Confessions of a Potty Training Failure (& Giveaway)

Confessions of a Potty Training Failure (& Giveaway)

Disclosure: I am doing this review in exchange for a one-year subscription of the KidloLand Nursery Rhymes App. I love being honest about all my reviews so all opinions really are my own!

Confessions of a Potty Training Failure

I’m a failure. I can put up beautiful pictures of my kids on Facebook and show happy moments, but it hides the truth. I suck! Well, more specifically, I suck at potty training my children.

It all started when I tried to potty train my oldest, Ginny. She was two and therefore ready to start learning how to use the potty, or so I thought. Ginny did a great job sitting on the potty. She didn’t complain, but she didn’t go. So, I tried naked potty training. No diaper, no panties, just hopes that she wouldn’t pee everywhere on the carpet (or worse). Did it work? Nope. Then, like magic, on her third birthday, Ginny decided to start using her potty.

Of course, she wouldn’t poop on the potty. That took six more months to convince her. One day I wised up with, “Ginny, did you know your friends at school poop on the potty?”  

“They do??” she asked in complete surprise.

Boom. That very day she was fully potty trained.

With Grace, I decided to be more deliberate. I wouldn’t wait for her age as much as signs of readiness. By the time she was two and a half, I could see she was ready. Grace would tell me that she was wet or hold it for hours. “Wow. This time, it will be so much easier!” I thought to myself. I waited until after I gave birth to my youngest because I knew that could derail any progress.

A couple of months after Samantha was born, it was time to begin. I told Grace what we would do. She seemed okay with the idea until I took off her diaper. At that moment, she had a complete meltdown. She didn’t want to leave her bottom uncovered. Even putting her on the potty didn’t help ease her fears. After a deep sigh and a touch of dread, I decided to wait a bit longer. 

Every couple of weeks, I would try. Every time I tried, she refused. Short of duct taping her to the toilet (which wouldn’t work anyway because my daughter can hold it in for HOURS), I was at a loss. 

I hoped and prayed that going to preschool this fall would motivate my strong-willed three-year-old. While Grace would smile and say, “Oh, I want to go to school,” her inaction in our potty training efforts betrayed her willingness (or lack of) to do what was needed. 

Eventually, I managed to get her to sit on the potty. But despite playing games, reading books, and offers of treats if successful, nothing happened. Absolutely nothing.

I could see the looks on my family’s faces as they asked how potty training was going. Their judgmental stares and looks. I realized at that moment I had failed as a mom. I had failed potty training my child. I looked for reassurance, but found little. Of course, it doesn’t help that I have friends whose children magically potty train themselves at 18 months. How fair is that? Then, one day a friend confessed that she struggled and her child was four when he finally used the potty. I no longer felt alone. 

This summer, after months of nothing, I gave up. I contacted the director of the preschool to let her know that Grace wasn’t potty trained and unwilling to potty train. The director told me that we could still bring her, that they would work with us for a while in hopes that peer pressure might help. I sighed in relief but didn’t give up.

In a last-ditch effort, I tried again. This time, I gave Grace the Kindle Fire with a new kids app loaded, KidloLand Nursery Rhymes, to see if that would motivate her as she sat on the potty. And, I prayed. I prayed something, anything might happen. 

Confessions of a Potty Training Failure
Her sisters love to encourage her! Okay, they just want to play with the KidloLand App too!

Grace loved the app so much that she would sit for a long time. In fact, she didn’t want to get off the potty. And why wouldn’t she love the app? It was created for kids ages 0-5 and filled with nursery rhymes, counting, songs, and games.  And, miracle of miracles, on that first day with the app, she pottied!* Every day for a week she pottied. Only once a day (dang her) but progress is progress. I had hope again. 

Of course, it couldn’t all go so “easily.” Nope. We had to leave town at the last-minute and since getting back, Grace has been unsuccessful on the potty. At least I can get her on the potty without a fight (most of the time) because she still adores the KidloLand Nursery Rhymes app. (And even Ginny wants to play it too. We let her play it as we put her little sisters to bed.) It really does motivate her to use the potty with the side benefit of learning her letters, numbers, and new songs to sing! 

Confessions of a Potty Training Failure
Grace loves playing the songs with the ABCs. She likes touching the items and moving through the letters!

We might not be done potty training by the time school does start in two weeks, and I might be a potty training failure, but we will get there some day. Soon, I hope.

*In no way do I mean to imply that the app will help you potty train your child. It isn’t that type of miracle product. But it did get my daughter to sit long enough and often enough to finally have success. 

KidloLand Nursery Rhymes AppKidloLand Nursery Rhymes AppKidloLand Nursery Rhymes App


Did you struggle with potty training? What worked for you? What didn’t work?


To enter to win a three-month subscription to the KidloLand Nursery Rhymes app, comment below with your answer to one of the questions. I will choose up to 5 winners! You have until August 25, 2016 at Noon CDT to enter. Good luck!

KidloLand Nursery Rhymes App

About Denise

Hi! I'm Denise, a 40+ year old SAHM trying to navigate the world of motherhood. I blog about parenting, food, and have been featured a few times on BlogHer. I enjoys solving mysteries (Okay..reading mysteries or watching them on TV), cooking, and drinking way too much caffeine than I should. Basically, anything I needs to do to survive the toddler years.



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  1. Both my kids trained at 23 months. We did the super-loose pants no undies. Jackson was pretty easy; just one morning of accidents and then we learned he needed to be asked to sit on it instead of being responsible for telling us when he had to go.

    For Julianna, we needed an app that played a song and encouraged her to sit on the potty. It took her about 3 days. Then she refused to wear pull-ups at night and trained herself for bed too! I’m crossing my fingers for J3….

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