Our Potty Training Journey

"Pee Pee in tha POTTAAAAYYY!" That's from one of my favorite movies...Look Who's Talking!
I want to start off by saying I am no expert....on ANYTHING and have only had to potty train one kid thus far!  Our parenting technique is literally Trial and Error.  😂 One of the biggest things that I have learned since becoming a parent is that no two children are alike and what works for some, might not work for another.  However,  I do like to read or talk to other parents about what works for them, get ideas, then make up my own method.  It's kind of like parenting market research.
Charlotte at 16 months old 😂

So last summer I bought two of these Baby Bjorn Potties.  In my super naive new mom mind, I thought "Charlotte is smart, I bet she can be potty trained before Claire is born." HA, She was only 16 months old at the time.  She wasn't ready then.  She loved to sit on her new potties....usually with all of her clothes on.  It was just a game then so I didn't push it.  We just left the potties out beside the big toilet.  Ideally, I was hoping to not have two kids in diapers.....wishful thinking.  I like these little potty's because she can easily dump them into the big toilet herself without making a mess!
BABYBJORN Smart Potty, Gray
Baby Bjorn Potties
We also bought a step stool so she could reach the sink to wash her hands and climb onto the big potty.  Toddlers are finicky and they also like to have options.  Sometimes she wants to use the little potty and sometimes she wants to use the big one.  I don't care either way, I just want to make sure that she uses it!  So we bought a cheap Potty Ring to put on the big potty.  I put a hand towel rack down low next to the sink so she could reach that too!  We try to encourage Charlotte to be as independent as possible so "toddler proofing" the bathroom, has helped with her potty training.

Charlotte turned two on January 27 and one of her gifts from us was this set of Elmo Potty Books.  She was really into Elmo at the time and loved her new books, especially the ones that make noise.  However, she still would not go on the potty.  In our experiences with Charlotte, reading about things she's going through has really helped her transition, prepare, and overcome events/obstacles such as hitting, biting, sharing, getting a new baby, friends moving, sharing germs, etc.  I was hopeful that these would help and they actually did.  I am working on our favorite toddler book post soon.

She also got new panties for her birthday.  We were sure to make a big deal about it and I let her pick them out.  These Gerber Panties are my favorite for starting out because they are so thick and more absorbent than others that we've purchased.

Toddler Girls' 3pk Print Training Pants - Leopard Print - Gerber® - image 1 of 6
Now that she was 2, I started encouraging her to go before she got into the bathtub and made it part of our nightly routine.  Then one day around March, she finally went!  I could not believe it! Her potty trip was incentivized of course with a couple of M&M's.  We continued to use them as "tweets" when she would use the bathroom at home.   
From then on, I would ask if she wanted to wear panties while at home.  
This is where I went wrong.  I was letting her wear underwear sometimes and then putting her in a diaper when we would go places.  She was getting totally confused about when it was ok to go in her pants because she thought she was wearing a diaper.  I take the fault for this because I was too nervous to take her out of the house in panties.  I just envisioned her having a huge accident in the midst of story time or Chick Fil A, and I would be frantically trying to clean it up all while holding a screaming baby and comforting a teary eyed toddler that does not like to be wet.  Sounds awesome right?  I don't know why I didn't think to use pull ups at this point but I did not. #mombrain.  She started having accidents at home and I knew that she knew better but tried to remain calm and to talk about the importance of using the restroom.  I have heard of the 3 day stay at home and let them be naked thing but those that know me, also know that we don't like to stay at home.  We like to go, go, go so this wasn't really an option.
At the beginning of May, I decided that we were going to full on commit and do this.  I've heard potty training is better to do when it is warm out.  Less layers for them to pull down and if you got to go, going outside behind a tree isn't the end of the world.  We went to Target together and we picked out these Target brand Pull ups.
The ones we bought have dinosaurs on them and those are Charlotte's current obsession so she was happy about it.  I randomly decided to brave it and let her wear panties to an outdoor event away from the house that we were going to.  That way if she did have an accident, it would be outside and I could change her, no big deal.
Fortunately, no accident!  She told me that she had to go so we ran to a tree and I helped her squat.  SHE WENT!  Of course she thought that was cool to go potty outside so she tried to do it later at our house.
Miraculously, we survived the week in undies.  She did start getting upset if I would "make her go".  She did not want to just go sit.  I would ask often and she would just run and go when she needed. She will sit there and flip through her books so I encourage you to keep some close by the potty.  Toddlers do not like to be bored!

The next weekend we went on a camping trip and she did AWESOME!  There's something about using the potty outside that appeals to kids so she was happy to go.  No accidents.  I feel like this trip sealed the deal and now there's no looking back.  I sure hope so anyways.  This is the travel potty that we have and I really like it too.  It is easy to get out and put away.  It folds flat too so I keep it in my car with a stash of grocery bags.OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty for Travel - Green

She still naps in a diaper or pull up and sleeps in a nighttime diaper.  If you're traveling, I would encourage the use of a pull up while in the car seat.  Char has fallen asleep a few times and I have forgotten beforehand so I will just stuff a diaper at the buckle and keep my fingers crossed that she won't go in her sleep.  So far she hasn't but I am not going to push my luck.  I also keep extra clothes, undies, pull ups, wipes, and bags in a bin in my car.
The true potty training test though was this past Friday.  We went to Target and then to Chick Fil A.  Char is notorious for going to play in the kid area and pooping in her diaper.  It never fails.  I will have to either take both girls to the car to change them or fit both of them on the changing table without letting them touch anything. ew germs.  It ain't pretty or fun!
Anyways, I held my breath and in she went to play. 5 minutes later she came to tell me that she had to potty!  We made it and she went!  Hallelujah.  She only pee peed so I wasn't in the clear yet.  10 minutes later, she came back to me and said she needed to go.  We high tailed it to the bathroom and I somehow held Claire and Char while she did number 2.  It was a miracle!  If you do have a baby, I recommend keeping your ergo or infant carrier/sling handy.  Typical, I did not have mine with me but will now try harder to remember it since I don't really carry Claire in her car seat anymore. #shesalmost20pounds
So that has been our potty training journey.  Again, every child is different and they will let you know if they're ready or not!  I hope some of this helps and I'd love to hear what has worked for you!


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