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8 Milestones of Potty Training

Posted: 10/07/2013 3:18 pm

Written by Casey Mullins for

Every 30 minutes during church yesterday, I poked my head into Vivi's class and said "Potty?" We visited the church bathroom at least seven times before having success, a satisfying pee complete with a sturdy wipe, flush and wash. Of all the parenting activities that have tested my resolve, potty training is at the tippy top of that list. Now that I've survived it once, I realize that it's not the end of the world, it's just a somewhat difficult part of the world that will someday resolve itself. Heck, I've been potty trained for 30 years and there's still times (thanks to two kids!) that waiting for a potty seems impossible.

As I venture down potty road with Vivi, the milestones involved in potty training are coming back to me, some of them funny, some of them a little messy, but all of them necessary in order to send a toilet trained human out into the world. Whether you're in the thick of training, well past it, or just beginning, I think you'll relate to some of the following:

(EDITED TO ADD: The first Facebook status update about potty training that absolutely no one cares about but yourself.)

1. First Time They Sit on the Potty

The first time that little bare butt hits the porcelain throne is a big deal, it's the first real life skill you teach them that will last them FOREVER. No pressure, really.

Plus, it makes them look super tiny. Then every once in awhile they'll dip in a little too far and get a panicked look on their face...


2. First Pair of Tiny Underpants

Tiny underpants are adorable underpants, especially when they have little critters on the bum. I can still remember being very sad when Addie outgrew her first pairs of underpants.

3. First Guests Over During Potty Training

We do our best to keep our kids dressed in the presence of company, however during potty training there isn't much time for formalities. If your guests have kids? They'll get it. If they don't? One day they will.

Just apologize for the nudity and carry on with your visit as usual.

4. First Diaper-less Bum Pat

The first time Cody patted Addie's bum without a diaper was also the last time; it's a totally different experience to feel your baby in something other than a big fluffy diaper, they feel so big and human.


5. First Successful Public Potty Stop

This one's a big deal because there are a lot of logistics in public restroom usage. Doors, automatically flushing toilets, bigger sinks and more to navigate. If you can get that first public visit out of the way, your options open up as to where you can take your potty training kid.

Related: 25 horrifying photos of things kids have ruined

6. First Day Without Accidents

You start fantasizing about all the money you'll save on diapers, or all the time you'll save on laundering cloth. Diapers have probably become such standard issue in your day-to-day life that you're blissfully unaware how much freedom lies ahead of you.

7. First Check Out Line "I have to pee!"

Epic grocery store trip, mid-checkout, "I HAVE TO PEE" or worse, "I HAVE TO POOP!"

Tell them to wait until you're done paying and risk an accident?

Hand over your debit card to the cashier and ask them to finish up for you?

Abandon your entire shopping trip after apologizing to the line behind you?

Whatever the final outcome is, know that we've all been there at least once and it's the most terrible game of "Choose your own adventure" ever.

8. First Men's Room Stop

The women's room was closed, the next closest restroom was a half mile away -- I covered Addie's eyes and yelled "POTTY TRAINING TODDLER COMING IN WITH HER MOM! SORRY!" We ran into a stall and averted disaster. The possibility of this one becoming a reality is a rare one, but it's still very much a possibility.

For 8 more milestones of potty training, visit Babble!

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Photo credits: Casey Mullins

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