Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Potty Training

No matter how good of an attitude you have, potty training is just no fun.

In an effort to avoid meltdowns, stress-fueled weeping, anxiety attacks, and mental breakdowns, we’ve compiled a list of the potty training tools you simply can’t live without. Enjoy!

1. Potty Train Your Child In Just One Day: Proven Secrets of the Potty Pro

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Potty Training

Ummm, potty training in just one day?! YEP, SIGN US UP. Anything in the name of convenience.

2. 3 Day Potty Training.com 

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-3 Day Potty Training

Alright, if one day seems a little too intense, there’s Lora Jensen’s 3-day method. The convenience of this program is pretty ideal; you can download the e-book and get to using ASAP! Again, convenience is key!

3. Pourty Easy-to-Pour Potty

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Pourty

Easy to pour? Into it. Truly, anything that makes this process less complicated is wonderful, including this award-winning potty.

4. Mat & Sheet Protector For Night Accidents

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Mat & Pad

Avoid ruining mattresses and sheets by putting a waterproof pad in your child’s bed. This will not only help you when it comes time for laundry, but sources* say your stress levels will be happily low.

*Us, we said that, just now.

5. Toilet Seat Reducer

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Toilet Seat Reducer

Ahh, the good ol’ toilet seat reducer. This product is great because it makes the toilet a child-friendly size, and it’s easily removable from the toilet and is simple to manage.

6. Cheerios

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Cheerios

Wait, what?! Before you roll your eyes and think, “THIS LIST IS CRAZY!” settle down! Cheerios are actually super helpful when it comes to teaching boys how to aim when they pee. It might seem silly, but nobody wants pee everywhere and all over the toilet seat. Having something for a boy to “aim” for when peeing can teach them not to make a mess.

7. Candy

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Skittles

Hey, a little bribery never hurt anybody, right? Don’t answer that question. But really, if you’re not above bribing your kid with treats to get them to learn how to use the potty appropriately, go for it. Obviously there’s no need to overdo it, but sometimes a little sweet incentive can go a long way.

8. Hand Sanitizer

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Hand Sanitizer

There’s no getting around the fact that you will have pee/poop/general disgusting things covering your hands at some point during this process. It’s best to be prepared with lots of cleaning products, and hand sanitizer is probably the most important. Keep this blessed and sacred product close at all times.

Featured image via.

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All you can think when you envision a potty-trained child is: No more pee-soaked and poopy diapers! Hooray!

But there’s something you’re not thinking about—one big thing blocking your road to diaper-free bliss. And I’m not talking about the inevitable accidents or backsliding. I’m talking about public bathrooms. As in, your-beloved-and-trying-really-hard-to-do-pee-pee-on-the-potty child with the very small bladder is going to have to use public bathrooms. A lot.

And the little voice inside your head will be screaming, “OH, MY GOD, THIS IS SO DISGUSTING! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING!!!”

Let me explain.

You see, as adults, we take so many things for granted, like the fact that you shouldn’t stick your hand—or, you know, your entire head—into a toilet. Especially when that toilet has been used by countless, germy, disgusting strangers.

And before you ask, those baby porta-potties have never worked for us. My newly minted 2-year-old is almost-off-the-charts big, and the damn things are doll-sized. Also, they may be fine for road trips, but are you really going to schlep that thing all over creation in your purse? Yeah, no. Then there are the collapsible training seats touted for travel that always seem to collapse when you don’t want them to. So…public bathrooms, here we come.

But children are curious, and they learn by touching everything. Of course, you do not want them to touch everything in a public bathroom. I mean, whose ass has been on that seat? What kind of bacteria is lurking in there? I’ve seen those segments on The Today Show, and unfortunately, I can’t erase that knowledge from my brain.

Before I started this process, I had visions of lining the toilet with paper or one of those special covers, and gently placing my toddler on the seat, where he would tinkle on demand. Riiiiight. He’s a toddler, so he squirms. And that wonderfully interesting paper that’s suddenly covering the seat? Mommy was so thoughtful to put something fun there for me to play with, something for me to crinkle, something for me to throw!

New plan.

With my least panicked, “Sweetie, don’t touch that!” I body-block my toddler until I can disinfect the toilet with a wipe. I always forget to do the handle, and of course the first thing he wants to do every single time is flush. I haven’t touched one of those things with my hands since—well, I don’t think I ever have. But I have to let it go, because he’s already touched it and now it’s time to crouch down and get him potty-ready.

Keep in mind that public toilets are not kid-sized. There is no pulling down the pants and pull-ups to your little one’s shoes and having him hop up. Because a toddler is too small to sit on it like an adult, he has to straddle the damn thing to stay on it.

So, at least in my experience with a young toddler, everything from the waist down has to come off, shoes included, in the public bathroom. The socks stay on, of course, since I don’t want his feet to touch that floor, but this, too, will become problematic a few hours later when I put him down for a nap. Because my mom brain often forgets seemingly big things. Like ridiculously dirty, germ-soaked socks on nice, clean sheets. Ew.

But let’s deal with the here and now. OK, so the toddler is now on the wiped-down, paper-free toilet, straddling it with his legs…and he has to hold on. With his hands. Yes, I’ve wiped down the toilet, but no amount of wiping it down will ever be enough. His. Hands. Are. On. The. Public. Toilet.

So now we wait.

There might be singing. There might be pleas not to squirm and turn around to touch the flusher again. There might be slight panic when it seems like he’ll slip and fall in the toilet water.

But wait, we do. As I’m crouching on the floor in the tiny stall. Back cramped, thighs screaming from the effort of being in that position for way too long. (I’m not just out of shape; I have knee issues. Though I’m also out of shape.) I’m trying not to touch anything, and I’m trying not to freak out about everything I mentioned above, and I’m trying to mentally will this to happen so that we don’t have to do this again in another 20 minutes. Lots of inner monologue, lots of arguing with myself and lots of cheering myself on. I can do this. I can do this.

And…there’s pee-pee! And we’re shouting hooray! And clapping! And sounding like complete lunatics to anyone else in this public area. But that’s OK because, as I just shouted, there is pee-pee!

Time to put the pull-up back on and navigate the dirty socks through the leg holes without having them touch the inside the pull-up. Then the pants. Then the shoes, which he doesn’t want to wait to put on because he knows that he gets to play with water—er, wash his hands—next.

We wash hands—hallelujah!—and dry hands. And sing about it all. And then argue about how many reams of paper towels we can use.

I emerge from the bathroom spent, exhausted, sweaty.

But there was pee-pee. And, in the end, that’s all that matters.

This post was originally featured on Dawn’s blog, Momsanity

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My husband and I are currently in the trenches of potty-training our toddler. While she gets the concept, she really just doesn’t give a crap (not in the toilet, anyway). As first time parents, we’ve consulted everyone about what is normal and what is not.

We’ve had friends tell us that they potty-trained their child in one day (we secretly hate those friends) and others who have said it took the better part of a year. All we know is that diapers are an expensive hassle and we’re ready to be done with them.

Still, I can sort of understand where my child’s coming from; I too would like to not have to get up to use the restroom. But since it’s socially unacceptable – thanks a lot, society – we all must be potty-trained at some point.

So, I give you – fellow parents to a peeing and pooping kiddo – an ode to get you through another round of diaper changes.

An Ode to the Potty Training Toddler

As you poop on the floor
we buy more diapers from the store.
And throw your clothes into the hamper –
once again, it’s back to Pampers.

Wipes and dipes – they’re all a pain.
Can’t you just be potty-trained?
For each time we try to wean,
we have to get our carpets cleaned.

It hasn’t worked – our potty plan.
Until it does, no more bran.
Go and sit upon the throne –
you’ve pooped us out of house and home!

We’ve tried to bribe – Coke and Fritos.
M&M’s and crunchy Cheetos.
Dolls and balls and spinning tops.
Drums and gum and lollipops.

What will it take to get you trained?
Giant stalks of sugarcane?
A brand new bike? A Barbie house?
A talking to from Mickey Mouse?

Or this desperate cry – per your dad and mom:
you must make it to the john….
for all your poops and your pee, too.
And then we will decide to keep you

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Over a year ago, I decided to try to potty train Ginny, who was just over two-years-old then. I looked for signs of readiness, and, admittedly, didn’t see any. Despite that, I decided to try anyway.

I wasn’t successful. At all.

I had hoped that by using cloth diapers, she would be more than ready to use a potty.

I was wrong!

Ginny is a stubborn child who prefers to do things in her own way, at her own time. She decided on her third birthday (literally) to start peeing on the potty. I’m not sure what magically happened on that day, but she started using the potty and got excited every time she succeeded. We were relieved.

Our greatest struggle was getting her to poop on the potty. She always did that at nap time while sleeping. We didn’t want her to skip naps just to potty train. Then, I took away Pull Ups for nap time and let her wear underwear. She had no accidents, but still wouldn’t use the potty for the messy thing. Instead, she would hide in her closet at night, once her Pull Ups were back on, to do the deed. Needless to say, we were frustrated.

One day, it hit me. I knew how to solve the problem. At least I hoped it would work. Since Ginny was in preschool two days a week, I talked about her friends. I mentioned that Misty* and Cherry* pooped on the potty. Ginny acted shocked. “They do?” she asked! It seems that once she realized that her friends did both things on the potty she decided to do it as well. Ever since that day a month ago, she has had no accidents and uses the potty.

Now, I look at my youngest, Grace, who just turned two. After the holidays, I plan to start potty training with her. I hope she is more ready that her sister was (and she has shown some signs of readiness). With a baby on the way in June, it would be nice to only have to change one child’s diaper instead of two. I can only hope and dream we are successful.

For those of you going through the same thing, I thought I’d share some tips on surviving potty training with a stubborn-as-hell toddler.

1. Buy a book on potty training.

Read it, then burn the damn thing when you realize your child doesn’t want to do as suggested.

2. Laugh hysterically at every potty training article that suggests you can do it in 3 days or less!

Yeah, right. (I tried all the steps outlined, FYI…see how well it worked for me?)

3. Invest in carpet cleaner.

Lots of it. Better yet, buy a steam cleaner for your house. You are going to need it.

4. Buy chocolate treats to encourage your child to use the potty.

When they refuse to pee or poop on the potty, eat the treats yourself. You deserve a reward for not going insane!

5. If you have a friend whose child magically potty trained themselves in a matter of days, avoid any potty training conversation with them.

They do not understand the struggle. Then, wish that they will understand with their next child.

6. Wine is your friend!

If you are pregnant, like me, then malts or shakes make a nice alternative. You may need one glass a day (or more).

This post was originally featured on Denise’s blog, Jayhawk Mommy. Photo via

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Apparently the universe has a way of bitch slapping you in the face for making multiple public announcements about your first child potty training in one day.  Looking back, I probably deserved it, seeing as my announcements were less public service, and more poorly veiled commentary on my own parenting superiority.

For the last year and a half I’ve been luxuriating in the knowledge that my second child would be a breeze as well, and looking forward to again announcing my stellar potty whispering skills.  Maybe I could announce his toilet mastery on Facebook with a photo of me wearing a t-shirt with an arrow pointing toward the boy saying “Guess whose mother taught them to pee in the potty today?”  Perhaps I’d be subtle and send out “How Dry I Am” save-the-date cards to those in my inner circle.  So much to do, so little time.

It was about a month before I was planning to pull the trigger with the boy, when Santa left a pack of big boy undies in his stocking.  After the gift opening frenzy died down, I was so excited to see his little Thomas The Train-clad bum I began to put a pair on him, only to be met with unexpected mass toddler hysteria.

“I don’t want to wear those!”

“I don’t like big boy underwears!”


No big deal.  So I’d have to make some adjustments.  Maybe it would take him three days instead of one.  Part of my plan was waiting until the kids were over 3 years old.  This way they were old enough to understand the logistics of potty-ing and it had paid off with his sister.  I’d sit him down Mom-to-man and we’d discuss the importance of using the potty and the how to’s.  He’d be happily sporting a Thomas tush in no time.

Unfortunately things didn’t go quite as I had planned.   This was how it played out:

8am – Underwear phobia rears its head again.

8:30am – Boy is convinced to wear underwear without screaming (score one me!), followed by a requested change of undie design every 8-13 minutes (score one Project Runway).

9am – Mom notices a leak and rushes boy to potty only to learn that wet feet and sitting on the potty are a horrifying experience for boy.  Tears, cries of “Get me off of here!” and primal screams are noted.  Mom makes mental note to ask dad about how to point a small nub downward without permanent damage.

10am -1pm – Rinse and repeat hysteria about going potty 5 or so times.  Screaming and crying urgency escalates with each instance. Absence of clockwork morning poo is also noted.  Mom has ice cream for lunch.

1:30pm – 2:30pm – Nap time approaches with no less than ten trips to the potty under the 3 year old’s ominous warning that “The poop is coming out!”  Each visit ends in crying and convicted vows of hatred for the bathroom with no sign of anything “coming out” except my short temper.

4pm – 5pm – After nap mommy consents to playing an umpteenth round of Zingo! with him, only to hear the boy crying and telling me “It hurts”, but unwilling to go potty in any receptacle.  Full blown melt-down ensues with each suggested potty trip.  The clockwork poo has still not made an appearance, and his cries of pain are increasing in frequency to every few minutes.

5pm – Mom throws in the towel, slaps a diaper on him and calls it a day.  This is not important enough to send him into therapy over.  The clockwork poop finally arrives around 7pm in his size 5 diaper.

We’ll try again in a month.  I was pushing my agenda and he just wasn’t ready.  The moral of this story is that every kid is different.  Just because you luxuriated in your potty training genius with one kid, doesn’t mean the next kid will be an equal boost to your ego.  As much as you’d like to take credit for the success, it has a lot to do with the kid and very little to do with your training delivery methods.  This also means if you have a potty-resistant kid like mine, you can use phrases like ‘he just wasn’t ready yet’ to comfort yourself.

Don’t throw out the self-promoting t-shirts and save the date cards just yet though.  If you have a third, fourth, or fifth pro-potty kid, you may once again need to publicly proclaim parenting brilliance, and accept the accolades that are rightfully yours.

This post was originally featured at Susan’s blog, Pecked To Death By Chickens. Photo via

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A 3-year-old expresses regret as he sits in the bathroom and mulls over his last meal…which was apparently a little too big for him to handle. We’re pretty sure he’ll never touch another pickle chip again!

Have a funny or cute video you’d like to share? Send it to us HERE and we might feature it!

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