Let’s talk potty-training. My kids are all potty-trained. Yay! When I was a new mom, one of the things I feared most was potty-training. It scared me to the core and I was dreading it. I did not want to deal with cleaning up pee and poo all day. No thanks. I certainly wasn’t looking forward to doing extra loads of laundry since accidents were bound to happen. People told me it would be horrible. Especially because my oldest was a boy. Apparently, boys are supposed to be near impossible to potty-train. So, I did what any responsible parent would do and I did NOT potty-train our son. Or maybe it was the lazy parent approach- but it worked brilliantly.

Around the age of 2, I did put a little potty chair in our bathroom just in case he ever decided he wanted to test it out. I also added some children’s books about going to the bathroom to our book rotation. I stocked his dresser with Lightning McQueen undies. That was it. We didn’t talk about it. I didn’t ask him if he had to go. I didn’t make him sit on the toilet. I totally let him take the lead. If he wanted to sit on the potty – he did. If he wanted to wear undies – he did. It wasn’t too long and the diapers were gone. Completely gone. No need for them. Not for naptime and not even for bedtime. We went for his 3 year well visit and the pediatrician was shocked that he was fully, completely potty-trained.

I did the same thing for my daughters with equal success. One chose Minnie Mouse undies while my youngest decided Paw Patrol would be her jam. It’s all about giving them control. There’s so many methods that people swear by and I’m sure many of them work for a lot of kids. But for me? I didn’t want to test them out. I’m already potty-trained and wanted to make this process as easy and stress free as possible for me and my kids!

We didn’t stay at home. If we wanted to go do something fun, we did it. The thought of staying home for days sounds miserable to me and my kids but we strive on getting out and changing the scenery. Plus, most places have bathrooms. I didn’t set the timer because I didn’t want to tell them when to go, I wanted THEM to tell ME. We really didn’t change a whole lot when we were in the thick of potty-training. Or lack thereof. We kept on living life like normal and were ready to run if someone decided it was time.

I know a lot of people swear by pull-ups. And clearly, they work for lots of people otherwise they wouldn’t be so popular. Either that or they have a great marketing team. But to me, I feel like it’s a glorified diaper that costs more money. Although, I get the desire if your child still has the occasional accident at night. In that case, embrace the pull-ups!

Those first few times my kids had success in the potty, we did an all-out celebration without treats! We just clap, cheer and jump up and down! Yes, sometimes that means I get applauded for going to the bathroom. It usually gets a few chuckles from the stall next door.

One thing I added to my repertoire when my youngest was learning, is to embrace the nakedness (when at home!). And to keep step stools in every bathroom. She preferred to use the regular toilet instead of the pint sized potty. But being on the tiny side, she needed help. So between being pantless and having access to step stools she was able to make it happen on her own and with plenty of time to spare.

In my experience, potty-training wasn’t horrible. It was actually enjoyable. I loved watching my kids grow and mature. Their excitement over their success was contagious. My youngest took great pleasure in announcing to everyone that she would meet that her undies are dry!

My biggest piece of potty-training advice is don’t do it. When your child is truly ready, it will be so easy. Just let it go and they will (literally) let it go…

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Alissa Kay

Alissa was born and raised in the Midwest and currently calls Wisconsin home. She's happily married to her college sweetheart and she's living out her dreams of being a stay-at-home mom. Although, let's be real, she's hardly ever home. She's the mom to 3 kids who all came to her via adoption. A boy (8) and 2 girls (6 and almost 4!). The kids keep her plenty busy, but when she has free time she enjoys a night out with friends or curling up with a good book.