Trial and Error of Potty Training

Words on Parenting Wednesday is a weekly post series on the subject of parenting. I’ll talk about any adventures we have with our girls to motherhood experiences to fun and games for children to featuring mommy bloggers.


Have you started potty training your toddler(s) yet? I’m in the middle of potty training my girls. We started training at the end of January.

Katie turned 3 years old in October and she was starting to get interested again in going potty. I started potty training with her when she was about 17 months old. It was going pretty well. Katie was going #1 and #2 in the potty. She would have few accidents in her underwear. I spend so much time in the bathroom. I think that it was starting to get too much for her. Katie started fussing whenever I started talking about the potty. So I decided to cut back and try again later until she was ready.

As I look back on that experience with Katie, I would have done it differently. As parents, we sometimes live and learn.

When Sophia was approaching 2 years old in February, I knew it was time to start potty training with my girls. Katie and Sophia were both interested in the potty. They were talking turns sitting on the potty and making a game of it.

This time around of potty training, I wanted to do it differently. And I wanted it to work. I looked up different potty training tips and came up with a game plan.

Below is my process of the trial and error of potty training these past couple months.

1. Potty seats. Before I starting potty training my girls, I bought another potty seat, so Katie and Sophia would have their own potty to sit on.

2. Place of potty seat. I placed the potty seats in the living room, so they would be close to the area Katie and Sophia play in. My girls would see the seats and become more interested in sitting. Couple weeks ago, I moved the potty seats into the bathroom.

3. Sitting on the potty. For the first few weeks, I tried to get Katie and Sophia to sit on the potty at least 3 times a day. I wanted sitting on the potty to become a normal part of their day and for them to get the concept of it. I cut back for couple weeks due to us being sick. I would still have them to sit on the potty at least once a day. Sophia started sitting on the potty all by herself without being asked. In the bathroom, Katie has been sitting on her potty and Sophia has been sitting on the big potty with a seat on top.

4. Going #1 and #2. I was easier for me to get Sophia to go pee and poop in the potty. She would go pee couple times a day and occasionally poop in the potty. There would be times that she would get off the potty and accidentally pee on the floor. Some days she would try without any successes. In the beginning, it would take Sophia awhile for any pee to come out. Within the past week or two, she has peed within few minutes of sitting on the big potty.

Katie on the other hand has been more difficult to get to go potty. I could get her to try to potty, but that was pretty much it. It seemed to me that she would hold her bladder while sitting on the potty. There were couple instances where she had couple drops in the potty. Once she had a lot of pee in the potty, but I think it was because she really had to go. Within this week, I have gotten Katie to pee in the potty couple times.

5. Pull ups / underwear. Katie has been wearing pull ups for awhile. I kept her in pull ups while training her when I first started. Since I wasn’t getting very far with her in going to the potty, I switched Katie in underwear this week. I think the underwear is working since she talks about not peeing or pooping in her underwear. She has peed and pooped in her underwear every day since I put her in them, but I’m not giving up. She has peed couple times these past couple days, so I’ll take that as a success.

I switched Sophia from diapers to pull ups when I started potty training her. Since she doesn’t have an issue of going in the potty, I’m not switching her to underwear yet. Sophia still pees and poops in her pull up, but she is still doing well. Plus having one kid in underwear is enough right now.

6. Asking / telling to go potty. I ask Katie and Sophia if they have to go potty throughout the day. They will tell me if they need to go or not. There are times they will tell me (without me asking) that they have to go potty. Sophia will even get the potty ready when she has to go.

7. Entertainment on the potty. There are several ways I entertain my girls while they sit on the potty. We will either watch a cartoon/video on YouTube, read books, play a game on phone/tablet, color, play with toys, or a combination of the previous items.

8. Rewards for going #1 and #2. Whenever my girls go pee or poop in the potty, they get a sticker on their sticker chart on the bathroom closet door. When they go pee, they get few M&Ms and when they go poop, they get a sucker. Now that Sophia has been going to the bathroom a lot consistently, I don’t give her any treats anymore when she goes potty and she doesn’t mind. She loves getting the stickers.



9. Tricks to go potty. I’ve tried the water trick to get Katie to go pee in the potty. I’ve ran water in the bathroom sink and put her feet/hands in a warm bucket of water. It doesn’t work all the time, but it has worked several times.

10. Ways to get more interested in the potty. We bought a potty book for girls and have read it many times. I read the book with excitement so Katie and Sophia would be excited about the potty as well. Katie loves reading the book to herself. We watch several YouTube videos on potty training. One of my girls’ favorites is ‘Go Potty Go!‘ To get Katie even more interested in the potty, I asked her if her doll had to go potty. She took her doll to the potty and was playing in the bathroom for awhile and talking about the potty.

What has been your trial and error of potty training? What tips and tricks has helped you?

6 thoughts on “Trial and Error of Potty Training

  1. Potty training has to be one of the most challenging chores to go through, its been so long I dont even remember. You have some great incentives. Thanks for sharing on Oh My Heartsie Girl WW this week!!!

    Have a great week and Happy Easter!!

  2. Potty training was difficult for us due to a medical issue my daughter had. It resolved itself a little after 3…so then we had more success. Now she always pooped in potty since like 2 I think. For us it was the pee. I used coth pull-ups. Just the cheaper charlie banana ones that also double as a swim diaper…it felt like cloth so she felt like a big girl and it did hold decently (not as well as disposable pull ups but better than underwear)…it was a nice middle ground.

    I couldn’t imagine training two at once lol

  3. I’m preparing to start potty training my son. I’m dreading it. I hated training my daughter… no fun at all. I think you have some good ideas here. What worked with my daughter, who was resistant, was taking her to Target and letting her choose her own underwear. She picked something with fairies or princesses and was super excited. Good luck and keep us posted! Thanks for linking up at the Manic Mondays blog hop! Hope to see you at the next one 🙂

    1. Potty training isn’t fun. lol I actually took a break from potty training. Past couple crazy weeks. I’m planning on starting it up again next week. My youngest has no problems. It’s was oldest. She has some sensory issues and I think she is afraid of letting the pee go into the toilet. The time that it has, she jumps up right away. I could tell she seemed scared. When I tried the underwear, it seemed like she would hold her bladder so she would be dry. Then when she couldn’t hold it long enough, she would eventually wet her underwear. When I start again, I’m hoping that she won’t be afraid to go and she won’t hold her bladder. Wish me luck!

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