Potty Training Success: Waiting for Her to Be Ready

potty trainingWell, my baby girl is finally out of diapers! I dare speak too soon as we went through potty training once before, but this time, I think it is going to stick because I waited for HER to be ready (not me)!

It was really not the best timing for me. I was having baby #4 in less than two weeks. I could have pushed this off forever and there is always something more important than potty training. Plus, I really did not know how to get through to her. Lainey is three and a half years old with older twin siblings. I thought for sure she would have the desire to be trained by now.

Then one day the stars aligned. My big kids had a field trip, and I was scheduled to chaperone. My childcare for Lainey fell through but luckily I was able to call a friend and set up a last-minute after-school playdate.

To my horror, Lainey pooped in her diaper. My friend, whose daughter has been potty-trained for well over a year now, had to change a big, stinky diaper. She never mentioned anything about it, but Lainey told me when we got home. It’s not that I was embarrassed or ashamed, I just felt bad that my friend had to deal with it when she was doing me a favor!

This made me realize that it could be harder to get my friends to watch Lainey when I needed them. I began to talk with Lainey about how much she liked playdates with her friends. We talked about how all of them are using the potty now. I told her that their mommies were all done changing diapers and that she would have to wear big girl underwear if she wanted to go on any more playdates.


About a week later, Lainey asked to wear underwear. It was a Wednesday, not exactly how I planned it. You’re supposed to start on the weekend, right? Spending two days at home with the help of your husband and whoever else so you can limit trips out. But of course, I went with it.

The results? AMAZING. We took it day by day and she stuck with it, one success after another, and now this kid is totally out of diapers. Zero accidents. She even sleeps in big girl underwear! Awesome! Maybe it was fate that I waited so long and never really pushed her, but letting her decide on the timing was successful in this case.

If your kid does not seem ready, just hang in there! Eventually, he or she will be ready. It should NOT be a difficult process (ha!). And remember, no kid is alike. I should know this from having twins, but I still sometimes forgot. My twins potty trained at 24 months and 31 months. Lainey is now well over three and half years old! I really thought I was doing something wrong, but I just had to wait for her to be ready!

What is your potty training success story?

Kathy Waller
Kathy is a Georgia girl who followed her surfer husband Chuck to the beaches of Jacksonville where she became mom to elementary-aged twins Sophie and Will, preschooler Lainey, and baby Henry! Stay at home mom and avid volunteer, Kathy truly believes in teaching her children to embrace the community, to depend on each other, and to serve one another. Kathy served for a decade in the Junior League of Jax and is in her third year serving on the executive board of the PTA where her children attend school. She is very active in her church, Neptune Baptist and has been involved in the MOMS Club of Jax Beach for over eight years. Kathy has learned so much in her career as a software consultant for Oracle, but is always amazed at the skills she has acquired as a mom and community volunteer. Kathy also enjoys running and completed her last marathon (#9) in 2011, but always wonders if she shouldn't just do another to have a good even 10 under her belt!


  1. I couldn’t agree more – potty training my son was a breeze because we waited until he was ready. My girl is almost two and I’m hoping she starts to show signs of being ready soon — this mama is ready to be done with the diapers! 🙂

  2. This approach is the total opposite one I took and it wound up being a total fail! I started Brendan at two and a half because I wanted him to be out of diapers before new baby arrived. Well, one year later, we are finally completely trained. It was the WORST. He would not poop in the potty and had “accidents” all the time. Finally, when he was ready, he just did it. We wasted all that time being upset and stressed…. Now he is completely diaper free, at night too 🙂

  3. Yep, potty training in Sienna’s timing worked for her. She was going number 1 for a year on the pot before we got number 2 down. It was an accident at a friends house that motivated her about a month ago. Now she has it down. Who knew?

  4. Great read. I’m currently going through this “battle” with my almost 3-yr old daughter and its encouraging. She’s VERY stubborn, and I don’t want to push it.

  5. I feel better after reading this! My 2 1/2 year old daughter refuses to even attempt to use the potty. She has absolutely no interest. I don’t want to push her, I know that can backfire, so I am just waiting for her to be ready! I just hope it’s soon, the poop diapers are killing me!


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