Alicia Keys: Potty Training Is Like Boot Camp

09/07/2012 at 11:00 AM ET

When it comes to his milestones, Alicia Keys‘ son Egypt Daoud is on fire.

“He just got potty trained!” the Girl on Fire songstress, who took the stage Thursday night alongside Nicki Minaj to perform their new duet at the MTV Video Music Awards, tells PEOPLE.

“Basically, [you have to] take them to the military! I took him to the military! No, it’s really just consistency and love and support and it was just amazing.”

Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup

The “proud” mama — who spent the evening cuddling close with husband Swizz Beatz and the couple’s 23-month-old son — says she is “in love” with her new album.

“It really talks about each part of our lives as human beings, and it has a ton of variety [and] takes you on all these different journeys,” Keys, 31, explains. “It’s powerful stuff, and I think you’re going to really love it.”

According to Keys, the tracks pay homage to her experiences from her career to her marital and motherhood ventures.

“It’s a new world for me, it’s a new life for me,” she says. “I’m more in control of myself as a woman, as a businesswoman, as a mom, as a wife. Everything is new.”

— Anya Leon with reporting by Gabrielle Olya

FILED UNDER: Babies , Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Pam on

That was the cutest thing last night, seeing little Egypt in the crowd. What a cutie!

Truth on

Love her! Can’t believe he is potty trained and only 2 years old

j. on

He should be he’s 2.

Chula_98405 on


Kmephesto on

Do you not have kids?? Boys take longer to potty train. She’s lucky to have him trained before age 3!

Lisa on

Awesome job getting him potty trained at 23 months! My son is 26 months and he’s starting the process (doing great so far!) so hopefully we’ll be successful like Alicia and her son.

Jess on

WOW very impressive potty training a boy that young is very hard work. She is right consistency, positive praise and encouragement are the only way to make it happen.

Shea on

Please tell me he was wearing some sort of ear protection!

Emily on

Not even quite 2 years old! Wow. My son is almost 4 and he JUST finished potty training. Boys tend to take longer than girls. If Alicia Keys pops out a daughter someday and she’s potty-trained before she is 2, I’ll be very impressed!

Juliet on

What’s the rush to potty train so young?? If you wait until they’re ready, there’s very little “training” needed, especially not the boot camp she’s referring to. My son decided he was ready at three, and within 2 days went from pull ups to underwear, it was painless.

Anna on

Why are ya’ll amazed that the boy is potty trained at 2? I don’t think toddlers should be in diapers after the age of 2. I mean it’s not rocket science people!!

lisa on you have kids? That was a retarded statement.

anna on

Why yes I do have kids. 2 in fact and they were both potty trained before 2.

Kate on

Actually, Americans in general have a lazy attitude towards potty training. A large majority of the world is potty training and trained by the time they can walk.

I am American, my kids were never potty trained by one but it’s not far fetched and I agree that toddlers really don’t need to be waddling around in diapers.

Also, the use of “retarded” in your statement is not only inappropriate but something I hope you don’t teach your children (or future children) to use. It’s a disgrace to use such a word in a derogatory way.

lisa on

Kate..get a grip..its ok.

lisa on

Congrats..most people can’t say that.

erdoo amashegh on

Quite impressive especially 4 a busy and celebrity mum.

ashely on

this was stupid

NavyOfficer on

Potty training is just like bootcamp? Like being in the military?? Wow- as someone who has served for the last 13 years (and continues to do so)….this comment is ridiculous. She should be embarrassed for belittling what our troops really do on a daily basis!!!!

Rebecca on

She is stating, “going to boot camp” as a sense of structure. Consistency is necessary to potty train. It has nothing to do with your service or as you say belittling what the military does.

Anonymous on thats a name to live up it looks like hes waving Bye to the camera man.

Just saying on

My son was potty trained when he hit two. But in her case, I saw in another photo of her son while at the VMA’s, he had a pacifier in his mouth. He’s two and still sucking on a pacifier? Get that pacifier out of his mouth and treat him like a big boy and then he will potty. Just a suggest. You still rock, Alicia. 🙂

Holiday on

My son was 22 months when he was trained and never ever had accidents. Emily 4 isnt a normal age to be out of diapers I hate to break it to you. My son was in kindergarten at 4.5 and preschool before that and not a single kid even in his preschool class was in diapers.

Anita on

Good job Alicia. My daughter was potty trained by two and so was my son. It really just takes, like you said a lot of consistency and patience. Loved the performance last night. You were amazing and in your element again.

Steen on

I’m surprised no one has mentioned how Alicia went into “mommy mode” and grabbed up Gabby at the end of her routine. You could tell Gabby was nervous, and Alicia was right there like “I got you mamma”….I thought that was really precious. First Class all the way.

nadine on

wow her kid is really cute

Miche on

Every kid is different and potty training isn’t a race. My daughter potty trained just after 2 with no accidents. My nephew was trained before 2. But my son is 30 months with no desire to use the toilet yet. They will train at their own pace and there is no “standard” for potty training. It’s just another milestone that each kid reaches when he’s ready. Pushing them just causes frustration for both parent and child. But if they are ready, it’s a fun step to learn together!

kelvin on

egypt is adorable, love this couple, akeys was not belittling the milllitary, get over yourself. i thought she was amazing last night at vma’s , and that was very special with gabby

kelvin on

she was amazing at vmas

Jenna on

It’s important to note, I think, that she said, “He got potty trained” not that she potty trained him. She and her husband seem like pretty busy people, which is fine. But I have a feeling they have some help (again, fine….lots of people do) and I’m sure a nanny or caregiver was there helping or spearheading the process.

Most of my friends/family who had nannies in their home had children who were potty trained earlier because the caregiver had only their child to focus on. It’s pretty common for kids with nannies to train earlier and it’s an accomplishment for the little guy nonetheless. But I think parents reading this going, “wow, I feel crappy, my kiddo is older and not potty trained”, need to remember that their lifestyle is different and he might have had some serious training from someone who has done this many times before.

clary929 on


mcguire on

@NavyOfficer, Keys wasn’t belittling the military. You ever hear of a metaphor? Regiment, disclipline, training, etc.? Whatever dude. I love our troops…the smart ones, who stay humble, work working, and dutiful. Anyway, that little kid is cute.

Debbe on

I guess I am super lucky. Potty training was not boot camp for me. I bought the learn to potty video when my son was one year old, and he would watch it as entertainment as it was cute with the bear and the singing, I also had a toddler potty that he sat in as a chair and loved it. One day, one month before he turned two, there it was. He did it on his own and from then on after that. It was so simple. He was the best baby and made my life so easy.

regina on

when you state swizz cheated on the mother of his ‘children’ u prove you dont know what you are talking abt & spewing hot air. Swizz and his ex wife only had 1 child together & were separated.

Nikki on

I agree with Juliet….take your cue from the child…if you do, it’ll be much easier. I potty trained my son at 30months(2.5yrs)….we did it over the weekend. he still needed pullups for naps and bedtime, but a yr later, he’s 100% trained!

Nikki on

Good point Jenna about the nannies…I also think that kids in daycares might train faster too because of the peer examples, and the daycare workers…Mommies will let some diapers slide, but caregivers might stick to their guns more….

Anonymous on

Someone else did the potty training for them

Jett's mama on

Juliet, if you’re taking cues from the child then it doesn’t matter how old they are. It’s how ready they are to recognize their signs and get to the potty. My son won’t be two till February. He’s young but he was ready and that’s the part that counts and what makes it easy.

Ginger on

One of my boys was so easy to train, the other took a year. Good luck with your son.

scrap on

my first 3 were trained by 26 months, I don’t get the big deal. i also don’t understand why it is so common to wait today, kids are totally capable early on.

Irina on

WOW people! You are amazing! I raised 2 kids: one born in Russia (1985) with cloth diapers and the other born in America (1993). Both my kids were using a potty by themselves by age 18 mo. We start early, at 10-12 mo. The rest of the people just lazy and self centered to train their kids earlier than 3-4 years of age. Try wearing a diaper for straight 3-4 years! Not to mention that it cost from 4 to 7 thousand (depending on a brand) for a kid if you use diapers up to 3 years. Amazing!

Kim on

@regina honey I am sorry to break it too you but you have very false information, Swizz has a daughter which was born after his son with Mashonda(Ex Wife) and prior to getting with Alicia, Swizz was already gone and seperated from the wife and had a kid with someone else, not to mention prior to the wife he had a kid, so get your information straight before spewing crap.

Egypt is a cutie, he seems advanced, I saw a little video of him with his dad and he was speaking so clearly. I think 2 is a very appropriate age for potty training, there is no reason for kids that can run around and talk to be still wearing diapers, if you can eat solid food and speak clearly you should be pott trained, 3 is pushing it, 4 is just really not kool, sorry.

SmiaVS on

@lisa, I hope YOU don’t have kids, or at the very least, you don’t use words like ‘retarded’ negatively around them. Grow up. Waiting until two or later to toilet train is a totally Western notion. Children in the developing world are trained very young. We’re just too busy/lazy to do that in the West.

lisa on

@SmiaVs, I have two bright beautiful boys. I do not believe your average child is potty trained by two. Mine were by age of three. Not because I am a lazy mom. I hope you don’t judge people like you did me in front of your kids. That is just as wrong as me using word “retarded”.

YaKima on

It is definitely harder to train boys…my son just turned 3 and he just got it, but my daughter didn’t like being wet, so she basically trained herself at 18 months. It really depends on the child 🙂

Anonymous on

Good for her. A two year old, potty trained. Who would have thought? *eyeroll* This is not news, people. I’m haooy for her, but seriously. This happens every day, in every city, in every country. Good luck on her business ventures.

marie on

@navyofficer…you are a real idiot. She was being facetious by referring to potty training being like boot camp. Try looking that up next time your ship is docked.

JLL on

Irina how dare you judge others. How rude! Many parents work extrmely hard with their children and encourage them through the whole potty training process. Some children get it right away some don’t. It has nothing to do with a parent being lazy. My son was 22 months and my daughter was 20 months when they had it down. As long as parents work with and help encourage their little ones, that’s the important thing. Hopefully your kids are not as high minded as you.

Ivy. on

what a beautiful boy!

Anonymous on

Irina- I feel sorry for your kids! A 10-12 month old baby is not developmentally ready to potty train!

bamagurl on

I understand what she is saying. I don’ t have kids, but I come from a family with a lot of kids. Everyone I know in my family says pretty much the same thing. You have to keep them on schedule. They wake up take them to the rest room and repeat this throughout the day at set times. My cousin started training her daughter as soon as she turned one. I thought it was to young, but it worked. Most of the kids inmy family are fully potty-trained by age 2.

badmom on

Lot of perfect moms here passing judgment.

lisa on


Juli007 on

Speaking of potty training… Have any of you heard about this idea that if you let your kid go without a diaper or a pull up that they will use the potty quicker since they don’t have anywhere to “go”? My supposedly super intelligent SIL did this with her oldest and he would just pee on the floor and go hide in his closet and poop. I don’t think that trial lasted very long. My niece was pee potty trained by 2 but it took a little longer for her to poop in the potty. My neighbor is a SAHM and says as long as her son is potty trained my kindergarten she’s cool. Wow… He is about to be four, is in diapers, and pulls out her boobs to nurse.

Marge on

I want to like her but I can’t. She helped break up a marriage and even tried having her step-son call her “mommy” rather than his own mom. And also she couldn’t hire a babysitter for the show? 23 months is a little young to bring a kid to something like that, especially when he won’t remember it.

Jen DC on

Actually… you can start to “potty train” your baby from birth. Having spent time with what I consider to be very granola-crunchy moms in Hawai’i, one of whom rarely used diapers (attachment parent), you can help your kid recognize the signs of being ready to go by watching for the signals yourself and trying to get them to the potty before/as they are going.

Obviously, these are extreme examples, but it CAN be done without (seemingly) much stress to the baby. The attachment mom’s son was reliably going to the potty by 14 months and had no problem telling you he was ready, even though he had few words. And he was a WILD MAN, I loved that kid’s joy and curiosity.

In our first world, developed country, we have different priorities. I don’t think there is a wrong or right time to potty train, frankly; I think it depends on the kid, his/her parents, their child care situation and the effort everyone wants to devote to the project. Obviously going through the training with a kid who hates to be wet (my niece was one of those self-trainers, too) versus with a kid who doesn’t care (the kid I nanny’d for DID NOT CARE, wet, BM, whatever!) is going to be easier and likely faster.

But the point is really to do it with love and consistency, like AK stated. And to remind them to wash their hands after. 😀

Rae on

So confused. Alicia Keys can take her 23 month old son to the VMA’s which is nothing but profanity and over the top raunchiness, yet we all gush over how cute it was to see her son there. But, a month or so ago the majority of people raked the parents of an infant and young child over hot coals for bringing them to a midnight showing of Dark Knight. Really?

Rae on

BTW it’s not that I have a problem with it, as I couldn’t care less about how Alicea Keys parents her child, but I just get confused over how we can make it right for one mother, and totally unacceptable for another.

Anita on

I read about this online once and some people said they had their baby potty trained at 9 months. I seriously don’t believe them. I’ve found if you start to young you tend to have a lot of accidents before they’re acutally trained. Alicia is doing great, especially considerning she is not always the one with him and the way she travels with him would make it a little harder to stick with consistency. But then again she is a super woman. 🙂

Anita on

I love this kind of news. It’s so much better than scandalous things that may be true and may not be true. It’s like bootcamp, as it’s something you just have to keep at and keep trying until you get it. I think we all know bootcamp is much harder but I love the comparison.

It’s great that Egypt is potty trained because like another comment I read, boys are harder than girls to potty train, at least in my experience. And the way Alicia travels and the fact she is not with him all the time makes it even harder. So, good job everyone. I’ve found if you wait a little longer it’s easier for everyone and there aren’t as many accidents later. I read online where someone stated their child was potty trained at 9 mo’s and I’m just really not believing that. Lol

ankhqueen on

I was VERY surprise to see that they bought there young child (I have a 2yr old child too which is also potty trained) to the VMA of all places. VMA is more for the “adult” crowd. I understand there life style is different before anyone says anything but being the over protective parent I am I wouldnt have even taken my older child who is 9 to this type of setting. There cussing, making fun of everyone, not the type of morals I am treating my child. Plus my 2yr old repeats everything she hears. Could us imagine some of the stuff she would repeat that she heard at the VMA? So wouldn’t take them, but each is own

Anita on

I thought about the atmosphere at the VMA’s also, but I think Egypt is a little young to be paying much attention to anything except maybe his mamma’s performance. I loved seeing him there and I’m sure he’s been around bad language by now. Most kids, unfortunately are subjected to foul language, even in the home. I’m not up with that but it is true.

Irina on

To Anonymous (Irina- I feel sorry for your kids! A 10-12 month old baby is not developmentally ready to potty train!)

-I know that kids do not understand what they are doing. I do them a favor: after kids woke up, I sit them in the potty. And you know, it is much pleasant (for kids!) to have a dry pants instead pee in them. And, please do tot feel sorry for my children – they are just fine and doing well!

Anabelle on

I agree with what Irina and some of the other commenters have said. I have two girls, both were daytime potty trained by 18mos. The oldest became fully night trained around 3-4yrs and the youngest at 27mos. I introduced them to the potty on their first day home from the hospital and when they began to walk and talk I thought them how to use the potty. I do believe that each child moves at their own pace. But if the parent is lackadaisical in their approach then the child will be too. Nowhere in my book is it ok for me to have a four year old or kindergartener walking around peeing or going #2 in a diaper unless they are suffering from an illness of disability of some kind. Otherwise that is just plainly nasty and disgusting!!!

Anita on

@Marge, You should have both sides of the story if you’re going to judge. And as far as taking him to the show, I’m very happy she brought him. I believe that might have been his TV debut also. And you said it, he won’t remember it and I think it was great they included him and didn’t leave him with a babysitter. To each his own and it is HER child, and I’ve got a feeling she knew what was best for him.

Sandy on

Potty-training is not anything like boot camp if you wait until the child is ready. If it takes more than 2-3 days for them to get it, they aren’t ready.

Sandra on

Alicia is an amazing woman! She no only produced, composed and wrote an entire album but was able to potty train a 22 month old little boy. It is extremely difficult to potty train a little boy and never before 4 years old.

Egypt is exceptical little boy. I love this picture of them.