Potty Training Our Second: We Just Didn’t

Potty training is one of those things can send send a shiver of fear down the spine of a parent. Even several years later, many parents have a kind of PTSD when it comes to getting their children out of diapers.

My story is no different.

It was June when my first son’s daycare sent a note home that he was ready to potty train. I was not. He was just over 2 years old and I was basically 11 months pregnant with my second child. In fact, it seemed like the absolute worst time to take on this endeavor. But I was a naive first time parent. I had heard tale that boys were basically impossible to potty train – especially before three. But what did I know? Daycare knew all, right?

Lol. Yeah.

So we sent him to school in undies. He was actually doing fairly well until his little brother was born. This big shift made things even more difficult. He definitely didn’t want to give up his diapers – not when the baby had them. We struggled with dirty undies sent home from daycare for 2 months until both boys moved to a new daycare. Because why not pile on more change for a potty training toddler?

And reader, you know what happens next.

He struggled even more at the new daycare – who was extremely laissez-faire about the potty training. I took this as a sign that he just wasn’t ready. We relaxed at home a bit and took a break from the sticker charts and treasure boxes. But not for long.

He turned 3 and the new daycare started asking him to be brought in pull-ups. Things became a struggle as he starting to use the potty at home but not at school. In fact, if he had an accident, they would immediately put him into a pull-up. So, we resorted to crash courses – spending entire 3-day weekends at home, without pants, desperately waiting for things to click.

They didn’t.

Reader, we were rounding on 5 years old. His daycare was still putting him in pull-ups with just one accident. It was extremely frustrating – and yes, if you’re following along, we basically bought pull-ups for TWO YEARS. The most expensive of all diapers.

For reasons we could not control, he switched daycares and the heavens opened up. On his first day … no accidents. And he never had one after that. There were many mitigating factors involved in his potty training but I think it boils down to lack of support and consistency at his former daycare. Here we stood at 5, finally potty trained.

So you can understand why I wasn’t rushing to potty train my now 3-year-old second child. We had so much anxiety – can we really do this again? What if the same thing happens? We may go broke buying all these pull-ups!

And while we were fretting and worrying, the most amazing thing happened. He potty trained himself.

He opened up his sock drawer where we had bought him some underwear and he put it on. And never looked back.

So, friend – if you are in the throes of potty training, wondering if you will ever see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can tell you from the other side (no matter how old) you will. And it’s glorious. Except I kinda miss the baby wipes – they were great for cleaning baseboards.

Laurel Hess
Laurel Hess is a mother to 2 young boys, a rescue pup, an off-balance cat and likely a few foster pups. She spends her days as President of a local marketing agency, helping craft integrated digital strategies and leading a team of creative collaborators. Once at home, however, Laurel is just trying to find peace with being the World's Okayest Mom. A Dallas transplant in a Louisiana world, Laurel graduated from Loyola University New Orleans in Broadcast Production. She met her husband while she was evacuated in Lafayette during Hurricane Katrina. They lived 5 wild, kid-free years in New Orleans while Laurel served as the Sales and Marketing Manager for the Superdome, Arena and Champions Square, before finally returning to Lafayette and into the wildest phase of life yet ... Parenthood.


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