You want to know how I potty-trained my son before his 3rd birthday?
Okay so I had some role but in all honestly, my son’s daycare did most of the work. They have these tiny human-sized toilets with tiny holes for their tiny butts. He even learned to stand up and pee. They estimated that within a few weeks of transitioning to the 3s room he would be potty-trained. They just want to be like their friends, they said. And they were right.
This doesn’t mean my husband and I didn’t struggle. We totally did. There were months where R refused to poop at home, instead only agreeing to pee! To this day, I don’t know why. He would poop at daycare but when he got home he screamed bloody murder when I would ask him to sit on the toilet at try.
Like most first time parents, we bought an Elmo potty chair… that he sat on once. I tried turning him backward on the toilet seat. Nope. I tried every potty-training trick on Pinterest, like cutting a hole in his pull-up and putting him on the toilet, or putting him to bed naked. He finally began sitting on the porcelain throne when we added a toilet seat attachment but still no consistent poops.
We bribed… I used a sticker chart and promised him Schleich and Terra animals from Walmart/Target each time he pooped. Nothing seemed to work! Every night, about 5 minutes after laying him down he would run out of his room and scream with laughter, “I pooped!” We were at our wit’s end; he knew how to poop in the potty but didn’t want to at home.
The turning point came after my grandmother passed away in January 2017. He and I took a 17-hour drive from Texas to Kentucky, stopping along the way for an overnight in Dallas. At the hotels and my grandmother’s house, with his potty seat attachment, he pooped every night before bed for a week straight.
When we returned home, he regressed a couple of times but I stopped fussing. I figured he would go when he was ready. Why stress it? And you know what? IT DID WONDERS. Now, two months later, he has barely had any accidents. Can I tell you how amazing it is to still be on the same box of bulk wipes from December and being down to 1 box of pull-ups ever 1-2 months? Of course I want baby #2 so let’s see how long we are actually saving money.
Even though I had the amazing assistance of his teachers in potty training, I still feel like we’ve earned potty-training badges for regaining our composure and encouraging him to poop. I love that he comes to me now and says, “I need to poop.” One day he will just do it on his own without the announcement.
Next step? Staying dry at night and wiping his own butt.