Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Ok...help!  How on earth do you potty train a kid?  We have hyped it all up, made a big party day of it yesterday, had new underpants, treats, drank lots of juice, milk, and water.

We have been reading books about the potty, talking about how big kids go potty, how nice it is to be clean and dry. And it was nothing but weeping, nashing of teeth and whining!

What have you experienced moms done to help?  Is it just too early?  Should we back off and wait?  Please tell me he won't start kindergarten in diapers!


  1. you just wait for them to let you know they are ready. that's the best advice i can give you. we tried practically everything you can think of with liberty, and nothing would work. then we backed off and eventually she started peeing in the potty. still have issues with pooping, but we've also tried all kinds of stuff for that and now we have backed off and are waiting. waited for leila and she let us know she was ready to start going on the potty and it's going really well. :) potty training is hard...but i say just wait for him to let you know he's ready.

  2. We started taking Jenny to the potty to "push" (with sound effects) whenever we would change her diaper to get her used to going on the potty. Once she was used to going on the potty, it was an every 15-30 minute chore to get her on the potty to "go". Then we worked on having her let us know when she needed to go. And eventually she got it.

    Some people claim that they potty trained their kids in 3 days, but the reality is that it usually takes a couple months to get it.

    (We've just started introducing David to the potty... but he's definitely not ready to start going all the time!)

    Good luck!

  3. First, remember it is only Day 1! These things take time.

    Second, one thing we learned with boys is that they have to connect with their little brains the cause and effect of the whole thing. For the first few days of our potty party, Eli was naked from the waist down. Then when he would start to pee, I would run him to the potty. He had to figure out what his body was doing by seeing it happen and connecting the physical reaction to the feeling. Apparently this is a common issue with boys in learning. Does that make sense?

    Bottom line, though, don't give up yet. It is only Day 1. There is an element of testing you. He must know that this is the way of life now, not an option. And, yes, he is ready. You can do this!

    A year later I can tell you that Eli is now night-trained . . . mostly. We still have occasional accidents but really we are there. It is a long journey but the first few days and weeks are the most intense. You can do it!

  4. I don't think JoeAnna was ready when we decided it was time (she was 22 months, potty trained for about 8 months now!) but we stuck with it. She's strong willed and at first it seemed like she wasn't "getting it" because she truly didn't care that she was wet or poopy. It took about 2 weeks for her to start communicating that she wanted to "go" but we were faithful to give her "potty breaks" where she just had to sit there for a couple minutes (we used a potty chair and let her read books). I can't give you tips on potty training a boy, but I would say definitely keep it up! Expect that he will not go on the potty at all for at least a week and then really celebrate when he does. Don't get frustrated, and discipline for whining/tantrums just like you would normally. But one hard thing to remember is don't discipline over wetting/pooping because you don't know if it's a true accident.

    Oh and we just put her in thin underwear and cotton pants (I know you're supposed to do the naked or just underwear thing, but cotton pants help absorb the mess so it isn't on the floor and they really feel it). Also when we traveled in the car/at the store/etc we used a pillow! She had to sit on it just in case!!!

  5. I was a nanny of four, and potty trained all of them. What I learned is what works for one will not work for another. Some of them works better if you have them run around naked, some of them worked better if you give them a lot of praise, but all of them it takes time!

    If I had to follow my own system, I would have followed what my mom did. She said that each of us she started potty training when we were two. And long before that she had a baby potty that we would sit on while she went potty. For me, the very first weekend she started the process I was potty trained. I needed help wiping for a long time after, but I was exactly 2 years old and potty trained. My brothers took a little longer, but what she did is she would put big boy pants on for one whole weekend, if they didn't seem to care or get the concept after Sunday evening, then she would put diapers back on and try in three to four more weeks for a weekend. One brother was potty trained after three or four of these weekends, and the other... well let's just say it took longer. You'll have a feel for when he's ready, and if he sits on a potty when you do and accidentally goes, praise him and do a dance!

    I hate to tell you this, but one of the kids I babysat was just plain lazy. It was time for him to start preschool and he knew how to go in the potty, but he preferred his pull-ups (I think they are the worst potty training tool) so one day his mom smacked him on the butt and he had been potty trained ever since. But that was because he was lazy not because he couldn't get it.

  6. We start the 1st day after the 2nd birthday but long before that we started introducing the potty in non-threating ways . . . i.e. before bath we just sit on the potty, right after we would get them up in the morning. Before putting on a clean diaper for nap time, etc. We also set the timer to go every 20 minutes and would slowly increase the time. It worked for us. It took Kate about 2 weeks and it took Em about 1 1/2 weeks to mostly be done. Stick with it! It's so completely worth it!!

  7. Oh, I think potty training is one of the hardest things about parenthood. My mom helped me LOTS with James...I would have killed him I'm afraid. We finally gave up on a potty chair at all and bought (he got to pick which one) a seat that sat on the big potty from Wal-Mart. He chose Dora the Explorer, his daddy was SO proud. Yeah. So anyway, we set a timer and just tried and tried and tried. I think it took a good two weeks, but then he was fine. We hated pull-ups. We also hated scraping poop out of underpants and my dear husband even accidentally flushed a pair. However, we just kept going knowing that the end was in sight. We also didn't get out of the house much and literally went to his Sunday School class every 20 minutes to put him on the potty for probably 3 weeks.
    I think you are on the right track, lots of drinks, lots of praise. He was 26 months old when he was trained, and trained 100% overnight when he was 3 yrs 4 months. That takes MUCH longer to master.
    However, what worked for him probably won't work for Jack. They are just all so different.


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