The Lazy Potty Training Method

Image via Mindi Stavish

My husband and I are on our third round of potty training, and we are a bit exhausted.  Our three boys are six, four, and two; and have non-stop energy from the time they wake up, until the time they lay down their little heads at night.  Needless to say, we are tired.  Tired from having three kids.  Tired from being a dual-working family.  Tired from the constant fights, tantrums, and tears.  Tired and yet happy, but did we really need to throw potty training back in to the mix this soon?!  

I had no intention of starting to potty train our youngest after he turned two in June.  The thought never even crossed my mind.  Even though I cloth diaper, and our washing machine and dryer decided to break in May,  cloth diapering is still easier than the messes that come with potty training.  Yet, just weeks after turning two, my son decided he wanted to be like his big brothers and pee in the potty.  Out of the blue one afternoon, he followed his older brother into the bathroom, pulled at his pants and asked me to help him take his diaper off.  This is where our lazy potty training method began. 

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With our oldest son, I was determined and excited to have him trained in no time with the three-day potty training method.  After three days of intense follow-the-toddler around and ask him if he has to go to the potty every five minutes or so, we became potty training drop outs.  After that, we took an extended break, because my son refused to even sit on the potty.  Daycare slowly started potty training him and then he eventually warmed up to it at home.  From start to finish, it took him nearly 11 months to become fully potty trained. Exhausting!

When our second son was two and a half, he started showing potty training readiness signs.  I did what most moms would do and was all in with training him.  I let him pick out a brand new potty chair, underwear, and stickers.  When the time came to actually use the potty though, he flat out refused.  Then right after he would have an accident, he demanded to be changed.  Needless to say, about a week into training him he went right back into cloth diapers.  As soon as he had an accident in his underwear, he asked to be changed, so I clung onto this. About two weeks into the so-called potty training, I declared defeat again.  Noah didn't take as long to buy into potty training though, thankfully.  About a month into our first attempt, he declared that he wanted to be a big boy like Xander and, just like that, he was using the potty all the time.  

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So now, with two stubborn kids under my belt I expected Ryker would be the same way.  Sure I went along with his excitement to use the potty like his brother, but I didn't get my hopes up that he would be successful.  For about a month, I have been switching between underwear and diapers with him.  He uses the potty whenever he sees his brothers doing it, especially if we are outside.  He has not reached the point where he will tell me if he has to go, though.  If I put him on the potty at a consistent interval he will go, but most weekends when we are home I don't.  Weekends at home tend to be rare for us, so the last thing I want to do is chase the toddler to the potty.  As lazy as it sounds, it's reality.  My secret to the lazy potty training method is to relax and wait for your child to be 100% ready to do it on their own.  No stickers, potty charts, chocolates, or bribes required.  

What potty training method did you use with your children?



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The Lazy Potty Training Method

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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1 comment

  1. Cherie says:

    We are doing “lazy potty training” with our eldest daughter. She just turned 3 in July and i have a lot of people telling me “it’s the mom’s decision” when she is potty trained. We have tried the special potty chair, the stickers, the calling a special person on the phone when she goes, making a big deal, telling her that only babies wear diapers. Nothing has worked yet. She knows when she needs to go, she will sometimes tell us before she goes in her diaper, most times (espeically lately) she would much rather pee in her diaper than pee on the potty. I say she has hit a plateau. Her sister (will be 2 in dec) has shown more interest in the potty in the last month than my 3 yr old has. I have had a couple of false offers from people offering to potty train her but no one really wants to take on a 3 yr old unless they have to :/
    I sincerely wish you luck! and pray that your journey is much smoother and quicker than mine. (15 months and counting…next baby due in March! not looking forward to 3 in diapers!)

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