The Potty Training Chronicles – Day 1

April 4, 2012

Yesterday Bella went pee on the potty.

It was a really big deal here. We’ve been doing some casual (super casual) training for the past few weeks. Basically by training I mean I let her run around either with just pants or a dress on, no diaper, and then she pees. And I explain that pee-pee goes in the potty, she helps take off her clothes (or watches me clean up the small pee) and we go from there. She would want to sit on the toilet every so often, but nothing happened. I wondered what it would take for her to understand what the sensation of peeing in there, or just the act, would be.

Quite honestly? I had no idea what on earth I was doing. And everyone seems to have a different way of training, so it confused me even more. All I knew was we didn’t have the money to spend on cloth trainers and I wasn’t going to start disposables full time now.

So we just bare bottomed it.

Then today, in the bathroom, she started to pee and got upset. (She hates pee.) So I whisked her up even though I thought she was done, and set her on the potty. Usually she grunts and sits there. Today – lo and behold – things happened.

There was pee. A lot of it.

I was so shocked. She got a treat and we made a huge deal over it. I let her run around this afternoon naked, asked her every so often about having to go (which she would say, “No pee! NO pee!”) and after dinner she announced she had to pee again.

And did so.

I think my plan at this point is to simply keep going on the track she’s set. Ask about her wanting to use the bathroom, let her decide, go from there. I’m also going to get her a small potty for when she wants to go on her own, and maybe a sticker chart? A lot of parents are wishy washy on rewards/treats but I know from experience as a teacher – it’s one of the fastest ways to get things moving in a positive direction, as long as you aren’t bribing your kid with a half dozen Krispy Kreme’s at the age of 9 to do their homework.

So yay us! We have a potty trainer and with any luck she’ll be all set to go long before the twins make their arrival, even with a possible setback at least I won’t have to start from scratch.

One thing down. Just slightly over a billion more to go. I’ve got 4ish months though. And things tend to work out.

Now if only I could get Bella to learn how to cook meals…


  • Brooke

    April 9, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Do you have an iPhone? Rachel has a PottyTime app where she will “call” and say “yay!!” (more than that but I’m too tired to type). Also the Signing Time PottyTime DVD is great.

  • Jenny

    April 6, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    we just trained our daughter this week also. In January we tried and it didn’t go well at all. We went back to diapers and forgot about it until I woke up on April 1 and decided that was the day. We follow the 3 day potty training method which is somewhat similar to what you are doing. However, you just constantly tell her to tell you when she has to go potty…like a million times a day and they wear underwear…and if you catch them peeing or pooping you run them too the potty and reinforce.

    We are doing well also. Good Luck on the rest sounds like she pretty much has it 🙂

  • Bethanygp

    April 6, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Congrats on the potty! I wish my son would be potty trained before my second son is born but I think he’s just too young and no ready yet. So exciting for you, though!

  • Katrina @ Hix in the Stix – Army Edition

    April 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    “Bare bottom-ing” it was what ultimately did the trick for us. That book that I told you about (Potty Training in Less than a Day) really helped but she just wasn’t making it to the potty in time. For the last two days we have been accident free. And I don’t tell her when to go – she tells me when she needs to go! Sometimes she doesn’t even tell me, she just goes. She stops whatever she’s doing, even playing or watching TV, to go. Our only issue is right now she’s freaking out about going on a public potty. Guess that will come with time! We do the treat thing but I kind of alternate between treats and excessive praise.

    Good luck with your training. It’s very exciting to see the success 🙂

    1. Jenny

      April 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      I bought the potette plus for the public restroom issue. Just an idea…im not sure if it works but you can throw it in a bag and bring it with you and she can use it in the restroom if she is afraid of the big potty. Mine won’t sit on the big potty at all…so I had to try something.

      1. Katrina @ Hix in the Stix – Army Edition

        April 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm

        I just ordered the potette on the go potty; it should come in the mail sometime next week. I’m hoping it will help! Next week we are going to start working with her on going on the “big potty” at home as well to see if that will help. I’m glad to see that someone else has the potette also 🙂

  • Meredith

    April 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Congrats! That is a huge deal! My son just turned 3 and is just not interested at all in using the potty! He wears “big boy underwear” at home and I sit him on the potty every so often, but nothing. Not even the promise of and m&m, a sticker or use of mama’s iPhone have worked! All in good time, I suppose!

  • Stacey Sultar

    April 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Congratulations – it’s always so exciting when they start using the potty for the first time. We have some great potty charts that you can print for free that might be helpful with keeping track and setting up a reward. Check them out –

    Keep us posted.

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife

    April 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Go Bella!

    Potty training has been one of my biggest concerns since before Sophia was born. I know, I know I put the cart well ahead of the horse all the time. Keep the updates coming so I have someone to model after when Sophia’s time comes.

  • Adam @ Hanging with Dad

    April 4, 2012 at 11:10 am

    That’s awesome!

    Isaac has developed a fascination with trying to pee in the toilet. While he doesn’t have it down yet to any stretch of the imagination, he frequently says he has to go, so I take him to the toilet, take off his diaper and let him try. He’s gone a few times (little streams, nothing major), but we’re not actively trying (for crying out loud, he’s 20.5 months old).

    We also reward. He gets a candy corn every time he goes on the potty.

    Best of luck moving forward!

  • Tracy @Liberating Working Moms

    April 4, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Yay Bella!!! We are approaching potty training the same way. Just trying to be laid back about it. Since I’m home on break, if we are home, Abby is in undies. We placed her potty out in the open and yesterday she decided on her own, three different times, to walk over and pee. BOOM! Also, we use m&m’s AND stickers. Let’s hear it for Pavlov!

  • Kendra

    April 4, 2012 at 9:45 am

    That’s great news! Sounds like Bella is on her way! You are right, things always work out. 🙂

  • Anne-Marie

    April 4, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Yay! Good job, kiddo! Given that I know how much she loves her doll, I thought I’d share something we did when I was babysitting a toddler, once: he had a tiny cup and he would sit his tiny doll on the cup to sit on the potty with him. It didn’t “work” in the sense that it didn’t potty train him by itself, but it did get him to sit on the potty for 30 seconds longer sometimes. And he loved it!

  • Misty @ The Family Math

    April 4, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Yay, Bella! That’s fantastic! I think letting her set the pace is a great way to handle it, and it sounds like so far it’s working out OK.

  • Janelle

    April 4, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Potty training was one of my least favorite parts of parenting so far. I have another one to bring through the ranks, and have to suppress the thought of it right now – it just makes me cringe. Good luck – keep us posted! I don’t think there is anything wrong with a little bribery… 🙂

  • Amber

    April 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Hooray! GO Bella!

  • Nikki

    April 4, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I’m glad you are chronicling this. I need some pointers myself. We are using stickers and even though I have read the adverse effects, I will continue using them because for us, it is working. Our main hurdle right now is having Henry tell us he needs to pee. If I take him to the potty, he’ll pee, but he won’t tell me on his own that he has to pee.

  • Misty Pratt

    April 4, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Congrats, it’s so exciting! We’ve been potty training for over 6 months now, using the same methods. And….it’s not really working 🙂 She will pee and poo in the potty sometimes, but if she doesn’t feel like it, she’ll completely refuse. Even Smarties are not enticing enough to get her on. I long ago came to the conclusion that I have the most stubborn daughter in the world, and I have a feeling this is going to take many more months…

  • Krista

    April 4, 2012 at 7:03 am

    A half a dozen Krispey Kremes would do wonders for MY motivation. Just sayin’! 🙂

    Also, Chessa pretty much is training herself as we speak. I tried HARD over Christmas because I was home and *I* was ready. She was not. Since then I backed off, asked her once in a while but didn’t force the issue. Then one day she saw my friend’s little girl peeing on the potty and that was it. She started going, wanted pull ups instead of diapers. we made a bid deal when she did go on the potty, but didn’t get upset when she didn’t. This weekend we put her in big girl undies and she’s only had one accident since Saturday.

    And now I jinxed it by putting it on the internet, of course.

    1. Diana

      April 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      I’m interested to know how it’s going. This is exactly what happened with us, Bella saw her little friend on the potty and that was it. She had to go.

  • Sherry Carr-Smith

    April 4, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Congratulations! It’s so awesome when the kid finally starts using the toilet. I was just thinking last night that I’ll be happy when the toddler starts using the toilet. So far he’s not at all interested. I think you’re doing fine, by the way. And reward away!

    1. Diana

      April 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      It was an amazing moment! And for a long time she could have cared less. I think it took seeing one of her little friends do it when it kicked in.

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