Family Life

15 Moms Share Their Worst Potty Training Stories

Ah, the joys of potty training…

I was commiserating with a friend the other day as she shared the dirty details of potty training her 3-year-old son, like the time she discovered a poop on the bathroom floor behind the toilet. (How the heck?)

I had my own stories too of course. Like the time Auntie Kristy taught Tee how to clink glasses and exclaim, “Cheers!” Tee thought this was the most wonderful tradition. For weeks she insisted on toasting everyone and everything. It wasn’t just glasses and sippy cups though. She clinked forks and plates with us at the dinner table, books at bedtime, crayons, popsicles, and anything else she could think of, all the while gleefully shouting, “Cheers!” But then she had the brilliant idea of “clinking” her full potty against the toilet bowl, sloshing pee everywhere. “Cheers!” I was not cheerful at all.

Sometimes you laugh, sometimes you cry, sometimes you just give up and put them back in diapers.

We asked you for your own funny and awful potty training stories, and here they are!

Well, he was warned…

Ever heard a grown man scream? My husband was in the tub with our 3-year-old son giving him a bath when he found a big piece of poop floating in the tub with them. In all fairness, I did tell my husband to put him on the potty first. I knew that warm water makes him poop. (My son, I mean.)



Even worse than that wet dog smell!

We were doing pantless potty training with my son outside on the porch and I couldn’t tell you why, but he decided to pee on our beagle. The poor dog was pretty startled I think so she ran inside where of course she shook herself, spraying pee all over my kitchen floor and cabinets.

Boy Momma



Your dentist probably thought it was funny too!

I always remind my toddler, “Do you have to go potty? Make sure you’re empty!” anytime we’re going out or getting ready to leave somewhere. We were at my dentist’s office getting ready to leave when she very loudly asked, “Do you have to go potty, Mama? Make sure you’re empty!” Everybody thought it was so funny, but I just wanted to sink into the ground (I might have a teeny crush on my dentist).



Monkey see, monkey do.

When my first child (a boy) was a potty-trained toddler, if he was playing in the backyard he’d frequently pee in the bushes instead of coming inside (which was fine with me – if I were a boy I’d do that ALL THE TIME!). When his younger sister started getting interested in using the potty, I would look out our living room window and see her standing next to him in the bushes, very proudly peeing on the clothes she’d pushed down to her ankles. She either didn’t realize or didn’t care that her pee was going straight down instead of away from her body because she was just so excited to be peeing outside with her brother! She did that countless times, and would just put the peed on clothes back on and continue happily playing.

Carolyn from Padded Tush Stats


Who doesn’t want to be recognized for a job well done?

Full public washroom. “Yayyy, Mommy!!!!! Good job! You pooped in the potty not in your panties!!! Woohoo!!!”




Good catch!

My son was standing at the tub waiting for his tub to fill when he started with his poopy dance, grunt and all. I saw the poop coming out and slid the baby potty under his butt. It landed! That counts right?

Ain’t Cleanin It


Potty training really can be a nightmare.

We started potty training my son at 23 months. The first few days were a nightmare for everyone. He would constantly say, “No go potty!” So much so that in the middle of the night I heard him moaning in his sleep, “No go potty!” Poor thing must’ve been having real nightmares about potty training! But after the first week or so he did amazingly well. He’s been potty trained for over a year now and no more nightmares!




The dog ate it.



Those damn public washrooms…

I have literally spent hours in public washrooms coaxing, bribing, and begging my daughter to please please just go pee before she wets herself. I don’t know why, but she’s terrified of the front gap in public toilet seats. Unfortunately, like 95% of seats have them. She won’t go back to diapers, so short of never leaving our house, I’m not sure what to do.

Just go pee!



She learned everything from her brother.

Last week my 4-year-old son had to use the restroom while we were shopping. My potty learning 2-year-old decided she also needed to use the potty too. There we were in this little bathroom with my daughter yelling at the top of her lungs, “I stand up! I stand up!” because after all she must do everything her big brother does including standing while peeing. And there I am trying to get my stiff as a board toddler to sit on the potty while juggling the baby to keep her off the bathroom floor. Thank goodness she didn’t go or we’d all have been a mess.

Jenna N.


Why pee on the bed when you can pee on the floor?

My daughter was pretty good at bladder control during the day, but she was still wetting her bed once or twice a week. I had a waterproof mat on the bed for those accidents, but I guess she didn’t like the way it felt or maybe how it sounded when she moved because when I’d come in to her room I’d find her sleeping on the carpet. And yes she peed on the floor in her sleep at least once.



They say that twins have a special relationship.

Twin 1 has been potty trained for a while and only needs help wiping. His brother likes to just watch. About a month ago, as I was nursing the baby, Twin 1 announced he had to use the bathroom and ran off. Twin 2 followed to watch. A few minutes later, Twin 1 called out, “Please wipe me bum!” I told him to just hang tight for a couple of seconds while I finished up with the baby. Just as I was about to start walking to the bathroom, the toilet flushed, both ran out and Twin 1 proudly told me, “No mommy need wipe me bum. Tin Tin [this is what he calls his brother] wiped me bum!”

Jenna P.



A series of unfortunate events?

I tried elimination communication with my daughter part-time, and it worked quite well (until she started walking anyway). I am smiling remembering some funny moments. Each night before we had the last breastfeed, I’d help her sit on her little potty on top of our bed to do a wee. One night, I bumped the potty as she got off and everything went through the sheets which I had just changed! I learned to keep the potty on the floor after that. And another night my very long hair took a dip in the potty as I was picking it up to empty!!

The worst was when she could sit unassisted on a bigger potty and she needed to do a poo but so far had not done anything. I left her for a very short time (to go to the toilet myself) and returned as fast as I could to find that she had done her poo, gotten off the potty herself, and had her hand reaching in to pick up the poo… so lucky I wasn’t a few seconds longer!

Emma Walmsley (Small Footprints Big Adventures)


Never underestimate a mother’s love (or her gag reflex).

By the time my son was almost 4, I was worried he’d never learn to use the toilet. He found it so stressful he would refuse to poop for days. We gave him prune juice, pear juice, Miralax, but nothing seemed to help. The worst was when he hadn’t gone in almost a week. I was just about to take him back to the doctor when he yelled for me from the bathroom. He was straining and pushing and in so much pain, but he’d gotten “stuck” partway through. There was a rock hard turd partway out of his butt, and I had to gently pull it the rest of the way out! Thankfully he felt better after that and his constipation started getting better and that was the one and only time I had to do that!



Got a funny/horrifying potty training story of your own? Share it in the comments!

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  • Ha ha! When my daughter was potty training she insisted on standing to pee too, so she could be like her dad. Guess its not that uncommon! Trying to explain the difference between her parts and her dad’s was awkward.

  • A few weeks ago, my son used his potty in the public bathroom stall with me. I picked up the full potty to flush it away, promptly tripped (uneven tiles) and doused the whole cubicle with pee.