Thoughts on Potty Training in a Weekend (after it didn’t work)

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This is not a “how to” potty train, but rather an in-the-thick-of-potty-training survival guide and humorous though sharing session. If you are potty training a kiddo and about to pull all their your hair out , you are not alone!

I read all the right books and did all the research and talked to all the all the moms I knew who’d successfully potty trained. I had snacks, treats, juice, toys, and childcare lined up for the baby. We were ready to roll.

But alas, it did not go as planned. 2 days into potty training my 1st kiddo, this is how I felt.

1. I would take sleep training over potty training any day.

In fact, if you prefer potty training, let’s trade. You potty train my kids and I’ll sleep train yours.

2. Second to a smushy sleeping newborn, there is almost nothing cuter than underwear-clad 2 year old buns.

We tried ‘naked’ for a day. She hated it and was highly motivated by the undies. Plus she reacted strongly to having wet undies and that seemed to make sense to her.


3. I was somewhat attempting the “one day” method based on a book from the 70s (affiliate).

Lots of people who potty trained one or two or 7 kids successfully recommended it, including my own dear mother who potty trained both us kids around the age of 2 with it. Plus it jives well with my go-big-or-go-home personality.

I’ve also read intense this-method-failed-me-and-is-the-biggest-lie-ever opinions. #mommywars

This leads me to believe potty training is different for every kid.

4. I was surprised by how disappointed I was at the end of day one when I felt like we’d made zero progress.

I’d gone into potty training optimistically. The book made it sound like a formula, and my toddler seemed ready, so when it didn’t go according to plan, I felt like a complete failure.

The fact that I felt like a failure shocked me. I didn’t realize I was emotionally connected to potty training.

We will likely try this same method for the next kid, but hopefully I’ll get less worked up about it. Woo-sah.

5. She can hold it for 4 hours.

Should I be concerned? This seems weird.

While I’ve found a zillion suggestions about poop-holding, I have yet to read anything helpful about pee-holding. Almost everything I can find talks about filling the kid up with snacks and drinks so they have to pee often and can learn the sensation. We did this 2 days in a row.

We gave her so much to drink, her tummy hurt (oops) and yet she wouldn’t pee.

Literally, 4 hours.

While we might be breaking 2 year old bladder control records, we certainly are not potty training in a day at that rate. She only peed 4 times in 13 hours yesterday.

Thus, I am now accepting all advice from people who’ve had a kid who can hold it for this long.

6. Potty training will make you want to pull all your hair out.

Did I already mention this?

7. Don’t though…

because while potty training won’t last forever, you’ll be glad you still have hair next week or in 5 months or whenever the kid is potty trained.

8. This too shall pass.

She won’t be peeing on the floor when she’s 12 and I probably won’t be on the edge of my seat looking for pee cues and exhausted from it by the end of the day for the next 10 years. So, eventually she’ll get it.

9. Get some wine and ice cream and a good show to binge

…because you won’t want to do anything else after a day of potty training.


It’s better if your wine cost $5 and is a potty pun. #ISwearThatWasAnAccident

10. Plan to go to the gym with your potty trained toddler…

because all the aforementioned ice cream and wine will not do anything for your two-babies-in-17-months-figure.

11. Oh, and when your husband gets home, run out the door

Take the baby on a walk in the stroller, silently reminiscing back to the days when you thought one teething child was hard. Laugh at your younger self, and then remember that one day you’ll barely remember potty training and laugh at yourself for thinking it was hard.

It’s nice that raising babies happens in seasons isn’t it?
One season at a time, folks.
One at a time.

When potty training in a weekend didn't work, my feelings shocked me!