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Potty Training Plea: Trying to Stay Positive

It’s one of those days. I haven’t slept more than a few hours in the last couple of days. My youngest is fighting a cold, and my 3 1/2 year old is regressing- there’s pee in his pull-up.

He was maybe only using one or two pull-ups a day. Everything was going decent- not awesome but decent. The doctor said he’s trying, and that’s what counted. I’m doing everything in my wheelhouse to stay patient and remind myself that he’ll go when he’s ready.

It feels like we’ve been training him for years. I’ve tried every tip, and I’ve read every article. I feel like he’s going to college in peed pull-ups. I even tried all those methods on Pinterest that promise your kid will be potty trained in a weekend.

What Didn’t Work

  • Wearing underwear only
  • Keeping a small, portable potty close by plus a stool and toddler seat on big toilet
  • Going often- tried every 20 minutes
    Being naked
    Stickers, candy, and other rewards
    Fun potty books, videos, and games

It was going great, and he was down to one pull-up a day with no accidents. He was even holding it at nap time and bedtime. I’m constantly asking him if he needs to go, but he’s pulling back.

He’s not speaking up, and he’s hiding when he’s going in his pull-up. The only other option I have is to stay positive. When he’s ready, he’ll stick with it, right?

I know all kids are different. Everyone has there own pace, and comparing kids is no way to be. It’s just so defeating when you feel like you’re doing something wrong.

Ways to Stay Positive And Persistent

  • Remember that potty training is not a reflection of your parenting abilities. Just because your kid didn’t learn as quickly or as young as other kids, doesn’t mean you’re less of a parent.
  • Keep up with the routine. It’s exhausting and can get overwhelming, but if you keep up with your potty schedule, it will click.
  • Be patient. My kid didn’t learn in a weekend like the last 784 kids I read about today, but he will learn. It takes time. If I lose my cool, so will he.
  • Stop comparing. This is so hard, but it’s one of the biggest keys in staying positive. I can’t compare my kids to those Pinterest potty training toddlers. He’s not them. He’s his own person, and when he’s ready, he will go.
  • Breathe. It’s so hard to relax when you’re a mom with multiple kids and a giant to-do list, but it’s important to breathe and work your way through it.
  • Put the potty first. I have to do the floors, the dusting, and probably fold laundry I forgot about. I’m going to put his potty training routine first. I can do other tasks, but setting a timer on my phone really helps.
  • Be the positive support system your kid needs. My husband and I have been stressed a lot lately, but we try to encourage and support our kids every step of the way. Being positive and having a good support system will always keep the momentum going.

It’s going to be okay, momma.

When I first started writing this, he had peed another pull-up. It’s like nothing is working, but as I write this, I’m calming myself down. Moms need pep talks, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

After every few paragraphs of writing, I ask him, “do you have to go potty?” After doing a few dishes or making the bed, I ask again. He’s successfully went a few times already. I just need to stay motivated and not let him see the stress that is spilling out here.

We can do this. It’s a new year, and we are going to stay positive. We are going to conquer the damn potty!

Feel free to share your potty training experiences. Good vibes are always welcome. Have a great week.


  1. My 3 yr old son basically trained himself. The whole week before he turned 3, I talked it up. 3 yr olds go pee in the potty etc. Of course he had a big party for his birthday and I made sure to tell him the night before his actual birthday that he would be 3 years old the next day. He’s a May baby so we were spending a lot of time outside. THIS was key, I think. He told me the morning of his birthday that he did not want a pull up. I asked where the pee and poop would go. He said “on the floor” with a grin. I said, no sir. You can’t do that. You have to tell me when you need to go potty. Ok mommy. Well he wanted to be naked, so I let him. That whole week he was naked pretty much all the time. Being outside meant that he would start to pee and notice it and then tell me, but it didn’t get on my floor or furniture! He learned what that felt like and got to pee on the trees. Then in the house he would tell me he had to go. I dreaded potty training but he trained super easy and was totally trained in about 2 weeks even when sleeping. Now, I say all that to say, I’m terrified again because now my strong-willed 2 yr old girl seems interested, but I’m so afraid to try and then have issues. I know forcing it won’t work because she is so stubborn. But she seems to be ready…so I dread it. Also, it’s winter so the running around naked thing is not an option. She also can’t pee on trees! LOL

    Anyway, I definitely agree that you can’t push it. Bodily functions is the one thing healthy people can always control so kids tend to want to control that the most…literally mom and dad can do NOTHING about it, ya know?

    He will do it when he’s ready. OH also, I didn’t ask if he had to go. I constantly said, tell me if you have to go. So I’m not really nagging with questions, just reminding to be mindful of the sensation. It teaches the child to notice the need and tell me rather than me having to constantly ask to catch the right moment. Best wishes.

  2. Hang in there! My children were about three and a half when they finally figured it out. It seemed like everyone else’s kids mastered it before mine. We tried a lot of incentives, but what was most exciting for my son was when we put Cheerios in the toilet and he got to pee on them to try to sink them.

  3. I was a nanny for a 3-year-old over the summer and was in the middle of potty training. His parents didn’t want to do it all summer but he woke up one day and decided he wanted to wear regular underpants so it was my first time being a nanny to anyone under 7 and first time potty training lol he was ok after a few weeks with peeing but the poop was another story. We struggled all summer with all the popular ideas (stickers, treats, praise, ignoring it, going back to pull ups, big rewards for actually going on the potty) and then a day before he went back to school he just decided to get it lol. Now I go back to babysit every so often and he’s a pro!

  4. It’s been along time since I did potty training but what we did to transition out of pull ups was take them shopping and let them pick out their own under ware. Then when they stayed dry/ clean they could wear them if they wet/pooped in them they had to go beck to pull ups.
    Try not to stress about it. He’ll get there.

  5. I simply waited until my son was ready, and then some. We started when he was almost 3.5 and he had probably been ready for awhile, but I was waiting until his sister was about 6 months. He was so ready for it he was day and night trained in a week. Poop was another story. He had learned to poop standing up, so we spent months teaching him to sit, and then he started withholding, so we tried a laxative. The last straw was when he pooped on the carpet and we forced him to go on the potty. But it turned out he was confused by the underwear. Briefs are in the same shape as diapers, so we put boxers on him and it worked like a miracle.

    There are so many potty training methods it’s kind of dizzying. But I think it really comes down to child readiness, and a firm belief that no college student wants mommy and daddy to clean their tushie every day. And I agree with Nicole about not asking if he needs to go. My son hates having pressure on him and being reminded to go just a couple of times a day put the control in his hands and he was more than happy to go.

    I laugh whenever I see 101 tricks to potty train a kid in 3 days. Well, maybe it worked for them, but every kid is different and will get there in their own time. Don’t worry; you’re doing a fantastic job!

    • Thanks so much. I wanted to wait until he was ready, but I feel so pressured that he isn’t trained yet. I decided to let him be in charge of telling me. I’m going to cool my jets on constantly trying to control the potty situation. Patience is the one thing I’m happy to strengthen from all of this! Thanks again! 😊

  6. We are at 3 1/2 and deep in the potty training as well. Every kid is so different. What is working pretty well for us is potty training underwear- the kind with the little extra padding in the crotch. He wears them all the time and then a pull-up at bed. I’m not even trying to get through bed or naps right now. One thing at a time! lol. And we have days where he gets a little pee in the undies and he’ll scream “uh-oh! peepee!” and run to the toilet. But the extra padding catches it before it soaks through so no big deal. It took about a month of totally soaked underwear and puddles on the floor to get there though. Went through a jug of vinegar getting pee smell out of the laundry.

  7. My son is now 18 but I remember that I was fretting the potty training and said something about it to a friend. Her answer stuck with me to this day. She said “don’t worry, he won’t be wearing a diaper down the isle.”
    I never worried about that again and it turned out that it was quite easy to potty train him. Now if I could just train him to keep his laundry off the floor 😀

  8. Oh I remember the potty training days, your absolutely right you just need to let go and they will do it when they’re ready, every child is different.
    My son also pretty much trained himself.
    Great read x

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