Potty Training at 21 Months (Day 1)

So it begins. Our goal has been to have Palmer potty trained before the new baby makes her arrival. She has been showing signs of readiness for some time now. After hearing many success stories from friends and family about the 3-day training program, we decided to make our move.

My first step was finding the right time. Truthfully, I think potty training is 90% about the parents. If you aren’t mentally prepared for your child to be out of diapers, you are setting both up for failure. We have been so busy lately that I knew I wouldn’t be able to dedicate my all to the program. Dedication and consistency are two of the most important elements throughout the training program so timing was huge. I made sure to pick a time where I knew I would have 3-6 days where I could be home with Palmer with no other commitments to focus on the program. Turning 21 months marked the beginning of our journey and turned our lives around.

Day 1: Wednesday

I’m seriously so anxious about the process that my stomach is in knots the moment I wake up. Living with anxiety is tough and I know that energy can be transferred to the situations I’m involved in so remaining positive will be super important. Positivity and attacking things head on seem to put my anxiety at ease.

We had been prepping for this moment for weeks. I get ready. Palmer gets up. We eat breakfast. We are all ready for the day so the process is about to begin. I take Palmer to the room and change her diaper for the last time. We talk about how she is a big girl and going to wear big girl undies. I tell her how proud I am of her and give her lots of praise. We talk about how we need to keep our big girl undies dry. Palmer seems excited about her undies because they have Sofia on them. πŸ™‚

Next we throw away all the diapers in the house. Bye Bye Diapers! Palmer seems mostly excited about this task. Shortly after, I bring her to the bathroom to show her the potty. She knows about the potty from her books. She seems a bit distracted and disengaged but I stay focused. I make sure she knows to tell me if she has to go pee or poop so we can go to the potty.

She requests Mickey Mouse so we make our way to the living room. From there on, it’s a cycle of lots of peeing in her pants (she had pooped prior to introducing the undies). Every time she does it, she seems surprised. I’m not able to make it to the bathroom in time so the pee always ends up all over the floor. There is piss everywhere. Usually when she pees her pants and we make our way to the potty, she’ll say “yucky”. At least she knows it’s gross. Before noon, we’ve already had at least 6 accidents. Ugh.

I put her down for a nap (she desperately needs one). I was a little worried because she’s not great about waking up dry, which is one of the ideal requirements for starting the program, but I figured it was because we let her play for a bit before we get her up. I find out I’m right. I scoop her up pretty quickly after waking up and she’s completely dry. Hooray! Lots of praise. We go to the potty and despite her post-nap crankiness, for the first time during the day, she goes to the bathroom. So. Much. Praise. We wipe with her new toilet paper (flushable wipes for big girls) and we’re good! I show her the new potty chart and she selects a Minnie sticker. I explain when she goes in the potty, she gets a sticker. She’s like yeah whatever… She’s begging for a snack. That’s all she’s wanted all day. She’s so freaking hungry all the time.

She wants more Mickey. I’m starting to realize Mickey is a huge distraction for her. Even though I’m constantly reminding her to tell mommy when she needs to go potty, it’s like it’s in one ear and out the other. Um, Mickey is on the TV. We take a little time to read some books. The program insists on reminding about telling when you need to go potty. I feel like a broken record but I’m hoping eventually it sticks. Positivity!!

I check her constantly and praise her for staying dry. Even though I’m right next to her, I keep missing whatever signs that she needs to go. I see the panic look but it’s always once pee is all over the floor and she knows it’s yucky. I remind her that we need to keep our undies dry and to let me know when she needs to go potty.

Another nap down and she’s still dry! Same routine as last time and after a little crying/whining, she went pee in the potty. I call grandma to share the big news so Palmer can hear me bragging about my big girl.

A couple more accidents in between. Accidents are good. It will eventually allow it all to click later on but to be completely honest, it’s wearing on me. It reminds me of the newborn phase when P had terrible reflux. I was always covered in spit up and just felt like I had no where to turn. No light at the end of the tunnel. I have to remind myself to stay positive. Stay focused.

I beg Erin to pick up pizza on his way home and make sure to leave at 4. Being 35 weeks pregnant for sure doesn’t help the process. The constant up and down is painful for my poor legs and new baby isn’t helping either with her constant jabs and bulging.

Parts of me doubt that I was ready to take this on. Maybe she’s too young. She’s not going to get it. I quickly push those feelings aside. It’s Day 1. I haven’t given either of us a fair shot.

When Erin gets home, he helps out. Luckily we are pretty similar and he was up-to-date with the program so it’s consistent. We are both there to help get her to the potty. Erin always does her night time routine so we stick with it. Bath, he adds in potty, grooming, book, try for potty again. The one thing we notice is that she’s super resistant to going to bed. It’s unlike her. She wants more chips. I’m not kidding… this kid is starving today. After a couple more chips, we finally get her down.

I woke up around 1:20am (thanks pregnancy) and about ten minutes later, I heard Palmer shifting around in bed. It sounded like she was saying pee, pee. We get her up and take her to the potty. She’s upset but after a couple of minutes and Erin’s amazing middle-of-the-night positivity, she goes pee! Yay! We congratulate her on being a big girl and put her down to bed shortly after. She doesn’t want to sleep though. She wrestles around in the bed for a big before finally falling asleep like 40 minutes later.

Around 6am, Palmer wakes up. I hear her and quickly get her out of bed. Still dry! Good job! I get her to the potty and after a little bit more crying, she pees. So proud.

Day 1 ends on a good note and I’m optimistic about starting day 2. Optimistic, but totally tired. Bring it on.


5 thoughts on “Potty Training at 21 Months (Day 1)

  1. The Very Busy Mummy says:

    Wow! I’m impressed you’ve started potty training at 21 months! My eldest is 2 yrs and 8 months and we are yet to start. It’s my job this summer as she’ll be going to pre school in Nov and they need to be potty trained to go there.
    I can honestly say I find this the most nerve wracking thing I’ve had to do with my children. Everything else seemed to have a back up and with potty training I don’t want to mess it up so I’ll be following your progress and taking any tips you can give! πŸ˜„

    • justaudrey says:

      It’s totally nerve wracking! I would totally recommend picking up Lora Jansen’s ebook on Amazon. Its definitely just as much a test for the parent as it is for the kid. She even goes over doing multiple kids. She says 22 months is the prime age for starting!

  2. gibbo1983 says:

    That sounds like a good first day. Can you explain how the program works? I think the idea of all the wee especially in my current state really puts me of. Plus is palmer able to properly communicate when she needs to go.

    • justaudrey says:

      The program is pretty simple. The author emphasizes the kid’s ability to communicate and acknowledge when they need to go versus the parent leading the way. The author is Lora Jensen and you can buy the e-book on Amazon.

      Palmer is usually a very good communicator with everything else but we are somewhat struggling with figuring out non-verbal cues and her telling me in regards to potty training. I’m holding out hope that it will click at some point. I can see that the concept is a little scary for her so maybe that’s what’s holding her back? We are on day 3 and I have a feeling we may be working on it at home through the weekend.

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