The no-fail secret to toilet training in less than a year



because-I-said-so-greenYou’ve heard of toilet training in a day? Well, here’s a no-fail method for dragging it out over a year. (Cue best Bridget Jones imitation):

May 2013: Have got this! Am strong, confident woman raising strong, confident daughter. Plus, have already potty trained two other children. Sure, they were boys, and method was to lock them outside all summer after declaring “The world is your urinal,” but still. Have got this! Is just potty training. Will start … soon.

June 2013: Gaaaah! Costco bill. How is it possible to spend $100 on just diapers and wipes for two kids? (Total BEFORE obligatory Costco hiking backpack, and fancy imported cheese, and extra-nice socks, which didn’t really need, but still, love bargains! Love nice socks!) Am going to save so much money after potty training. Baby is too young, but Daughter is ready.

June 2013: Gaaaah! Walmart bill. How is it possible to spend $100 on potty training accessories like gumballs and princess panties? Should just keep buying diapers. Still, will save money in the long run. Am sure of it.

Read “Toilet Training in Less than a Day.” Is brilliant. Is just so simple. Tell Daughter how to use the toilet, and she does it. OF COURSE! Will just do that. Mom invested. Daughter invested.

Except … Daughter sits on new Minnie Mouse toilet seat for 20 minutes, sings songs, reads books, nothing.

Hops off and immediately pees on new carpet.

No mention of this in book …

Love new carpet, hate cleaning up pee.

Give up.

Will just try again in a few months, when carpet and Daughter are older.

December 2013: Winter. Not in the mood for potty training. Am busy in separate hell involving little kids and snow clothes.

March 2014: Next-door neighbor has potty trained son, who is a year younger than Daughter and a boy! “It just kind of happened,” she says. “I wasn’t even trying.” Neighbor is such a show-off. Also, has ridiculously pretty hair.

April 2014: Gaaaah! Costco bill. Am spending retirement on diapers and wipes (and un-needed fancy cheeses). Daughter is older. Mom is older and surely wiser. Will just try again.

Revist princess panties.

Revist list of little-girl celebrities who use the potty.

Cinderella uses the potty.

Aurora uses the potty.

Snow White uses the potty.

Ariel … is half fish. Will just skip over Ariel.

Moral of the story: Princesses do not pee in their panties. Princesses go potty in the toilet.

April 2014: Happy, happy day! Daughter pees in the toilet like a champ. Clap and cheer like raving lunatic. Should daughter win Pulitzer, Nobel Peace Prize and Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes in same day could not imagine more maniacal parental celebration. Gumballs all around. Baby especially excited about this as has learned to chew gum as a bizarre side effect of sister’s potty training.

April 2014: Gaaaah! Daughter screaming. Has tried to use toilet upstairs. Has fallen in. Resist urge to Instagram moment and help Daughter back out, all the while with Baby clinging to legs. (Perhaps Baby wants gum?)

April 2014: So many accidents. Am mortified but used to sight of neighbor walking Daughter home for new panties. Underwear is like expensive disposable diapers because refuse to clean up poop. Will get a second job first (probably not as nurse?). Have visions of Daughter graduating college in a princess Pull-Up.

Also, am going to have to offer to potty train neighbor’s puppy as apology gesture.

April 2014: Buy six-pack of sparkly princess chapstick as Potty Training Bribery Prize. Remember that own younger brother was old enough to ask for — and ride — a skateboard when potty training. Perhaps stubborn refusal to pee in toilet is familial.

May 2014: Ha! Have figured it out.

Mom never goes anywhere.

Daughter never goes anywhere.

Must simply sit by toilet 24 hours a day eating gumballs and putting princess stickers on nearby walls.

No accidents, no problem. Is just so simple.

Luckily, Baby is last child and a boy.

When his time comes, will revert back to method that have already mastered.

Son, the world is your urinal.


Elyssa Andrus has worked as a journalist for 14 years, most recently as the lifestyle editor at the Daily Herald newspaper in Provo. She is a contributor to the KSL-TV show "Studio 5" and is co-author of the book "Happy Homemaking" (Cedar Fort, 2012) with Natalie Hollingshead. She lives with her husband and four young children in Utah Valley.


  1. Avatarpottytrainingsapps Reply

    Our first son began peeing on the potty at 18 months, but he was scared to do “the other.” We tried Cheerios, M&M’s, potty charts, cheerleader rants and screams, but nothing worked. Then we got find potty trains apps and here lot of games is available .We found that our son simply was not interested in remembering to go on his own, so i have taken some help and most effective apps pottytraingapps and effective .

  2. AvatarJessica Reply

    Here i have shared some tips on potty training and this are –

    1.let your child take the lead – never pressure your child if he/she doesn’t want to sit on the toilet

    2. many children are ready by the age of two or two and a half. Some kids aren’t ready until the age of three but remember – you child will get there!

    3.let your child go with you to the bathroom. I really think this put Kayla at ease because she saw that I was doing the same thing that she was

    4.ensure that you work with your care provider during potty training so that a consistent message is communicated to your child

    5.make potty training fun and exciting! let your child pick out the toilet seat or potty, underwear and even pull-up design. Make if fun so that it won’t seem as intimidating

    6.never force your child to sit on the toilet until he goes. That will only increase the pressure and may cause your child to regress or even resent/fear the toilet.

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