Potty Training in One Day: Day Ten


Day Zero: Prep work
Day One: The Big Day

I know, it’s been ALL QUIET ON THE POTTY FRONT over here. Here’s my follow-up post about the first week, all disjointed because I really don’t know how to craft this post, so I’m not going to spend much time thinking about it.


Day two? Zero accidents while awake (yay!), but his cloth diaper was quite a mess after nap.

One or two accidents the rest of the week. All I did was ask him if he needed to go potty every 30 minutes or so, and if he said yes, I took him. I also took him even if he said “no” if he was doing the potty dance. He usually initiated.

After Day 5 or 6, we apparently stopped doing the sticker chart every single time. I blame the weekend.

Day 8ish, the Captain reported that he cleaned up quite the poopy pants. (J, aren’t you happy your mother blogs? Can’t wait for you to read this when you are 13.)

Day 9, two accidents. I blame the TV and the fact that I was working. He laughed when I said, “No, no potty in your pants!” and pointed at the potty. He knows, all right.

Day 10, two more in like, one hour. Now, he’s been asking to go potty every 15 minutes, and he has gone, so I don’t really know what the deal is.

Actually, I have an idea. It’s…

#2—Independence (how appropriate that number is in this situation)

Now that Champ can go potty, he is pretty sure he can do absolutely anything. Sounds empowering and lovely, like the way I felt Amazonian Warrior Woman after I gave birth to him.

But independence also means “I DO WHAT I WANT, Y’ALL.”

You’ve heard of the Terrible Twos, and the How-Can-It-Possibly-Get-Worse Threes. (I don’t really know what they call the 3s, but I know most moms will tell you it’s worse. What makes either age “terrible” is the sudden onslaught of throwing tantrums, talking back, testing limits, pushing buttons, and  ignoring authority.

Lemme tell you something. It’s not the age that makes the difference, it’s the threshold of independence. And I think it’s safe to say that threshold can definitely be potty training.

I think the reason we’ve had more accidents lately is the same reason I’ve had to deal with more tantrums lately. As soon as we gave Champ an opportunity to tell us “no,” like when we asked him if he needed to go potty, and he saw that his words and actions had an effect on my actions, he learned there was a whole new realm of possibility in stinkeriness. (That’s a technical term.)

Dealing with the terrible twos (or threes)

Having been a preschool teacher for four years before becoming a mother, and having had two brothers very much younger than myself, I’ve observed the different effects of parenting. The absolute best thing for a child is for him to feel secure. That means he needs to know 1) that you love him, 2) that you will take care of him, and 3) that you are in control. The worst possible thing for a parent to do to a child is to not parent that child. I’m not saying you need to be a dictator—certainly not!—but you do need to set rules and not let your kid(s) walk all over you. If you realize later that your rule was stupid, or that you made a mistake, apologize to your child. This confirms that you love your child, and it ensures that your child will respect you and your authority. Children that grow up with no regard for authority are the ones who either had no real authority in their life (due to neglectful parents OR doormat parents who spoil their children) or who had an authority in their life that they grew to not respect (due to parents who were stubborn or unfair OR parents who children feared rather than loved).

Now that I had that little schpiel, I’ll get back to the practical potty stuff.

#3—Your friend the Potty

We bought a cheapo potty at Walmart or Target that I let Champ pick out because I wanted him to get excited about it. It was advertised as being “cushy” and had Lighting McQueen on it.


similar to this one, with a pee guard and potty hook

It’s a piece of crap. The cushy part has no structure to it, so it sinks down below a hard ridge of plastic that cuts into my toddler’s beautiful thunder thighs.

I did some research and read some reviews and settled on the Prince Lionheart WeePod. And the best thing about it? It was the same price, maybe $1 more, than the piece of crap one. And they had it in stock at our local Target.


comfy and cool.

Either way, little boys need to lean FORWARD and point DOWN to avoid spray. They will touch the guard, so be sure to wipe it down when they are done. The Cars one came with a potty hook, that’s kind of nice, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that it left bright red indentations on my son’s hindquarters. The Prince Lionheart looks so comfy and well made, I had to check out the Prince Lionheart website to see what other kinds of quality products they make.

To sum up:


#4—Potty Training in Public.

Once I figure this out, I’ll do another post. Thankfully he made it on our first outing to the Vet and Post Office without having to pee. We are driving out to Wisconsin soon, though, so I’ll probably end up buying one of those travel potty seats.

In the meantime, I highly suggest reading “Public Toilets Vs Newly Potty Trained Girls and Boys” on Crappypictures.com, which is why I’m likely going to go purchase one of those travel potty seats FAST. If you read it, you might be likely needing to use your own potty soon, due to the laughter.

Click the image to be taken to CrappyPictures.com

Have any tips on potty training in public? How about dealing with the terrible twos (or threes)?

Potty Training in One Day: Day One (The Big Day)


So apparently blogging while potty training is a bit difficult. Sorry for the delay! If you haven’t read Day Zero: Preparation, read that first. Note: I’m going to be using masculine pronouns in my directions simply to avoid constantly using “him/her” or plural pronouns. Since I’ve been potty training a boy, and I have specific tips for potty training boys, I hope you’ll understand.

THE BIG DAY went similarly to Potty Training in One Day as outlined by Krysta on her blog These Are The Days. I did do a couple of things differently and learned a few things on the way. Here’s how the day went.


I started Champ off with breakfast and then pulled out his doll, Pablo, who I ordered a while back from Sunclover’s Creations on Etsy and blogged about here.

I grabbed a Medicine Dropper and filled it with water. Holding the medicine dropper behind the doll, I made the doll have an “accident,” with Champ witnessing.

“Uh oh! Pablo went wee wee on the floor! No, no wee wee on the floor!” I picked Pablo up and ran him to the potty, pointing at it. “Wee wee on the potty!” Then I ran him back to the hallway, where he had the accident. “No, no wee wee on the floor!” I ran back to the potty and pointed, “Wee wee on the pottyI ran to the potty ten times with Pablo. It certainly got Champ’s attention! Then I said something like “Let’s see if Pablo can go wee wee on the potty.” Pablo sat on the potty and I squirted the rest of the water out of the medicine dropper into the toilet so Champ could see and hear. Then I freaked out in excitement, “YAY! Pablo went wee wee on the potty! Hooray!” and I did a little dance. “You get a sticker!” I grabbed a sticker and put it on Pablo’s shirt. Then we washed Pablo’s hands (pretend) and gave him a gummy bear.

“You can have a sticker and a gummy bear, too, if you go wee wee on the potty. Do you want to try?” I can’t remember how the first time went, if he did go right away or if he freaked out. I DID give him a little schpiel about big boy pants, and how exciting they are, and let him wear them that first morning. That might work for a girl, but for a boy, I recommend NOT using underwear the first day. See “What I learned” below.

Whether you have the underpants talk or not, just try getting the kid on the potty that first time after showing them the doll. Then fill him up with juice and snacks for the rest of the day so he keeps having to go potty. Keep activities to ones that can be easily paused, and if you have hardwood floors, try to stay on the hardwood or tile.


I brought our bird clock into the bathroom to time the 2-minute “trials.” Every hour, when a bird sang, I had him go potty. I used the timer on the microwave for the other 15-minute intervals.

If he goes potty, get excited and let him pick out a sticker and put it on the chart. Give him a treat. I did one sticker and a gummy bear for peeing and two stickers and a DumDum sucker for pooping. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and when the timer goes off, gasp and say “Oh! It’s time to go to the potty again! Let’s try!” and immediately take him to the potty.

If he doesn’t go potty after 2 minutes, tell him he did a good job trying, and he can go play again, but he needs to try going potty again in a few minutes. Set the timer for 5 minutes and repeat the 2 minutes trying, five minutes playing and eating and drinking, pattern until he or she has an accident or goes successfully.

If he has an accident, don’t get mad! Say, “No, no wee wee on the floor!” and pick him up and run him to the bathroom. The surprise will stop him peeing. Point to the potty and say, “Wee wee in the potty!” Run back to the floor (still holding him under the armpits) and say, “No, no wee wee on the floor!” Run back to the bathroom and say, “Wee wee in the potty!” Do this ten times, and then place them on the potty. I’m pregnant and tired, so I definitely didn’t run back and forth all the way. I went a few steps into the bathroom so he could see the potty, then a few steps back out into the hallway so he could see the floor where he peed (a room or two away). If it sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. He’ll laugh, but he will get it. Again, don’t get mad—but it’s okay to show disappointment with your tone of voice. Once he’s done on the potty, if he goes, give him a reward. Then go clean up the accident with him, and talk about it not being fun cleaning up wee wee on the floor, that it’s yucky to clean up. (But don’t call him yucky or bad—and remember, he’s been peeing and pooping wherever he wanted for the last couple of years. Give the kid a break!) Set the timer for 15 minutes, maybe 10, and start over again.



Eating and drinking<—this is key. You want him to have a full bladder so he keeps going potty. I let him choose which snacks he wanted during the preparation stage. We had juice boxes, Capri Suns, water, milk, Goldfish crackers, fruit, fruit snacks, and other salty and sweet healthy snacks. One day of treats won’t kill or spoil your child. Think of it as a Potty Party. And be sure to get some snacks for yourself, too.


Squirt gun paintings Champ found his squirt gun, which I had taken away after he shot up my bookshelf of antique, hardcover books.  I let him have it again, but the rule was he could only shoot the back wall of the shower. To keep him entertained, I put up some pieces of construction paper for him to shoot. Captain is an expert marksman, so it wasn’t too surprising that Champ has a pretty good aim.


Play-doh Champ got to pick one container for himself but insisted I have one too. So I made a little potty. There was a tiny bit left over, so Champ got to drop a Play-doh poo into the Play-doh potty. Yes, I was made to be the mother of a boy, it seems.


I had this grand list of activities we could try. But much time was spent eating or drinking, he was happy with just two activities the whole day, and I was so burned out after a frustrating morning (see “What I learned,” below), we kept to the above. Other ideas: finger paints, color sorting, books, coloring, making Valentines crafts, and play kitchen. We didn’t watch TV or movies, but yes, I did cave and let him watch short clips from the PBS Kids app on my phone. The clips were each less than 5 minutes, so he didn’t get too distracted.

Nap Time and Bed Time

If you’ve never had cloth diapers, you can put your child in underpants with those Gerber “plastic pants” over them for nap time. We use Thirsties brand Duo Wrap cover with snaps, which you can put over underpants, too. Since Champ still hasn’t woken up consistently dry yet, we just put him in a cloth diaper. We’ll switch to underpants and a cover after he’s been dry a week, then a week later let him just be in his underwear. DO NOT USE DISPOSABLES. They wick the moisture away from your child, so they don’t feel wet. Sounds great until you realize it is that wet sensation that potty trains your child.

I read that 1 out of 3 kids under 3 years old have no control over their bladder at night. 15% of kids still don’t have that control when they are six years old. If you want to use disposable diapers or Good Nights at night until your child wakes up dry, I think that’s completely understandable! We will continue using cloth because it is more cost efficient for us, and it speeds potty training along.

What I learned (aka, how not to completely lose your mind)

After we both took a nap, I made a few changes. The afternoon was so much better than the morning because of it!

  • Embrace the naked. Let them run around in a shirt and baby legs if it’s cold, but don’t go straight from diaper to underpants. It’s easier for them to realize when they need to go if they don’t assume they are wearing a diaper. After his nap, I didn’t make Champ wear underpants, and it made a night/day difference to potty training.
  • Don’t spend too much time in the bathroom. Before nap, if he didn’t go potty when I knew he had to, I just kept him on the potty until he would go. I tried to distract him, I even let him drink juice while sitting there. It was absolutely miserable—we both felt like we were being punished. Don’t make them sit on the potty longer than they would sit in time out (one minute per year of age). Champ is 2, we did 2 minutes. If your child is 2.5, keep him on the potty for 2.5 minutes before you let him play again. 3 years = 3 minutes, etc. Let them play for 5 minutes before trying again.
  • Accidents are teachable moments. They learn more from having accidents (be sure to do the back and forth running, as mentioned above) than from going perfectly each time. Wouldn’t you rather your child have an accident on the day you have set apart for this thing, if it keeps him accident-free at your next trip to the store?

We had a few accidents, but by the afternoon, we were in the black! And I know Day One was a success, because Day Two he had zero accidents while he was awake.


Hopefully tomorrow, but at least some time this week, I’ll post about how the rest of the week has been going. (He’s been doing great!) I do still recommend not going anywhere the first 3 days if you can help it. On the fourth day, we went to church, but he stayed in the nursery and one of the nursery workers kept taking him to the potty. If your child is in daycare, be sure to let your provider know your child’s word for “potty”—Champ can’t say his Ps, so “wee wee” is what we ended up using.

Click here to read the next post: Day Ten—the follow up. To tune in to live updates, follow Bewildered Mother on Facebook.

Update July 2013, six months later: Champ vastly improved over his first week, and by the end of January, he didn’t have any accidents except maybe at night (I kept him in cloth diapers for overnights. Most children cannot control their bladders overnight until the age of 3, and many still cannot at the age of six!). However, we have had some major hurdles since then. In February, he went to daycare for 3 weeks before I pulled him out. The workers would not take him potty when he needed to go, instead, they took all of the children on potty breaks every hour. The bladder of a 2-year-old doesn’t work like that! Second, my baby was born in April, so we had another regression. My advice? Keep on it. Go back to stickers if you need to. We ended up using two charts and gave one sticker if he went potty in the toilet and one if his underpants were dry when he went potty. The main thing is to ask often, recognize the potty dance, and get them to the bathroom as soon as possible. I’m amazed at how much bladder control this kid has when he is engaged in one activity. It’s when he’s distracted by MANY different things that he still has accidents.

Potty Training in One Day: Day Zero (Preparation)


Update July 2013: Hello Pinterest users! I’m so glad you came upon my blog, and I wish you all the best in your potty training endeavors! See my update at the bottom of the post to see how we are doing six months later. pottytraining0
This is post number one in my Potty Training Diaries! Stay tuned—I’ll post a new blog each day.

Here we are, in the throes of potty training. My mother said not to expect anything until Champ is about 3. Since I’m expecting Baby Lion in early  May (or late April? That would be just fine!), I planned on trying in February, once the temperatures started to go up again. I read about Potty Training in a Day via a Pinterest link. In it, the mom of 4 recommends training between 2 and 2 1/2 years old. Champ is now 2  1/3 (One of my mother’s eccentricities was giving my age in abnormal fractions when people asked how old I was.)

Once he started signing to me that he was wet* or would grab a diaper from his own accord, I went ahead and bought a potty. The Cars potty that he picked out hung proudly from a hook on the toilet tank, just to get him curious.  Since I’m an at-home mom, he’s witnessed the standard procedure plenty of times.

*I started signing the standard “change diaper” when he was very young, but he quickly adapted the sign to patting his hips when he needed a change. 

On January 8th, a Tuesday, he showed me some signs that he was ready. Unfortunately my frazzled mommy brain cannot remember what those signs were. Some people say to wait until they wake up dry from naps. He didn’t do that. I’m pretty sure that was the day I finally put him in a cloth diaper again, since I had been just using disposables due to sickness, tiredness, and laziness. As soon as he wet the diaper, he told me so. Yes, I believe that was the “sign”—that he was aware of what was going on down there.

I also think he wanted to check the potty out, so I put it on the toilet and sat him down. The problem is, this kid doesn’t have an extensive spoken vocabulary. His comprehension is great—he understands basically everything that comes out of my mouth—he just doesn’t want to use words if he can sign something or point and grunt. So as he was sitting atop Lightning McQueen, I had to rattle my brain for scatological terms.

“Can you say, ‘Potty’?”

“Hottie.” Right, he can’t do P’s yet. Unfortunately “Hottie” is his how he says, “Hat.” I considered him wizzing in one of his beanies.



I had to delve into my third-grade self for more potty language. We finally settled on “Wee-wee.”

I still had no big boy underpants, or the time to devote to intense potty training. I figured I needed to reserve about three days in which we didn’t really leave the house. I thought the 13th-15th would work. Then I got an email about a job interview on the 14th. So we ended up starting on Thursday the 17th. Today is the 19th—we are on day 3, and things are going very well. (I type, right before he throws a major tantrum.) Well, Potty Training is going very well.

big boy pants


Note that the major training happens on one day, but you still need to reserve a couple of days to at least partially devote to training. If you want to try the One-Day method, here’s what you’ll need ahead of time.

  • A potty (we had a Safety 1st Comfy Cushy Potty but it got lost in the move. Now we use some cheap seat that goes directly on the toilet. Buy whatever you think your child will use.) *UPDATE*—after a few days of using the cheap potty seat, I can tell you that you need to do research. Read ratings. Don’t buy a potty seat that is “cushy” or “soft” on top but plastic on the bottom—the cushy part sinks down  below a plastic lip to cut into your child’s leg. I just sent the Captain out to buy a new one.
  • COTTON training pants / underpants. Don’t even think about buying Pull-Ups. They won’t work. Kids need to feel being wet.
  • Leg warmers, if it’s cold. We have a couple pair of Baby Legs. You can sometimes find them used at baby boutiques or diaper swaps.
  • Hardwood floors, tile, or plenty of sheets and towels. Thankfully our main floor is hardwood flooring and tile. I kept Champ on the hardwood all day.
  • Cleaning supplies for accidents. Vinegar and baking soda are cheap and effective. Check out “My Bathroom Smells: Getting Rid of that Boy Bathroom Smell” for a recipe.
  • Someone to watch your other kids, if this toddler isn’t your first. I wish I had someone to watch our dog—at least other children won’t try to consume your toddler’s accidents.
  • Diaper covers for sleeping—We use Thirsties brand Duo Wraps with snaps, but you could try those plastic Gerber Pants if you haven’t been cloth diapering. Krysta on These Are The Days uses a diaper cover over underpants. We decided to keep Champ in cloth diapers until he wakes up dry. Same effect—he feels the wetness like he would with underpants, but it means his pregnant mom doesn’t have to strip his bed in the middle of the night.
  • Waterproof mattress cover—I think every mattress needs a waterproof cover, personally, but especially any bed that will have a child in it. Buy two so you can replace the wet one immediately.
  • A timerWe used our Bird singing clock and the microwave timer. Our egg timer isn’t reliable, but you could use one of those if you want.
  • Patience—The first day is killer! Just remember that the harder you work on Day One, the easier Day Two will be. Practice some deep breathing, and have a plan for relaxation during nap time.

Read Potty Training Part 2 on These Are the Days for more ideas of what you’ll need. I didn’t use an apron, but I did have a doll and medicine dropper ready for Day One. We didn’t do a calling list, either.

The Day Before

Take your child on a special shopping trip, and tell him or her that you are going to have a Potty Party and you need his/her help to get ready. Here’s what to buy—involve your child in every step possible, letting him or her choose what they want:

  • Juice
  • Salty Snacks
  • Sweet Snacks
  • Candy or special treats (something small, like gummy bears or DumDum suckers)
  • Some cheap, new distractions (we got Play-Doh, punching balloons, and a new board book)
  • Poster board
  • Stickers

The juice and snacks help keep your child drinking and peeing. The special treats are for when they go successfully on the potty. The distractions keep them busy but also need to be activities that can easily be paused. Poster board and stickers are for a potty chart. Krysta doesn’t mention a sticker chart on her blog, but Champ has enjoyed the stickers far more than the candy.

Click here to read the next post: Day One—the day that changed everything. To tune in to live updates, follow Bewildered Mother on Facebook.

Update July 2013, six months later: Champ vastly improved over his first week, and by the end of January, he didn’t have any accidents except maybe at night (I kept him in cloth diapers for overnights. Most children cannot control their bladders overnight until the age of 3, and many still cannot at the age of six!). However, we have had some major hurdles since then. In February, he went to daycare for 3 weeks before I pulled him out. The workers would not take him potty when he needed to go, instead, they took all of the children on potty breaks every hour. The bladder of a 2-year-old doesn’t work like that! Second, my baby was born in April, so we had another regression. My advice? Keep on it. Go back to stickers if you need to. We ended up using two charts and gave one sticker if he went potty in the toilet and one if his underpants were dry when he went potty. The main thing is to ask often, recognize the potty dance, and get them to the bathroom as soon as possible. I’m amazed at how much bladder control this kid has when he is engaged in one activity. It’s when he’s distracted by MANY different things that he still has accidents.