David Stegon

David Stegon is a writer, editor, and father of two based in Virginia. He has written for traditional and digital publications for the past 13 years. David holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Temple University and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Potty Training While Traveling

My wife and I recently returned from a long vacation with our two young children. I use the word “vacation” lightly, though. As any parent knows, traveling with a child of any age can be tiring and stressful and yet, relaxing at the same time (usually when the kids are asleep).
Vacations and travel also present challenges for potty training. There are new and exciting things to see and do, bathrooms are not always nearby (if we even know where one is), and normal routines get thrown out the window. Thankfully, my almost 5-year-old daughter made it through our 10-day trip without an accident, but there were some close moments.

When Does Potty Training End?

The other morning my wife and I discussed our daughter’s potty training, particularly whether or not she should wear a different type of diaper while sleeping at night. My daughter turns five in a few weeks, and we have been potty training her – in some way or another – for nearly half her life at this point.
It got me to wondering if potty training would ever end, especially since my wife and I will soon decide when to start training our two-year-old son.
When my son is fully potty trained – including at night time – it is likely my wife, and I will have spent more than five years with potty training in its various phases. That is a long time and underscores the long-term fight that potty training can be.

Should I Use Cloth Diapers for Potty Training Instead?

When it comes to diapers, you’ve got a pretty big decision to make as a father. Are you going to go with cloth or disposable?
Like all controversial subjects, this one has lots of different sides to it and plenty of people screaming at you about what you should do.
Fortunately, we’re here to cut through it all and help you figure out if cloth diapers are a better choice for you and your family while you are potty training.

Potty Accident: Rushed Potty Training and the Swimming Pool

It was late one summer evening, and my wife finally caved. My daughter had asked her time and time again — as three-year-olds are known to do — to go swimming in our community pool. My wife finally agreed, and the two of them walked over to the pool.

Part of the reason my wife was hesitant to go to the pool was the lack of a swim diaper. While my daughter was mostly potty trained at this point, we still had her wear a swim diaper to the pool in case there was an accident. My daughter did well using the bathroom at home but sometimes had accidents if she got too involved in a fun activity.

My wife and I talked it over and decided our daughter could head to the pool without a swim diaper. We would risk it and hope she could go without an issue. We were wrong.

The Next Step: Potty Training at Night

My daughter has mastered potty training during the day. She does not need a diaper, she tells us when she needs to use the bathroom and has gone more than a year since her last major accident.
That is during the day, though. At night – and naptime – she needs to wear a diaper because she will likely go to the bathroom. She complains every time we put it on, saying she hates wearing it and begs us not to wear one. We fight back because any time we’ve given in and let her try to sleep without a diaper, she ends up wetting the bed.
We expect this. Potty training at night is a different animal than during the day. Our daughter is asleep, and her body is not trained to wake her up if she has to go. As a result, she still needs a diaper.

How My Dog Prepared Me for Potty Training My Daughter

I know many parents may roll their eyes at comparing their child to their dog. I get that. However, since I grew up without any younger siblings or relatives, having a dog was my first time taking care of a living creature. To do my best for him, I needed to learn how to communicate more than anything else, and that served me well during bathroom training my daughter.

Potty Training for Dads Isn’t Different

Once the kids are in bed for the night, I will sometimes take my dog for a walk around the neighborhood and call my dad. It is a relaxing way for us to catch up, and a nice way to end what is usually a stressful day. While most of our conversations focus on baseball, we do talk about general life, as well. As I’ve become a parent in the last few years, the conversation inevitably turns to my two children and some of the struggles of parenting them. My dad sometimes has good advice, but there are other times where he’ll say something along the lines of “your mother dealt with most of that; I was at work.

Potty Training: Preschool Potty Training Policy

As my wife and I started to think about potty training, almost every online resource gave the same advice: wait for the child to tell you they are ready. This could be the child saying they no longer want to wear diapers, or a desire to use the toilet like mom and dad.
While I have no doubt this is the best advice, my wife and I found ourselves in a slightly different situation. We had a deadline.

Adult to Adult: What Potty Training Is Really Like

When my wife and I had our first child, my mom made an interesting point. Parenting never really gets easier, but the challenges change as the child changes. When they are a newborn, the struggle is to keep them fed and asleep while anticipating their needs. When they become a toddler, it is keeping them safe as they learn to navigate the world. The challenges continue as they grow.
The same is true for potty training. Compared to those first days when the child sleeps at odd hours and demands food at the weirdest of times, potty training is a breeze. Parents will deal with things that are much more complicated.