Potty Training Techniques: Sometimes You’re Just Winging It



“Yay! Potty training is so much fun!” said no mom ever.

Unfortunately, there’s no way around it. Right now, I am in the midst of potty training our third son. I realized something as we started the process. Potty training my first son is vastly different than potty training our third son. My time is much more limited with 4 kids in the house. (Six years old and under!) I’m learning that it’s okay to break my own rules. It’s okay to change parenting styles (when did that even become a thing?) It’s okay to just wing it. So, today I just want to share some of the differences between potty training Kid 1 and Kid 3.

Kid 1: We went to the store and picked out underwear before starting potty training. We had generic trainer underwear that were a little padded, and Mickey Mouse underwear to put on after the first week. Supposedly, it helps get the kid excited about potty training.

Kid 3: Dug out Kid 1 and Kid 2’s underwear that didn’t fit them anymore… because chances are that they’re just going to get ruined the first few days anyway.

Kid 1: I told myself I would never give my kids sugar as a reward. I made a “sticker book” and gave him a sticker for trying, and a big sticker for going in the potty.

Candy M&Ms- Potty Training Reward- Corpus Christi Moms Blog

Kid 3: He tried going potty, here’s 1 M&M. He (finally!) went in the potty, here’s 3 M&Ms. He went poo-poo in the potty; here’s 10 M&Ms. He went all day without any accidents; here’s the whole dang bag of M&Ms! Slight exaggeration, but you get the point. There were lots of M&Ms involved.

Kid 1: He sat on his potty while I was in the bathroom with him the whole time. We sang potty songs and read potty books while picking out potty stickers.

Kid 3: I plopped him down on the toilet, set a timer, and told him I’d be back when the timer went off because I had to make sure his baby sister wouldn’t try to eat any Legos they left on the floor. He basically potty trained himself. Again, slight exaggeration, but I was much more hands-off this round.

To all my potty training moms out there: Just know you’re not alone in these dirty trenches. Trust your gut and potty train however you see fit. You wanna use stickers? Use stickers. You wanna use candy? Use candy. You don’t want to use a reward system at all? Then don’t. We all parent differently. So, let’s just respect that fact, but also learn from each other in the process. 

I’d love to learn a potty training tip from you! Share below!