How I Potty Trained My 2 Year Old

This is our potty training story, I’m no expert and only have my experience of potty training my daughter to go on. If you are thinking about potty training a 2 year old and are after a real life story then you may find this helpful.

Day One – 28th December 2016

Today I woke up and decided it would be a good time to crack on with potty training Charlie. We had talked about wearing big boy pants a few days before and when I mentioned it to him that morning he was super keen. Previously (about 2 months prior) he wanted to wear pants but hadn’t really grasped the concept of pulling them down and going on the potty when he needed a wee. This time however he took to them straight away.

As it was the lull after Christmas and we hadn’t really made any plans to venture out, plus Amelie was poorly, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to start. I made sure I had plenty of pants to hand, I found putting Charlie in pyjama bottoms was really helpful as they were easy to pull down and it really didn’t matter if he had an accident. Of course there were a few accidents that day, but not once did he ask to put a nappy on.

I found the “treat” approach worked very well, as it was the Christmas holidays we had plenty of smarties and chocolate to dish out. He got 2 smarties for every wee he did on the potty. I was very focused on the weeing part but forgot all about the pooping part, until he said he needed a wee. I pulled down his pj bottoms for him to sit on the potty and a big poop fell onto the floor – yuk! In my head I wanted to gag and make a fuss but I knew if I did that he would be scared and it would put him off wanting to do it again. After all, you can clean the carpet and wash the pants so no harm done.

By bedtime Charlie had done so well with going on the potty I was so proud of him. He was very confused when I went to put a nappy on him for bed. He asked me why he needed a nappy on, I had to tell him that he wore them for bed but in the morning mummy would put his big boy pants on again. He seemed happy enough thank goodness as I was not ready to tackle being dry during the night just yet.

Day Two – 29th December

When we woke up Charlie said he had done a wee wee in his nappy and could I change him. Again, we stayed at home and just went with it. Everyone was encouraging him and giving out lots of praise, I found that really helped as he was super chuffed when he went on the potty.

I found Amelie’s old seat that goes on top of the normal toilet seat so put this on the big toilet. I thought I might try my luck in asking Charlie if he wanted to go on the toilet for his next wee, he was happy to do so and from then on he didn’t want use the potty for wees.

I knew Charlie needed a poop so we chatted about sitting on the potty, relaxing and trying to go for one.  So he sat on his potty with his new Leapfrog Laptop for what seemed like forever but he eventually went. This seems to be the norm for the minute, he likes just sitting there either watching a youtube video on my phone or playing on his Laptop. He only had a couple of accidents on day two and didn’t ask for a treat towards the end of the day so mummy ate them, ha ha!

Day Three – 30th December

When we woke up Charlie wanted his nappy off and his pants on, he now takes his nappy off, goes for a wee and I wash him down.

We stayed in again on this day, Charlie had only one accident on the third day which was just fantastic. He was weeing and pooping (on the potty) but I think he was getting a bit fed up of me asking him if he needed a wee. I couldn’t help it though as I wanted to make sure he went on the toilet and not all over himself. I had to pop to Tesco to pick up some more pants and also get some new vests as the ones he had were the popper style vests. Now he was wearing pants he wasn’t able to wear those sorts of vests, when I got home and changed him he looked so grown up in a big boy vest and pants – where had my baby gone!?

It seemed liked he had matured overnight and was behaving very grown up, he knew exactly when he needed a wee and listened to me explaining things.

Day Four – 31st December

Okay, now was the time to leave the house as we were all getting a bit of cabin fever. I’ll admit I was so nervous about leaving the house. I packed a bag of clothes, pants, socks, wipes and nappy bags. I also put a carrier bag in Charlie’s car seat with a small towel over the top just in case he needed the loo whilst we were driving. I did the same thing with Amelie as I really didn’t want to pay out for a special bag for the seat. I will invest in some Huggies pads for future trips out as I found those very handy to keep in the car.

We arrived at Exmouth beach and headed to the pub for lunch, Charlie was a really good boy and didn’t wee in the car. He told me he needed the toilet when we got to the pub so I took him into the ladies. This was his first time going into a toilet to wee so he was really scared and froze, he wouldn’t go. I lifted the toilet seat up and picked him up so he was facing the toilet and hovering over it but he still wouldn’t go. We went to sit down again but he said he needed to go so I took him and repeated what I had done previously. This time he went, and he went back and forth to the toilet about 15 times during our lunch, he even went into the men’s toilets with daddy but was not keen on that so I took him with me.

After lunch we had to pop to Tesco where he needed another wee so I took him to the toilets. He was completely dry on this day.

Day Five – 31st December

When I thought about potty training Charlie back in the summer we bought him a child’s urinal to put in the bathroom. I had seen it on Emily Norris’ youtube video and thought it was such a fantastic idea so we bought one.

This is such a useful tool to have if you are potty training a boy, it has suckers on the back so you can move it around and even take it out with you. The light green compartment comes off making it super easy to throw wee down the toilet and is really easy to clean. Charlie loves his froggy and uses it all the time, he likes to take the middle green bit out and throw his wee away all by himself but I’m there panicking that I’m going to have wee all over the floor – this happens daily!

My Thoughts On Potty Training A Boy

I would certainly say to anyone thinking of potty training to give it a go if it feels right for you, if it doesn’t work out that time don’t worry about it and just try again in a couple of months. I didn’t build up to this moment I just saw an opportunity where we were staying in and Charlie seemed willing and really understood the concept of putting pants on then pulling them down to go to the toilet. Everyone will tell you to do something different to what you had planned but just listen to your gut – you are mum and you really do know best. Advice and experience is fantastic to take on board, hearing people’s stories is very informative and it’s nice to have other mummy friends to chat to as you really don’t have a clue what you’re doing, every child is different.

Did I find it harder to potty train a boy? No. It was just different but the more relaxed I was the better it worked out for me, being stressed was not even on my radar this time and it payed off. Charlie is now dry and has learnt to hold his wee in, we are still working on pooping every day like he used to as I think he is still unsure of doing on the toilet but he has come so far and I’m super proud of him.

I hope you found our story useful and if any of you are potty training, I wish you lots of luck.

N xx















  • Karen

    Brilliant Natalie, I have just been writing an advice sheet for mummy’s struggling with this. Most of my points you have mentioned, Well done to Charlie too x

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