A No-Bullsh*t Guide To Potty Training A 3-Year-Old

by Stevie Hedberg
Originally Published: 
A toddler standing next to their potty and an overturned laundry basket with clothes all over the fl...
rachel devine / Getty Images

I have 3 kids, a husband, a dog and a cat and I live in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Below is the article I’d like to submit, it’s more serious than my normal articles so I’m not sure if it’s right for Scary Mommy but I thought I’d check!

Ready to potty train?


Here we go:

Buy a poster board and Sharpies and make sure to carefully draw the lines between each day of the week (your toddler will get pissed if your lines aren’t straight).

Buy about 3,000 stickers because they come in packs of 500 and your toddler requires Star Wars, Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, and Justice League. Obviously.

Go pick out your toddler’s favorite underwear. Just like the stickers, you’ll likely have to buy about 17 times as many pairs of underwear as you need. Thanks, Target, for providing so many different types of licensed underwear.

Drive home, and get ready for fun.

Now, throw all that shit into the garbage because this weekend will be hell. Maybe make a quick stop at the liquor store though.

Get out all 75 pairs of underwear because your toddler is going to pee just a little bit in each pair.

Your will and determination will be tested. It will make quitting smoking cigarettes seem like just a typical Tuesday with how many times you have to say, “This is worth it. This is worth it. This is worth it.”

Your toddler will grow little horns on their head.

And probably pee on you at some point. Or 20 times. Either/or.

Your amazing partner who woke up Saturday morning with the same determination as you will either sink or swim — it’s every man for himself. They will either try to keep you in line reminding you that this is worth it, or they’ll back out and go upstairs for some quiet time and leave you picking up the broken pieces of your family.

Your two older kids will do literally everything possible to “try to help,” but in reality, they will just get in the way. They’ll complain that they aren’t getting M&M’s, that they don’t get stickers, that they aren’t getting attention.

At some point, your toddler will go into a full-on monologue (one that makes no sense, because let’s face it, they’re 3) about how they love diapers and want to be in diapers forever. How on earth could you be so mean as to take diapers away from them?!

And then…

Finally… finally, your toddler will pee for literally one second in the potty, and you get so excited that they cut the stream off and then pee on the floor 10 minutes later. And then you start over.

And then… they actually start peeing in the potty. Consistently.

After what seems like 19 straight days of full-on potty training (when it’s actually been 3–4 full days), you’ll emerge from your house in victory. Sure, they still wear pull-ups for naps, bedtime, and some Sundays just because they always win and baby gets what baby wants.

But you’re free of diapers. Mostly. Until they start wetting the bed because your oldest child shows them the movie IT when they’re only 5 years old and hides a clown in their closet every night.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The end. You’re welcome.

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