Mission Impossible: Potty Training Edition

Have you ever been in the process of potty training a toddler and felt more like you should be on an episode of Mission Impossible?

potty training

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Believe me, I know just how you feel.

We are in the process of potty training Parker, and it is NOT going well. Today is Day 5 with no diapers, and {fingers crossed} so far he’s doing pretty well. However, he’s started other days off well and ended with dozens of accidents, so I’m not holding my breath that today will continue to go so well.

Last week, Parker got a diaper rash that was so bad it actually took skin off his leg. It looked like he had sat on an oven it was so bad. Bad mom that I am didn’t smell his poopy diaper and he sat in it too long. I had no idea and I felt incredibly guilty afterward.

I also decided then and there that we’d have no more diapers for Parker. And I was serious. His rash was so bad that I could not justify putting him in diapers again. He’s ready to potty train – he stays dry all night long, he {usually!} asks to be changed after he wets or messes his diapers, and he’s smart enough to know what needs to be done.

{Interjecting: He and my MIL and were talking, and she told him that diapers were for babies. He responded with, “Well, if they’re for babies, then why do they make BIG diapers? Smart Alec. But, see what I mean? He’s definitely smart enough to know what he’s doing.}

So, that was the end of the diapers. Into big boy underwear he went. (He’s so tiny that even size 2T big boy underwear hang on him!) I wasn’t looking back.

I don’t use Pullups or any type of diaper-type item when potty training. Not even at night. How will a child learn that peeing {or worse!} in their pants is gross if they can continue to use “underwear” like a diaper.

I knew it was going to be a challenge – I just had no idea how much of a challenge it would be.

Day 1 was Sunday, and it was a complete and utter failure. We ended up leaving church after Sunday School because it was just too hard and he was having too many accidents.

Days 2 and 3 were full of accidents. He just didn’t understand the concept of going on the potty.

Yesterday was Day 4, and I think it finally started to click. Yes, there were accidents, but not as many.

Let’s hope it really does get better from here on out. And it will. With most of my kids it took about a week for them to become pros on the potty. Jace was an exception. He was terrified of going #2 on the potty, so it took several months to master that part. He would hold it for days and days, refusing to go. It was horrible.

If you are in  the process of potty training your child, I’ll give you some advice: DON’T GIVE UP and DON’T GIVE IN. If you start potty training, don’t resort back to diapers. Yes, it’s messy, and No, it’s no fun, but if you want to get them trained quickly, it’s the only way to do it. The first 5 days {give or take} will be absolute he**, but it will get better, I promise. But, if you give in and put them back in diapers, they’ll win, and you’ll set yourself back at least another month. Decide to do it and do it. No looking back.

I’ve potty trained 4 {working on #5!} of my own children, and I’ve worked with hundreds of potty training kids in daycare centers over the years. If you have questions about potty training, leave them in the comments.

So, how’s potty training going in YOUR house?

Angie Vinez (2893 Posts)

Angie is a wife and mother to 8. Her life revolves around cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household duties. She is passionate about her life in Christ and wants to encourage other mothers in their own walk of faith. Angie is active on many social media networks, loves technology, photography, and graphic design, and loves creating blog designs for other mom bloggers.


  1. 1

    What about night time? Do you wake up in the middle of the night and take your son to the bathroom? Our little one is great with days, shopping, and even really long car or plane rides, but if he’s sleeping for a long time…he’ll go in his pants every single time. Any advice is welcome. Good luck w/your training. 🙂

    • 2

      Nope, I don’t wake them up at night. I’m very careful to limit their fluid intake starting about 2 hours before bedtime. It makes a big difference.

      Another thing you could do is put those plastic training pants over his underwear at night. That will help contain the mess and keep you from changing the sheets every morning.

      I know night time training is much harder and it usually takes awhile for kids to get it. Just stick with it, and don’t resort to diapers. Otherwise, it’ll take a whole lot longer for them to get it.

      Good luck!!

  2. 4

    After potty training two kids all I can say is take your time! Patience is KEY! Here from the alexa mania.
    Liz recently posted..Sesame Street: Ready, Set, Grover! {Giveaway}

  3. 5

    My 2yo surprised me by walking into the john, moving his brother’s stool to the toilet and taking a whiz yesterday…all by himself…no prompts. In a moment of mommy ecstasy (read: lunacy) I took away his diapers and slapped some Sesame St. underpants on him.

    In gratitude for my vote of confidence, he promptly pooped himself at the dinner table.
    Jessi recently posted..Flair Yourself Friday: How To Apply Fake Eyelashes

  4. 10

    I know what you mean about skinny little boys and toddler underpants. I had the exact same problem when I potty trained my son.
    Stephanie recently posted..Can Your Toddler Read?

  5. 11

    So glad it’s going well for you.

    We do use the pullups at night. We did a couple nights with nothing, and she didn’t even wake up when she was sleeping in a puddle. So, I figured her bladder just wasn’t ready. But, it does definitely help to not use them the other 90% of the time.

    (Oh, we tried waking up and partial waking up, too, and she would just scream!)

  6. 12

    Potty training is not for the weak, is it? lol. My daughter was easy. We’re working on my son now… The summer heat did awful things to his tummy and so I eased up on the “stay dry and clean” bit.
    Trying again now – and I am on the hunt for more cloth training pants like we had for big sis. (I’d seriously use her pink ones, but he just won’t fit in the 18 months ones she had.) But those cloth ones DID help train her fast!
    OneMommy recently posted..Thankful for Where I’m From

  7. 13

    Ah! We’re right at the potty training point and I’m scared of what it’s going to take to get to the next point!

    I wanted to let you know I’m participating in the Alexa Mania this week!
    Kimberly Michelle recently posted..more blog problems fixed!

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