10 Things That “Piss” Me Off About Potty Training – “Crap”py products and advice that are supposed to help but don’t.

I originally posted this as a Note on Facebook in August 2011 as a way to comfort myself after our first failed attempt at potty training. I am posting it here because I know a few of my friends are in the midst of this fun parenting stage and I figured if it is going anything like it did for me – they need a laugh.

Humorous review of annoying advice and products for potty training. potty training humor, parenting humor

And for the record, Aunt Jeanne was right.


Our first attempt at potty training was an abysmal failure that resulted in a skinned knee (his), some tears (mine) and general frustration (all three of us). In order to cope, I could either complain or make jokes. Or better yet, do both.

So, without further ado, I present the following list of products and advice I have found along this section of the parenting journey:

ADVICE: Use the term “toilet learning” instead of “potty training”

My husband and I were potty trained, so were our parents and grandparents (ok technically some of them may have been “outhouse trained”), why did we need to invent a new term? I wish the braintrust that came up with this one would stop wasting time on this nonsense and spend it on really useful endeavors like solving world hunger, curing male pattern baldness, or convincing the NCAA that a championship tournament is needed in football.

PRODUCT: Potty targets

A friend told me about this “wonder product” designed to help boys with their aim when they progress to standing and suggested I use cheerios or fruit loops instead. Good idea, but my son might dive in after the cereal. When I mentioned it to my sister-in-law in front of her 20-something son, hysteria ensued! He wanted some and wondered if they had bull’s eyes on them so he could keep score, etc., etc. for a good 5 minutes.

ADVICE: Don’t tell your baby/toddler that his/her poop “stinks”

Warning! Warning! Political Correctness Overload!!!! “Oh, no, your lil poops don’t smell, Sweetie. Animal poop smells, every other persons’ on the planet stinks, but not yours, Precious wittle one.” This is EXACTLY what is wrong with some people today – no one has ever told them their excrement is malodorous.

PRODUCT: Training Pants that change colors when the child pees.

I can only assume the panel for girls is as low if not lower on the pants as it is on boys. In order to see when the colors have changed the child must bend almost in half to see between his/her legs. Wonder how many heads get banged or somersaults are started using these.

PRODUCT: Training Pants that feel cool when the child pees

When the child switches to underwear and it is warm instead of cold, what then? Plus, these are horrid for naptime use. My Zip Van Winkle finally conked out for a nap only to be awakened 45 minutes later by an icy cold blast to his nether regions.

PRODUCT: Training pants and underwear with characters on them

I searched and searched but could not find any tighty whities. Branded products for kids annoy me on general principle, but c’mon what is this obsession with branding my kid’s behind?

PRODUCT: Potty Seats that make noise

I have been blessed with a child that hates toys that make noise. I guarantee that if he sat down and it made a noise he’d never go near it again. Which reminds me of the story of the man that got a toilet seat that played the national anthem and he could never finish his business because he always had to stand up as soon as he sat down.

ADVICE: Check your child’s pants frequently to see if they are wet

After the second day, I was nervous that Child Protective Services was going to lock us up for groping our kid.

PRODUCT: $55 potty training dolls

These are advertised for use with the 1-day potty training method. $55! For one day’s use?! Does this come with a money back guarantee to potty train in 1 day? If I have to spend that much (plus the potty seat and other paraphernalia) this kid can just stay in diapers forever.

ADVICE?: The perfect parents that revel in telling me “my child toilet learned in 1 day at 12 months old”

You know those people that feel compelled to tell you how easy it was for them and just can’t understand why your child doesn’t get it. Be gone, before a house drops on your head! No really, go back to your perfect little planet and leave me and my kid here in this little place I like to call the real world.

When we do get back to training we will probably use some of these products and advice, but for now all I can do is laugh and keep repeating the best advice I have received, courtesy of my Great Aunt Jeanne: “What’s the rush? He’ll do it when he is ready.”

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  1. your Aunt Jeanne is a wise one! Back when you originally wrote this post, I copied it to my blog (I think I asked you first, but I was sleep deprived in 2011) as a guest post. It's a good piece! Thanks.

  2. My philosophy exactly! The'll do it when they're ready. A friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook of her 16 month old on a training potty. I did have a little chuckle. There's really no need to rush these things. But I guess I shouldn't be too smug… I remember trying to potty train my first born when he was 18 months. Oh how naive I was!

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