The Potty Training Diaries

Belle is now almost 2 1\2  and there has been some potty training going on for quite a while in our house. I don’t even know where to start with this. It has been a challenging project that has brought me to tears and has made me ask myself: “What am I doing wrong?”

Here’s what I’ve found out so far:

First, I’ve made the mistake of reading potty training books that have pretty well told me that I’m a crappy mum.

Second, I’ve used bribery. The horror! I’m trying to avoid this as much as possible, but come on! I mean, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do. My favorites are usually these little snackeroos.

Teddy cookies, penguin crackers and raisins…could be worse!

Third, I’ve been making a fool of myself trying to convince Belle to wear cloth diapers. When I bought them, I thought “This will be great! She’ll wear them and want to go to the bathroom because she will sense when she is wet, contrary to what’s happening now with the ever-absorbent pull-ups, i.e. the devil in diaper form” No such luck. Three hundred dollars later, those cloth diapers are unassumingly waiting for new baby, who won’t know any differently if I stick him in them off the bat. Mouahaha…

Finally, I thought that getting a drawer full of what Belle likes to call her “big girl panties” would be all the motivation she would need. Wrong again!

So, after all the stress and feeling like I’m doing everything wrong, here is what seems to be working, slowly but surely…

1) Keeping a sticker chart: Every time she does “something” on the potty, we add a sticker to her chart. It’s motivating for her and helps us see, approximately how often she is actually having success. Sometimes, she couldn`t care less about the stickers, but when she sees how excited Duncan or I get, she humors us with a half-hearted “yay.”

2) Making sure that there is always a full bottle of “Mickey Mouse” soap to wash our hands with afterward. I was desperate, but in a pinch, she was convinced by the stickers that I threw onto this random bottle of baby soap. I’ll take what I can get!

3) According toThe Baby Whisperer, I am supposed to TELL Belle that it is time to go on the potty, rather than ASK her if she needs to go. This way, there is no option and hypothetically, she will go more often.

4) Whether she needs to go or not, Belle goes to the potty every 30 minutes all day long. Aside from realizing that I`ve essentially been lazy, I’ve learned that I need to be consistent with the training as much as possible.

I hope you enjoyed my tale of potty training woes. There will be more to come. If you are a parent who is going through the same thing, I feel for you, and now I share a few words of wisdom from a mom who once told me something that keeps me going when I get frustrated with this process.

“Just remember, your child will not walk down the aisle on his/ her wedding day in diapers.”


If you have any advice for me, I would love to hear it. I need all the help I can get!


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