Things I Wish They Told Me About Potty Training

Getting ready to potty train? You’ve probably done your research and maybe even bought a book (or two!) You’re ready to start and you have a solid plan in place. You know every tip, secret and strategy. But there are still things about potty training that no one told you.

Until now. 

Potty training secrets I wish someone had told me - especially #4! From the Salty Mamas

This post contains affiliate links. As Amazon affiliate, we may earn from qualifying purchases. You can read more at our disclosures page. Thanks!

You Need Like 1000 Pairs of Underwear

I remember when I was potty training my first child, and I went and bought two adorable little packs of underwear: a 7-pack of Frozen “tighty whiteys” and a 5-pack of Jurassic Park boxer briefs. For my 3 year old. And they were adorable! So adorable I wished I could justify buying more. But, of course, I couldn’t. I mean, it’s one kid, how many pairs could he really need?

One thousand. 

One. Thousand. Pairs.

Because you need to keep two pairs in your purse, one in your glove box, six extra pairs at preschool and that’s if you’re doing laundry every day. I’ll save you all the math, but if you’re throwing away undies that have a LOT of poop in them (we are!) and are only doing laundry a couple times a week, the final number is 1000.

Pile of kids underwear for potty training

Pee Will Get Everywhere

Sure, you think they told you this one. And it seems like common knowledge. There will be accidents and there will be puddles. The bathroom is going to need to get cleaned a lot. But you may be underestimated what “everywhere” means. We have cleaned pee out of car seats, off kitchen floors, and down the slide at an indoor playground. (We wish we were joking). 

Basically, nowhere is safe from pee. If you don’t believe me, just ask my cat. Who, yes, has been peed on during a potty training incident. And if you think you’re only in danger of rogue pee if you have boys…..try again. Sorry girl Moms. You’re on the hook with this one too!

Related Post: How to Get a Sparkling Clean Bathroom (The Easy Way!)

Nothing Fits Anymore

When my 2 year old announced that she was done with diapers, I was full of all kinds of emotions. Happy that we’d be saving some money, anxious about the accidents and navigating the real world with a ticking pee-bomb, and SO disappointed that I already put away all of her 18 month old clothes. Because guess what? Nothing fits anymore! You may not realize how much of your kid’s pants are being held up by diapers. And now that it’s just their little booty, you may need to bring some older clothes out of storage!

Little boy reaching up to show pants over a large diaper

Already gave everything away? Here’s a tip that saved us a ton of hassle – and money: Join your local Buy Nothing Group on Facebook. These are amazing groups aimed at giving away things we no longer need to someone that does. I simple “in search of” post may help you find the clothing you need! And you won’t feel bad if you destroy it during potty training because it was free and pre-owned!

Pee May Come YEARS Before Poop

I wish I could tell you I didn’t mean literal years. And it probably won’t. But for one of my kids – it did. And in talking about this struggle, I came to learn that I wasn’t alone and that tons of people had the same experience. But since no one talks about it, we all thought we were alone. And Lord, did we all feel badly about it.

But I will let you know this as well: they eventually will poop on the potty. You will feel like all hope is lost and that it’s never going to happen – I have been there. I’ve smiled while someone told me that my child wouldn’t go to college still pooping in a Pull-Up, while thinking but what if she does??? Then one day it happens and you pray it’s not a fluke. It happens again and you start to hope. Then one day you can hardly even remember what a freaking battle it was. (And it was!) But you got through it.

I promise. 

Potty Training Planner banner - buy yours here!

There Isn’t One Strategy That Works

When you’re on the struggle bus, the last thing you want to hear is how easy it was for someone else. Worse yet is when they tell you that you just HAVE to do *insert potty training strategy here.*

But guess what? The three day naked strategy doesn’t work for everyone. Not all kids will pee for Skittles. Filling your kid with juice and using a 20 minute timer to try to potty is just gonna get some kids hopped up on juice. And some kids will pee there pants no matter HOW OFTEN you sit them on that potty.

In our experience, there are LOTS of stages of potty training – no matter what method you use. And you may take three steps forward, two steps back. And that’s okay.

So when someone tries to give helpful information, be prepared to politely tell them that you’re just doing what works for YOU and YOUR KID. And then under your breath you can tell them to shove it.

You Need a Lot More Than Undies and a Potty

When we first potty trained, we naively thought that you got some undies, maybe some pull-ups, and decided between a full potty seat and a toilet cover for tiny butts. Boy, were we wrong! There are more potty training essentials than we ever imagined.

Luckily, we compiled a master list of everything you could need to survive potty training. There’s a whole set of stuff you need for potty training at home and a different set for potty training on the go (which, is a pretty big step in the process!)

Now that I’m a Mom of four, I wish I could go back in time, and tell sweet na├»ve Mom of one me to just lean in, buy all the things, and look forward to a future when I carry a smaller bag. Because it’s not gonna be today.

One thing you can add to your potty training stash, is our Potty Training Planner! This printable resource will help you with tips, trackers, motivational charts and rewards ideas and support for you as you navigate the treacherous waters of potty training. And, hopefully that puddle is just water!

Laughter is Your Friend

At the end of the day, this is a shitty situation. Literally. But it can also be kind of hilarious. And while it is NOT helpful, you will actually miss those funny little butts running naked down the hall to make it to the potty in time. Your kid will have a funny potty dance or “tell” when they have to go but don’t want to because playing is more fun. And they will say hilarious things about the potty experience.

You will get frustrated. You might cry (I sure did!) But if you let yourself, you will laugh.

Looking for more helpful potty training tips from The Salty Mamas? You’re in luck! We’ve got a full library full of Potty Training Info! Head here next: