The Good, The Bad and 5 Truths About Potty Training

Shot of an adorable baby boy sitting on the toilet in the bathroom


I think most mommas will agree that one of the things that brings on a case of mom guilt is potty training.  And if you are dealing with twins, where one seems to naturally get past the stage where they don’t need you to do their business, and the other twin is still struggling, you just wonder if you are doing everything fine.

I sometimes felt the moms (and they were plenty) who were able to get their babies to make signals indicating they needed to use the toilet were super geniuses, while I struggled with potty training with my own much older children. And they go, “We have been training her since she was six months old.” Hmm heaven help us all.

Admittedly, I usually start potty training when my kids were over one year, by then they were used to doing their business in their diapers and transitioning to telling me they needed to use the toilet was a bit of a challenge both times I have been on this route.

When I started potty training my older twins, my daughter was the first one to get the hang of it. She had a few emergencies after I started doing without the diapers during the day, rather, she would tell me or any one who was around that she wanted to wee wee, and off we went to the toilet, where we would spend some time.

Her brother, on the other hand, just let lose wherever, he wanted. It was a case of close monitoring with him. It was almost like he had fun weeing wherever his little penis pointed. I remember he would sometimes wee wee with me watching him, aghast, and when he was done, he would turn on all the charm in his small body on me, melting my heart by merely opening those teeth of his. I would just shake my head and smile, while I cleaned up the mess.

At a stage, I even gave up on potty training him. His bum was diapered all the time, morning and night. I decided that when he was ready, he would indicate by himself that he wanted to use the toilet, and I was right. Yes, it took him a while, but I knew I was over the worst the day he started to remove his diaper to urinate, and spoke when he wanted to do number 2. What a relief that was.

When it came time to potty train my younger twins, the boy was the one who caught on fast. For him, it was fun being able to point his penis at an object and drench it. The only thing was that too many things came under the wee wee baptism. He also wakes up at night to use the bathroom, while his sister, who is our oga madam, can’t be bothered and wees on the bed. At a time, as young as she was then, the first thing she would do after waking up was to feel her night wear for wetness, and then announce whether she wet the bed or not.

In this business of potty training, there are always moments, good, bad, and downright ugly, but the truths never change. Forget the fairy dreams that it would just happen overnight, unless you are one of the moms, who started potty training at six months, so by the time your baby is a year old, they have absolute control over their bladder. Even then, these truths never change; we all just experience it in degrees.

  • You will spend just as much as you save


I will admit that one source of motivation for starting potty training was to save on the cost of diapers, wipes and such. I had done a mental arithmetic of how much I would have, if I  didn’t have to buy diapers for a week and then a month, I would have been rolling in some serious dough.

I had ideas of what I would do with the money, but guess what; they never happened. Instead, I graduated from out-rightly “bribing” to encouraging my kids to use the toilet. I promised heaven on earth, if only they would go to the potty themselves. Of course, if I got one person a gift when they successfully mastered potty training, the other twin expects the same when they do the dutiful.

Even at that, the soaps for cleaning and the regular washing will also suck some of what you had intended to save.

  • It is not as easy as it actually seems


“Potty Training,” sounds kind of cute doesn’t it? Something that cute has got to be pretty simple, abi?  You might have thought, all you need is to buy a potty, make a big show of presenting it to your kid(s) and telling them, it’s the new way to go, getting some pants handy and allow them wear those, rather than the diapers and specifically ask them to tell you when they need to use the potty.

Sounds easy right? If only it was that easy.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but it is far from the reality. It involves lots of accidents and some miniature persons wondering why they have to use the potty, all at your expense, I must add.

The truth is, you will need to sit on the bathroom floor for minutes, helping your kids wee or poo. It doesn’t matter if it is 2pm in the afternoon or 2am in the morning, when the sleep is just getting sweet. You will need more than pull-ups and wipes. You will need lots and lots of patience and love.


  • Your baby might think everything is a toilet



Part of the drama that happens is that everything looks like a toilet to your potty training toddler; from your heap of books, to cups, even the shoe rack is not spared the wee wee baptism.  

While my older son was being potty-trained, my mom would tell him she would be keeping all the things, he had wee weed on for him, till he was older and he would let off one of those his adorable baby cackles,  and it felt as if he was saying, “Grandma, I can’t be bothered.”


  • You might annoy yourself with your constant checks



Yes, this is so true. Potty training can be quite exhausting and overwhelming for the number of weeks and sometimes, month, it will take to get your little charge potty trained.

It may be the fact that you’re asking your kid if they “have to go” every 3.5 minutes.  Or the song you sing, whenever your baby either uses the potty successfully or an accidental discharge occurrs. Whatever it is, at some point during the potty training process you will stop and think “What the am I doing sef?!” Hopefully, that happens a lot earlier for you than later, so you can re-think your strategy.


  • Potty training gives you a new choice vocabulary



During the potty training process it’s like your conversation is always tuned to POOP radio. You will find it almost impossible to go more than a few hours without the words pee pee or poo poo from exiting your mouth. For the sake of all others around y  please remember that not everyone wants to hear about how close your baby came to going wee wee in the toilet. It isn’t exactly dinner table conversation.

Potty training takes patience and dedication to pull through, but it’s so worth it to have children who are able to do their business by themselves.

Time to release control of that aspect of their lives and may God help us all.



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