I thought I had it all figured out. My toddler would declare that she pooped and she would have about an 80% accuracy of having already gone or would go within the hour. After months of this, I took it as a sign that she was ready for potty training. We purchased her a potty, a book about going to the potty and I started scouring the internet for best practices.
I'll be the first to admit I had no idea what I was doing. My toddler is pretty articulate and from what I can tell, very intelligent. I thought she would take to it right away, especially since she was so aware of what was going on in her diaper. Within 10 minutes of the potty arriving at our house she peed in it! Wow! This is going to be easier than I thought.
How to Fail at Potty Training in 3 Easy Steps
Step 1: Don't Allow for Acclamation
We had the potty delivered on Saturday and I decided training would start Monday. I know now this might not have been the best idea because I didn't allow for any conversation to happen about the potty. I didn't talk to her about it or slowly introduce her to it. I just threw her to the wolves on Monday morning with a very aggressive timeline of sitting on the potty every 15 minutes.
Step 2: Start "Bootcamp" Two Days After the First Successful Use of the Potty
You read that right. I set a timer for every 15 minutes and sat her on the potty. At first she was excited and we read her potty book each time but by midday she was fighting me to go to the bathroom and saying she didn't want to use the potty. I totally turned her off to the idea of using the potty on the first day. This was an epic fail!
Step 3: Introduce Underwear Without a Successful Use in 48 Hours
After the first day of the 15 minute timer I decided we would relax a bit and try every 30 minutes. She had ZERO interest of going on the potty. Monday morning she excitedly ran to the bathroom when I said it was "time to sit on the potty" but by Monday afternoon she protested. On Tuesday she went kicking and screaming.
Feeling like a failure, I decided to whip out the training underwear we received as a gift after her nap on our second day of potty training. I put a pair on her figuring that if she felt what it felt like to pee she would be more inclined to want to go on the potty.
The underwear came in a pack of 3, she kept her first pair dry for around 2 hours (but never went on the potty) and then she started going in her underwear. We put on the 2nd pair and within 45 minutes those were wet too. She insisted that she still wanted to wear them but 30 minutes later her third pair had to go in the wash.
Post 1st Potty Training Attempt
I totally gave up after that. Our third day of "bootcamp" turned into me lazily asking my toddler if she wanted to sit on the potty every 90(ish) minutes. She's still wearing a diaper today.
This happened about six weeks ago and while the potty is right where we left it I haven't attempted another round of training. Every now and then she'll say she wants to sit on the potty but nothing happens. So we've totally stalled out and I feel like a total failure. I had a sticker chart, I had a reward incentive, I had a book that she can only read if she was sitting on the potty and none of it was enticing enough to get her to want to go.
Looking Towards the Future
I know my toddler is going to start using the potty sooner or later, but I wouldn't be truthful if I said I wasn't frustrated or disappointed knowing that my first attempt didn't work. I'm not sure when I'll try again and I don't know if I'll use a 15 minute timer next but hopefully her being a few months older (and me wiser) will help us next time.
Have a potty training fail or success story? Share it in the comments!