Six Important Potty Training Lessons

I find potty training to be very similar to the lies that are spread about sleep training. When “teaching” your kids how to sleep, you are led to believe that you are supposed to let them cry it out. Just wait long enough and they will fall asleep. Let’s get real. All kids are different, and unless you have a supercompliant kid by nature, they are teaching you how to sleep. Whether you pretend it is in your control is your choice. For potty training, it’s the same. I have now gone through the process two times: once with a naturally stubborn and unfocused kid and once with a self-starting child who is interested in cleanliness. My girls were on different ends of the spectrum when it came to readiness and interest, yet I learned there were still similarities in both experiences. Here is what I’ve learned.



  1. my-1201538_960_720You cannot tell them when they are ready or at what age they should be ready.
  2. If you go the naked route (stripping them down and thinking magically they will want to use the bathroom), they will potty everywhere, and you will be the only one who cares.
  3. Your living room will become a bathroom. Your kitchen will become a bathroom. Your bedroom will become a bathroom. The little portable potty will be everywhere. Don’t be surprised to be cooking one night and turn around to discover your little toddler is peeing on her portable potty staring at you. Privacy is yet to be learned.
  4. You’ll wash your hands (and likely your legs, arms, stomach, and face) A LOT. My suggestion, wait to train until summertime. Winter gets awfully dry with all that soap usage.
  5. The frequency of the use of the word poop will not decrease with a fully potty-trained kid. In fact, somehow the hilarity of the word somehow increases for kids.
  6. One day they will get up, take themselves to the bathroom, and use the potty. It will be their choice, and it probably won’t have anything to do with the sweat and tears you put into training them. Such is life as a mom.