Potty Training

I’m not sure there is anything in parenting that I dreaded more than potty training.   All other aspects of parenting, no problem, but the whole learning to pee and poop thing I was avoiding.


Of course it didn’t begin this way.  Three years ago when we embarked on this developmental milestone with our daughter I was swept up in the “3 Day Phenomenon”.  I thought, how amazing is this – naked for a few days and boom, your child pees and poops in the toilet.  Reading a bit online, I felt we could tackle potty training in three days and then stand proud, capes waving in the wind with full success.  Well, it didn’t go that way. 

Our first efforts with E was when she was 18 months old. After three days of pee everywhere except the toilet and me in tears, I knew we needed to take a break.  Back to diapers we went.  

The second attempt at two and half went much better.  I took a more relaxed approach and knew three days wasn’t going to equal full success.  Reading back through my journal on her, in 11 days she was able to tell me when she had to use the toilet and she’d be able to hold it until we reached the toilet.  Full success…except poop.  Quote me as I stated “What a huge accomplishment for a two and half year old.  You still poop in your diaper and during sleep sometimes, but it’s okay.  Like pee, you will get there on your own terms.”

Warm, summer mornings are the best time to potty train!

Get there on your own terms” lead to a two and half year battle.  Little did I realize that she wouldn’t get there on her own without assistance and instead we’d deal with bouts of constipation, pain, frustrations and a crutch, a Pull-Up.  This long battle of poop is what brought on apprehension and dreading potty training for my son.  I would do ANYTHING to avoid this long battle we’ve experienced.  As my son started approaching the potty training age, I was beating away the idea with a ten-foot pole.  Pure fear.

Life brings you to things just when you didn’t know you need them.  Jamie Glowacki, author of Oh Crap! Potty Training reached out to inquire if I’d like to add potty training consultant to my business of sleep consultant.  My gut reaction was “HECK NO!  I’m avoiding that situation in my house.” but it left me thinking.  After my colleagues expressed their love of Jamie’s book and their successes, I thought I could give it a read.  What did I have to lose; my anxiety couldn’t grow any bigger.  

Moms and dads, let me tell you, this is the ONLY book and website you’ll need for potty training.  I read it, re-read and used it as my bible while potty training my son.  Jamie’s approach is realistic and straight to the point and problem.  In fact, in many ways it reminded me of sleep consulting…countless similarities.  She dives through all the myths, mentally prepares you and gives you the tools to help your son or daughter succeed.  She reiterates, it’s not about how many days it takes, instead it’s about mastering blocks.  Each “block” is built upon each other, so if you don’t have a firm foundation in block one, you won’t succeed.  Seriously, purchase your own copy of  Oh Crap! Potty Training immediately and don’t forget to visit her website*.  

We prepared, mentally and physically, and forged ahead with potty training for C.  Yes, we had naked days.  Yes, our lawn has never been so watered before…or maybe we flooded it?!  (The best part of potty training in the summer is getting outside).  We spent a whole week at home, focusing only on potty training (and that was HARD).  We’ve had poop on the floor.  Pee accidents at a friends house.   But I’m telling you, 10 days in I’m blown away about how well C is doing.  He asks to go pee – at home and while out and about.  He poops on the toilet (I’m doing a happy dance daily and a prayer to above!)  And can you believe he is even beginning to be dry during night sleep?!  I’m not saying he’s to perfection, yet how much progress has been accomplished in 10 short days is astonishing.  We are well on our way to socialized toilet use.  He is 27 months.  

Please know, that every child is unique and I’m not writing to say “this is how it’s done”.  Some children will catch on quicker, others slower and that is okay. What I needed to mentally prepare for was not having a preconceived notion on how long this would take.  The “3 Day Phenomenon” initially screwed with my head and caused backlash on the process.  Be patient, be consistent, and have faith that your child can conquer potty training.  If you don’t believe in them, then why would they?!  (hmm, sounds a lot like sleep training!)  

“Self-esteem comes from mastering a task, from gaining dignity and self-respect.  Potty training is a way you can give this to your child.”  – Jamie Glowacki

The absolute best part of potty training is his pride in himself.  His self-esteem has sky rocketed!  He’s even more of a joy to be with as he tackles new challenges because he knows he can do it!  Jamie states it best “Self-esteem comes from mastering a task, from gaining dignity and self-respect.  Potty training is a way you can give this to your child.” pg. 7   I couldn’t agree more.

As for my daughter, once we beat chronic constipation, ditched the death trap of Pull-Ups and purchased the Squatty Potty (a MUST-HAVE for everyone) – she is a pooping machine!  In our house, we have two capable little individuals peeing and pooping where they should.  

Heck, maybe I will add potty training consulting to my business!  


*I am not paid for promoting “Oh Crap, Potty Training” or the “Potty Squatty”.  I’m just a mom sharing what worked for us hoping you may find success as well.  Moms unite!

Valerie Birch

Certified Infant & Child Sleep Consultant at Amazing Little Sleeper
Valerie Birch is a Pediatric Sleep Expert for exhausted families who have tried evvvvverything to get their child to sleep.

Through her informative and supportive blog posts and one-on-one help, she’s here to guide your child into restorative naps and peaceful nights - while making you wonder why you didn’t contact her sooner.

When she’s not consulting?You’ll find her hanging with her 2 children, getting her sweat on at the gym or baking and indulging in warm ooey-googey chocolate-chip cookies….hobbies that balance each other out!

Meet Valerie + prepare yourself for Amazing Sleep ahead…amazinglittlesleeper.com
Valerie Birch

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