Are You Really Ready to Potty-Train?


potty training Providence Moms Blog



If you type “potty training” in the Google search bar, you get over 17 MILLION results. Want to know why? Because it’s the most confusing and frustrating part of parenting a toddler. Not only that, but NO ONE knows what they are doing. Sure, there are people who train their kids in a day or whatever, but that’s the exception, not the rule. If it were the rule, then there would not be 17 million ways to answer your potty training questions. Us ordinary folks have no “one-size fits all” solution.

Trust me, I know. I have four kids. Three are potty trained and I honestly have no idea how it happened. People ask me for advice about the logistics of potty training and don’t believe me when I say I have no clue. It was a very dark time in my life, and I am just happy to have gotten through it with most of my sanity.

Are you thinking about potty training? Have you noticed the baby that has been following you to the bathroom for the past two years now wants to sit on the potty? More importantly, are YOU ready for the highs and lows of potty-training? I have come up with a checklist to help determine if you, the parent, are truly ready for the craziness of potty training.

The Ordinary Parent Potty-Training Readiness Checklist:

_____ I am prepared to move everything I own into the bathroom for the next week. Books, snacks, a pillow to sit on, and device equipped for watching copious amounts of Daniel Tiger.

_____ I have taken at least five potty-readiness quizzes on behalf of my child, and I think he/she is ready. Maybe. I’ll take one more after I read this to be sure.

_____ I have something potty-training related starring Elmo or Daniel Tiger. No other characters will work.

_____ I have practiced my reaction time for when my child has the “about to pee my pants” look of terror on his/her face. See the look, spring into immediate action. See and spring

_____ I have practiced sprinting with my toddler in my arms, while calmly reassuring them (“hold it, you’re okay, keep holding it,”) and can get the toddler to the bathroom AND SITTING ON THE POTTY in under two seconds. 

_____ I purchased new yoga pants for the five pounds I will gain eating the “YAY! You went potty!” M&Ms. 

_____ I have explained to my friends that all I will talk about for the next two weeks are my child’s excremental habits. They understand this and have promised to remain my friend through this difficult process.

_____ I have recited the phrase “pooping can be scary sometimes,” until I can say it with a straight face and proper accompanying emotion. 

_____ I promise I will not post any “success” pictures on any form of social media. I know the momentary excitement may cloud my ability to rationalize, but I have made this decision ahead of time, while clear-headed. I understand no one wants to see pee or poo in a potty, no matter how much energy it took to get it there.

Can you check off every statement with confidence? Then you, my friend, are ready to brave the world of potty-training. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Jessica Johnson
Jess and her husband live in Providence with their 4 kids. Jess stays at home full-time with her tiny humans and is figuring out how to manage her home, manage her homeschool, and manage her own sanity. She is mostly convinced that 2 out of 3 is the best she can do! After the kids go to bed, Jess enjoys ice cream and Netflix. Or ice cream and a good book. Or just ice cream in a dark quiet room. Being a mom is a wild and unpredictable ride. While Jess has figured out that she cannot juggle it all, she can try to find joy in the small moments as her own family grows and evolves. Her life, (like her house) can be a mess sometimes, but Jess hopes her readers find encouragement in knowing they aren't alone in the challenges and triumphs of motherhood.