“Ima Big Girl!”

Avery wants to tell you something……


“Ima Big girl!!!!!!”


  For a whole week now, she has stayed clean and dry during the day, and she has done her business in the potty.

  Hallelujah and praise the Lord! I thought she was never going to train, stubborn thing! (She will turn 3 this summer you know.)

  053Last week, she got the clean and dry part down, no problem.  The issue was she wasn’t relaxing as she sat, so she wasn’t going……like at all. 

  Like barely even a potty diaper after sleeping, because she wanted it to be clean and dry so bad. 

  After a few days of holding it, she became very uncomfortable, sweaty, and flush cheeked.  We were getting worried!  A friend suggested we let her drink Apple juice all day long to promote going (both ends) and it WORKED!  Don’t you love having other momma’s to run things by and get fresh ideas!  After she finally went, we had a “Potty Parade” and marched around the house cheering, singing and handing out Sixlets candy to celebrate!

   When I trained the other kids, they got 1 little candy for pee, 2 for poo. Avery?  Well, she is a bit more strong-willed, and her poo and pee “cost” more. Maybe inflation at work?  Who knows. She is 2 Sixlets for pee and 3 for poo. 015-2

  I have had 2 in diapers for so long, I almost don’t even know how to act! I’m sure I’ll adjust juuuust fine.  🙂

  Avery’s Nana promised her if she could stay clean and dry for 7 days, she’d take her on a “Big girl ice cream date” in her Jeep. (BTW, riding in Nana’s Jeep or Daddy’s car is Waaaay cool at our house!)  Sunday was day 7, as well as the first morning she woke up dry overnight! Yay, more progress! 🙂 

  After nap was over, Avery came out and announced she was ready to call her Nana for her “Ice Cweam Date”.  She also announced she’d be wearing her “fancy shoes”. 

  In the land of Avery, fancy shoes can vary from her church shoes, to tap shoes, to my shoes, to dress up shoes.  Today’s fancy shoes?  These hot little numbers…..


Just a note here:  1st time Mommy Tonya, would’ve never let her child leave the house in dress up shoes, not matter how cute. 4th time Mommy Tonya….Sure, why the heck not? It’s sure not going to hurt anything! 🙂

Avery is so excited!


We needed a picture with Nana’s shoes too……


Nana and Avery


Off they go!


Bye, have fun!!!!


So if I have learned anything from potty training 3 of my 4 children it is this:

No matter what, it can’t be your idea. 

Not even if you are super stubborn, make cute sticker charts, make them sit in their poo diapers, encourage, punish, or even buy a new toy and put it on top of the fridge to be earned…..

It just won’t work until THEY are ready. Until their BODIES are ready.

Huh, what a thought!

  Without further ado, here are the 3 readiness signs to watch for before embarking on what can be an oh-so frustrating journey!

3 Readiness Signs

1) Child says when dirty or wet. (This happens soon after they start hiding when going.)

2) Can pull pants down and access the potty on their own. (this is important for those times you need them to RUNNNNN because you can’t clean the supper ingredients off your hands fast enough to go help)

3) Wakes up from at least nap time dry.  This is a sign of bladder maturity.  If they cannot hold it during those few hours of sleep, they are not ready to train.

  Trust me, I learned the hard way with Destiny. She showed 2 of the 3 signs at 18 months, so I started training her.  She got scared by some runny (noisy!) poo and next thing I know we are in an all out War to use the potty.  6 exhausting months later, after trying everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING!!!! I packed the whole thing up and said FORGET IT!  A few weeks later, on her own terms, she asked for her big girl undies.  She had 3 accidents EVER.  It was a breeze. (In fact, I still have her original package of Pull ups, that Avery is using now since we only had used a few of them!)

  Tylan was different, I had heard boys are just a bit harder to train, and it seems to take them longer to be ready.  My pediatrician told me the new potty training average is 3-4 years old for boys. (Rather than age 2-3 years like in the past.)  Ugh. Do you know how BIG a 3 year olds poo is?  Do you know that I had that kid in the BIGGEST diapers money could buy, the Overnight version, PLUS rubber pants and he’d STILL wet the bed every night.  His bladder did not “mature” until after he turned 3.  Once that happened, he started to wake up dry and proceeded to train in a week and a half.  I made him wear Pull Ups at night for a long time after for my own peace of mind, but he kept them dry.

  If I’ve learned anything, it’s not to promote “False Starts”. It’s better to never start at all, then to stop and start, stop and start and confuse them.  One day we poo in diapers, the next mom announces no more diapers, and I am supposed to sit down and go in this big hole? Then when it doesn’t work, we are back to diapers?  How confusing!  (Poor Destiny! I totally did that to her, several times!)

  Here are some methods or tips we’ve picked up on the way, but as is true with everything else…..what works for one kid, does not work for another.

~Move potty chair out to the living room where it is easily accessed. (Works great!  Just not with a sibling who is a crawler, Ew! I don’t even need to go there. You know what I am referring to.)

~Train in the summer. Less layers to deal with.  Girls can be in sundresses for easy access.

~Let the child go naked so they can start to recognize the “I have to Go” sensation. Be ready to sanitize well and clean your carpets when you are through! 

~Another option is big kid undies with a pair of rubber pants over it. The idea is for them to experience the wetness. Pull Ups still pull too much of it away from their legs.  We save those for outings and sleep times and talk a LOT about keeping the “Big Girl Pull Ups” clean and dry, just like underwear!

~Do not go back to diapers. A lot of children will wait to pee and poo once they are on. It’s safe and familiar and doesn’t get them out of their comfort zone to be ready to learn something new.

~Start boys by sitting to use the restroom.  I won’t tell you the story about the time Tylan stood to pee, didn’t recognize the sensation and poo’d too….on the way out the door to church no less!!!!  Oh wait, I guess I just told you the story.

~Remind boys to tuck their pee pee between the legs while seated and doing their business. This will save you lots of cleaning in the long run…you never know WHEN that thing will go off!

~As they get big enough to stand, help boys aim better by floating Cheerios down in the water to aim for.  We used to just tell Ty to aim for the hole down there and try to make his pee bubble in the water.

~When an accident occurs, have the child “practice” going to the bathroom from that location 10 times.  This worked well with Tylan.  If he had an accident next to the train table, then he had to run to his bathroom and back, 10 times.  (we let him keep his pants on and just sit on the toilet lid for this practice)  This helps them realize that no matter where they are, there is an easy route to the bathroom.

~REWARD REWARD REWARD!  Destiny had a sticker chart. I made a curved path with squares. She got a sticker each time she went, 1 for pee, 2 for poo and 1 for staying dry at nap and 2 for staying dry at night. At the end of the winding path was a reward. She picked out a doll house she wanted reallyreally bad.  At the end of 2 accident free weeks, she got it!


  Hope this can be helpful to one of you new Momma’s out there!  Learn from my mistakes and save yourself a whole lot of banging your head on the wall in frustration with false starts and lofty plans! 


At our house, there’s always a “Potty Party” goin’ on!



10 thoughts on ““Ima Big Girl!”

  1. Great advice!!! My little Parker is showing most of these signs and he’s 2 1/2, I will def be watching for sign #3 to hit soon 🙂 If not, it’s good advice to not false start to them! Potty Party could be making an appearance at our house soon!!

  2. Way to go, Avery! You ARE a big girl!
    My baby is 28 and has 2 sweet babies of her own, so we’re not really in the potty business any more, but I can totally relate to Nana. I’m Nana, too, and the first thing Jonah Bear (age 4) does when I come to visit is run out into the front yard yelling, “NANA!! Put my car seat in your Jeep so I can ride with YOU!” That boy loves my Jeep, and I love having him as a co-pilot. Lilly (almost 2) really doesn’t care which car she’s in as long as there is music to sing along with. Being a Nana is greatest treat in the entire world.

  3. Woot! Woot! Go Avery, Go Avery, Go Avery! So happy for you both! I loved your advice. I could have used some of it myself a couple of years ago. My problem was I listened to too many people that said they had their kids potty trained at 18 months old. Rather than paying attention to whether he was ready.
    Sigh, I succumbed to parent peer pressure and that I was a failure as a parent if he wasn’t finished by 19 months. Now I realize that milestones like walking, talking, and potty training have absolutely nothing to do with how smart your child is…lol. It is all to do with biology and you can’t trick that! I hope a lot of first time parents will read this!

  4. Congrats to you both! So exciting! I completely agree with 1st time mommy vs. 4th time mommy. I only have 2 of my own but have had many daycare kids through this house and have discovered that some things just don’t matter!

    Enjoy your weekend of freedom!

  5. Congratulations for one more child potty trained! Like Brandie, I also loved your advice and could’ve used it a year ago. My son is 3 years and 4 months old, and we’ve taken him out of his diapers 2 months ago. He still has some accidents, but is now starting to be aware of those accidents and being uncomfortable with it, so we’re on the good track now.
    I also started worrying about it when he was 18 months old, but I had a huge help from his teacher at day care, who always told me that I would know when he was ready, and that I shouldn’t rush it.
    And this year, 2 months after he turned 3 years old, we realized that he was physically ready (he hand’t peed during the night for 1 year!), but it was just more comfortable for him to continue on the diapers, so we chose 1 day and put away all the diapers. Since that day, he started wearing big boy underwear and never wore diapers again (during the day or night), and it worked!

    • You’ve got it girl! Not only do they have to be physically ready, the motivation must be there! And there is no way to force them….so why fight it?? Love ya, Deb

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