A Potty-Training How To

Step 1: Remove all the carpet from your home.

I kid. I kid.

Unless you can. Then do it.

Potty training. Eeesh. One of the crappiest (see what I did there?) jobs a parent has. 

Our first was basically potty trained by daycare. She refused to have a bowel movement on a toilet until she was three, but I wasn’t gonna push it considering she would politely request a pull-up and then find me immediately after to change it. And since she was one of three children in diapers in our home, it was no big deal. When the time came, we used the ol’ “Two M&Ms for a Number Two” trick, and BOOM four weeks later she was TOTALLY trained. No night wettings. I honestly think she has maybe only ever had one “accident” and it was during a stomach bug.

I may have had one too. Just sayin’. That bug was ROUGH.

Then came number two. A boy.

Need I say more?


It took us a SOLID two months to get him to use a toilet, and I was still pretty nervous sending him to his three year old class where “potty training was a requirement.” We tried telling him he could just pee in the yard, which was all well and good until his sisters started dropping their drawers to join in the fun. Suddenly we have crossed over into inappropriate territory. We pulled out our old M&M trick, and I guess he just doesn’t like chocolate very much because it was not an effective motivator. We had charts and stickers and a treasure chest. I do not know precisely when we crossed over into dry during wakeful times, but it happened, and I was grateful. 

Nighttime / nap time took a bit longer. Like 8 months longer. He decided one day that he didn’t need a pull up at nap time anymore and never looked back. I also suspect that he stopped sleeping at nap time at around that same point. Nighttime training was rough. He had so many thorough accidents that we purchased an additional mattress protector to add to our hoard of 6 sheet sets, each with its own piddle pad to go with it. My husband and I can strip and remake a bed AND put the bedding to wash WITHOUT opening our eyes. I may exaggerate, but it was a steady part of our nighttime routine. Until it wasn’t. He gradually had fewer and fewer accidents, and now they truly are rare occurrences.

Back to the carpet. Ours took a serious hit. The stench was overwhelming at times, and persisted even after having it professionally cleaned. So, we had them removed and replaced with a vinyl tile.

And it was worth every penny.  

Sarah Keating
Sarah is a 30-something mom of four children under six and wife to her high-school sweetheart. She returned to Acadiana two years ago following her husband’s completion of medical school and residency in Shreveport. After the move, Sarah switched gears from full-time pediatric speech-language pathologist and working mom to full-time stay-at-home mom to her brood. Her current hobbies include “speech-therapizing” her children, re-reading the Outlander series, catching up on her Netflix queue after the kids go to bed, completing XHIT videos at naptime, and taking her medication every morning. She loves and respects the sacredness of motherhood, but sometimes you just have to let go and laugh it out. Motherhood has been the most humbling, and empowering journey she has experienced.


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