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  • Writer's pictureSarah Nantel


I’m not joking. Potty training was probably the hardest thing I’d ever done – it’s right up there with pregnancy and labour.

My nerves shot, my dreams dashed, my strength no more.

I trained my daughter when she was 25 months old. We’d done some “here and there” potty training when she told us she had to go. But I wouldn’t really call that training. I was already tired of changing newborn diapers and toddler “human” poop, so I took the plunge. Well, let me tell you. What was I thinking … I was dead tired from sleepless nights with a newborn and still recovering from a C-section. Why didn’t someone rein me in or pull out the crazy card? Nope. My family and friends let me go at it unrestrained

My daughter had no desire to potty train. None. She was afraid of the toilet, she was terrified of her own poop, and no rewarding or bribing would do the trick. But we stuck with it. We used the three-day potty training method and made some adjustments based on what I could handle at the time. We diapered at night and we would put her on the potty for a safety pee before we got in to car or sat down for meals as we knew these were areas where she would back lash – both “no nos” according to the three day method, but it worked for us.

It took us about a week to get day time potty training fully done and about three months for night time potty training (she was trained for naps already).

My biggest tips are these:

  1. When people talk about consistency … this is one of those areas. It’s fair to the child. In whatever method you choose, be consistent.

  2. Tell them their soiled underwear is yucky. The child is not yucky, but the poopy undies are. Say: “Oh yuck! Your panties are dirty!”. Then whisk them to the toilet any way. I think this was huge for our training.

  3. Stay home. Yes, it’s hard. But just like when you’re studying for a test or trying to get some work done that matters, you need to buckle down. So do kids.

  4. Expect that your child can do it. And from what I’ve heard, the consensus is that it takes most children more than three days.

Potty training almost killed me, but I’d do it again. #nomorediapers

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