How to get out of Potty Training Purgatory — A Comprehensive Guide

Have you been trying to potty train your toddler? Do you feel like you’re locked in a small cage with an animal who isn’t rational? Then you’ve come to the right place. I’m here to help you get out of potty training purgatory with this comprehensive guide. My experience in potty training will surely give you the boost you need, just follow this simple guide.

  1. Get this book and read it cover to cover, maybe even two times. While reading it, you may feel like the author is conveying you’ve been doing parenting wrong up until this point. That is accurate. Read the reviews, the negative ones will give you an idea of how I landed in purgatory.
  2. Pick a potty. You can get this, or this, or this.
  3. Realize those potty’s don’t work.
  4. Get an actual toddler toilet like in elementary school. We opted for this one by American Standard and truth be told, our daughter has some special needs and mobility issues so we wanted to make it as easy as possible for her. The size worked. Point for the parents! But the toilet opening was still too large.
  5. Try to make it work.
    Splash down
  6. Stay positive!!
  7. Grab coffee.
  8. Ask constantly, meaning 100 times an hour, if they’re dry.
  9. Praise them when they are.
  10. Tell them to let you know when they have to potty. The book says not to ask them if they have to go, and certainly don’t sit them down on the potty. Wait until they tell you. Signing for potty
  11. Have your bribes ready. Candy didn’t work for us, but presents kind of did. Luckily, Christmas just happened and several presents haven’t realized their full potential. Like this backpack. Backpack bribe
    Or this Frozen costume.
    Elsa
  12. The following may happen: hands in the toilet, flushing for fun, peeing a tiny bit right before getting on the potty, holding the rest of your pee for hours, throwing a portable toilet, falling sideways onto the bathtub, crying (by everyone), living in the bathroom for 12 hours a day.
  13. Stay positive! You can do this…I think.
    crying
  14. Your toddler may have new demands. Our hair bow hating girl needed to wear all her bows. At the same time. Just go with it. Your battle is the potty, not matching bows.bows
  15. Since we’re just wearing panties and a t-shrit, your toddler may think it’s a good time to go commando with two pairs of skinny pants. Again, these are battles that you don’t need to fight. This offered a much needed comedic break and was a huge breakthrough and new milestone of dressing oneself.IMG_2706
  16. At this point, I feel a diagram may be helpful so you know what’s needed within reach — notice that Mom is not pictured. She’s on a caffeine kick rocking back and forth in a corner.diagram
  17. Call your husband and demand a new solution to the potty since she keeps splashing down or throwing the rigged, unhinged portable potty.
  18. Thank God for your best friend who told you about this, and thank the good Lord your husband can install anything and that it works with the tiny toilet.
  19. It’s almost bedtime, so have your wine ready to counteract all the large iced coffees you’ve had.
  20. Ponder how you were every potty trained.
  21. Realize your child hasn’t pooped all day, but keeps telling you they need to.
  22. Put them in bed. Be hardcore, no diaper. NO pull-up. See #1, the book, and remember you’ve been parenting all wrong.
  23. Put your child down for bed for two hours, put them on the potty when they tell you they need to go.
  24. Put them to bed after they haven’t gone.
  25. Wake up from 3 a.m. – 5 a.m. at your child’s leading and try the potty.
  26. Fail.
  27. Clean two wet beds.
  28. It’s now 6 a.m. and your child has indicated the day is starting, wake up irritated and try to make coffee.
  29. This is the smallest amount of sleep you’ve had since the newborn days. Your child slept for 4 1/2 hours and hasn’t pooped.Sleeping
  30. Start day two.
  31. Oh, right…we’re still in potty training purgatory.
  32. Thank me for being the most honest person in your potty training journey.

In all seriousness, every child is different; I’ve heard it, said it, loathed it, believed it and tried to accept it. Do your best and do what works for your family and don’t give up. Luckily I have a helpful husband, mom and a group of girls I can text with to help me through. Hopefully a full trained potty post will follow this one sometime soon. Until then my friend sent me this mug and I can’t wait for it’s arrival (in 1-2 weeks). When it arrives, I’m praying Reagan is potty trained, other wise…the latter will be true. I love Jesus

**Update** Day two, Reagan peed on the potty twice and stayed dry for 12 hours at night. Day three she peed when she woke up AND pooped all by herself. Maybe we have been parenting all wrong.