Potty Training Reflections or The Thrill of Success & The Agony of Defeat

The Thrill of Success

On our week-long trip to stay with relatives in Southern California, potty training went better than anyone could have hoped. My toddler still regularly poops in his underpants (I’d say about 25% of the time). I wash his poopy underpants with his baby sister’s cloth diapers. We bought pull-ups for the trip, but decided not to use them until he actually pooped in his underpants. One week later, he was still in underpants. He only pooped in the potty! We did bring our new favorite Baby Bjorn potty with us. My previous favorite is now just a bit small for him. My baby (nearly one year old now) also continued her awesome track record with pooping in the potty. She did not have a single poopy diaper during the week-long trip. She normally uses a potty seat, but on this trip she just used her brother’s potty.

The Baby Bjorn Smart Potty - our new favorite potty.
It's a good size for both the one-year-old and the 3-year-old.
It's compact, sturdy and well-designed.
It has a little rubber on the bottom to help it stay put.
My husband appreciates the removable pot.

The Agony of Defeat

Today is our first full day back home. My toddler pooped in the potty this morning. Then he pooped in this underpants and made a huge mess in the bathroom trying to remove his underwear by himself (it was not a very solid poop, shall we say). I ended up showering him and cleaning the entire bathroom floor. Later, after lots of fussiness from the baby (she’s been generally fussy this past week), the baby pooped in her diaper. Was she trying to tell me something with all those grunts and whines? She also got a bath.


I know my self-esteem should not depend on where my children deposit their bowel movements, but it’s hard not to get my hopes up after a few days of success. And then it’s somewhat inevitable that I will feel like a miserable failure when all those hopes and dreams are dashed to pieces by. . . poo. I try to remember that really I just want the baby to sometimes poop in the potty so that she doesn’t have to make the psychological leap her brother did when it’s time for full-fledged potty training. I try to remember that only a few months ago my toddler would sit on the potty reading stories for hours, and then poop in his underpants soon after I put them on.

I try to remember. . . it’s just poop.

For more tips, tricks, and tales from our potty training adventures, visit my CLICK HERE.


  1. The words potty training send shivers down my spine. Let's just say that even after potty training two kids I don't have any confidence in my abilities to potty train my third. It's so frustrating and time consuming and all around crazy. For those people whose kids potty train in a week, go you! But for the rest of us, the six months to a year (or more) process is very hard! At least I have learned by going through it before that it does have an end at some point. So keep trying! Good luck!

  2. Bless your heart...truly. I can't imagine working on it with both. My younger one is over 2 and the only that motivates me to start with him is how cute his undies are. Anyway...thanks for stopping by last week! We are loving the windows and now know to never ever rent in the UK w/o double-glazing!

  3. megan, I agree. Not my favorite. But I now feel that earlier is better than later. Miss Mommy, watching for signs of pooping with both is not too hard, since they are often in the same room (annoying each other). Sometimes they both need help at once, though, and that can be frustrating.

  4. Hang in there! You are doing a great service for your daughter by starting early...just focus on reading her signs and stay relaxed about it. And your son will get there! With my son (25 months), if he has a miss, I figure he either was too busy to pay attention, or he wasn't feeling well. Sometimes it's hard not to get annoyed at first, but then I realize that maybe something is off for him, and my feelings change from annoyance to sympathy.

  5. ahh yes. poop. i hate potty training. the boys are confused. i'm confused. my daughter was sooooo much easier. i can't believe how inconsistent they are with going in the potty. some days are great. but mostly they are not. weird


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