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World’s Laziest Potty Training “Method”

2014 April 23
by Becky

That’s right, it actually happened, we finally got Ethan on the potty.

After 38 solid months of happily wearing diapers and showing absolutely no interest in using the potty, Ethan figured it out.


People kept asking us if we were “trying” or if we’d done the “naked weekend” yet. His teachers urged us to begin the process after his third birthday and, believe me, I was getting pretty darn tired of changing diapers. But three came and went and we had made zero progress.

We were reluctant to pressure him and he lacked any interest…a mix that made the whole thing easy to blow off. The thought of trapping ourselves in the house all weekend fighting him to sit on the potty and cleaning up pee all over the house sounded so incredibly horrible. I didn’t read a book, didn’t research a method…I avoided.

It was very unlike me.

All I did was keep asking.

“Ethan, want to sit on the potty?”

Which was instantly followed by “No no no! I don’t have to go!!” and contorting of the body so there would be no possible way to get him anywhere near the toilet.

But I kept asking.

And one day a few weeks ago, after we’d returned from our trip to Florida, he said, “YES!” In total shock I remained conscience long enough to get him seated and he did it. We shouted, screamed, ran around the room, called Dad, and ate M&Ms.

It was amazing.

For the next few days I kept him in diapers and just took him to the bathroom every hour or so, no matter where we were. Remarkably, he started holding it longer and longer in between and the diapers remained dry. After 3-4 days of this, maybe less, we bought some super cool Planes underwear and made the transition.

It happened so fast!

He was quickly staying dry during naps and almost every single night.

Hilariously enough, he figured out how to do the deed standing all on his own. Urinals are his new obsession, making the Ladies room a huge bummer. And we keep Clorox wipes in all the bathrooms for aim issues. He’s pretty darn accurate!

Sure accidents happened, but they weren’t that big of a deal. I carried around the good ole’ diaper bag full of extra undies, wipes, pants, and socks. Like when he peed all over the Home Depot paint aisle, we did a quick change right there on the spot. No big thang! But there were only a handful of those, accidents are few and far between. We remind him to go a lot, but he’s rapidly getting better about going on his own.


The most “method” we used was a chart, just to keep things fun and exciting after the initial successes. I was skeptical, wasn’t sure Ethan would really care about putting stickers in little boxes, but he was totally into it. When he got 10 stars, we let him pick out a small treat or toy…usually something from the dollar bins at Target, but we did get a little more elaborate a couple times.

Procuring “Ishani” was a pretty exciting moment (and difficult…that plane is a &*($ to find!).


So I’ve talked all about potty and I know Ethan’s 15-year-old self would be so upset if I left out the details of poop…or lack there of.

We’ve heard it’s pretty normal to have trouble teaching kids to feel comfortable going Number 2 on the toilet, sometimes they refuse to go and such. But Ethan’s problem is a complete lack of consistency, which was the case even before any of this potty training stuff. Every 4-5 days, he goes. We’ve talked to the doc (after prune juice didn’t fix things) and he recommended Miralax. Things are a little better but not much, so until he’s more regular, Pull-Ups come into play for the messy stuff.

It mostly works.

We encourage him to keep trying for #2 on the potty…getting him to wait it out is tough though.


The craziest thing? Until now, Ethan rarely got out of bed without our supervision. He’d wait till we came in the room to “release” him, even after we transitioned to the big boy bed. But with potty training, we had to give the Peanut permission to get up and go if needed.

So now, most mornings I wake up to see Ethan staring back at me.

Not at all creepy.

In summary, our method is:
a) Do nothing but ask your kid if they want to try the potty
b) Wait until they are ready
c) Encourage the crap out of them when they finally come around.

Laziest potty training in the world. And it worked!

Looking for tips on constipation issues…lemme have it parents! How did you get your kid regulated? Was poop an issue during potty training? 

8 Responses
  1. Linda Johnson permalink
    April 24, 2014

    Congratulations Ethan!! and of course mom and dad…

  2. April 24, 2014

    Way to go!!!

  3. April 24, 2014

    Success!!!! Guess he won’t go to high school in diapers after all.

  4. Rachelle permalink
    April 25, 2014

    Kudos to you for waiting until he is ready. We potty “trained” my 31 mo earlier this week, even though some of his friends have been for a while, and after 2-3 days, we now have no more accidents. I am amazed at how fast he caught on. I personnally think that if you wait until they are ready, it will not drag on for months and months. I can’t really advise on constipation issues, as we always had the opposite problem, however my crunchy friends swear by It’s the complete opposite of what we are traditionally told, ie prune juice, pears, apricots, medications, etc. But i hear it works wonders if you have the patience to read through the website and make some diet adjustments. Good luck!

    • Becky permalink*
      April 30, 2014

      Thanks Rachelle!! I started reading the website and wow, that’s a lot of info. I now think we are dealing with a holding/constipation issue. Double whammy. Hope it’s over soon!!

  5. April 30, 2014

    We too have taken the lazy approach. Our son is nearing the 30-month mark and while he generally goes before bath time, that’s the only time we have success. He attends daycare full time, and he will use it there about 4 times a day (which is awesome) but we can’t encourage him at home.

    I think we’re going to try to get him trained soon. I think…ugh… :)

    • Becky permalink*
      April 30, 2014

      Using the potty at daycare is a good sign! Dumb question, have you tried giving him an M&M when he goes at home? I had them stashed all over the house. :) He’s still got plenty of time, no way Ethan was ready at 30 months. Not even close. Good luck!! Come back and tell us what works!

      • May 8, 2014

        We always give a “treat” when he uses it at home. Either a marshmallow or m&m or pez candy. At school, they just put a sticker on his daily sheet, so no real “reward” there, other than me acknowledging it when I see it and making a big deal out of it.

        I think we’re going to try using the toilet. (The last time I tried it, back in January, I almost dropped him on it and pulled my hip real badly, and I was lucky my mother-in-law was there, because I couldn’t do anything but lay on the couch.) I think if he uses the big potty and flushes it, maybe he’ll feel “bigger” or something. I don’t know, we’ll see.

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