Toilet training tales…


Something really simple inspired me to write this post. It’s 10 o’clock at night and my little fella stirred in his sleep. He wouldn’t settle and so the Mr went to see what the problem was. No biggy, he’d just mislaid teddy in his bed. Then over the baby monitor (everyone still has one for their three year old, right?)  I heard a little voice say “I need the toilet”. (No, it wasn’t the Mr!). I heard little legs pitter patter towards the bathroom and I envisaged him standing there, looking all cute and sleepy going for a middle of the night wee wee. And it dawned on me there and then. We did it. We toilet trained him. We bloody well did it!

This time last year I was dreading it. Absolutely frickin dreading it. I felt the pressure, as I’m sure every parent does. We had a nearly two and a half year old and it seemed anybody and everybody was talking about potties, pull ups and pants. It drove me mad. I’d bought a potty and EJ thought it was great… as a hat…! It didn’t look like it was going to go well.

I decided towards the end of August to book a few days off work. We felt the time was right to try and crack this thing. We prepared ourselves for the impending doom of cabin fever due to not leaving the house for a couple of days – which is a long time with a toddler, let me tell you. We prepared for the onset of wees and poos in random places and we stocked up with big boy pants, reward stickers and chocolate buttons. We were ready.

It went quite well. Day one was a success. Day two was shit. Cue the onset of disappointment. “But he did SO well yesterday, what’s happened?!”. Day three was better and day four better still. By the weekend WE LEFT THE HOUSE! Admittedly with ten pairs of pants and twelve pairs of jogging bottoms (because they will be your best friend during this hideous potty time). But we left the house. We’d done good.

And it went well. For three weeks it went well. Then all of a sudden, little EJ decided he wanted to wee his pants. First once, then twice and then pretty much every time nature called. I was gutted. What the chuff had happened?! Strangely, little mister continued to use his potty friend for number two’s, which in a way, even though this was good, was really quite frustrating, because he knew what he should be doing, he just couldn’t be bothered.

I tortured myself for a couple of days. I Googled the shit (no pun intended) out of potty training regression and other such terms and just ended up feeling even more defeated. And then I did the one thing all the experts would shoot me down for. I gave up. I admitted defeat and reached for the pull ups and I just let him get on with it.

It was the best thing I could have done.

It was the best thing I could have done because he wasn’t ready. Yes, he may have seemed it at the time but he didn’t yet have the maturity to keep it up. As soon as the novelty had worn off it was more fun to play the reaction game with Mummy and Daddy.

So we left it like that. Number two’s continued to be successful and then low and behold, during the week between Christmas and New Year, the little man woke up one morning and said “I don’t want to wear these pants anymore, I want big boy pants!”. My jaw hit the floor. Panic kicked in. I wasn’t prepared. I hadn’t got any reward charts, or stickers or chocolate buttons (okay the last one isn’t strictly true, we’ve always got chocolate buttons!) But you get my drift right?!


But I didn’t need to worry because he did it all on his own. Something clicked in that little head of his. It was his time and his decision and he hasn’t looked back. We’re not brave enough to go pull up free at night yet, but it won’t be long. He rarely wakes up wet so it is imminent and I’m not worried at all. Not anymore. There’s no point.

But going back to the start of the post. We bloody did it. We cracked one of the world’s most stressful problems. We toilet trained a child. I’ve kept him alive for over three years and trained him to use a toilet. How cool is that?!

So you see, the moral for this story, for any Mummy’s or Daddy’s out there going through TTT (toilet training trauma)… Don’t panic. Don’t stress. If you ever think ‘maybe they’re not ready’ – listen to your gut. You’re probably right. I promise you they will do it when they’re ready. Mine was three and I’ve known some even older. Let them pick their time, because they will and it is SO much easier.

Now go and eat the chocolate buttons, you’ve earned them 😉

Tell me your potty training tales in the comments, I’d love to hear them.

jaki (2)

A Mum Track Mind
Post Comment Love



  1. beccaweatherall
    14th May 2016 / 10:25 pm

    Thank you SO much for writing this! It has really reassured me! My little one is almost 20-months and I am already dreading it. But as you say, we need to stop pressurising ourselves and let them lead us as to when they are ready. I’m sorry it was a bit of a difficult road but I am glad it all worked out in the end for you. A great post 🙂 X

    • 14th May 2016 / 10:33 pm

      Ah I am so pleased I have helped someone. If I only help you then it was worth writing and publishing. It is a horrible period to go through but when it’s done the pride is incredible. Don’t worry yourself. It will happen when it’s meant to. Thanks so much for commenting. X

  2. Gina Caro
    15th May 2016 / 7:59 pm

    I hated the potty training stage. I felt a lot of pressure with my first to get him completely toilet trained before he was 3. That never happened, he just wasn’t ready so we stopped and went back to it a few months later and it happened within 3 days. I’m so glad we held off. With my second I was a lot more relaxed and it just sort of happened quite naturally. I think every child is different and will do it at a different time. #PoCoLo

    • 15th May 2016 / 8:45 pm

      Completely agree. Thanks for reading.

  3. Double the Monkey Business
    16th May 2016 / 7:54 am

    You are so right, listen to your instincts. Hard not to get stressed about it though… #fortheloveofBLOG

    • 16th May 2016 / 6:35 pm

      Oh it’s really easy for me to sit and say it now but at the time it was the worst thing in the world ever!! 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  4. The Pramshed
    19th May 2016 / 5:11 pm

    A big well done you! That is brilliant that your Son managed to crack potty training by himself and declare that he wanted the big boy pants! I’m impressed that he used the potty for number 2’s to begin with – much tidier than doing it on the floor. We are not yet at this stage, quite a long way off, but I will keep in the back of my mind a TTT. I’m sure that when we are going through it, I’ll be searching Google for advice and reaching out to fellow bloggers for support. Thanks so much for joining our party at #fortheloveofBLOG, we hope you come back next week. Claire x

    • 19th May 2016 / 5:45 pm

      Aw well I wish you all the best when the time comes. If I can get through it anyone can! They’re so clever really when you think about it. Thanks for hosting a great link party. I’ll definitely be back. X

  5. Morgan Prince
    22nd May 2016 / 2:58 pm

    Well done for surviving! My eldest did it in a week when he was 3, within a month he was dry at night too. It was all very easy and simple. So when it came to training his younger brother I thought it would be just as easy… pah-hah! Not a chance. He regressed lots of times. And it took him until about 4 months ago (he’s now 7) to be dry at night too. I wondered what on earth I’d done wrong. But it turns out, like you said, he’d just decided it was time. I hope your little one is dry at night soon too. xxx
    Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo.

    • 22nd May 2016 / 3:09 pm

      It’s not the nicest time in parenting is it?! But we survive this and everything else! 🙂

  6. ravenswingthog
    23rd May 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Great post! It took us ages to get there with our little one, lots and lots of backup pants and trousers, and very frustrating at the time. But eventually you get there 🙂

    • 23rd May 2016 / 10:47 pm

      Oh God isn’t it one of the worst times of parenting?! But so worth it. They make you so proud when they finally crack it! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Toilet Training Tales | Baby & Children's Market BLOG
  8. 13th December 2017 / 4:13 pm

    Ahhh been meaning to read this for a while since you mentioned it after my post about why we gave up. Such a good post and so good to hear what you went through. My daughter will be 3 in January and she’s interested and does the occasional wee on the potty if she’s bare after a bath/in the morning during nappy change time, but i’m not pushing it after all the stress we went under! I’m waiting for her to say she wants to do it again. Very similar experience in that I thought she had it then she didn’t. Thanks for sharing your story xx

    • Jaki
      13th December 2017 / 6:23 pm

      Thanks for coming back to read it. It’s so much easier when you stop stressing isn’t it? Be prepared, she may decide after Christmas, like ours did!! 🙂 xx

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