I honestly had no intentions of sharing all this because 1. I'm no pro and 2. ewww... a whole post of pee and poop.  However, I had so many questions DM'ed to me on Instagram after posting that our girl was, for the most part, potty trained in basically 3-4 days, I thought I would do a post on how it all went down and hopefully give you some realistic expectations on what can REALLY happen and how we handled it.  I plan on keeping you guys updated if there are any regressions or changes as well!  But so far this is our story.  {I wrote this right after the 5 day mark.}

photo via pinterest

If you don't have time to read this whole thing, here's a short "what we did" version:  

Start taking them to the potty way before you plan on potty training them. 

Get them familiar with the toilet and the idea of using it.
When you decide to go for it, start by clearing your schedule for 3 days.  
Make a trip to the store the day before you start and buy all the things you'll need. 
      (You can find my shopping list at the end of this post.)
Set a timer on your phone for every 30 mins.  30 mins should be good for a 2.5 year old.     
Keep them naked from the waist down for the first 2 days.  Don't break out the panties until day 3.  
Have the potty seat close by for the first 2 days then move it into the bathroom on day 3.  
Pump them with lots of fluids!  More practice = More success!  
And finally, rewards!!  Even when you think they are potty trained... Keep the rewards coming! 

We also used a potty chart with dot markers.  Here's the link to both:  chart // dot markers

Ok... now for the looong version!

Back in March, (Juliet was 2 years and 5 months), I decided that I would start getting Jules familiar with the idea of potty training.  I bought a potty insert for the toilet and I would take her first thing in the mornings after waking up.  I usually kept her preoccupied by letting her brush her teeth, sing songs, or read a book while sitting on the potty.  (Make it a fun thing.)  After a couple mornings of doing the same routine, one morning she actually peed in the potty!  I cheered and basically freaked out, so she knew it was something that made me very happy and would give her accolades!  (That is a huge incentive for her.)  I started setting the alarm on my phone for every 30 mins and letting her wear panties around the house but she had soooo many accidents!  Even with taking her periodically throughout the day, she still had accidents.  I realized that the training pants that I had bought her were actually the problem... she was using the training pants as a diaper.  They were the really-thick-in-the-middle Gerber training pants They are sooo absorbent that it doesn't allow ANY liquid to escape... just like a diaper.  She wasn't understanding that they weren't a diaper.

Now, keep in mind, (for those of you that do not know), Juliet is delayed in speech and has CAS (childhood apraxia of speech), which made communicating with her about the accidents extremely difficult.  Back then she was only saying/understanding a hand full of words.  The speech delay made me apprehensive about starting and continuing to potty train, but I knew she was capable so we kept going forward.

Then came March 12th.  The Reader's Digest version goes something like this, Juliet was admitted into the hospital for a procedure on her small and large intestine.  We were there 4 days.  It was a very scary and traumatic time for her, (and us), so obviously potty training was not our main focus.  After it was all over and she was better, I continued what I was doing before... I still let her go when she wanted but I didn't push it.  I wanted to make sure that her body and mind was healed from all the trauma she had experienced before we started consistently using the potty.

Now fast forward 2 months, to the day actually, of when she was dismissed from the hospital.  I did exactly what I stated earlier, I picked 3 days, cleared my schedule and bought everything we needed to get this done!  Even with her not speaking clearly, I knew she was completely capable and I figured she could handle a big change and a challenge now.  So here's what our days of potty training kind of looked like... You'll see moments that were both, discouraging and encouraging.  It's all a part of it.  Just don't give up!  And remember to clap and go insane with even the smallest of successes!  Also, don't let them see you banging your head against the wall over and over, whatever you do!   


8:30- Wake up.  Pull-up off!  Naked from waist down.  Sat on the potty for 5 mins.  Didn't go.  

9:00- Sat on potty for 5 mins.  Didn't go.

9:30- Sat on potty for 5 mins.  Didn't go.

9:55- Peed in the our bedroom floor.  She cried and wouldn't move... was completely frozen by the weird feeling of pee on her legs.  LOL!  I led her to her potty and sat her down.  I didn't realize that she had stopped herself from going when she realized she was wet and she actually finished going in her potty.  We cheered and clapped!  I gave her a piece of a KitKat, (which was the candy of her choice), and told her over and over again that it was because she peed in the potty!  She was SOOO excited!

10:30- Didn't go.

11:00- Peed in the kitchen floor.  Sat her on the potty.  She didn't have to go anymore.  "Oh well.  Next time."  Cleaned up the mess, changed her shirt, and didn't mention anything else to her.

11:30- Didn't go.

12:00- Didn't go.

12:30- Nap time.  I put a pull-up on her for nap time.

2:30- Wake up.  Her pull-up was SO heavy!  Didn't go.

3:00- Snack time.  I sat her on the potty right after this and she Didn't go.  

3:30- Peed in the living room.  Sat her on the potty and she started to poop.  We all lost our minds with excitement.  She got to pick a princess, (which was of coarse, Belle), but still wanted her KitKat.  LOL!

4:15- Didn't go.

4:45- Didn't go. Decided to space out the time more to give myself a rest and also because I could tell that taking her so often was starting to get on her nerves.  She was starting to cry when I would take her so I backed off 15 mins.

5:30- Peed for days!  Got a KitKat and lots of hugs, kisses, and "I'm proud of you's".

6:15- Didn't go.

7:30- Bath and Bedtime Routine.  I sat her on the potty before putting her in the tub.  She did go!! And I put a pull-up on her for bed.


8:30- Wake up.  Pull-up off.  Sat on potty for 5 mins. Didn't go.

9:15- Started to pee in the laundry room but she finished on the potty.  Still a successful thing, in my opinion!  Cheers and a KitKat!  

10:00- Peed in the kitchen.  I'm guessing she didn't finish??  Who knows?

10:45- Didn't go.

11:30- Didn't go.

12:10- Was starting to act funny so I sat her on the potty while she watched Moana.  (Thinking that would relax her enough to go.)  She finally peed around 12:20.

12:30- Nap time.  I put a pull up on her for nap time.

2:30- Wake up.  Pull up soaked.  Didn't go.

3:15-  I showed her a KitKat and she walked to her little potty and sat down with her hand outstretched.  Hilarious!  I told her, "No, you have to go tee-tee if you want a KitKat".  She peed the smallest amount that she could and shouted, "yay!"

4:00- Had a small accident but wouldn't finish in the potty.  Acted aggravated and scared.  Took her off and didn't make her sit there for the 5 mins.

4:50- Didn't go.

5:30- Didn't go.

6:15- Didn't go.

7:30- Bath and Bedtime Routine.  I sat her on the potty before putting her in the tub.  She did go!!  We cheered and clapped and ate a KitKat in the tub!  I put a pull-up on her for bed.  Since she held it for 3.5 hours at the end of the day I decided to put her in underwear the next day.


8:30- Wake up.  Pull-up off.  Sat on the potty for 5 mins.  Peed on the potty!! Yay!  KitKats for breakfast!  Put panties on her.  We made a big deal out of the panties!  We got dressed together and talked about how she was like Mommy now.  :)

*** Side-note: I started to notice that she was starting to play with her little potty.  She would sit her dolls on it and put toys in the bowl.  I didn't want her to start thinking it was a toy so I moved it from our living room to the bathroom right beside the big potty.

9:15- Didn't go.

10:00- Didn't go.

10:45- Didn't go.  Decided to start waiting an hour between takes instead of 45 mins.

11:50- Didn't go.

12:30- Nap time.  I sat her on the potty before putting a pull up on her for nap time and she went!!  

2:30- Wake up.  Didn't go.

3:30- Didn't go.

4:30- Didn't go.

5:30- Went to the corner of the room and I could tell she needed to go POOP.  She had already started to go, but she DID finish in the potty!  Poop is always harder for them to do, they say.

6:30- Didn't go.

7:30- Bath and Bedtime Routine.  Didn't go.  I put a pull-up on her for bed.


The Saturday night after starting potty training on Wednesday, we took her bowling with her cousins and even though I was nervous about how she would do, I still put panties on her and just made sure that I took extra clothes for her, me and lots of KitKats.  LOL!  She did perfectly!  No accidents.  I took her to the bathroom twice and she used it once.  We also took the little potty with us and let her use it before we left, in the back of our car.  She didn't go, but it was a peace of mind knowing that she tried.  I made sure that she sat on a hand towel in her carseat, just in case.  Sunday she went to Sunday School in panties and didn't have an accident.  I took her to the bathroom after church and she peed, as pretty as you please!  She was also dry after her nap on Sunday and has been ever since.  I buy her the Nighttime pull-ups for sleeping.  She still needs something at night and these are more absorbent than regular pull-ups.


We have taken one road trip to the beach since we began and to eliminate accidents and using gas station restrooms, we took the portable potty along with us.  We kept a small space vacant of luggage in the trunk and put a towel down with the potty on top.  Make sure to take along the clorox wipes to wipe out the bowl after each use.  We found somewhere secluded to park and it made things so much easier and quicker!


We recently had a couple days when Jules' stomach was a little upset and to save ourselves and our upholstery, I put a pull-up on her.  I know people say to not do this and that it will make them regress but we didn't experience anything like that afterwards.  One reason I think she didn't regress is because I still took her to the potty and helped her stay dry, but kept the pull-up on her to manage any clean-up.

1.  Potty seat- We chose the Summer Infant My Size Potty because it looks real and I thought that      would help her understand what it's used for and make the transition to the big potty easier.  We also use this potty in the back of the car when we have to go places.  You can put your clorox wipes in the back compartment of the potty plus any reward/treats, books, or anything else you might need.  Great buy!

2.  Juice Boxes-  Set them up for success!  I bought the Honest Kids Fruit Punch pouches.  I knew it was something that she was would drink a lot of and therefore, be more successful.  More practice = more success!

3.  Candy- I took Jules to the candy aisle and let her show me which ones she wanted to take home.  She handed me a bag of KitKat bars and Starbursts even though she had never had either of them before, it's what she picked and I rolled with it.

4.  Prize- I found this My Busy Book at Barnes and Noble and it came with eleven Princesses.  I sat each Princess on our mantle (out of her reach) and told her that each time she went p**p in the potty that she could pick a Princess.

5.  Clorox Wipes- To wipe the potty out after each use.

6.  Panties/Underwear-  I let Jules pick, but I didn't pull these out for her to wear until day 3, though.

I hope this helped in someway... I know it's a lot of information but I tried to include every detail!  Mainly because, every potty training article I seemed to come across (like the Pull ups website) had good ideas but didn't really prep you for how much failure there would be and how to handle the failure.  So just know that there WILL BE ACCIDENTS!   Lots of accidents and the accidents do not mean that they aren't getting it or that you're doing a bad job.  Just keep rolling with it and don't give up!  Also, the bribes really helped... a ton!  It was pretty adorable once Jules learned what the candy and prizes were for and how to get them, she would start clapping and cheering for herself as soon as she sat on her potty to make us think she went.  Well played, Jules.  Well played.