The REALITIES of Potty Training a 17 Month Old: Day 1

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

Okay, I know, I know, I know... He is only 17 months old. BUT! He has been showing signs of readiness to potty train. It was actually kind of adorable... whenever he would poop in his diaper, he would go hide in a corner and kind of squat down (oh how my heart broke for this little moment of vulnerable humanity). Then! He started actively trying to flush the toilet, like allllll the time. And finally, we would go for our daily nap drives (working on cutting those out, let me tell you what...), and he would wake up with a DRY DIAPER... So, there were definitely signs...


So, we read and read and read, I listened to waaaaay too many podcasts, and I might have become completely and utterly obsessed with potty training for a few days. Ultimately, we ended up following Jamie Glowacki's "Oh Crap!" Potty training method. We were READY! Here are a few quick tips we followed to get ready for Day 1:

  1. We had purchased TWO small potties (one for upstairs and another for downstairs).

  2. We stocked up on regular old pants and shorts (adios onesies!).

  3. We ordered all kinds of books on potty training.

  4. We started teaching our son how to "PUSH" his pants down (as Jamie says in the book, kids don't actually pull their pants down, they really push them down).

SO... Day 1 began with a late start on Sunday (after church). We watched his EVERY move. I searched like crazy for his telltale signal for when he was going to pee. This was SOOOO difficult and looking back, now I believe that perhaps they don't actually have a signal at first. Perhaps what happens is as they develop more of an awareness that they are about to pee, then they actually respond physically to that sensation and knowledge. Anyways, there was NO signal that I could find on that first day. But we did spend the entire day with him completely naked (he loved this...) and constantly setting him down on the potty whenever we thought MAYBE he might be ready.


Here is what the play-by-play looked like from that first day:

  • 1:45 pm - Sat, no pee

  • 2:10 pm - peed on ground squatting

  • 245 pm - peed on ground squatting

  • 248 pm - squatting to poop away from us

  • 3 pm - peed and pooped on potty

  • 304 - peed on potty

  • 320 - peed potty 2x

  • 331 - peed on tractor

  • 336 - peed on tractor

  • 4 - peed door

  • 410 - peed in potty

  • 418 - peed on floor

  • 422 - peed in potty

  • 435 - peed in potty

  • 445 - acting needy, peed on couch

  • 450 - crying by door, peed at door

  • 540 - DM peed in potty!

  • 544 - peed on couch

  • 546 - peed on couch

  • 6 - peed in potty

  • 605 - DM sat himself and tried to pee (even moved back and forth

  • 630 - peed on couch

  • 635 - peed on potty (squatting to play with truck and blocks)

  • 8 - peed in bed

  • 10:15 pm - peed on the floor right next to potty (no pee in bed)

  • Midnight - woke up, tried to potty, back to bed, peed In bed 60 seconds later

At the end of the day, here is what we ended up with:

  1. He peed or pooped in potty 10 times.

  2. He had 13+ accidents (I seriously lost count)...

  3. Overall, I was EXHAUSTED... but I knew it was still the right time to potty train him.

I can't tell you how excited we all were with that very first pee in the potty! And even though this was seriously one of the most exhausting days of my entire life... I am VERY happy we did it when we did. Remember that the optimal window for potty training for any child varies drastically, but your child will give you the signs. Once you see those signs, find a few weeks in your calendar when you can really just dedicate to your child and ditch those diapers for good!





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