potty training: one year later

One year ago, we started potty training with MacKenna.  At the time, we had absolutely no expectations.  She is an extremely stubborn child and has her own time line for things.  The original goal was by the end of the summer, with long range goals of by her 3rd birthday (which was in October) and by the end of 2014, since we had a baby on the way.

One year later, I feel like MacKenna is (almost) potty trained!  *Happy Potty Dance!*

While our long range goals came and went without any sign of her even remotely wanting to even try to go on the potty, we knew the clock was starting to tick as she starts preschool in August and I am desperately wanting to get her into gymnastics without doing a mommy-daughter class.  Finally, a few months ago, Matt took it upon himself to encourage her to go on the potty.  I don’t really remember exactly how he did it – I know M&M’s were involved – but he finally got her to sit and go.

It wasn’t just magic and she was potty trained though.  While she very rarely had accidents (I can probably count on one hand the number of accidents she has had), she still was not in panties full time and certainly was not pooping on the potty.

Last summer, after accidentally going poop on the potty the first day we started, she decided she didn’t want to go again and held it – for A WEEK.  It was about the most miserable experience for all 3 of us and was finally solved by A LOT of Miralax.  Ever since then, she has refused to go on the potty.  But, eventually she finally started telling us that she needed to go, she just never wanted to sit and try.  Even when I took away diapers and pullups, she would still ask for them and then would poop in her underwear (OK, pee accidents I can count on one hand).

Again, it was Matt to the rescue who finally got her to poop on the potty.  It was slightly an accident and good timing, getting her on the potty just in time for the poop to go in.  We all cheered and she earned her Barbie that had been sitting on her bathroom sink since last summer.  Unfortunately, that was a fluke and she continued to poop in her underwear.


It wasn’t until last week when we finally made some serious progress.  Matt ordered some Daniel Tiger toys on Amazon and every time she went poop on the potty she would earn one.  She finally figured out what it felt like to push it out and within the week, she had earned all 5 of our toys!  I told her once she had earned all of them, I would take her to buy a Cinderella dress and another toy of her choice, which ended up being a Cinderella Barbie of course.

Finally, one year after we started, I finally feel like we’re close.  She’s had a few poopy underwears this week, but she knows what it feels like – we just have to convince her to actually do it on the potty.  It’s frustrating to feel so close, yet so far away, but I know for the most part she’s got it down.

For those parents who are frustrated that their kid is struggling with potty training, all I can say is, don’t give up.  It’ll happen – your kid just wants to do it on their timeline, not yours.  Those “Potty Train Your Kid in 3 Days” thing isn’t for everyone – and THAT’S OK.  I promise, your kid won’t be graduating high school in a diaper… And hopefully, starting preschool on time!

Oh yeah, and guess who’s in charge of potty training Miles?!  It’s ALL Matt…

  • Katie D.

    I read your posts about MacKenna and they make me feel better and feel fear for the future. My almost 1 year old is VERY stubborn, LOVES to nurse, has never taken a bottle (despite being in daycare full time) and is very much on her own timeline. It feels good that I’m not the only one that hasn’t had BLW success, but I sure don’t like hearing that the struggles continue 🙂

  • Sarah C

    Mine was potty trained in 4 days when she was 2 and then recently reverted to the holding in the poop thing and refusing to go. I’ve read that its common for that to happen when kids potty train too early. Thank God for Miralax. She’s now starting to get back on track. We use Build-a-bear as an incentive.

  • Angela

    We’ve had the exact same experience with our daughter who just turned 3 last month. She still poops in her panties, but has been pretty good going pee on the potty. Agree that it can a lot longer than just 3 days to transition. I just remind myself that it took a long time to learn each thing as they grow, from rolling over to eating, so why shouldn’t potty training be any different? You’ve got yourself a real cutie! 🙂