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10 Potty training fails that will make you feel better

Potty training can go off without a hitch or it can be an embarrassing mess at the worst times. These gross stories will help you feel like you’re part of a team.

Whether you put underwear on a kid who then poops diarrhea all over himself at church, or decide that tonight’s the night she sleeps without a diaper only to wake up in the morning covered in pee because she climbed into bed with you, chances are, if you’ve had the pleasure of potty training a child, it didn’t all go according to plan. These moms will help you feel like you’re not all alone.

1. Chocolate?

I’ll start off with a story of my own. One of my kids wasn’t super interested in using the potty, but I decided to give him some “naked” time when he was a toddler to see if he’d make the connection. He didn’t. Instead, I was called into his room, only to see poop in the middle of the floor. He pointed at it with a confused look on his face and asked, “Chocolate?” He sincerely thought chocolate had magically appeared out of nowhere.

2. Blaming the sibling

Vicki, a mom of two, had a really unique experience with her younger child. “Olive toddled into the kitchen in a pair of panties with a huge log inside,” she shares. “I asked her if she pooped and she said, ‘Noooo it was Lyra.'”

3. That poor Target cart

Other potty training fails happen in the worst places — like in public. “Archer was doing super well in undies and we braved a Target trip without backup pants,” explains Heather, mom of two. “I mean, what could happen in 15 minutes, right? Wrong. I was browsing and could actually hear bubbling in his pants, and then looked over and poop just started overflowing from his pants. It was dripping through the cart. Really, it was my worst nightmare come true.”

4. Disassembled potty seat

Jess, mom of two, tells the following sad tale of a potty seat gone wrong. “My son was about 3-and-a-half years old and he was using the Baby Bjorn potty regularly,” she says. “It had an insert. One day he ran up to poop, I was in another room and when I walked into the bathroom I noticed the insert, upside down in the sink — it was drying from a rinse earlier that morning. Then I looked at my boy happily sitting on the potty, having good breathy push. Then I looked back at the sink. He pooped on the tile floor.”

5. Slip ‘n slide

Sorry, this one is gross (maybe they all are?). Ashley, mom of four, was nine months pregnant and potty training one of her older kids. “My daughter took her underwear off in the living room and ran to the bathroom,” she tells me. “I knew she was going to need help wiping, so I waited a minute for her to do her business. I heard her yelling in the bathroom so I ran down the hall. I was barefoot and slid and almost fell. I turned on the hallway light to realize I slid in mushy poo. The carpet was a mess and my feet were covered in poo.”

6. Hide and seek

The stories don’t end there for poor Ashley — after all, the more kids you have, the more weird poop stories you collect. “Seven years ago I was potty training our first child,” she shares. “She was doing pretty well. One day my mother-in-law and I noticed her room smelled like poo. We looked all over for poopy underwear and couldn’t find any. I decided to clean her room later that week because the smell was really bad. I found turds in her vanity drawers and in an empty Candy Land game box under her bed.”

7. Ouch

Cindy, who has twin boys, shared this story that will make you (or the males in your life) shudder. Her boys were fully in potty training mode and things seemed to be going well — until this happened. “The seat fell on Wade and cut the top of his penis,” she recalls. “Blood was everywhere and I had to take him to the ER. It’s amazing how much those things bleed! That’s when we learned they make a slow close lid.”

8. It’s always the orange

Sarah, mom of three, has this all too relatable story to share. “One afternoon, Andy and I decided we needed to go to a specific store,” she says. “We only needed to be gone from the house for a fairly short time and since 2-year-old Xander had been in the potty training process for a fair bit of time at that point, I figured a trial run of going out into public with training pants instead of a diaper was a reasonable risk to take and would be a confidence-building experience for him. And I do believe it would have been… if it wasn’t for the fact that I had yet to learn what consuming an entire half an orange would do to a toddler’s digestive system. I learned that little life lesson moments after walking into J.C. Penney. Not only did I not bring an extra set of training pants and an extra outfit on our short trip to the mall, I also neglected to bring the soap, towel and entire bathtub that would have been necessary to clean up the mess an entire half an orange flushes out of a toddler’s bowels!”

9. So much sharing

“Turtle had a Boon potty and, to clean it out, you pull out the front like a drawer,” shares Hurley, who is expecting her second baby. “Turtle would always be so proud of herself that she would pull it out and accidentally slosh all the pee (or poo) out on the floor to show me, whether we had guests or not!”

10. The opportunist

I’ll close with another personal story of mine. We were at a large family gathering at my grandmother’s house for the Fourth of July, and my son apparently needed to pee. Instead of, you know, telling me and going inside to use the bathroom, he dropped his drawers and peed in front of everyone — not only did he give no crap about urinating everywhere, he actually peed in the direction of the assembled guests, like he was a performer on stage. Thanks, kid!

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