Bye Bye Diapers: Plain and Simple Potty Training

with our little girl turning 2 1/2 years old in october, the time for simple potty training was here.  as a first time mama, i wasn’t sure where to begin.  what she going to tell me she was ready?  should i wait longer?  was potty training going to be hard?  so many questions initially ran through my head and i found myself equally excited for her to achieve the milestone of potty training but also sad that she would be leaving her last baby thing behind: diapers.  after talking with a mama friend who successfully potty trained her little one, i was inspired to get started and ditch the diapers.  i bought a couple books, a couple supplies and we cleared our weekend schedule.

after reading two books from cover to cover, trying and failing once and rethinking our method, we officially potty trained our daughter in just about 2 days.  and today, we have had a week of accident free playdates, been out to dinner, attended swim class and resumed our normal schedule while staying dry!  she actually started remaining dry, without accidents, around day 3.  i am confident in declaring: she is potty trained!  we are on day 11 of no diapers and officially pulled out our letter board this morning to take our official potty training pictures to document this milestone!

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Bye Bye Diapers: Plain and Simple Potty Training

Plain and Simple Potty Training | Bethadilly Photography |

before i share everything i read and the potty training supplies i bought, i have to be honest and tell you that the first time we introduced the potty about 3 weeks ago…it was an epic failure.  there were tears and resistance and we quickly learned that our little one could hold it all day if she had to because she didn’t want to use that little potty.  after a few days of tears and a husband who had to head out of town for business, mama decided to temporarily give up potty training.  having a husband gone, a breastfeeding baby and a toddler who just wasn’t having it, i put the potty away, put the diapers back on and looked at the calendar, declaring Labor Day weekend as our final potty training weekend.  3 weeks away.  i say FINAL potty training weekend because i was only going to allow us to give up once.  both my husband and i, as well as my reading materials, agreed she was very ready to potty train.  i read that if you are going to give up, you can only give up once.  and you must start again within 2-4 weeks.

labor day weekend arrived and we cleared our schedule again.  we introduced a fun set of big girl underwear, a jar of m&m’s, and allowed her to try juice for the first time in her entire life.  (she didn’t love juice and is still a milk girl!)  after trying on her new big girl undies, she saw her potty again and excitedly declared, “hi potty!  yay!”  wait, what!?

then, she literally potty trained.  not even joking.

we played all day in the playroom and waited for her to say, “pee pee, potty!” and then ran over to the potty and she was successful!  once she saw how easy it was, and that she would get an m&m, she was sold.  she loved it.

and now, 11 days later, we don’t really think about the potty anymore!  it’s just a way of life and she tells us when she needs to go.

easy peasy.  potty training: check!

Plain and Simple Potty Training | Bethadilly Photography |

i am so proud of our experience with potty training!  my husband and i literally looked at one another several times throughout our potty training weekend, saying “is she seriously just potty training effortlessly!?”  especially after our first time fail 3 weeks earlier.  i am so proud that we decided to take a very short break and then were determined to get it right the second time.  honestly, the second time was so darn easy that i am still pinching myself.  we definitely did simple potty training and it worked.

Simple Potty Training Must Haves

(one) a mini potty.  this potty came highly recommended and our daughter loves it.  she is more confident having a potty her size.  we also bought a potty seat for the actual toilet, but she prefers her little potty.

(two) new big girl underwear.  we actually bought hers at GAP, but these are basically the same ones.  once she saw her new underwear, she loved the idea of using the potty so she could wear them.  they made saying goodbye to diapers much easier.

(three) i read two books cover to cover.  i highly recommend reading both.

“oh crap! potty training” (this book was genius and is a must read.  it fully prepared me for EVERY scenario.)

“potty training in 3 days” (this method was more our style and what worked for us)

(four) our favorite books to read to her were/are:

“skip to the loo, my darling”

“the potty book” (for girls)

“once upon a potty”


(five) lots of fluids!  we tried juice for the very first time and she wasn’t a fan (which i am pretty happy about), so we did a lot of water and milk.  the more they drink, the more they practice on the potty.

(six) something fun!  potty training can be a little stressful for your little one.  they have spent their entire life in diapers and taking them away can be emotional.  make sure you build some fun into the weekend and keep potty training fun.  we did m&m rewards (because she never gets candy, so this was a huge treat!).  we rewarded with m&ms for the first week and now she only gets a little candy after pottying if she remembers to ask for one, which she rarely remembers.

we also ordered a fun car for her to play with throughout the weekend (one of our only plastic toys, ha!).  it helped to keep being inside near the potty fun!  it’s meant to be played with outside, but we let her roll around the house in it before it went permanently outdoors.  she loved it!

everyone has their opinion on potty training, so make sure you follow what works for your child.  we didn’t overcomplicate it and just did simple potty training.  we initially didn’t want to do candy, but it flipping works!  and, like i said, it only lasted a week and now she rarely gets any.  to be honest, potty training should remain fun.  it’s a big deal!  your once baby is now taking a huge step towards being a big kid.  it’s a little heartbreaking to say goodbye to the baby days but it should be celebrated!  in my opinion, its a great time to spoil your child and celebrate this huge milestone.  so go ahead and buy them a little something special, they’ve earned it!

but honestly, those two books i read?  read them.  they are game changing.

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