Meanwhile, from the poop-filled trenches of potty training

I’ve been lamenting about potty training for months. Maybe not all here on my blog, but definitely to anyone within proximity who will listen. Friends, co-workers, neighbors, strangers at the grocery store.

It’s not that I’ve been actively attempting and failing at the process with my son–Just the fact that I’m still changing diapers and asking myself WHY.


First off let me just confess: I’ve broken the cardinal rule of parenting by comparing my son to my daughter. I searched my old blog posts and saw that she was potty trained almost fully by age two.

What the what?

It’s ok. Just breathe. Boys are different than girls. One child is different from the next.

My son was just straight up not a fan of sitting on the potty. It was as if he was scared. It took mega bribes just to get him to sit on the pot. Finally, enough candy got him to try it, and realize the seat wasn’t going to eat him, or worse–flush while he was still on it.

Then I got brave/overly ambitious and bought undies and decided to do a 3-day potty training boot camp that lasted exactly 6 hours. In that time he did use the potty several times but I was having meltdowns after each accident, and I realized that the amount of laundry that was accumulating was not worth it. Or maybe it was, but long story short, I quit.

My husband told me to calm down. ‘You don’t can’t potty train overnight… A child’s development.. blah blah blah.’ Calm down? You calm down and grab the scrub brush!


Fast forward another month. I notice Big T has started squirming when he needs to go to the bathroom, obviously holding his bladder. I rush him to the bathroom and he goes pee. YAY! Progress!

I try taking a similar approach to what I did with my daughter and bought a bag of Thomas disposable diapers. I tell him not to go pee pee on Thomas, but in the potty because Thomas might get sad and cry.


Not only did he not really care if he gave Thomas a nice bath, he didn’t want to wear him anymore because he thought Thomas was crying in his shorts. Talk about backfiring.

He prefers his Thomas-free (also fragrance and petroleum-based lotion-free) Seventh Generation training pants. I like that they’re absorbent and hypoallergenic. He likes that he can have guilt-free accidents.

Last Friday we spent all day at my mom’s and he made it to the potty every single time. Peed and pooped! He was thrilled by mamas halftime show-worthy celebrations and he kept it up. We continued through the weekend with similar results. Thanks to Halloween I’ve been able to up my bribe game, and he’s totally buying it.

My husband is finally starting to get into the action and he sends me potty updates via text full of toilet emojis and applause. It is a team effort.

Yes, we’ve had a few incidents of not aiming correctly and pee landing on the wall and on the floor, and my leg. But I know it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Some messes come with the territory. I get it. I can embrace that.

potty training essentials

So it’s been nearly a week, and I think I’m ready to give the undies another go. This time I’m armed with Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry detergent and Energy Smart Detergent. It smells nice, it’s tough on stains and gentle on the most sensitive skin. He can pee in them all he wants. Laundry won’t scare me this time (ok, maybe fresh poop in undies scares me a little, but this should help).

I’ve got loads of potty candy and I’m not afraid to use it. I’ve got patience I didn’t have before. And I’ve got a 2-and-a-half-year-old who finally seems ready and interested in giving this a real shot.

Wish us luck… Again.

*Thank-you to Seventh Generation for sponsoring this story. I’m partnering with them as I share my imperfect life and ways I’m trying to improve it with you. If being more conscious of natural cleaning products and eco-friendly diapers are on your list of priorities, head here for more information. As always, all opinions are my own.

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  1. Hilarious! Like I said on your last post about potty training, boys are special. Can’t wait to read your post on overnight training. Fun!

    To me, training is not over until they no longer have accidents, no longer need prompting to go potty, and no longer need an extra pair of clothes in the car for that JIC moment. In essence, when it is no longer my responsibility to care when, if or how they eliminate. Have fun on this journey. My older two are trained. The 1year old has a ways to go so I am in-between for now. 🙂

    1. Oh man, I’m not even wanting to think about overnight training. He’s been waking up dry lately but totally still in diapers for night time. I so agree that training is over when the accidents are over, and they can ask to go on their own. I need to get a bathroom stool so he can get on the toilet himself. Right now I’m still 100% helping in that department.

  2. Patience patience patience 🙂 I know it is stressful (if that word can even describe it) my oldest was potty trained by the age of 2 (girl) my second (boy) who is 5 still has to wear pull-ups to bed because he can’t grasp the concept of “wake up and go to the bathroom” and my youngest (girl, 2) I am currently in the process of potty training seems to be going at her own sweet speed, getting it and understanding what she has to do but doing whatever she wants even though I’ve taken her to the toilet numerous amounts of time throughout the day. It’s exhausting! But I keep on hearing from my parents and other parents, every kid is different, give it time, you were just as difficult lol. There is a tunnel at the end of the light you just have to hold on and keep up the praises 😉 you’ll get there. I’m rooting for you!

    1. It IS exhausting isn’t it?? I mean I know I’m going to look back in a couple years and be like “wow, that was nothing” but in the middle of it can be pretty stressful. Thanks for the cheers of support! 🙂

  3. My son will be 3 in February and we’re still muddling through. I’ll admit I haven’t pushed it too hard, because I do think he’ll do it when he’s ready, but I have moments where I wonder if he’d figure it out if I actually put him in undies. But I have no patience for accidents, so…pull-ups it is! I do have plastic pants that I could put over undies, too, but I have gotten really lazy with kid #2! My older son wore pull-ups to bed until he was six because his bladder and brain just didn’t figure it out. And then one day it clicked and we’ve only had a couple minor night accidents in the year-plus since. So I am well-aware it can just click like that. Day training took until at least 3-1/2 with him, so I figure we’ve got a little time with this one. One of these days I will try to move a real step forward, but at least he’s dry 75% of the time 😉

    1. Wow! Yea I feel like we’re getting to the “clicking” point with Big T. He’s been doing real well for a week and a half now. I’m still not brave enough for undies. Probably until he’s 100% asking to go by himself. I mean, he doesn’t even pull down his own pants yet. That seems like a major step in the potty training department. haha.

      1. Mine isn’t either! He’s done it once or twice, though it doesn’t help that I refuse to banish jeans from his wardrobe 😉 Mine seems to do great for part of the day–good at daycare and usually asking at least once in the evening–but then we’ll get ready for bed and he’s wet! Simply too busy, I think! That’s why I wonder if the undies would speed up his learning curve, because he’d learn to make it a priority, but accidents…UGH!

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