Potty Training 101: Lessons Learned

I promised last week to continue my potty training 101 rant. This time, I am going to share the lessons I learned in potty training Nicholas and Antoinette. Let it be know that I am not doing this alone. I get a lot of help from Ate Joy who, one day, fiercely declared that she’s not allowing the twins to wear pull ups.

Oooookay, I said.

What if they mess up?

Well, Ate Joy answered, if they mess up, they mess up. That’s part of the training.

I am not going to pretend, I am not going to be able to do this without Ate Joy especially with the string of work responsibilities I am face with.

Potty training is now the top 1 most talked about subject at home. We don’t fail to discuss it. While Ate Joy and I compared our notes, I thought of sharing these lessons… the lessons we both learned when you’re potty training your toddlers.

1. Ask the real experts

I revealed last week how I hoarded on books and read them with the thought that they are going to help me in potty training my kids. Guess what? You don’t need those books. Sorry, here’s one bookworm who’ll tell you that in the business of potty training, you don’t need those books. I am talking about books which mothers like you and me buy. I still recommend getting the potty books for kids though because they help your children understand the parts of their bodies. We love Once Upon A Potty by Alona Frankel.

This is me and Nicholas in the restroom. 😉


But back to potty training books meant for mothers and parents and adults… many of them discussed the psychology that goes with potty training. But seriously, did your grandmother read some material “Train your child to be potty independent for one day”? Uh, uh. Nope. Nada. Drop those books, talk to your mother, your cousin, your neighbor.

There’s wealth of information from mothers and women who took this “course” ahead of you. They’re going to give you realistic tips. They’re going to share what they know…free of charge. They’re the people who won’t sugarcoat the process. So ask the real experts, the ones you can relate to.

2. Just do it.

I am not saying don’t do research. By all means, go ahead. Read books, ask questions, search the net for testimonials and videos.

But my point is that when it comes to potty train, watching videos and reading those books alone, will not wipe your child’s butt or make him sit on the toilet. In potty training, you just have to do it. Quit strategizing for too long, chances that plan will divert its course on Day 1. Just do it. Just get up. Talk to your kid. Repeatedly tell him or her the best, most appropriate place to poop or pee. Bring the kid to the toilet. Let the kid seat even when no pee or poop comes out. Repeat one million times.

3. Overdose on patience

Not all kids are the same… even twins. Nicholas learned fast. He’s currently my crowning glory in the field of potty training. Antoinette has proven to be my Achilles heel. What will I do with this bomb of a kid? I swear I’m getting a taste of my own medicine. The temper of this girl is me raised to the power of one trillion.

Ate Joy believes that Antoinette is in the process of accepting the fact that she’s growing up and not anymore a baby. She rebels against that fact so she throws a tantrum when there’s no pull ups prepared after her morning shower. Last Saturday, I brought her to the department store to buy colorful undies. I thought this may entice her. But noooo… she still pees on her pants.

I have to overdose myself on patience to avoid screaming. It can be frustrating, I swear. Imagine cleaning and washing tons of bedsheets and blankets, chairs and sofas. I lost count how many bottles of isopropyl alcohol I purchased to disinfect the entire house.

4. Don’t scrimp on praises.

This is what we learned though to encourage Antoinette to pee and poop in the right place: praise Nicholas for a job well done.

Yes, that’s it. Clap your hands.

Contrary to what other people say that she may feel bad because the twin brother was praised, Antoinette actually did better when she hears us praising Nicholas. We observed that she also wants to be praised so she drags us to the restroom, sits on the potty and tells us when she’s doing her things. She wipes, she flushes, she gets her praise.

We have ice cream as a general reward.

For Antoinette, whose Italian blood is so evident in her choice of food, we always have spgahetti in tomato sauce with meatballs prepared.

I hope to end our year with two potty-trained toddlers. They are currently homeschooled but the plan is to enrol them in a regular school next year so they can interact with more children. The goal is their potty trained by that time so they can just tell their teacher that they need to go to the restroom whenever they need to. By then, we will be on the second run of our potty training series with Jeff Jr. as our lone student.

Appreciate your inputs on this matter. Feel free to share, comment or send me a private message.