Potty train like a pro

After what feels like two years, but has just been a little over one, I can proudly tell you that my child is potty trained. I went into the process feeling prepared and optimistic. I had all of the relevant tools and resources to guide me on the journey. I had backup plans for my backup plans in case my chosen method failed for our kid. Throughout the process, we had triumphant successes and major defeats. I ugly-cried over a pee-stained car seat and bought myself chocolate when we had a good week. For a while, I had nightmares that we would never get there. Now, finally on the other side, I am a proud mama with advice and resources to share.

Start When Your Kiddo is Ready

Right after Lilah turned 2, she was very into all of our bathroom routines and the magnificent tools that could be found inside this special room. She wanted to hang out near the toilet as if it were the office water cooler. At daycare, teachers would tell me that she was ready to start. She was ready. I was not. Potty training should begin when your kid tells you. They may not walk right up to you and say, “Hey Dada, I would like to stop this barbaric diaper situation now please,” but they will likely give you some type of clue when they are ready.

Choosing a Method

As I have done with most parenting milestones, I checked out books at the library like Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It RightI read Jamie Glowacki's blog and asked coworkers for their personal stories. While some told me one method simply did not work by, others swore by it. I felt queasy in both my mind and stomach.

Some caregivers may just play it cool and let their kid use the potty as they see fit. If you are like me, you weigh the pros and cons of each possible method, make a detailed list of supplies and agree on a timeline with your partner. I decided to go with the three-day method which you can find detailed in Potty Training in 3 Days: The Step-by-step Plan for a Clean Break From Dirty Diapers. This method calls for three days in a row together at your home. You start your kid with no pants or diaper and gradually get to both pants on and using the potty.

Accidents Happen

The three-day method worked. Lilah was getting to the potty with decent speed and awareness. Then, we headed back to daycare and our regular routine and let’s just say there was an enormous increase in laundry. For the sake of her teachers, we went to training pants. With the ease of undies, these worked for a while. We were out of training pants and back to underwear in no time.

Then, a medical issue derailed us. For the remainder of the year, we had an accident a few times each week. It was rough and seemingly hopeless.


Every single time I got stressed about potty training, wise family and friends would just tell me to relax. When you are in the thick of it, it can be hard to remind yourself that few children will go into middle school and not be potty trained. If the plan isn’t working, be ready to wing it. Know your kid and do not pressure them to get it right. Like all new things, it will take some time for it to become routine.

Anythink Can Help

Are you ready to start the journey to a diaper-free life? The library has you covered with books for you and your kid. Good luck!

For grown-ups:

For kiddos:

Anythinkers, share out! If you have gone through potty training, what worked for you? If you are about to start the process, what scares you the most?