Potty Training: A Boot Camp Diary

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Our daycare has a fee structure that dictates that if your child is potty trained when they are in the pre-school room your monthly cost goes down by around $200 a month. When you have two children in daycare this is more than a big deal. In the beginning of July we received the potty discount for Molly and crossed our fingers that Jack would get there shortly after – he did not. After several conversations with other parents of boys one recommendation for getting Jack toilet trained kept on coming up: The Potty Training Weekend (AKA 3 Day Potty Training Boot camp). Our goal: to have two day-time potty trained toddlers.

Essentially: you take off the “training wheels” or diapers and put them into underwear and pants as if they were potty trained, ask them if they have to go every hour or two and by the end of the weekend….they SHOULD be potty trained. Some people recommend having the child wear no pants all weekend, we did not go that route. We put on diapers for nap and bed time, handed out stickers and a lot of congratulations for any successful trips to the potty. We fed both kids a lot of water, watered down juice, freezies and watermelon to keep their bladders full and had purchased boys underwear in bulk from Target to ensure that we didn’t run out.


Here’s a summary of how it went:

Day 1
There have been nine costume changes today for Jack and three for mom because of what I like to call “pee and sit” which is when he pees and then sits in my lap. There has been absolutely no success. In fact, Molly, who is jealous of all the attention Jack is getting, has backslid and had three accidents today. She hasn’t had as many accidents as she’s had this afternoon in ages. This evening I will scour the internet to find out if this level of failure is normal, result: definitive yes, sometimes. Sigh.

Day 2
We now have a toilet or potty on each floor of our house including a Winnie the Pooh potty sitting on the tile floor of our front hallway. In the morning we have a 50% success rate for Jack. We hand out stickers to both Molly and Jack whenever anyone has any success on the potty. As recommended we let the children carry their chamber pots to the toilet to flush. In the afternoon Jack has three accidents at Nana and Papa’s house. By the time we leave he’s wearing a skintight pair of Molly’s purple floral leggings because we’ve run out of clothes for him. At nap time we hear a commotion in the nursery. I go upstairs to investigate and find both children completely buck naked. The only thing that Jack is wearing is a pair of snow boots on the wrong feet.  Later, both minions are so excited about the front hall potty that they routinely run to the front of the house to pee and chat with our evening company while they drop trou. Molly has no accidents.

Day 3
Jack has a 75% success rate this morning and tells me mid-poop that he has to poop. Albeit incredibly disgusting I consider this a major victory. This afternoon we head to an outdoor market in the distillery district where both children will be strapped to our chests. We opt to utilize diapers for those few hours to avoid spreading E. Coli around the city and all over our torsos. Nap time ends yet again with buck naked Jack parading around the nursery, only without the boots. He has peed all over the “Quiet Town” road carpet and terrorized toys everywhere. That evening we have a 50% success rate for Jack before we call it a day.

QuiettownQuiet Town Pre-Pree Destruction
Jack is by no means potty trained and I will wholeheartedly admit that the weekend was exhausting, frustrating and pretty darn gross: but this is the most success we’ve seen from him in potty training to date.  Previously we’d be lucky to get one successful trip to the potty an evening with a handful during the day at daycare.  Last night he asked and successfully used the potty twice, with minimal coaxing from Chris or I.  As thrilled as I am about the temporary piece of furniture on the main floor of our house and two toddlers bent on carrying a little bucket of pee through the house to dump, It’s going to stay in the front hall a while longer.  We are going to do some diaper free evenings and days in the coming weeks and put Jack in Pull Up diapers more often to help him with his Independence.  We will be providing a new meaning to the Labour Day Weekend as we embark on the Three day Potty Boot camp number two next week…stay tuned.
This post originally appeared on my blog Multiple Momstrosity but I thought I would share it as a part of HDYDI’s Toddler Thursday Series.
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Sara is a Toronto, Canada based writer and working mom of multiples. Her blog, Multiple Momstrosity was named one on Toronto Mom Now’s 2012 Top 30 Mom Blogs. She is a two time veteran of the Three Day Novel Writing Contest and has written an unpublished novel, This is You Without Me. She lives in “The Junction” with her husband Chris and spontaneous fraternal toddler twins (Molly& Jack).

2 thoughts on “Potty Training: A Boot Camp Diary”

  1. I’m laughing…with you, I promise!

    My girls trained pretty easily, but still, it was EX-HAUS-TING. My one big piece of advice…don’t forget to reward YOURSELF for the effort! 😉

    Good luck!!!

  2. $200 is a big difference for potty trained vs. not! That’s definitely motivation to train him for sure. My daughter’s preschool only charges $50, so I may not be so inclined, especially if it’s as difficult as it seems like you’ve got it with your boy. Best of luck for next weekend!

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