Not Uncharted Territory

Ladies and gentlemen, first let me give my humblest apologies for my extended absence. The little people and I were visiting relatives in New Jersey, and I have a rule about blogging while visiting family: I just don’t. I never seem to find the time.

We arrived safely Tuesday, and Wednesday morning I promptly began what has been the most dreaded parenting task to date:

Potty Training

Or if you are vaguely British:

Toilet Training

That still sounds weird to me.

Anyway.  Madeline is quickly nearing her second birthday, and for more than six months now she has been able to tell us when she needs to use the potty and use it successfully.  She wasn’t consistent, and she might end up using the potty only once a day or less.  Nonetheless the signs were there.  This little girl is ready to start learning to get rid of her diapers.

But I wasn’t ready.  I hadn’t studied how to potty train a toddler.  I didn’t know what method to use, how long it would take, what materials to use (besides a potty, of course).  After months of mildly useless internet searches I have come to one conclusion:

There is no right way to potty train your child.

Differing advice comes from all over the blogosphere, as well as informational websites like WebMD and  Some sites claim babies can be potty-trained by 18 months without the use of training pants, while others say waiting until 3 or later will ensure quick success.  I have read how some parents leave their child without diaper or underpants and simply put them on the potty when they see them going number one or number two.  I have read others who swear by complicated reward systems

Seriously.  It’s just potty-training.  Could there be that much variation?

Considering I have not yet successfully potty-trained any children I have little room to talk, but I will share how Beard and I intend to go through the process with our oldest:

  1. Training pants:  I felt these were nice to use because they allow Madeline to pull up and down her own pants but absorb more accidents than just plain underpants.
  2. Little potty:  Because, let’s be honest, the big potty is at eye-level with her.
  3. Reese’s pieces:  One for number one and two for number two.  Simple, yet effective.

We will not be disciplining any mistakes in potty-training, because that seems silly.  She is still learning this behavior, not willfully defying our training.

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas for successful and simple potty-training, please send them my way.  I would love the help!


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