Potty Training Derailed

We’ve had a lot of trials and tribulations with potty training.  Considering our early successes with elimination communication, I never dreamed that Norton would be in diapers at the age of three.  Heck, I figured we’d be done with potty training (and diapers) by the time he was two.

Ha.Potty Training Derailed (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

After a lot of struggles, we had Norton very nearly potty trained.  He was happiest wearing his Cars underwear and would go “pee pee potty” on his own.  Mind you, we were getting absolutely nowhere with getting him to “poop in potty,” no matter how many nifty potty chairs we bought him or how many times we watched Elmo’s Potty Time.  When he had a bout with diarrhea at the beginning of June, our potty training efforts were shot.  I gave up and put him back in diapers after having to shampoo the couch.  In hindsight, that was probably a mistake.  I would have most likely been better off keeping him in underwear but putting a Bummis cover over to protect from poopsplosions.  But I didn’t, and now I have to deal with the consequences of that decision.

After the diarrhea cleared up, he refused to use the potty at all.  All the ground that we had made up was completely and utterly lost.  On Tuesday, he asked to use the potty.  It was only once, and he went.  I was thrilled.  I had decided that we were going to try the three day potty training method on Wednesday… and found that he had explosive diarrhea that flooded the bed.  Once again, potty training plans were derailed.

At this point, I’m beginning to think that we’re going to be in diapers forever.  Maybe, if I’m lucky, we’ll get potty training done before he gets to university.  Maybe.

Have you struggled with potty training?  How did you finally get it done?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Lots of work! I finally bought a book that recommended naked as the best solution. That and putting a potty in the play room, setting an egg timer for myself, using smarties for bribes, pausing tv or withholding priveleges until “bathroom jobs” ar done… cleaning up lots of messes, and 7 months later still having to keep on top of my “potty trained” 3 yr old if she is in a bad mood.

  2. AlannaB says:

    Potty training is extremely tough, especially if you have stubborn kids like mine. I literally have tried everything from the one-day potty method to resulting to bribery.

    With my oldest, he would go #2 in his potty at 18 months, but would wet his pants multiple times per day…this went on for weeks. I get tired of changing wet clothes, bedding, furniture, an put him back in diapers. At 24 months, we tried on and off again…let him self direct his potty training and then try some other method, hoping it would work. Fast forward to 4, yes 4, FINALLY he decided 2 days after his birthday that he should use the toilet. HALLELUJAH!

    …but now his brother is 3 and has zero interest on sitting on the potty. I really do not know how to handle this.

  3. Ugh Potty training is torture. My 3 year old was potty trained a few months ago and completely regressed. For a little girl who has been speaking complete sentences since she was 2 and a half this is very frustrating 🙁 Good luck!!

  4. Fieldstones says:

    Honestly we did the lazy person’s potty-training method. Just waited until the girls were ready; they both trained when they were 3 and were in diapers until then, which I was fine with, YMMV of course. The plus is that when they’re ready they are READY; one had ONE nighttime accident (ever) and the other never did. It was just something I wasn’t willing to make an issue of and fortunately it worked out for us.

  5. Summer @ Summer That Blog says:

    My first was so hard to potty train… Hoping 2 & 3 are a little easier! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Cloth Mama says:

    We do EC and have setbacks with illnesses, too. Hang in there and be consistent. He’ll eventually get it!

  7. mail4rosey says:

    I have four kids, the first three were easy, very easy, the last one was not (not at all). We just stayed consistent, ignored everyone saying he should be potty trained and let him get it when he was ready. He was potty trained completely by almost 4, but it was hard for both #1 and then #2. And last year could make it all night w/o any worries. It’ll happen. 🙂

  8. Give him time,he will come around again.

  9. We actually had the same problem and I just had to comment! My son potty trained for pee in about two weeks. After nine months of trying with poop, i started to realize that the ongoing diarrhea might mean that something was wrong with his stomach. We did traditional allergy testing that returned nothing, but I had a gut feeling that something was still wrong. We took him to a naturopath and found a number of food sensitivities that we were able to treat over the course of 2 months. Only 3-4 days into the first part of the treatment he pooped in the potty like it was no big deal & he’s been doing it ever since! Anyway, I blogged about it & thought I’d leave you the link if you want to follow our journey!

  10. katharine cookman says:

    it takes time..it took my son one time of poopin on him self with no diaper then he was potty trained he was almost 3 i was late potty trainnig him cause i was pregnant with my 3rd child and misarble threw the whole thing…

  11. anita leibert says:

    When I was attempting to potty train my son, I felt the same way you do. I tried everything I could think of and felt like I was getting nowhere. It is a frustrating time. I actually owe credit to my son’s step mother for her efforts. I have no idea what she did, but it worked! Don’t give up, I think eventually they will want to do it on their own!

  12. my son was was pretty much the same my daughter on the other hand has been a breeze ….they are only ready when “they are ready” it stinks but patience is virtue

  13. My oldest was really easy to train. We did the 3 day method when he was 22 months old and he never turned back. It was so easy I was shocked. I am currently training my middle child. He is 26 months and we are doing things a bit different with him. I don’t have as much time to devote to just his bathroom habits since I have 3 kiddos now so we are taking it slow and easy. He goes poop on the potty every morning and occasionally goes pee. He is starting to pick it up more and more. I think once fall hits I will go full blown potty training but the summer is just too busy.


  1. […] except for the pooping thing.  Then, of course, there was the whole potty training progress being completely undone.  The day before yesterday, I was ready to cry uncle.  I was done.  I’d decided to just […]

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