Potty Training Woes


Dudes, I am going a little crazy.

On Thursday I mopped up 4 pee-pees (2x on the floor & 2x on the sofa – one of which he swooshed around with his hand after finishing.  Leather sofas, thankfully) and carefully removed a hunk of turd from my 2 year olds pants.  It is not going well.

I had a glimmer of hope at the beginning of the week – every ‘go’ was in the potty – he was communicating well, I had started to relax a little bit into it and decided to reign back the incessant ‘do you need to go pee-pee?’ questioning.  I thought we were days away from the day when it was supposed to just ‘click’.  But alas.  This potty game feels like one pee forward, two turds back.

potty training

Things I’m unsure about:

–  Letting him sit prolonged on the potty when he’s watching something or eating.  Inevitably, he needs to go sometimes in the middle of watching his funnies or during breakfast.  We’ve been putting him straight on the potty when he says he needs to go but he seems to hang around a bit – and we’ve let him.  Should I be taking him straight off once he’s finished?

–  Going out too much during the day.  I can’t hack this prison sentence method that people allude to when they talk about how they did it.  ‘You need to take a week and just stay in the house’.  I’m sorry, WHAT?  Have you met a 2 year old?  We have generally tried to only go out once during the day since we’ve been actively potty training.  For those times, he has a nappy on.  Am I fooling myself to think this isn’t going to be a set-back?  Should I just take the plunge (toilet humour, obvs) and stick a pair of pants on him, bring lots of spare clothes and do it?  Is there an alternative?

–  Giving him too much to drink before going out/nap-time/bed.  Is it best to have him drink more during the times we are home and near the potty?  Is this me ridiculously over-thinking it?


Things I am doing:

–  Not showing frustration when he misses – explaining the jist of the way it works again.  Giving him a go on it, even if he says he’s already done it (there’s usually more).

–  Not always rewarding with food.  We do once in a while, but I figure the reward/bribery stuff can’t be a long-term vibe in our house so I don’t want to start heavy on it now…

–  Giving praise when he does it (there may or may not be a made-up song and dance to accompany said praise).

potty training


So I call upon you, oh mothers that have gone before.  I need some top tips, some gentle guidance and feedback on my queries above.


I’ve just sent him off with Dave for an hour to play at the park with pants AND a nappy on.  I’m telling you – I’m winging this BIG time.

But how cute are two-year-old bums in tightie whities?




8 thoughts on “Potty Training Woes

  1. I feel your pain and I’m impressed that you’ve stuck to your guns. We had early success with the potty. Aidan loves shiny new things but once it was 3 days old, it was part of the furniture and he wasn’t interested at all. In fact he refuses point blank to go near it. And I’m not going to push him for fear of turning it into a point of contention. Who knows what goes in the mind of a two year old. To be honest, I don’t mind if he’s 3 and still in nappies. Don’t let other mums or books make you feel like your son should be ready if he’s not. We’ll keep offering it and explaining it to him and I trust that the uncomfortable feeling of a wet stinky nappy will kick in and it’ll click.

    • I’m with you Heather. It’s hard going. I’m sticking with it while he’s still having a go and hoping the click will happen. Who knows! They are all so different but I reckon boys are so busy they just can’t be literally arsed!

  2. Your song/dance routine is such a good thing. Easy to do wherever you are. Don’t be afriad to take a break!! Remember some boys aren’t potty trained until right before school (here…that’s almost 4 years old). You know him best. So if he has potty fatigue and you have clean up fatigue, stop, forget it, and try again in 3-4 months. No shame! Those people who say their 18-month-old is potty trained, mean their 18 month old trained THEM to stick ’em on the toilet every 20 mins. You are an amazing mommy!!

    • I am one more clean up away from putting him back in nappies, Kristin. We’re taken a turn backwards this week. Urgh.

  3. Oh I remember it well! Firstly I’m with Heather. Don’t force it if he’s not ready. I did my first two at two and it was a nightmare! Left Nath until he was nearly three and he virtually did it himself.
    Praise is great. We did the dance too!
    If you use disposables try pull ups when you go out. Maybe with pants over the top.
    If not, do the same with nappies that you can whip off v quickly.
    One other thing.
    I did my youngest two straight on the toilet. More convenient (sorry!) And it saves lugging a potty around.
    Definitely don’t limit his drinks.
    He’ll get dehydrated and want to wee more.
    The bladder is a muscle that needs to learn to function properly.
    Take heart!
    He’ll get there. Mine all go to the toilet beautifully now. Though their aim is still poor!!
    If in doubt sing the nappy song.
    (I’ve been changed).

  4. Can I ask what made you start? Signals signs that he was ready? I’m only asking because I had a few failed attempts with my 4th child… & well basically I averaged out my other 3 and decided when I should try… But she wasn’t ready…. In fact… Didn’t do it until she was almost 4! And then it was a breeze, she just did it! Because SHE was ready and it wasn’t mummy imposed! 🙂

  5. I am wondering if you have started a bit too soon. Potty training is a maturity thing- both physically, emotionally and cognitively. It WILL click when he is ready. With one of my kids I waited until she was almost 3 and she caught on in less than a week.
    Good luck!! X

  6. I’ve no advice, but I’m here with you, reading. Sighing, giggling. You’re a good mommy.

    Sent from my iPad


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