Everything I Don’t Know About Potty Training

Potty talk! Fully acceptable in the circle of motherhood, right? And thanks to today’s sponsor, Cottonelle, I’ve got a whole lot to share with you … about everything I don’t know on this topic. Read on, share your wisdom and don’t forget to grab a coupon!

Jemma turned 2 almost 2 years ago. That’s when I thought she would be potty trained. TWO YEARS AGO. I’ve heard of many toilet competent 2 year olds. Why wouldn’t I have one? She’s smart, cloth diapered (and they say that aids in early potty learning) and I was totally game to buy all the fun panties and potty accessories. But alas, it means nothing. My potty enthusiasm was, and is, for not.

Can you sense my desperation with that little intro?

Yep, at a strong 3 1/2, 4 in October, we are still teetering on the edge of “Is today a panty day?”. I should clarify here and say we haven’t had a pee accident in forever. After months of practice that finally clicked. But poo? Not so much clicking happening there.

I no longer have qualms about people judging me for Jemma’s choices in this department. Because, you see, Jemma has proven herself fully capable of both #1 and #2 making it in the potty. She just doesn’t want to – because she’s 3 1/2 and this is something she knows I can’t control.

Check mate. Check freakin’ mate, little girl.

So, how do you potty train? Or, potty learn as the natural parenting community I so strive to embrace calls it. I do not know. I don’t know one bit. Perhaps someday I’ll have some sage advice, but for now all I can say is “meh”, wipe that bum of hers and pray the dear Lord doesn’t give me two potty resistant children.COTTONELLE 4


Here’s the list of things I’ve tried, just in case you’re curious. And yes, I’ve run the whole wide gamut of options, theories and tricks. Some I am proud of, others, not so much. All have resulted in short term success or smug laughing in my face … Or tears – mine and hers. None of my efforts have resulted in consistent poo in the potty.

So far, we’ve tried …

  • Reading books about potty and how awesome it is to go
  • Setting up a kid’s potty chair
  • Buying awesome potty seats
  • Buying fancy panties – Dora, My Little Pony AND Frozen … maybe princess ones would do the trick?!?
  • A sticker chart for successes
  • M&Ms after each time she just sits on the potty, no pee or poo required
  • A BIG (read, expensive) prize for poo in the potty – for over a month we’ve been talking about going to Build-a-Bear for a giant Twilight Sparkle … no dice
  • Watching mommy poo
  • Yelling – “Poop! JUST POOP!!!”
  • Holding hands and singing songs – to make potty time fun and encouraging and not so lonely
  • Setting a timer for poo pushing focus time
  • “Go poo and you can have _________” – options have included anything from the Frozen stuff at Target, a popsicle a unicorn … WHATEVER YOU WANT!
  • Calling daddy, for both pep talks and congratulations
  • Wearing baby diapers – I finally stopped buying pull-ups because they were definitely providing a poo excuse and now we talk about how Max poos in his diaper because he’s a baby so if she doesn’t want to poo in the potty she’ll have to wear a diaper like a baby – she’s all like, “Ok, mom, can you put a diaper on me?”
  • Talking about cool friends who poo on the potty #preschoolpeerpressure
  • Discussing why she doesn’t like to poo – I’ve REALLY tried to get to the bottom of this, we’ve uncovered no fears
  • Spending time in just panties, just pull-ups and her birthday suit
  • Laxatives – her ped recommended this and I hate that we tried it, because who likes that rush to the bathroom feeling? Well, it didn’t even work, she can hold poo like no one’s business.

I’m sure there is more. I’ve read books, blogs and guides and obviously did something wrong. Or she’s just stubborn. Probably a mix.

One thing I did get right – bathroom cleanliness. Girl has learned to wipe, front to back – first wet, then dry. At least I’ve taught her something! At least I’ve only failed 95% in the potty training department.COTTONELLE 3


Cottonelle’s wet+dry system is super fine because let’s be frank, everyone is happier with a clean bum. I am, Jem is and Max even splits a little grin when his chubby buns are fresh. There’s just something about a flushable cleansing cloth doings its’ thing followed by some cushy dry toilet paper.

Grab a CVS coupon to use when you buy both Cottonelle’s flushable cleansing cloths and toilet paper, it’s a good one, just click to see how much! And next time you’re doing your potty business say a little prayer for us.

And yes, by all means, chime in with your advice and sob stories. I’m all ears! #LetsTalkBums today :)

UPDATE! UPDATE! For the last two days Jemma has pooped in the potty!!! This is remarkable – we’ve never had a two day streak. Never ever. Folks, the day I bought Cottonelle is when it started. Could this be the magic I’ve been waiting for???

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  1. mdott922 says

    Sometimes, #2 is harder for kids to get than #1. The first thing I have to ask, do you think Jemma doesn't know she has to go #2 or does she just not want to do it on the potty? If it is the former, the best you can do is just keep what you are doing and she'll get it. If it is the latter, then you just have to find that one carrot that works for her.

    My son is just about the same age as Jemma and I have been potty training him for over a year and it has only been in the last 2 weeks that I felt that we were really making progress. I tried stickers, candy, books, whatever and nothing really worked until I brought out the big guns…the hot wheel cars. Now, he has a chart and he gets 1 star for every pee in the potty and, when he has 5, he gets a hot wheel. Additionally, poops are a star AND a hot wheel. For him, the hot wheels are worth it.

    • says

      She definitely knows … so I think I'm in carrot territory. I'm sure I'll find the golden ticket soon :)

  2. says

    I hear you, sister! I thought my J would never be consistent. I read every book out there, and was still reding books when I was at the same point you are…creeping closer to birthday #4…with little sis creeping closer to turning 2. We joked that with as stubborn as J was, M would potty learn 1st. And that’s exactly what happened. You might have to read some blog archives of mine ;). When we praises M for being a big girl, J decided to step it up on a regular basis so she wasn’t left in the dust. Good luck with Jemma…I will pray! :)

    • says

      Do pray! I think we're getting closer — but oh my word, so much stubbornness!!!

  3. Loyal RUN says

    Nothing better than some fresh bum cheeks :) haha