Saturday, May 23, 2009

Potty Training

You people have become quite the authority on all things child-rearing and now people from all over the country are dying to ask you questions. OK the truth is that my sister has a question for you, but I'm sticking with me "all over the country" comment because she lives WAY down in Utah County. And let's face it, that feels like a VERY different part of the country.
It’s about potty training.
Here’s the situation:
My sister is the mother to the most adorable red-headed energetic 2.5 year old on the planet (3 in November). With another beautiful princess on the way, she’s getting a little nervous about double diaper duty which is causing the appropriate panic necessary to go through the potty-training experience.
Problem is she’s not quite sure what to do. Here’s what she says about the experience:
I've very inconsistently tried to encourage potty training.  Several
months ago, I bought her some "big girl" underwear and put it on with
vinyl underwear over the top.  I gave her a big drink so she'd feel
the urge to go and checked back a while later to find her contentedly
sitting in a puddle.  After that, I called it quits, but now I feel
like I have a small window of opportunity from the beginning of summer
until the end of July when baby Lucy comes.

The other night, we got out her potty chair and left it on the ground
instead of putting it on the big toilet.  She was VERY excited about
that and put every baby doll and bear on the toilet to "poop."  (She
even pointed out the imaginary poop in the bottom of the potty.)  But
she didn't go.  And then she didn't want to put her diaper back on.
She kept sitting on the chair and getting up to wander pantless around
the room.  Since we don't want to clean up accidents all over the
house and she wasn't really going potty, we wrestled her back into a
diaper and haven't tried the chair since.

My opinion is that this particular child would rather die than sit still long enough to do her business. She doesn't sit still for any other reason, so I don't know why she would suddenly desire to spend any amount of time sitting on a chair with a hole in it. Especially when the other choice means you don't even have to get out of the sandbox.....
But, dear readers and experts on all things. What are your suggestions?
Oh, and one more thing before I let you work your magic: My sister is not a sissy, so don't worry about hurting her feelings by saying things like "you just have to do it, man up!" or follow Aundrea's example with a "don't worry about it, she'll do it herself" but she is pregnant, so try not to say things like "get off your fat lazy butt and plant that child on the pot!" cuz the "fat lazy butt" comment might cause a breakdown. Also you should know that she's pretty much wonder-mom. Not one for sitting on any sized butt. So, that certainly isn't the issue.


  1. I've heard that it can be done in a day. There are books out there. I haven't read them. :) But I've heard that you plan a really fun day in a room with tiled/linoleum floors and take the little potty in with you (like the kitchen or somewhere).

    You eat there, play there, do everything there. And make sure that she uses the potty.

    After the first few accidents she'll know where to go.

    That might not be for everyone, though.

    My mom would put us on the potty and put our hands in warm water to help make us go pee.

    With Rachel we talk a lot about how icky it feels to have a wet bum. She hates getting diaper rash so we told her that she had to stop going potty at night. We're still working on that.

    We also talk about how it feels to need to go. A lot of children describe it as hurting...

    If you don't like puddles--I don't care, personally; pee is sanitary, right?--you can try pull-ups. We make sure that we tell Rachel that it's NOT a diaper. It's UNDERWEAR!

    She couldn't care less about the princess kind but the Lightening McQueen kind, oh boy, howdy! Heaven forbid she should ever desecrate McQueen by doing "what" in his cup.

    She's only worn pull-ups twice because we don't actually buy them, seeing as how they don't sell them here. :) But she's borrowed a few from friends.

    We did Elimination Communication with Rachel and plan on starting earlier with our next one. She's been 95% daytime potty trained since she was 14 months (about). Wearing underwear, taking herself potty, the whole shebang.

    Starting earlier means finishing earlier. :) In my opinion. And fewer diapers. :)

  2. I don't believe in pull-ups they are a crutch. NO matter what you say they know that if they pee in them nothing bad happens...they are diapers. We put pull-ups on my 3 year old every night for 6 mos. He FILLED them to the brim every night. This last week I decided I was not buying them anymore. I got some rubber sheeting to put under him at night from the fabric store. WHALLA no accidents.

    I digress though. The important thing is getting her trained. I have no answer in my mind it is hell. My friend the other day though was telling my what she does and I think it is a pretty good idea. She buys those flav-or-ice things (you know the tubes in a big box you freeze?). Anytime her kid would sit on the potty and go they would get one. I thought that was a great idea since the liquid would promote more going :) Good luck!

  3. I used the "Three day potty training" method. The lady's name is lora and she is from lehi...look her up on the internet. BTW...I think it is impossible to train a child in three days but the principles are sound! You have to be very consistent and very encouraging. The more frustrated you get the worse it gets. So when you want to scream...scream "good job honey that was great!" Even if all she did was sit on the potty! My little girl gave me NO indication that we was getting it during the first three days. Then it clicked...after a week we were pretty much home free! She still has accidents but not often!

  4. I'm having potty training problems with my boy, so with boys, I have NO clue about it. But, with my girl she was EASY! The way I kept her on the potty was reading books. We had lots of books in the bathroom and when she wanted to read we'd sit on the pot. We also set the timer for every hour to 1.5 hours and had her go sit on the pot then, even if she didnt have to go. We'd play catch while she sat there and if you can make her laugh really REALLY hard it'll make her pee! lol That's what I did with my girl and it worked. Hope it helps. Oh and pull ups....I totally agree...a load of crap...they didn't work for us...they were just expensive diapers.

  5. My husband potty trained our daughter when she was almost 3. He said she had to be trained so she could go to head start. that was the long-term motivator. The second motivator was a week-long one. She was to have no accidents and she would get a new toy. The short-term motivation? CANDY! Get some of those after-dinner mints (they are pastel colored I believe) or tic-tacs or something like that. Every time the kid goes potty, give them one for pee, two for poop. It works.

  6. I have been changing 2 sets of diapers for the last 16 months. It is not fun, and every time I buy more pull-ups I cringe. (Kira's right- they are a crutch)

    You can change to sets at a time- yes it sucks, but guess what? You may not have a choice.

    Also, I really think that you have to put 100% into it when you decide to do it. Kids are smart and they will call your bluff if you aren't totally comitted. You have to seriously clear your WHOLE schedule and don't do anything else until you have it down.

    My son is almost 3 1/2 and still won't poop in the potty, so take my advice for what it's worth. (Obviously I'm no expert!)

    Good luck!

  7. I used a Dr. Phil suggestion and every time the potty doll would go potty we would have a celebration - a potty party with streamers, blow horns, noisemakers, etc. We would cheer for the doll. After the dolly had a few parties, I asked Abbey if she wanted to have her own potty party. Of course she did and since I had been giving her lots of juice, she slowly got the hang of it. Her face was precious the first time she had success and we cheered for her accomplishment. It wasn't easy - she slapped me in the face once because she was so frustrated! But we made it through. She still talks about the potty parties and she is eight.

  8. Daniel was 3 1/2 before he was potty trained and that seemed to work better. I wanted to do it before Anna was born and tried, in vain, to bribe him with chocolate. No can do!! If the kid doesn't want to, he won't. Also, I didn't have the greatest experience with Joshua. I feel like I was too anxious to get it done and so instead it took a year or so to finally be done with it. After that I decided that there was NO rush. So my basic conclusions on potty training are that if they are potty trained before kindergarten, GREAT!! Plus, after Joshua's training experience, diapers are NOT that bad and double diaper duty really wasn't a big deal for me. I felt like it was better than cleaning it up off of the floor or wherever.
    That being said, my VERY pregnant friend with a three year old boy just potty trained her son using the do it in a day method, based on the book. I want to say it is called "Potty training in a day" (???) and she had pretty good success with it, even though the days seemed pretty rotten and unsuccessful, after that day the fruit of hard work showed itself.
    GOOD luck with whatever you decide.

  9. My sister Jennie tried the all-you-can-eat-otter-pops route. Her kids would eat otter pops all day and be rewarded with pretzels or something else salty when they went in the toilet. That way they wanted more to drink, and caused a nice cycle sort of effect. She had already potty trained kids at the same time, so they celebrated any time anyone went, just to reinforce the idea.

    I have also heard that just waiting until kids figure it out themselves is the easiest, but I don't blame you for not wanting double diaper duty. Good luck!!

  10. I've never potty trained a child but I've had two in diapers for 13 months and it's not that bad. You just change both at once and it's fine. If she's not ready and you push her you're just making yourself a whole bunch more work.

  11. Hey Kate, I also just read what Love & Logic has to say on it. A quick 2 pages if you're in the mood for a quick read. :) That (unfortunately) is the extent of my potty training experience. Except my latest theory.

    The reason I have completely lost control of my bladder (if it even exists anymore, which I'm beginning to doubt) is so I can have compassion and empathy for my new little one and not resent him for peeing everywhere...I've been there, he's probably not enjoying it any more than I am. :)

  12. Thanks for all the suggestions! You guys are great! I'll let you know how it goes.

  13. All of these things can (and do, for some people!) work. But seriously? Who is getting trained? Most of the time it's Mom and Dad who have some kind of stimulus that makes them say, "Do you need to go potty?"

    I know it's easy for me to say because my kids are grown. But I tried and tried and TRIED to train our oldest, to the point that she was literally emotionally scarred and didn't make it through the night consistently until she was about 10 years old. After that traumatic (for both of us) experience, I just realized that changing diapers for two kids at a time really wasn't that big a deal. And when I pregnant with our 4th, I was positive I was going to have 3 in diapers, but T finally decided on his own that he ought to go potty. He has NEVER had a potty accident since the DAY he decided.

    This is so obviously a personal choice. But really, is it that big a deal to have your older daughter (what is she? TWO? She's just a baby herself!) in diapers when another miracle comes to join the family?

    Good luck and best wishes. You are the mom and I have every confidence that you will do the right thing for all of you! (Especially since you are so obviously SuperMom!) :)

  14. wjmom

    Good point. I could see from our small attempts that I really have no control over this part of her life anyway.

    I do still want to learn more about how to tell when she is ready and how to help give encouragement and avoid any guilt related to going potty.


Share |