Family Life

When Do the Potty Battles Stop?

On the whole, I think potty training has been going well. Teagan has been out of diapers during the day since March, and it’s been almost six weeks since the last time she wet her trainer at night. She’s now in underwear full-time, even overnight.

But I’m wondering when the potty battles stop. Every morning when she wakes up, I remind her to go to the potty. “No! I don’t have to pee! I’m never going to pee again!” This child has been in bed for over ten hours. I know she needs to pee! It’s a negotiation. Every. Single. Morning. I sit in the washroom with her and remind her that we can’t move on with the rest of our day – breakfast, playing, etc. – until she goes to the potty. And then I wait her out.

No face! - Potty Battles | This West Coast Mommy

“No! I don’t have to pee! I’m never going to pee again!”

(Of course, I have adorable pics of Teagan on the potty, but I wouldn’t do that to her. So you’ll just have to make do with her “No!” face. I get this a lot lately. Either that or the back of her head when she turns her back and refuses to look at me. Aargh!)

Getting ready to go anywhere takes forever, because Teagan doesn’t want to pee before leaving the house. But she won’t pee in a strange toilet at someone’s house, let alone in a public toilet, so I have to make her pee before leaving the house. Yes, friends and family, that’s almost always why we’re late.

Speaking of public toilets, you know those seats with the open front? What a nightmare they are for both of us! I don’t believe they’re intended for anyone under the age of 6. We spent the day at the Aquarium a few weeks ago, and they only had those open front seats. We stood in that stinky stall for at least 15 minutes negotiating a potty break. And then when she finally, tearfully, agreed, I basically had to hold her on the seat, trying to keep her bare legs and her pants from rubbing all over the rim of the toilet bowl through that gap. Yuck! I’m pretty sure she got at least as much pee on the floor as she did in the bowl.

Just about the only time she goes to the washroom willingly is when we’re sitting down to dinner. Four out of five times, that’s when she needs to go potty. Right now! Coincidentally, she never needs to pee when dessert is on the table. Hmm…

With preschool starting in a couple of weeks, I’ve been teaching her to take care of her potty routine on her own. I don’t actually think she’ll use the washroom at preschool, but on the off chance she does, I want her to be prepared. I’m pretty sure she’ll try to hold it the whole time she’s there though, so I guess we’ll be getting up a little earlier to leave plenty of time to battle over going pee before leaving for school. Sigh.

Do you have any potty battles of your own? When did your child stop battling potty time?

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  • My son is only 14 months though, so we have a ways to go before we hit this point. I’ve never really been around a potty-training toddler. I have no idea what to expect. But I hear so many stories about potty training struggles, and they are truly making me dread it lol.

    • Honestly, I think most things about having kids are a struggle in some form or another. Maybe you’ll get lucky with the potty training!

  • I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Your post made me feel better. My youngest has been potty training for OVER a YEAR!!! And she refuses to go to sleep without a pull-up. And I have to beg her to go potty in the morning too when she wakes up. Glad I’m not alone.

  • My kids were both so different. When they are finally ready, things will go smoothly! My son did really, really well before two and then when we lost my Mother he had setbacks. I didn’t push him and then within a few months he was ready and didn’t have but two accidents after that. My daughter was a bit more of a fighter and still holds it in the morning. I have to remind her every day.

  • I seat my daughters on the open-seat toilets sideways… then they can also often hold the handicap bar (yes, we use the handicap washroom because it’s easier to fit all three of us in there at once to go potty). I had the same battle with my three-year-old in the morning for a while. It did pass (but it seems like forever when you’re in the middle of it). Sometimes I still have to fight with both my 5 and 3-year-old when I can tell that they need to go potty but they don’t want to leave whatever they’re doing. Good luck!

  • I’m pretty sure that there will never be an end to potty battles in my house. My son doesn’t care if he’s wet and he has had “excessively firm” issues with bowel movements… so he’s got no interest in spending an hour trying to sit on the potty to do that.

    Some days, I just want to give up and put him back in diapers. But I don’t. So we just keep on keeping on.

    • Last year I really wanted my daughter to potty train because having 2 in diapers was so much work. Now, some days feel like it would be simpler with a diaper instead!

  • There were times when I thought potty training would never end, especially with my son. Yet here I am, finally, with two kids who use the potty like normal people. Well, at least during the day. It will get better, so just try to keep calm while you’re waiting 🙂

  • For the longest time when my son potty trained he refused to go. It was a tantrum every time we even mentioned it. One day he just decided to do it and the tantrums stopped. I think the constant reminders etc helped. She will get there. Just keep at it

  • And I thought I had it rough now with my 8 month old boy! This is a whole different phase i’m not looking forward to! Although at the end of the day, all the work, lack of sleep, etc. is TOTALLY worth it!