Potty Training

It has been a week of potty training our little boy! I was a bit nervous; we’ve successfully potty-trained 3 girls, but a 2-year old boy seemed like a whole different league! :)

I am, however, excited to say that I think he’s got it!!! Hurray!! No more diapers (well, except for at night time… but that’s a different story)! By the third day, he seemed to have “caught on” to staying DRY (getting potties in the toilet), but it wasn’t until yesterday that we had success with staying CLEAN (getting the even bigger mess in the toilet)! Although I know there are bound to still be “accidents” along the way, we are over the most difficult part! I am thanking God for another successful potty-training experience!

So, what did we do?? Well, we did the same things we did with each of our girls (most of which came from reading a chapter in On Becoming Toddler Wise, by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam)! I know there are a billion methods, but here are some hints from what has worked for us…

*Go to the store with your child a few days BEFORE you begin potty training- pick out big-boy (or big-girl) undies & lots of yummy treats(which serve as both rewards & help get the child thirsty… the more they drink the more opportunities they have to “practice” when that potty-training day finally arrives)!

big boy undies

*Set yummy treats on the counter where your child can see them for those few days… but DO NOT let them have a taste (otherwise the incentive won’t be there when you start)! We choose things like chips, juice boxes, m&ms, skittles, suckers…

candy treats

*Make sure you have NOTHING else going on for at least a few days. Make arrangements so that 1 adult is able to be with your child during this time… not worrying about other children. (My husband was able to take just about all of last week off, so one of us could work with Isaiah while the other took care of our other children!)

*Choose a doll or stuffed animal that your child can “teach”! With the girls, we had a couple of those “potty-babies” that you fill with water & then they “pee” in the toilet… they really liked those. This time, Isaiah wanted to teach his kitty- & so we put a pair of his big-boy undies on the kitty. :) Isaiah LOVED this… he was SO excited to see if kitty was clean & dry & to help kitty learn what to do! (As silly as this sounds… well, at least to me… it WORKS! By teaching “someone” else, they learn in the process!

*Encourage staying CLEAN & DRY (not just using the potty)!

*Have your child check if he/she is clean & dry. If they are- they get a reward (an m&m). Then have them sit on the potty. Be patient!! It usually takes about 10 minutes (maybe more) the first time… Isaiah took about an hour (sigh)… but, if you can keep them on the toilet until they are successful- it is helpful! (We like to read books or play little games while we are waiting.) When they get something in the potty, reward them with a “double treat” for staying clean & dry by using the potty. Make sure to teach them how to wipe, flush & wash their hands. Then every 30 minutes of so, try again! Going through the same steps… first with your child “teaching” the doll/stuffed animal & then with your child!

*I’m not an expert at getting my children to get poops in the toilet. This seemed to come easily for the girls, but was difficult for our little boy. To help, we had a football & a sucker ready as rewards for when the big moment finally happened… but that didn’t seem to make a huge difference, even though he REALLY wanted those things. Honestly, it finally happened when our oldest girls were willing to go sit in there with him & just kind of play. Then we were ALL excited!!

*Never punish children for not staying clean & dry (it is a developmental thing).

That’s everything I can think of for now!! Let me know if you have any great success stories, or if you have any questions! I know it can be so challenging!!


  1. Good job. I was wondering do all the other kids ask for those special treats? I know I would be sneaking M&Ms all day if they were on the counter. LOL.

  2. Well, this encourages me – after we move to our new house & life gets back to ‘normal’, I need to potty-train my son! He’ll be 3 in less than 2 weeks! The biggest obstacle for me is having someone to help me…I don’t think my hubby will take much time off, except for Christmas, and we don’t want to focus on it then, so we’ll see. :)

  3. Great job to ALL of you! I hear that’s not an easy task.

  4. thanks for this post…we’ve tried to potty train my son but he has absolutely NO interest and he’ll be 3 in a couple of week..with a 3rd baby on the way in a few months, would be nice to not have 3 in diapers..thanks for the tips

  5. We love the Babywise/Toddlerwise series by the Ezzos! We have used it with both of our kiddos (and any more we are blessed with!) I am going to be working with Isaac again when we get home from Thanksgiving. My mom and I both decided after about a week (a few months ago) he didn’t quite have the muscle control yet. *sigh* I know it will come eventually, he is not going to be in diapers forever, but I’m ready for him to be potty trained NOW! hehe So glad Isaiah caught on quickly and the hardest part it over with!!

  6. Awesome!! We’ve tried and stopped at least twice with my youngest. Now I just need to find the time to try again – it’s hard to find days with nothing to do but pottytrain!

  7. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Whoo-hoo!!! No more diapers. I can hardly wait.

    Blessings to you!


  8. Hi Jessica, :)
    Sorry! Long time no visit uh! I love your blog though, and still read your posts. Hehe :) Sorry i havent stopped by! I did recieve your email a while ago! Thanks so much for that. :)
    I am wondering how old are your children when you potty Train? :) I am guessing i still have a little while before i worry about that. :) Haha Caleb is only 13 months, but i have read that some people start at 18 months! Hope to hear from you soon. :)

  9. I have to admit, I’m a bit nervous about potty training my little boy when it comes time to. Our little girl seemed like a peace of cake! Thanks so much for sharing. I’ll be back in about a year to read this again for reminders :)

  10. I was just searching your archives for a potty training post. I figured that you must have loads of tips and advice since you’ve been there a time or two. My little girl’s young for North American potty training standards, but I’m planning to start this week with her, as I’d really like to have her diaper-free before our next child is born. Thanks for these helpful tips!

    • Jelli, you make me smile! :) Five down, one to go at our house- each time it’s been different but not too traumatic! :) Praying that your little girl catches on quickly!!