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Entries in Potty training (23)


Keeping my Word on Potty Training


When I told Z’s preschool teacher that we were going to start potty training the weekend after school was over, she said, “Just know that it might not work.” Knowing that Z is young (21 months), and that potty training is tricky, I said, “I know. If it doesn’t work we’ll try again later.” But at the time, I really didn’t think we’d have any problems.

We used the same 3-day method that we did with Nic, and the first week was AWESOME. We had very few accidents after the first day and he’d go almost every time we put him on the potty.We like to throw "Potty Parties" to make potty training more fun!

However, after a few days, I noticed that he wasn’t really “self-initiating.” He wasn’t going over to the potty and sitting when he needed to go, rather he would wait for us to put him on the potty. This didn’t seem like a big deal, we just thought he needed more time to get the hang of it.

Then at about two weeks in, he started having accidents. MAJOR accidents. Poop on restaurant benches accidents. He started to resist sitting on the potty and then having accidents just a few minutes after we had put him on the potty. We tried to stick with it for another week, but after a big accident on my husband’s watch, we gave up.

This was hard for me. Potty training is exhausting and I felt like we had come so far only to have it slip away. But I knew that I couldn’t let the potty be a stressful thing for Z and that was what it was becoming (and for me too!). Ultimately, I told myself that I had to keep my word to Teacher Carol and that I had to take a few steps back.

At first I thought of it as defeat, like we had failed. Then I realized that was a silly way to look at it. Despite him showing so many signs of readiness (literally pulling off his diaper when he saw anyone use the potty, asking for potty books all the time), he just wasn’t ready.

And it wasn’t a total waste of time and effort. Z still does about half of his business on the potty, he’s just wearing a diaper in between. This is much less stressful for everyone. I still haven’t decided if we’ll try the 3-day method again, or if we’ll do the more gradual pull-ups thing. I’ve always been all for the 3-day method, but if being a mom has taught me anything, it’s that not everything works for all kids. I might just have to invest in some cloth pullups or follow one of these tutorials on Pinterest!


Finished Potty Training Boot Camp! Now What?

I shared my experience with potty training, which I will sum up as ‘less than pleasant/really hard but totally worth it.’  It’s been a little more than six weeks since I started potty training and I’m happy to share that after one full week of potty training, we’ve had no accidents in her underwear! She still wears a diaper during naps and at night so she’ll sometimes pee/poop in her diaper since she has no way of alerting me she has to go.

After the three-day potty camp boot camp (although mine was actually four because we had a sick day in between) I still had a ton of questions about what to do after the training. I was lucky to be able to lean on my fellow MommyBetas who had all already trained their little ones. They all had a ton of great advice. I’ve created a brief Q&A for anyone who has just embarked on the experience of potty training.  

Mostly what I’ve learned is that there isn’t just one way to do things. You have to decide what works best for you and your child and then go with it. The key is to be consistent so as not to confuse your kid.


Q: Do you keep potty seats in the main areas of the house?

A: Some of us MommyBetas keep a potty in the living room and others only in the bathroom. After the first week, I decided to keep all potties in the bathroom. Since our place is so small it wasn’t too hard for my daughter to make it to the restroom once she said that she needed to go.

Q: Did you use a potty seat that goes on top of a regular toilet (with a step stool) or a small kid sized potty that sits on the ground?

A: I purchased the Baby Bjorn Potty Chair, which works great! It’s the perfect size and because of the tall back, my daughter doesn’t get tired sitting on it. This was great for bootcamp because she would sit on the potty for 10+ min at a time. Also, now she is able to use the Potty Chair all on her own since the potty is on the ground. The only caveat is that I then have to dump the pee or poop in the toilet to flush and then wipe the potty down. But I guess it’s no worse than changing a diaper.  

The nice folks at Baby Bjorn sent me a Baby Bjorn Toilet Trainer and Safe Step stool to test. We started using these items about three weeks into potty training. We really like them! My daughter uses the step stool to climb up to the toilet and then I help her get on the seat. What I love most about this is that there is no clean up. It’s super simple and clean! She does her business, she flushes and that’s that! And the Toilet Trainer is easily removable so when she’s not using it I hang it on a hook in our bathroom. Now, she alternates between the Toilet Trainer and the Potty Chair. I have no idea why she picks the one she does, but she seems to like both of them so I’ll keep using them both. Eventually I’m hoping to just the Toilet Trainer and Safe Step stool. Both are good options so I say pick one and just go with it.

Q: What are your main potty essentials for leaving the house?

A: Months before we started potty training we purchased the BabyBjorn Little Potty to get her familiar with the idea of the potty. She’d mostly play with it and have her animals sit on the potty. But the Little Potty has been a great travel potty. It’s usually in our car but I also take it with me in my stroller when we’re out and about.  Just note that Baby Bjorn is discontinuing the Little Potty and replacing it with the Smart Potty because of the popularity of the Smart Potty and the similarity between the two.  One MommyBeta said she keeps the ground Bjorn in the car. However, she recommends getting the Potette, which comes with liners that you can then throw away. Fortunately we haven’t had to deal with cleaning a poop out of our travel potty because she poops before nap (most of the time) and we’re always home at that time. So for the time being, we’re sticking with using the BabyBjorn Little Potty as our travel potty.

Some items that were recommended to me and that I have purchased but not used yet: The Potette, a travel potty that folds flat into a trainer seat, A folding potty seat that fits on top of any public toilet, a wetbag for accidents and the Piddle Pad, to protect stroller and car seats. I put a Piddle Pad in the car seat. As you can see I went crazy with purchasing all these things. And looking back I realized I could have done with out most.

I am very comfortable and happy traveling with my Baby Bjorn Little Potty (it even fits in my diaper bag) and I’m fine using public restrooms when needed. I simply wipe them down, cover them with paper toilet liners and hold my daughter up. It’s not as daunting as it seems if you can get past the yucky-ness factor. Oh and I carry loads of sanitizing hand wipes.

Check out the MommyBeta Potty Training board on Pinterst for more tips and tricks!

Q: When do they learn to hold their pee?

A: Umm… Who knows!! After the first week I could see that every day there was an improvement in the amount of time Reese would say, “I got to potty mommy” to the time it took to get to the potty. I think this varies for everyone. The best advice I got was to simply prevent getting to the stage of having them hold their pee. Keep track of the amount of time between pees and poops. For example if it’s been a few hours and Reese hasn’t gone to the restroom I’ll take her although now she’s pretty good about telling me. Also, at the beginning even if you ask your child if they have to go potty and they say “no,” take them anyway if it’s been a long time between a potty. 




Oh. My. God.  To sum it up, the first two days were dreadful. I thought I had failed. But by day three, I could see the light. 

It began a little less than two weeks ago when my husband and I marked off a weekend where we could focus on potty training. We decided on the Three Day Potty Training boot camp. To get started I referenced Nathalee’s, Jennifer’s and Natali’s posts on potty training since they have all potty trained their Baby Betas. Similar to Nathalee we primarily used the Three Day Potty Training: Diaper Free potty Training method.  I’m not going to go into all the details because Nathalee did a great job describing the method in her post.

About my experience.

Day 1

At the end of day one I wanted to quit. I was so discouraged. Reese had only one success (more if you count drops that made it in after being whisked to the potty after an accident). But mostly, it was messy and I took it kind of personally that day one didn’t go better.  

Instead of giving her stickers, toys, or candy (I thought about jelly beans) after each success I tried giving Reese the Gerber Fruit and Veggie Melts. She gobbled them up like they were going out of style so we stuck with them as her “treat.”

Key Learning: Take joy in the little victories. Count the small drops as a success. It’ll make you feel good.

Day 2

Day two was much better because we spent a lot more time on the potty. No accidents! But seriously, my daughter was on the potty A LOT playing with my iPad! Jennifer talked me off the ledge and gave me a ton of support and encouragement to keep with it.  

Key Learning: Don’t do it alone! Unfortunately my husband had a work event that day, which we were unaware of when we planned our “3 day potty training boot camp” (so he claims….kidding, kidding), so I was home alone on Day two. Not fun but I got through it. If you can plan to have support from your partner or a family member, do!

Day 3

Day three made it all worth it! My daughter self initiated and told me every time she had to poop or pee. Only once accident all day and it was on an outing. Oh joy! Up until Day six there was about one pee accident each day. 

Key Learning: Even if they say your child says they don’t have to go potty before you leave the house, get them to sit on the potty for a few minutes. It works! Jennifer shared this tip with me and Reese has gotten good at going pee before we leave the house and as soon as we get home.

Now we are on day 12 and (fingers x’d) we’ve had no accidents for five days. I am a very proud Mommy over here. Although potty training started out terribly, I am feeling great about the progress we’ve made in less than two weeks. 

I had the most questions after Day 3 of potty training when I was out of the house more. I’ll share what I learned in a future post.

How was potty training for you? 


White Lies


Bad idea: Trying to pretend that your kid's accident in Starbucks is just a beverage spill. That doesn't work. 

Last Friday I took Miles for a post-haircut milk at Starbucks. It had been too long since his last trip to the potty but Ava needed to nurse so I forgot to take him. Sure enough, while sitting at a table with his soy milk a torrential peepee let loose from his pants. I scooped him up into the bathroom, followed by Ava in her stroller, and then leaned over to the barrista and told him we'd had a "spill." 

In a sense, it wasn't a lie. Peepee did "spill" out from my son's bladder. Did the barrista really need to know the origin of the liquid in question?? 

I changed Miles and sat him down at another table with his milk and whipped out the Hooter Hider to finish nursing Ava, who was being patient but was starting to get restless. If she hadn't needed to eat, I would probably have taken Miles' milk to go! But I sat there while a rather large, bearded, red-headed, round-faced man wheeled a mop to the location of Miles' "spill." 

As he started to clean, Miles noticed him, pointed, and said VERY loudly, "That guy clean the peepee!!" 

I have never blushed quite so crimson. I nodded, "Yes he did," I said under my breath. "That's very nice of him." 

"Yes. Nice," said Miles. And then he directed himself to the nice man and said - again very loudly - "Thank you clean the peepee!!" 

The man had the decency to pretend not to notice. Even when he wheeled away the bucket and Miles said again TWICE, "That guy clean the peepee" and "Thank you clean the peepee." 

You gotta hand it to my little guy. He's got manners.  


Podcast #55: Waiting for Champagne

The MommyBetas will be gathering in California for a dear friend's wedding this weekend and are looking forward to champagne toasts and wedding cake! While Jennifer and Natali are in-transit, Alex and Nathalee discuss the week's posts and news. Topics include: A possible link between C-sections and obesity in babies, potty training (of course!) and the intricacies of gift-giving

And a big thank you to our sponsors, and!

Listen to the podcast here.

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