What Not to Do When Potty Training


potty trainingPotty training is causing me extreme stress and anxiety, and I know it shouldn’t…which drives me even crazier. My big boy, who is now 5, was potty trained in three days right before his third birthday. So, you would assume that I’m a pro at this, right? Absolutely not! I’m totally failing the second time around with my 2 ½-year-old twins.

You would think the thought of being completely diaper-free would motivate me, but I’ve been dragging this on for way too long. Within the last week, I’ve realized the biggest obstacle has been ME! Hey, admitting that there is a problem is the first step…So here are the things that I would recommend NOT doing when potty training!

Don’t get upset!

Potty training doesn’t happen overnight, and it can be a very messy situation. These are two simple facts, but I can’t help getting discouraged, especially when my daughter goes all day staying dry and then pees on the floor right next to the toilet. I’m learning to get over it quickly. There is no reason to dwell on the mess. Instead, I’m trying to focus on celebrating the success.

Don’t compare children!

This is so hard…especially when you are a mom of twins. Like I mentioned before, their big brother was potty trained in three days. This time around, it’s been months. It’s also hard to avoid comparison when it’s the topic of conversation at your moms’ group, or you see things pop up on your Facebook newsfeed. All I can do is remind myself of their differences and take it one day at a time.

Don’t fear the public potty!

Public restrooms can be so gross! At least with my boys, I can have them stand to avoid contamination, but with my daughter, it’s an awkward dance to get her to sit without too much contact with germs. Especially when it takes a few minutes for my children to get over the shyness of going in public…no one wants to sit and wait! Instead, I’ve found that Lysol wipes are my best friend, along with disposable seat covers or even a travel potty cover. And don’t forget the hand sanitizer and extra bag of emergency clothes…just in case.

Don’t be inconsistent!

I’ve tried rewarding with M&Ms, setting a potty alarm every 45 minutes, and I even made up a little potty song…don’t ask! All of this sounds great, but it’s been a major flop because I haven’t been consistent. I’ve tried so many different things that my kiddos don’t always know what to expect. To avoid this, pick one thing to motivate your little one and stick with it!

Don’t rely on pull-ups!

They really aren’t any different than diapers, besides the fact that you can indeed pull them up. When my kids have an “accident” in the pull-up, it’s quickly absorbed, so they don’t feel wet and bothered. My biggest concern is taking them out of the house without the comfort of a pull-up. I definitely don’t want to clean up a huge mess in the car seat or mop up a puddle on the library floor. But what you can do is have your child wear a pull-up over their underwear so that when they do go, they still feel it, but the mess isn’t so bad.

Don’t force it!

Some kids might not be ready for potty training, and that’s okay. Like everything else, they all develop at their own rate. I knew my little guy was ready because he started staying dry for long periods of time, and my daughter is on a super regular poop schedule (oh, they are going to hate me when they’re older!). These two factors definitely help, and I am trying to follow their lead.

Now, if only I could take my own advice! What mistakes did you make while potty training?

Previous articleAutism Awareness Day {Brenda’s story}
Next articleThe 12 Stages of Dining Out With a Toddler
Michelle is the Owner and Editor of Fairfield County Mom and Westchester County Mom. She has spent her entire life in Fairfield County, growing up in Norwalk and now residing in Fairfield, CT. Michelle married her husband Chris in October of 2008. Before motherhood, she thought she was busy, but now life with her son Shane (March 2011), twins, Blake and Brynn (June 2013), Carl the French bulldog, and Hank the Lab; the meaning of hectic has been redefined! Michelle is also a working mom, teaching at a local public school. When she’s not doing laundry, creating lesson plans, and picking up toys, Michelle enjoys hosting her book club, watching Bravo TV, eating dark chocolate and enjoying an extra large glass of wine.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here