Why We’re Not Potty Training Yet {And Why We’re in No Rush}

When you become a mom, it seems like life is turned into one big calendar, marked by milestone after milestone. The moment when your child sleeps through night for the first time, when they lift up their head by themselves, when they roll over, when they sit up on their own, when they crawl, when they walk, when they start eating solids, etc., etc., etc… All big milestones that you mark in the baby book. When you move into the toddler territory, it doesn’t stop. My baby is technically not a baby anymore; she’s a big girl, two and a half to be exact. And guess what? She’s not potty trained yet. She’s rocking the size 5 diaper, and if she needed to rock the 6, we happily would. We’re not potty training yet because she’s not ready, and I’m in no rush to make her ready either.

There is so much pressure put on moms these days to have your baby do the next big thing at warp speed. “Your baby isn’t walking yet?” Gasp. “Your baby doesn’t sleep through the night yet?” Double gasp. “Your toddler isn’t potty trained yet?” Triple gasp. Well, guess what? Every child is different. Have we forgotten that?

Diaper

At two and a half, my little bit has shown very little interest in potty training. And to be perfectly honest, I haven’t forced it on her either. She is my timid, rule follower {for the most part}. She is still sleeping in her crib and sitting in her high chair too. That’s just who she is. She doesn’t push boundaries, and I’m rejoicing to the high heavens for that. She is comfortable with her diapers, and I have no issue still changing her.

I have bought the training potty, and she knows what its for. Yes, she is smart and knows what it is, but she’s just not that interested. So for now, we wait. And I’m okay with that. She’ll be starting a Mother’s Day Out program soon, and their requirement is that they must be potty trained by the time they turn three. I think I have some time. {I hear three is when they have less accidents too. So there’s that.}

Yes, maybe it’s me who is dragging my feet to have her trained, because it will signify a definitive big girl leap. Yes, a small part of me doesn’t want my baby to grow up, but I know it will happen soon enough. I’m just not rushing it. There will come a day when she wants nothing to do with her diaper, and we will say good riddance together. We will potty train and get through the good fight together. Until then, I’ll gladly put off the days of bribery with M&Ms, accident central, and long road trips with lots of stops. I’m the mama, and I’m trusting my gut on this one. You should too.

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Kristy was born and raised in the coastal town of Port Lavaca, Texas, but has called Houston home since 2006. She majored in English and Public Relations at Texas State University and later received her Masters in Education Administration. In 2008 at a Halloween party, Kristy met her match, Michael, a sweet “nerd” in the crowd, and they were married in October 2010. They welcomed their sweet baby girl Charlotte into the world in February 2013. After teaching high school English for nine years, Kristy left the world of education to stay at home with her daughter. Charlotte now teaches Kristy a thing or two about life. Kristy loves Chick-Fil-A, Target, Starbucks, and all things girly. She writes at Seven Graces, a place where she shares stories about her faith, family, and favorite things. Kristy would love to connect with you through her blog’s Facebook page or through Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest as @kristy7graces.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Go with your gut Momma! My daughter is very similar to how you described yours. She’s cautious, she doesn’t like making mistakes or breaking the rules. And because I’ve never felt the need to “rush” her through milestones before she’s ready, when we do reach them, she sails through them without the bat of an eye.

    I started putting her on the potty with her own special potty seat when she was about 18 months old. We read potty books and watched Daniel Tiger Goes Potty. Sometimes she went, most of the time she didn’t. I didn’t rush her. She turned 3 in November 2014 and was still rocking size 5 diapers. I think she may have been ready to potty train around her 3rd birthday, but I was in my 3rd trimester with my second baby, due in December. I knew that with all the changes quickly approaching with the birth of my son, she was likely to regress, and I didn’t want to see her struggle with that defeat (or deal with the accidents while caring for a newborn). So we waited. At 3 ½, over Easter weekend, we made the decision to ditch the diapers. 2 days of bare bottom and only one accident later, she was fully potty trained. She was so proud of herself! Within the first two weeks of no diapers, we only dealt with four or five accidents. She didn’t become defeated or sad because SHE WAS READY.

    She slept in her crib until she turned 3 (it would have been longer, but we moved the crib to baby brother’s nursery). We made a big deal of letting her help design and decorate her new big girl bedroom and when the time came for her to sleep in her big girl bed, she slept soundly and stayed in bed all night. SHE WAS READY.

    We took away her paci during the day when she turned one, but still allowed her to have them during naps, at night and when she was sick or hurt. I was in no rush to take them away. The paci only stayed in her mouth for the first few minutes she laid down to go to sleep and would fall out once she was sleeping soundly. As my due date with her baby brother loomed, we began talking about how babies need pacies but big girls don’t, and that when her brother came, we would need to stop using them since the baby would need them. When her brother was born, she wasn’t ready, and I didn’t push. We just continued to talk about how she would need to give them up soon since she was becoming such a big girl. About two months after her brother was born (she was 3 years 4 months), as we were putting her to bed, I handed her the paci and she just said, “I don’t need that anymore mommy. I’m a big girl now.” And that was that. No tears, no struggle. She hasn’t picked a paci up since. SHE WAS READY.

    I know each child is different and one single approach won’t work with every child. But, I do firmly believe in not rushing your child to reach milestones before they are ready just because so-and-so did it that way and it worked for them.

    So, Rock On Momma! Let them be little!!

  2. So,she gets her diaper changed by a stranger at Mother’s Day out then??? and you are comfortable with that?? Just something to think about,I just don’t feel safe letting someone change my child,because then when it comes to teaching them about safety,they don’t understand,because they are being changed by strangers,so the boundary is broken already and you’re sending mixed messages.That’s the issue I have with that,you cannot trust people just because they work with children.im guessing she cannot talk either at this point,so she cannot communicate if someone has done something wrong to her.

    • While I guess having a stranger change your child’s diaper doesn’t seem ideal, if you potty train them young they will still need someone to come with them to the bathroom and help with getting their pants up or down. AND most children need help properly wiping the behinds until they’re almost four.

      • So true, Colleen. Also, a significant portion of the world does not have the luxury of being home with their kids until they’re 5.

  3. My fourth didn’t potty train until 3 1/2. My husband and I were fine with that. We would try every few months and she just wasn’t ready so we decided to go with her body clock. My oldest PT at 18 month and the next two at age 2. We heard lots of chatter ff many family and friends about when were we and once my older sons wife even tried behind my back. It took a year after that to get her to even try to sit on the potty. I was furious.

  4. Great points! We tried potty training our son at 2 1/2 and it just didn’t take. He’s a very smart, talkative, independent and observant child (I’m a bit bias), and all the other milestones have come early and easy for him — but not this one! We tried again in June of this year, and still no luck, but then magically in the two weeks before school started it just clicked for him! We had used all sorts of incentives and bribes the first two times, but all it really took when it came down to it was for him to be ready and willing. For him 3 /12 was the magic number!

  5. Good for you and trusting your gut! No one knows your child better than you. My daughter will be 2 in June and we’ve pretty much mastered the potty but she isn’t cautious like how you described your daughter to be. She’s already in a toddler bed and has been since about 19 months because her little daredevil spirit decided it was time to start climbing over the railings. She has always made up her mind when it comes to things (bottles and pacifiers for example) and as much as I wish I could put on the breaks, I need to let her be her. Just like you’re letting your daughter be herself. Every child is different and that is perfectly fine. It’s not like she will be in diapers her whole life. She’ll get there when she’s ready. I think it speaks loudly that you’re so willing to let your daughter lead herself. It’s very admirable and shows that you really love her. ❤️

  6. I have three, two girls and a boy. Not one potty trained before three years old. They had no interest, no motivation whatsoever until just before turning three and then it was a lightning quick, stress free process. I heard so many moms complaining about how hard potty training is and they were all trying it at two years old. I think it’s something that should be initiated by the child, not the parent. I guess some are successful, but listening to someone say they raised 4 kids and had them all fully trained by 18 months sounds a whole lot like a load of diaper filling. (My ex step mother in law.) eye roll.

  7. Good for you mama! My first (boy) has just been toilet trained and he’s nearly 4! He wasn’t ready! That’s totally ok! He’s trained now, has the occasional accident, and wears pull ups for nap and bed. But even then, most of the time he’ll get up to go to the toilet. My little girl just turned 2, and has a great interest in trying. Every child is different.

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