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Toddler Chronicles: Potty Training Do's and Dont's when Co-Parenting

Yay! You did it! No accidents all day.


Aren't these the words that all parents want to hear after tirelessly working to potty train your little one for weeks sometimes months? Although we wish potty training could be as easy as how quickly they color on the walls the truth of the matter is that it is simply not. Each child learns at their own pace and adapts to potty training differently.


There is no definitive answer as to what age to begin training. Physicians usually bring up this topic of potty training around an 18- or 24-month visit. Most children complete potty training between 18 and 37 months of age.


The last time we had a potty training check-in, Tristan was just beginning potty training and going through the "I will pee wherever I want" stage.

Thankfully, those days are long behind us and we FINALLY are on a good routine and in "real" underwear, of course, there are days that he might slip up but hey! He's three and I'll take "mostly" being potty trained versus not at all. Many factors go into how quickly your child adapts to potty training. For example, we started with my son Tristan but after separating we decided to hold off with his potty training until we felt he was comfortable with our "new life" norm. It worked out for him because he was able to adjust to the new life situation and therefore he was more accepting of potty training and listening to his body and us.


In my experience, stability plays a big part in either the success or temporary failure of potty training. Take your time with your little one and let them get to a point where they are "ready" on their own time. Because the more you push potty training on a toddler that is not ready, the more they will resist.

These factors include:

  • If your child is in childcare or being cared for by other adults for long periods who may not enforce the potty schedule you create.

  • If your child is not "ready".

  • If your child is living in multiple households


My child's co-parent and I have had our triumphs and setbacks when it comes to potty training. From having pee everywhere to creating a consistent routine with both parents in two separate households, it can sometimes seem like you will never be able to get on one accord but hang in there! Eventually, you will get on a consistent schedule and you, your child's co-parent, your child, and all the other adults in his life will be on the same page. Trust me I've been there!


Being a first-time mom I have truly learned from trial and error. Potty training has no one size fit all formula. Patience is something that I continue to learn each day, because our children, will do things when they are ready, not on "our" timing. There are a few things I have learned along the way and I would like to share. Check out my list of to-do's and don'ts below!



Stay tuned each week for new blog posts covering co-parenting, toddler life and motherhood!






Sources: Parents.com and The University of Chicago (Pediatrics Clerkship)


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