son refused to poop in the toilet too, and was not at all interested in rewards either. We finally started throwing away one of his toys every time he had a poo accident. It only took a few days of that before he relented.

    4. LaurainKs says:

      This may sound harsh, but I don’t mean to do it with a mean spirit: if your son won’t poo in the toilet, then every time he poo’s in his pants stand him in the tub and wash him with cold water. Tell him you’ll do that every time he poo’s his pants. Don’t be mean, but show no sympathy because he knows how to do it. I would imagine that very soon he’ll decide the toilet is a much better option! Good luck! (and make sure the water is COLD! and make him dry himself off…don’t make it a nice, fun mother-child moment.)

  44. Cathy says:

    You give me hope! I laughed all the way through your post today. My son is 2 1/2 and we’re potty training right now. He’s perfect at day care, but at home? Someone less than interested (throws a fit whenever we take him). Nice to see that there might be an end in sight. I’m TOTALLY going to try the ‘your diapers are too small’ trick. I love it! Thanks for sharing…..see you in therapy

    1. Ashley says:

      Oooh, he totally already knows how. Little turkey. Let me know how the diaper trick works for you. Good luck! :)

    2. Kathy says:

      My son is now 31, but I still remember how hard he was to potty train. He was like you son in that he went at day care but not at home. My mother-in-law promptly told me that there was something wrong with me! All she had to do was tell her 2 boys to pee pee on a bug and they were miraculously potty trained! I still resent her comment. It took a while, but he finally got it.

  45. BluBabesCreate says:

    Hilarious! After 4 girls I’ve heard horror stories about how hard boys are to potty train. Thanks for the heads-up and my not having to feel so alone!

  46. Courtney says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am curently trying to potty train my daughter who is going to be 4 in April. It’s been an ongoing process for months without any real success. We’ve tried just about everything we could think of. Even bribbed her with tickets to Disney on Ice since she loves anything princess. I think I’ll try that diaper trick.

    1. Ashley says:

      These stubborn willed children……if only they knew how cool disney on ice tickets were. I was seriously willing to throw down hundreds of dollars to bribe him! I hear ya on this one!! Let me know how it goes!

    2. Anonymous says:

      I feel 1,000 times better after reading this post! My daughter will be 3 in February ANC I have felt HORRIBLE that she’s not potty trained! We’ve offered candy, Disney tickets (we live in Florida) and nothing helps! She’s so tiny u don’t know if the trick will work quite yet but it’s going in the memory bank!

  47. Stephanie says:

    I’m potty training my son right now. Happy for you! He’s doing well, and my goal is to have him completely trained by Christmas. Yikes! :)

  48. Heather says:

    What an awesome post! I love all those ideas, especially the diaper trick. Wish I had thought of that when my kids were smaller. I am so happy for you that you are through this stage – I agree, potty training is NOT easy (it is still fresh enough in my mind that I am still rejoicing I never have to do it again!)

    1. Rachel says:

      What a fab idea!! Nappies that are too small! Potty training is by far the least attractive aspect of babies. I did night n day together for child 2 as child 1 who was potty trained at two was almost a full year still in nappies at night n woke up soaked in a morning. I despaired until I said that’s it no more and she was dry straight away! Turns out she was weeing because she could! ps that nappy money just seems to vanish! Pps yes I’m in England! I can’t even pronounce the word diaper properly!

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