A Letter To The Mama Deciding To Potty Train

Dear Mama ,

So you’ve begun looking…googling…pinterest-spying…

You’ve bought all the gadgets, gizmos and do-hickeys…

You’ve done the three-day, two-day and the just let-er-rip theory…

Yet your child still isn’t sitting pretty on the potty…

What’s a mom to do…

Here’s the kicker….


Do Nothing.


All those awesome moms out there who have “trained” their child to sit on that throne….well done…you rock!

But I am here to tell you…it wasn’t the method that did it.

It was the child…and their mom (or dad/grandparent/auntie..whoever is raising them!)

The toddler was ready…and the parent knew them well enough to see that…that’s what made it work.

You’re probably thinking I am about to tell you to stop trying, or to let the toddler lead the way…and in a way I am…but not completely

You see, many daycares refuse to potty train kids…why?


If a child isn’t ready, they aren’t going to use that potty.

No amount of expertise will convince a child otherwise…

And the amount of time it will take to train them, when they aren’t ready, is unfathomable if you are needing to care for many other children.

And if they are ready…the parent will know, and it will happen quickly.

You need to trust your gut and trust your child.

How do I know this? My own dear children taught me.

Oh, I was pretty proud of myself after my first was “trained” at 18 months of age.

A Letter To The Mama Deciding To Potty Train www.lifeofbrucks.com

But as I look back, I know the truth…I just knew him really well.

He was a compliant child…wanted to show mommy he could do things…never really argued about much.

He was also a very routine kid…everyday after lunch and right before nap, he would need a full diaper change.

So, what did I do…I had him sit on the toilet right after lunch.


Everyday we did this and almost everyday it worked! He was using the potty in no time.

But here’s the truth. I was the one who was trained.

Trained to watch for signs he needed to pee.

Trained to hurry at the drop of a hat toward a potty when I realized he hadn’t gone yet!

As for night training…he was no where near ready until he was older…and I never really questioned it…I knew he wouldn’t go to university with a diaper on so we were good…he eventually had a lot of dry nights in a row, so he just “trained” himself.

My second taught me that it was definitely not up to me when a child potty trained…it was all up to them…but I wasn’t ready to hear that!

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I made her sit on that potty as she stubbornly refused for hours!

It was torture for both of us.

But surely she will go on the potty if she has to go bad enough…HA!

Not my girl…she could hold it forever and the moment you let her off the potty she would let the tsunami reign down! It was never pretty

I just couldn’t let it go though…no, I had to win. (Win at what you ask…I don’t even think I knew!)

Eventually she trained…after a full year of fighting!


She refused and refused and eventually decided she wanted to …nothing would convince her, it had to be up to her.

You’d think from this story that it must be because I am awful at dealing with a stubborn child…but here’s the thing…I thought so too…until my third…

My third one…I finally understood…it was up to them.

He is a compliant child, just as my first was, but is no where near the maturity my first was at the same age. Nor did he have a routine down like my first did.

I decided to try…but only got tears, frustration, and a very upset little boy…

No amount of bribing, kindness, explaining, or story reading could get him to continue to sit there and try.

No, he wasn’t ready, and frankly, after the nightmare of my second…I was ready for a break from it.

You see, there are only 15 months between my first and second, and only 16 months between the second and third..so I basically just potty trained continually for 2 years...

But I had finally begun to see…

So I waited…and waited…and you know what!

One day I asked and he responded to candy (bribes..I am all for them!).

He sat there, and did it…and did it again (for candy of course)…this went on for months, more candy was handed out then I ever wanted my kids to have…but hey, he was using the potty with no fuss and no muss!

He now uses it more often than not, and I don’t need to ask him…he just runs there on his own!


I didn’t do that…he did…he was ready!

And your little one will be ready one day too.

I understand the pressures of needing to train them for certain daycares and preschools…but in all honesty, you will try, you will fight, and they will squirm…and you may get close, but in the end, it will be when they are ready.

Go ahead and try all the fancy techniques and methods…they might just work for your little one…but remember,

It will be all up to them…

You need to see your child, see what they are showing you…

and don’t let others pressure you into preforming…

or getting your little one to preform.

They are doing fine and will eventually train.

And when they do, it will be because you know them so well you understood when they were truly ready.

You know them better than you think!

Don’t give up…

just give it to them…

and let your toddlers show you what they are ready for…

and give yourself permission to be the expert on your child.

Let yourself just be there for them when they are ready…

You are doing amazing…and your little one’s love you dearly…


Hoping this encourages you to keep trying, but do what you see fit for your little one,

Butterfly Life Of Brucks lifeofbrucks.comMama Brucks

One Last Look: Have you looked in their eyes today? Life Of Brucks Blog


28 thoughts on “A Letter To The Mama Deciding To Potty Train

  1. We are in the midst of potty training. I did have to wait until I was read to be trained myself, just like you said–ready to drop everything and run to the potty at a moments notice. And to give up time to just sit while she relaxes on the potty. Those are bonding moments!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A great message, and one that Jenny and I needed to hear. We are in the process of starting with our youngest. Thank you for the reminder not to get overly stressed and try to rush or force the process.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very true. I was lucky that 18 months my daughter came to tell u she had to poo, she was in underwear a week after her second birthday. But as you said SHE was ready, I didn’t have to force it.

    Thanks so much for linking up at the #BloggersSpotlight party! I pinned this to our group board. Don’t forget to come link up again tonight and see the featured posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I needed to read this today. We’ve been attempting potty training since the new year. It was frustrating and draining. When my daughter’s pediatrician finally told me it was too early, I realized that I was pushing her for something she wasn’t ready for…and your post just reminded me of that. They need to tell us to be ready…and we need to be aware and listening to their cues so we don’t miss them.

    Thank you so much for sharing this today! It really and truly opened my eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you’re so right. We both of my kids, we started training, they resisted, and so we took a few months off and tried again. By then, they were more ready and it just kind of happened. You can’t make someone do something with their body… you will always lose that battle! Thanks for sharing at the #ManicMondays blog hop!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It took a while to figure it out, but hindsight is always 20/20…I have a fourth little guy at age 21 months, but I am certainly not going to attempt potty training any time soon for him…he is just not there yet!


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