Potty-training: I am not above bribery.

We began our our first solid attempt at getting our daughter out of diapers this past weekend. I am calling this our first solid attempt because we have been passively been potty-training for the past several months. She showed some interest and would go on the potty a few times a week, but not nearly consistent enough to really refer to it as training. I decided I’d had enough of this haphazard approach and it was time to get’er done!

I did all the reading and researched a few tips and methods. We were going to use a handy potty training progress poster on the wall & some fun stickers…yeah, we’ll get into how effective that was in a bit. I understood that I needed to ask her every 10 minutes if she had to go and get her to sit on the potty at least 2x an hour to try.

We kicked off the fun on Friday night, did away with the diapers for the evening and busted out the super-cute, most adorable & tiniest underwear in the world.

By Saturday mid-day I had learned a couple key lessons about the whole process.

1. Potty-training sucks.
No seriously, it just sucks. Unless of course you really look forward to having your expensive leather sofa pissed on. Then I guess you’re in for a wonderful experience. And you may want to seek professional help.

This was our conversation before lunch:

Mommy: Lilly do you have to pee?
Lilly: No mommy.
Mommy: Are you sure honey?
Lilly: yeah mommy.
Mommy: Ok honey. But when you have to go pee pee, where are you going to go?
Lilly: My poddy!! *super excited that she knows the right answer*
Mommy: That’s right! Good girl. *beaming – I have a smart kid*
**wait 30 seconds**
Lilly: Mommy…I pee pee couch.
Mommy: What?!? I JUST asked you!!

Potty-training sucks.

2. I am not above bribing my child.

By nap time on Saturday it was becoming clear that the stickers were not going to cut it. She couldn’t care less about putting them on the progress poster and when they did make it there, she would go back later and peel them off. 

I was organizing some totes in our basement and came across all the extra grab-bag toys left over from her birthday party. Innovation/desperation struck and I dumped them into a basket. When she woke up, I showed her, cruelly watched her get so excited for them (Mom of the year award for that one) and then explained she would only get to choose one if she went pee or poo on the potty.

The bribery basket of shame.

She had a mini meltdown, then calmed down and accepted her fate….and it worked like a friggin charm! Since then we have had only had 3 accidents and 9 successful potty moments!

Yeah for the little boy in the book
who went pee in his potty!

I realize I am not making some grand discovery by stating the low points parents face with potty-training. I just had to share for other moms & dads who might be feeling the same way.

Ideally, one magical method would work for all and potty-training would be a breeze. But since that’s not the case, you do whatever you feel is effective to be successful with your little one, while maintaining your sanity.


  1. says

    Great blog and so true. Find an incentive and run with it! Some parents take months to find the right incentives. I have some potty training tips on my blog too, also have one on potty trainin regression if the unthinkable happens! :)

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