How I Potty Trained My Stubborn Toddler

How I Potty Trained My Stubborn Toddler:

Today on the blog I’m sharing a few things that helped me while potty training my “stubborn” toddler.

I put stubborn in quotations because I realized during this process that my toddler in fact was not stubborn, she was hesitant and scared, which was a result of a HUGE lack of communication on my part. Her feelings were completely valid and justified.  (Keep reading, ill explain. it’ll all make sense.) Heck, I was scared!!! This was definitely new territory for me and a HUGE learning process for the both of us. 

We tried several different methods at several different ages, failing each time. I couldn’t understand WHY she was just not going to the potty! It was frustrating and I was losing motivation. I was starting to believe my toddler was going to be in diapers forever.

I read countless blogs, watched endless videos. All sharing similar stories of how they successfully helped their kids learn. 1. just take them to the bathroom 2. Have them sit down on the potty and 3. eventually they’ll get it. Easy, right? 

Now, I’m no expert or specialist. I’m simply a parent trying to help other flustered parents get to the realization and revelation that potty training doesn’t have to be scary or daunting. 


Each of our attempts to potty train resulted in a terrified toddler. I realized one day it was because she had NO IDEA what the heck was going on. I did, but she did not.

The entire time I was the one setting the tone, I was the one keeping mental notes of when it was time to go sit down again. I was the one in control. 

Did I mention to her we were potty training? YES. Did I realize that my toddler had NO IDEA what a potty was, or what it even meant to use the potty. No. 

Once I realized my huge mistake, I felt so bad. This entire time i thought she just wasn’t comprehending. I really didn’t stop to think about the small details.

Heres the thing, Kids comprehend and are smarter than what we give them credit for. You just have to communicate in ways that they understand. 

Olivia very much loves to be independent, she likes to know whats going on. What is happening and why its happening.

I had to take a step back and kindly explain and repeat detail by detail, step by step the process of what the potty was, what happens when you use the potty, and how to use it. We talked about it casually for a couple of weeks, just to get the idea comfortable with her. 

During this time she was still in pull-ups and she’d soil in them. I took advantage of this time to show her what it meant when she went pee and when she went poo each time I would change her into a new pull up. 

STEP 2. Lower your expectations!

Do some toddlers potty train in a day? Yes! is there a possibility that yours won’t? Yes. And guess what, They’re BOTH ok!

Learning how to use the potty is A LOT of pressure on a small child. For the first years of their lives they’ve developed a comfortable routine of soiling and voiding in a diaper. They had no idea that one day it would come to an end. Which circles me back to step one, Communicate! Now remember, this doesn’t mean underestimate, it means reassurance,safety, guidance and talking through the process. 

STEP 3. Utilize your child’s interests.

Olivia LOVES music, all aspects of music. She love to sing, dance, listening to music. This girl will stop dead in her tracks to bust a move. I had the idea to have us listen to all of the song options for the alarm on my phone and had her pick her favorite one. I communicated with her that every time this song came on it meant we had to go sit on the potty. No pressure to use it, just go and say hi and have a seat. ( Her potty seat had Bubble Guppies characters and she loves saying hi to each one of them) This now gave the alarm control and she was less hesitant to go than when I was directing her. Every time that song came one I’d act so surprised and we’d excitedly race to sit on the potty.

STEP 4. The timer.

At first, before we picked the song and I realized my mistake, We were going and sitting on the potty every 10-15 minutes. Almost every thing I read about potty training stated to take them very often in the beginning and then slowly space it out. That did not work for us, AT ALL. It was way too overwhelming and I could see it was really stressing the both of us out. So instead we did it backwards, we went every 2-2.5 hours. Just to sit, no pressure to go. During this time would also be a good opportunity to utilize your child’s interest. The more relaxed they are, the more likely they’ll use the potty. We took a few minutes sitting on the seat to read books, blow bubbles, and sing songs. 

STEP 5. Undies. 

Once we were both comfortable and she felt ready, we tried going to the potty  for about the first week while still in pull ups. Once she had her first success we CELEBRATED, Till this day i still cheer her on when she goes. She really had to SEE the process in action to realize what it is that she had to do, Which is why i really do suggest going all out with your celebration. Clap, Dance, Jump up and Down. Don’t be afraid to make this fun and exciting, you might feel silly but I promise your kiddo will appreciate it.

Then, after a few days of her catching on, actually using the potty, and no longer feeling scared, we decided to use panties. I explained to her what we would be doing. Saying things like, “OK we have to say bye bye to diapers, we get to use panties now! HOW AWESOME!” I got her super excited about wearing panties, I surprised her with a pack of undies with her favorite characters on them. I also kindly let her know that she should not go pee or poo in them. Of course I knew accidents would happen and I had absolutely no intentions of punishing her or making her feel bad. I just wanted her to understand that it was not another form of a diaper that she could freely soil without making an attempt to at least use the potty first. 

STEP 6. Putting all of the steps together!

Its important to take as much time as you need during each step, and really customize things to your lifestyle and child. Every one is different. I’m not going to lie, It was HARD. By day 2 of her wearing undies I was in full blown tears, you just really have to be consistent and be your kiddos biggest support. Remember that this is as scary for them as it can be stressful to you. This is a RELATIONSHIP, it requires effort and communication from the both of you. And give yourself grace, be kind and gentle with not only your child but also yourself. Don’t give up, The reward is so so sweet! There’s nothing like seeing your child light up with the realization that they’ve overcome a fear and accomplished something huge. YOU’VE GOT THIS!

Bonus: books!

This book was AMAZING! It was really easy for her to follow and understand. If you have little girls, I definitely suggest getting this book!

Disclaimer: blog contains affiliate links. When you purchase anything from these links, I have the opportunity to earn a very small commission, at no extra cost to you! Thank you!

Life Update

Hello Blog, my old friend.

It’s been a while, I know. For those of you who follow me on Instagram or YouTube, you know I’m quite the Flake. Sorry, I’m committed to doing better in 2020.

Anyway, HI! I cannot believe I found my old blog, I’m excited to put it to use again. I thought I’d share a life update mostly for me to look back on and see how much I’ve grown, so much has happened since this blog. I’ve narrowed it down to the top 4 life updates…

1) Olivia was Born. My birth story is a crazy one, I have a postpartum video on my YouTube that shares a little bit about my experience. She’s now 2.5 and does Dance. She’s grown to be such a sweet, sassy, and smart little girl. She’s going to be something big one day, I can feel it.

2) Johnny and I got Engaged! Wedding planning is not in the works, sorry fam. We’d rather put that towards Olivia’s college fund. #NoDebtGoals. But we do plan on making it official soon. We’ve been together for 5 years now. I started this blog when I was 21, I’m now 25 going on 26 and he’s 27 going on 28!! WOAH.

3) I’m no longer a Stay at Home Mom! WHAT!! Yep, a year ago we decided to give it a try. The idea of having Olivia in someone else’s care was never a plan for us, but being the work-natured person that I am, I felt like we could give it a shot. Also, funds were getting tight lets be real lol. So far so good, it hasn’t been easy by any means but I have an awesome work family and Olivia enjoys going to her sitter’s. Its totally a new environment but I have loved the experience and learning new things everyday!

4) I found Jesus. He has changed my life SO much for the better and I’m so grateful. ❤️

I’ve left a lot out, I could probably write a novel with all that’s happened. I’m truly happy where I’m at in life now and I’m excited to see what God has planned for us in store. Thank you for tuning in. Until next time.

XOXO, Gracie

BabyShower DIY

Baby shower table decor DIY!

When you’re on a budget but want to plan a sweet shower for your babygirl what do you do? DIY!!! 

Here are some Mason Jar Table decorations

$8 for a 12 pack of small jars. The candies and ribbon were all 50-75% after Valentine’s Day! Spent less than $15 for these cute little guys! 

Fill the jars up with your favorite candy, tie up some cute ribbon around it, and DONE!

Pregnancy & Mental Illness

Get your snacks ready folks, this is going to be a long one…

Pregnancy & Mental Illness, where do I Begin? I guess I’ll start at the Mental Illness part. I struggle with Clinical Depression and Anxiety, on top of that I struggle with acceptance of such diagnosis. Is it real? Is it not? Do I need medication? No, Medication is for the weak…QUICK someone give me my chill pill! Its a constant battle, trying to accept the fact that I’m okay yet not okay. Trying to accept the fact that scientifically I do not produce that happy chemical while simultaneously listening to the constant opinion of others who incessantly shove their beliefs on me. Who do I trust? My gut or my family? Do I trust my gut because it’s telling me I need this medication, or is that the depression taking over and “altering my perception” Or maybe I should just take a walk like everyone suggests? I still cant answer that because I’m still trying to figure it out myself.

I spent most of my adult life lying to myself about said illness, chasing and searching for happiness trying to convince myself that it’s not real. Thinking maybe if i move here or buy this I’ll finally be happy all while drowning in a clutter-filled world of material things that have absolutely no meaning. This was/is something I struggled with CONSTANTLY and getting on and off medications. Knowing that I need them but desperately telling myself that it’s all a placebo, just get over it.

2016 came around and I landed the job of my dreams, I stopped the medications cold turkey, thinking I finally made it I’ll finally be happy. Truth is I was too distracted by 60 hr work  weeks to notice the depression still lingering. My anxiety was at an all time high but I just kept telling myself that it came with the territory of having such a prestigious job. There I was again…Lying to myself.

September of 2016 I found out I was pregnant, at first it didn’t scare me. I was making enough money to afford a child and with my spouse by my side we had more than enough combined. Right around this time there were some major changes going on — for which I’ll save for another blog post — and with that change came added stress, but me being the clueless first time mom I had no idea the effects that stress have on the baby. Pile on depression, anxiety, physical labor and stress BAM a recipe for best expectant mom of the year. My body started shutting down, I felt like I was constantly in the hospital, oh and lets not get into the situation with my blood pressure. Doctor after doctor told me I needed to lessen my work load, that I needed bed rest. Me? bed rest? Psh, I wasn’t going to let a little pregnancy get in the way of what I worked so hard for..and that’s when God, life, and the universe teamed up-came in and knocked me back down. One last trip to the ER and I knew I was done, I knew that was it for me. I reluctantly resigned and I felt like I was demoted to stay at home mom (which I now see as such a beautiful promotion). With that “demotion” the depression showed it’s face again, mocking and suffocating me.

My ob quickly noticed and we talked for about an hour, our routine appointments usually took about 15 minutes. She explained to me that my depression was taking over and the negative effects it could have on my pregnancy. She showed me different options including medications that were safe for expectant mothers, I didn’t tell her about my struggle with taking the medications before but I didn’t have to as she could clearly read my “poker face”. She sent me off with a prescription and as I walked out she said something to me that’s stuck with me ever since. “If you cant be there for you,  you cant be there for your baby and I know you don’t want that. She needs you…you need you.” I about died and my heart broke. What was I thinking putting myself through all of this? I felt so guilty and selfish. Those words saved me, my relationship, and Baby Olivia. Now taking the medication I can genuinely say I feel better. Of course not everyday is 100% but when is it ever like that? This whole experience opened my eyes to the beauty of pregnancy and being there for my partner. It’s showed me that when life is trying to change your path its best to just go with it. Or as they say “Keep Calm and Carry On”

If you feel like you’re struggling with depression don’t be afraid to talk to someone or your doctor. You are not alone. ❤


                              Stay Beautiful,