Jackie Marie Carr

How I Potty Trained My Five Children

Let me just begin by saying there are many ways to potty train, and I doubt there is a wrong way to do it.

Although, with having five small children I found there were some ways I potty trained my five children that worked for me with having a really busy household. 

There have been times when I first started out that potty training seemed to be the most daunting task, and I would wish I could just pay someone to do it for me. With my first little one, everyone gave me advice on when I should start and how to do it. I read some books and talked to a ton of people. So, with this post I am going to try and compile some of the ideas I learned so that you can have the resources if you need them. I hope you find them helpful.

Before I start potty training, while I was changing diapers, I would tell my little ones about pee pee and poo poo.

I told them how yucky it was or whatever silly thing I could come up with while I was talking to them and changing them. I wanted them to become aware of what they were doing. 

With my oldest son, I tried potty training after every milestone, and would honestly be so exasperated with the whole thing.

When he was one I tried, then again at 18 months, at 2, and then finally at 2 ½ because I simply just didn’t know what I should do. There were so many ways and opinions of how potty training should be done. I picked the age of 2 ½ with all my children and it worked perfectly (for me).

I know it can be done at different ages, but for me 2 1/2 was a perfect age.

Trying to train them younger was an extremely stressful thing to be cleaning up pee all day or spending all day at the toilet when there were so many other things to do. I felt at the age of two they could understand how to be potty trained.

The week before or however long leading up to potty training I would talk about the potty and being a big girl or big boy.

I set aside a week I knew that I could devote mainly to potty training.

I picked a week that my husband was going to be out of town, and I didn’t have to stress over dinner and schedule. 


The night before, we went to the dollar store just the two of us, and I told her that we were buying her things to start potty training.

(She was used to this word because I had been using it for so long.) We picked up big girl panties (I already had a pack of training panties I had picked up previously), a new big girl cup without a spout, a salty snack, a favorite drink (preferably not milk), a large pack of maxi pads, and finally I let her pick a treat (something like M&M’s or Skittles that have lots of little pieces). She picked M&M’s; she loves chocolate like her mommy. 

By the time we made it home she was more than ready to give it her first try.

She begged for her treat beforehand, but I held my ground and told her that her snacks and treats were only for going potty like a big girl. She was so excited that she went potty on her first try. Hyping it up is key to being successful. I always cheer and make it a huge deal when they go potty, and then I give them two M&M’s. 

The next day, soon as they wake up run them to the potty.

This is the best time for them to be able to go. (After nap time I did the same thing.) I reminded her how important “today” is, it’s Potty Training Day. She went potty, and afterwards picked her treat. I filled up her cup, half juice and half water, and then gave her the salty Cheeto snack she picked out. If they are eating a salty snack, they will drink lots more, which will help speed up the process of making them have to go potty. 

The first day I keep them in a t-shirt and underwear because it’s much easier for them.

I usually take them every 20-30 minutes.

They are usually nervous, and won’t totally empty their bladder, so sometimes they will go right after they just went. After the first day, I put a maxi pad in their underwear and try to keep them on schedule with saying it’s potty time every 30 minutes or so.

After the first day the excitement wears off a little bit, so expect a little stubborn streak.

I have tried to push the issue, but with Scarlett I just let her try and just tried my best to make it fun. She came around. 

I have also used books and made up silly songs for potty time. For Scarlett, I did not use a lot of books because I didn’t want her to be distracted, but some of my others looked forward to sitting on the potty with a few books.

There are some children that are definitely harder than others, and take much more time.

Trying to make it fun and using patience is the key. You may ask, “Why the pads and not a pull-up?” I just feel that pads work better in their underwear because pull-ups feel so much like a diaper they don’t have a problem wetting a pull-up. Although, if I do not have an extremely busy day I will let them go with just underwear without a pad.

The more they can feel the sensation of wetting themselves, the faster the potty training experience can be (most of the time). 


Normally, I will still put a diaper on them at night or underwear and a pad until they do not have any accidents during the day.

I have used a pull-up or diaper when I have had to go to church or other places before they were fully trained. I would not go to church with my child wearing a pad, ha!! People may think you are a little weird LOL!

If you follow me on social media I will link Scarlett’s picture with some great tools you can purchase to help you have the best potty training experience. Anything you purchase through the like.to.know.it app helps further my blog and more information I can try to get on this site. 

My husband said I couldn’t put a naked picture of my Little on my post, but hopefully you get the idea;)

I love you all!

Love, Jackie