I NEED all the tricks! A journey in potty training the stubborn 3 year old.

Can I ask you a question? Mom to Mom (or Dad, or Grandma, or whomever can help me) Was your little one easy to potty train or did you have the stubborn little one that yells no, gets mad at you and thinks it's a big game? 

(I love Zooey Deschanel)

You see, my son was so easy to potty train. At 2.5, he read a book, said oh, ok, that's how this works and 3 days later was totally potty trained. It was one month before I had my little girl. I freaked out. I just knew it was going to be a big debacle. A new potty trained 2.5 year old and a newborn! I knew he would regress, that I would be nursing and having to deal with potty breaks, oh the trouble I thought I would face. You know what, I didn't have much of that. Sure there were a few butts wiped while cradling a little one, but it was so rare. Boys can pee on the side of the road so easily and he could hold it forever. He fretted so much about peeing on himself that if he had to pee in the middle of the night he woke up screaming with worry. I never had to even ask him, he just went. 

My daughter is not like this. I am a firm believer in waiting until they tell you they are ready, going with their body clues and not pushing them BUT, at some point you have to jump in. What if they are just too stubborn and diapers are just easier because you don't have to stop the fun of torturing your big brother? Sigh, I feel like we are at this point. 

About 6 months ago she started giving me clues she might be ready, we talked about it, we started potty trips first thing in the morning since she wakes up dry anyway, just before bath as the water is running, you know, they likely times. This quickly turned into a fight. She didn't want to sit on the potty, so I backed off. 


Fast forward 3 months, she reads a book about big girl panties and exclaims in her sweetest little voice: Let's do this! 


So on her third birthday we headed off to Target to pick out her first pair of big girl panties! It was a special Mom and daughter shopping trip with good treats and her making her own choices. It was a big day that she was super proud of! 

real life family photographer Lithia, FL Shopping trip at targetThird birthday mom and daughter special shopping trip to target! real life family photographer Lithia, FL Shopping trip at targetThird birthday mom and daughter special shopping trip to target!

We rushed home to celebrate with cake and presents then jumped headlong into the potty world. It quickly became an epic failure. I tried the every thirty minutes trick, which quickly became a yelling, hitting me, straightening out her body, refusing to sit on the toilet fun time. I mean what's more fun than chasing the naked baby down the hallway as she immediately popped off the toilet giggling? After her first accident she refused to wear panties again.


"I'm not big enough mom" 

"I'm not ready yet mom"



Then I employed the help of the big brother! You know, big brothers are always so helpful...

real life family photographer Lithia, FL Big Brother helpBig brother helping with potty training the 3 year old

Here bud, read to your sister to encourage her to stay on the potty... That worked one time. 

We moved the little potty into the living room. You know, decrease the steps, make it easy. No one wants to stops watching their favorite show. 

real life photographer tampa, fl Potty training basics for a three year oldThe struggle of potty of training

These were also epic failures, so I thought, maybe she isn't ready and we just forgot the whole thing. Every week or so I would ask if she was ready again and she would say NOPE! 


Fast forward to a few days ago. We had friends over and their little girl about the same age was totally potty trained. I thought cool, I will totally use peer pressure! Look at Miss J, she wears big girl panties. Oh how cute, they have kitties on them...Yeah, I will stoop to that level with no shame! And you know what, it worked!! My little one was like, I am totally into this big girl panty thing! 

real life photographer lithia, flIn the throws of potty trainingPotty training with a 3 year old is really hard sometimes

So now today I am armed with orange tic tacs, loud cheers and whatever else I can use to bribe this thing to happen. Yesterday was rough, with a lot of laundry, declarations of how great she thought peeing on the floor was and some choice words muttered under Dad's breath. 

So far so good (it's been like 3 hours), but I will take any and all advice from the experienced potty trainers out there! 

So lay it on! Tell me all the things I need to know to make this work! 


So far this little box is a life saver....





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