Big Boy Undies

When it came to potty training Marcus I heard from everyone and their grandmother that I "needed" to try this method or that. Marcus "needed" one thing or another for training. But, in my gut I knew what we both needed was for him to be ready. Not when I was ready for him to be potty trained, but when he was ready. So, I waited. And I waited. And I waited.

About three weeks ago - just before turning 2.5 years old - Marcus started showing interest in using the potty. He would be ready for a diaper change and he would ask to go to the "big boy toilet." I would oblige, let him do his thing, and then diaper him back up.

After about a week of Marcus repeatedly asking to go to the bathroom I knew it was time.

Last Thursday I woke up and decided that was *the day,* and potty training was underway.

As soon as the little man woke up I slipped him into a pair of big boy undies (which continues to be one of our biggest challenges - he isn't too keen on wearing them just yet), and every 30-45 minutes I would ask him if he needed to use the bathroom. Most times he would answer no, but I would take him into the restroom anyway, and wouldn't you know it, he'd pee.
The first few days we had no more than two accidents a day. Each accident a result of me losing track of time and failing to get Marcus to the restroom.

However, if we fast forward to today, Marcus is four days sans accident. In the past two days he has seemed to recognize and understand the sensation of needing to go to the bathroom, and if I don't ask if he needs to go, he will tell me. Marcus also presents non-verbal cues that have helped me when he may be too busy playing to want to stop and take a potty break.
Doing the "big" business is a bit more of an event. It seems to frighten Marcus a bit. We go in and out of the bathroom about 3,000 times in the span of two minutes before I can get Marcus settled down and comfortable enough with the process. But in the last week he has successfully completed that task when needed.

I'm no expert on this, but here are a few things that have been working for us:
1) Thanks to a friend's suggestion, peeing in the toilet has a game-like feel. We will throw a Cheerio into the toilet and encourage Marcus to pee on the Cheerio. It not only helps with aim (you'd be surprised where splatters of pee will end up!), but makes the process fun.
2) Each time we make a successful trip to the bathroom a sticker is rewarded. When the "big" business is done a large Mickey Mouse sticker is awarded. We make a BIG deal out of a successful potty trip, lots of cheering and clapping.
3) Marcus gets to flush the toilet - such a huge deal for him.
4) Every 30-45 minutes we ask if he needs to go to the bathroom, even if the answer is no, we go to the restroom and try - 100% of the time he will go.
5) Nap times and bedtimes are still reserved for diaper wearing - however, diapers are now called "sleep pants".
6) We haven't bought or used a single Pull-Up. If/when Marcus wets his pants he feels it and he HATES the wet sensation. I attribute a lot of that discomfort to our success. The last time we had wet pants was four days ago…
7) We didn't buy one of those little toilets. I figured that would just be one more thing to transition out of. And, the idea of cleaning pee and whatnot out of those absolutely grosses me out. Instead, we use a little seat that rests on the regular toilet. Marcus pees standing up 95% of the time, so it's not often we even have to use that.
8) We carry an extra set of underwear and shorts with us everywhere we go. Just in case. We've never needed the backup clothes, but the minute we don't have them I know we'll need them. We also keep one diaper in our bag in case we know we'll need "sleep pants."
9) We have kept our regular daily routines. Park play, meeting up with friends, trips to the beach, even a 2-hour car ride. We've just had to become aware of the location of every restroom in the entire LA metro.
10) Patience. I'll be the first to admit patience is not a virtue of mine, but I've been forced to take this at Marcus's pace. And, surprise, surprise, things have been going really well. This whole process has been a lot less stressful than I imagined.
Week One in the books.
The biggest downfall of this? Our morning wake-up times have been pushed up. Though Marcus will wake with a wet (not soaking) diaper I'll hear Marcus shout, "Let me out!" (he is still in his crib  --> insert Hallelujah chorus) and that he "Needs to use the big boy toilet!" I can't ignore that. You win buddy, you win. It's 5:00AM and we.are.up.

I wouldn't say we're fully potty trained, but I think we are headed in the right direction.


  1. Yay! Nothing better than a potty trained kid! haha =)

  2. That last picture with the Mickey butt and his last bit of pinchable thighs is killing me!

  3. I'm so glad it has went well for you. It went really well with Jackson too. I just had to be patient and wait til HE was ready. I think that really is the key.

  4. I've heard of the cheerios method, loved it, and already decided that I'm gonna use it!

  5. Great news! Such a big boy! Aubrey's been fully potty trained (included naps and night time) for over a year and on occasion, I still grab extra underwear and pants, just in case even though she hasn't had an accident in a year. Such a great job! Its gonna make life so much easier!

  6. Girl, you got it goin on!! This is such great news. I remember a while back you were stressing about this so YAY for heading in the right direction!! Way to go, Marcus!!

  7. Yay! I am glad he has picked it up so quickly!

  8. So glad it's going well for you! I'm super impressed he's using the potty standing - I heard a lot of boys start sitting down. And cheerios haha! I love it! Maybe i'll try that with callie just as motivation :) And super cute potty chart! Way to go Marcus!

  9. I'm not trying to put the cart before the horse but what is your plan when it comes to transitioning him to underwear at night? That's one of the parts that scare me and prevent me from even thinking about making the transition out of diapers.

  10. WAY TO GO MARCUS (and mommy!!)!!!!! I am so impressed! And seriously, he pees standing up 95% of the time?! I may need to invite you over to potty train Mason because potty training a boy scares the cr*p out of me. Seth told me to "aim for the Cheerios" but I'm still not so sure about that but if you say it works, then I believe you! (Sorry Seth lol).

  11. I just *knew* Clay was going to be potty trained by now, but yet again he's proven that I am sooooo wrong. Thanks for sharing your tips!! And aren't little tushies in undies the cutest??