Any and all potty-training tips: WELCOME

*2006 post*

Seriously. Help. Please.

First, let me just say that I am not one of those mothers who thinks a child ought to be potty-trained by a certain age (well, okay... by 7, maybe) but I am tired of changing my son's diapers. And I am tired of buying the diapers when it seems he should be able to go on the toilet. (So am I contradicting myself?)

He will be three next month. We have gone through seasons of trying to do this (a few days here and there over the past year), but it hasn't worked. Or, more likely, we've gotten lazy or busy and stopped working at it with him.

He may not be ready but I sure am. But if I could be sure he's not ready (too young, whatever-other-reasons-there-may-be), I wouldn't press it. But we think he is. 'Think' being the key word in that sentence.

This past week or so I have been saying, every half hour, "Let's go!" And we scurry to the toilet. And he does it. Potty only. He's still having accidents a couple of times a day and not going #2 at ALL on the toilet (which is really why I'd like to stop changing the diapers, obviously. For the #2 occasions, not so much the #1 occasions.)

Sigh. I keep waiting for some lightbulb to go off and for him to initiate it on his own (am I in la-la land?) But we're not seeing that yet. At all. So do I then surmise that he's not ready? Do I just keep at it? Do I.... what do I do?

And yes, we did do this before with my daughter. But that was completely different: she was barely two, and she just 'got it.' She was excited to go potty on the toilet. And within one week she was potty-trained, day and night. So I can't really compare the two. At all.

So. Any suggestions?

1 comment:

  1. Sep. 8, 2006 - Potty training
    Posted by Angelheart
    Hi!! I want to tell you that boys tend to take longer for some reason to train. It took my son quit awhile. In your post you obviously know that you have to be consistant. Look for signs that he has to go. Does he hide or squat or stand quiet and stare. All these are good indicators. Also I dont know if you have him in diapers or pull ups but I had to take my son out of them and put him in underwear. Yes it can be a mess. If he couldnt feel he was wet or messy it didnt matter to him. Plus I was on top of things more because I didnt want the mess . We went to the store and bought spiderman . I told him that spiderman doesnt like getting messy so he had to go in the potty. Funny thing was he did most of the time he didnt want spiderman to cry. LOL At night though I wasnt as brave and we used pull ups. Happy potty training.



    Sep. 8, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Corin
    Is there a certain time that he's more likely to do that? Maybe sitting him on there around that time? A phone call to tell grandma about success is always a good motivator as well! So is asking them to try to make gas (it's a boy thing) instead of trying to go #2.


    Sep. 8, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by jengresak
    My first son potty trained at 2 years 9 months in 24 hours and never had an accident. I thought I was a genious - the best mother ever. Then came my second son. God sent him to humble me - lol! He took 13 months to potty train. It was agony. My third son is potty trained, but I honestly do not remember at all when or how it happened. I guess I have repressed it. LOL! He's only 3.5 so I should be able to recall it, but it's gone : ) We have a party for the first poo in the potty. They get a chocolate cupcake and we sing "Happy Pooing to You", which I know is hideous, but there you go.


    Sep. 8, 2006 - For what it's worth...
    Posted by Rebeca
    I've only been through this with my son, but I can tell you how it went; maybe some of it will be helpful. He potty trained a month before his third birthday. In the previous several months I had the potty chair around and would sit him on it sometimes. If he went we made a big deal about it and would tell him that when he was bigger he would ALWAYS do it on the potty, just like Daddy, etc. We tried putting underwear on him a few times, but inevitably he'd sit on the potty, do nothing, and wet himself within a few minutes. So I figured he wasn't ready and we'd try again a bit down the road. A month before he turned three he seemed more interested, so we tried again; I explained that he was all done with diapers and was going to wear big boy underwear now. This time it clicked, and we had maybe one accident a day for a while, and sometimes I reminded him to go, but I tried to let it be his thing as much/as soon as possible. Of course, this is only one child in one situation, but I was amazed at how easy it was when the time was right.
    Poop was a different story. He woudn't go on the potty for a while after that, which meant he did it in his underwear- yuck, even worse than diapers! We promised him an ice cream party when he started going on the toilet. He did it several times, enough to that I knew he wasn't scared or uncomfortable doing it. After that, and I discovered this by accident, and it may seem cruel, but when he'd poop in his underwear I would cheerfully tell him we needed to rinse him off in the shower. It takes a minute for the water to warm up, so there were a few cold showers, and after that he decided it was best to go on the toilet! Yeah!! (And we all got ice cream!)
    When we made the break from diapers I started buying him pull-ups for night-time, so that he really felt he was all done with diapers. They're more expensive, but you only are using one a day at that point. He still wears one at night a year later, but I figure that it will happen in time. And he takes it off himself and washes up in the morning, so I don't have to deal with it.
    I got a book from the library called Toilet Training in Less Than a Day, and while I didn't do their program completely I thought it had some excellent ideas and information. One thing they stress is not to make it a source of tension or a power struggle, and I think that's good advice. In my extremely limited experience, it will happen more easily when the child is ready.
    Another thought about poop is that most kids tend to squat when they go in their diaper; going in a sitting position is not really natural. You may try helping him to squat on the toilet and see if that doesn't help things to come out. Three cheers for Asian squatty potties! (Yes, I'm biased!)
    Okay, sorry for writing so much. I hope that things turn the corner soon. I know changing those big boy stinky diapers gets pretty yucky.
    Bless you my friend, and thanks so much for your continued prayers for us.


    Sep. 8, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by
    When my 1st son was little, I saw a skinny little book at the bookstore titled *Toilet Train Your Child In Less Than A Day*. I thought, "Yeah right!" but bought it and used it to potty train my kids. I followed its instructions to a "t". I'm going to have to find and buy that book again for my 4th.


    Sep. 8, 2006 - Great timing
    Posted by Sandi

    I could have written your post and simply put my name at the bottom except my son turned 3 in August. He doesn't seem to get it and I *want* him to get it. I was hanging over a very large poopy diaper yesterday thinking this just ain't right LOL!

    So thanks for posting I don't have too :o)

    One thing I am considering for what it's worth is to gate us in the kitchen (lino floors) for a week. I still have to homeschool my 1st grader. So I will bring the potty, lots of extra underwear/training pants (I might try the buff), a bin of clean up stuff and a plastic bag. Make it all accessible and see if being in wet or no underwear makes any difference. Honestly, I am much afraid but whats a mom to do?


    Sep. 8, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by dinghome
    My son was completely potty trained at 3 yrs 5 months. It was the most frustrating experience ever! He was pee trained very early on, but somehow when it comes to pooping in the toilet, he refused to do it. Belive me, we tried everything there was to get him to poop in the toilet. One day I decided I wasn't going to make a big fuss over it because by then I knew nothing was going to work. He just needed to decide on his own to go on the toilet. He was wearing a regular underwear at that point and I told him that if he wanted to poop, he should come and tell me so I can put a diaper on him to poop in. He agreed and that was the arragement for about 4 months. It worked out well. Then one day he decided he wanted to poop in the toilet and he did it all by himself. He even wiped himself clean. We were so happy!!!!

    I'm not sure if your son is like mine when it comes to pooping in the toilet. If he is, then you just have to wait it out. However, if he isn't, my pediatrician gave me some suggestions to try. Put him in a diaper and have him sit on the toilet to poop. See if he will go with a diaper on. The next step is to cut a hole in the diaper and have him sit on the toilet to poop. The final step is to remove the diaper entirely to poop. I didn't try any of these because I knew it wouldn't work on my son. This method might work for your son.

    My experience with my first son was so frustrating that I decided to do Infant potty training with my other three. You can read more about it on my site at (scroll half way down). I'm currently potty training my 3 month old. It sounds crazy but it works. My 19 month old is mostly potty trained.


    Sep. 9, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by GogoMama
    Not that we had 100% success with any of them (okay, David trained himself just after he could walk, but one of the others was almost 6!) Here are a couple of things that DID work.

    Cheerios in the toilet make great target practice -- but Dad has to do it with them the first time, and that may or may not be something your dh is willing to do :-).

    Special "potty candies" -- something extra special like a mini Reese's cup -- that are ONLY for successful #2s on the pot. Again, someone else has to go first so they understand (works great if you have a sibling a year older; otherwise, you may need to "fake" it with someone older first.)

    Relax. Sooner or later ALL of them go by themselves :-)


    Sep. 9, 2006 - Thank you...
    Posted by reformingmama
    to all of you who offered suggestions on this potty-training topic. I'm appreciative. Two of you mentioned the book about toilet training in less than a day, so I've checked it out at the library. I think we're well-beyond the "less than a day" part, but... I'm open to seeing what I can glean from it.
    The other ideas, too, we'll be trying at our house! Thank you for weighing in on it with your experiences! :)


    Sep. 9, 2006 - The without-clothes method
    Posted by momco3
    Ok, Stacy, I'm not any sort of expert (being only on #3) but a wise friend said to me once, "there's no way I can be expected to know when their bladders are full." She meant that when she can prompt the children every 30 minutes to go potty, it never teaches THEM to notice what a full bladder feels like.

    So her method (which has worked for me with two boys, who were hard to train and finally did it round about 3) and seems to be working with our daughter, is to leave their bottom clothes off when we're at home. They have a few accidents, but learn quickly the bladder-full sensation, and then don't have all the problems getting clothes on & off when they're still at that waiting-til-the-last-second stage.



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