28 answers

Potty Training - Hudson, WI

Ok, so I just posted a question yesterday...about cloth diapers--that I am starting them soon for my young son. Now I have another topic I need help witn. Potty Training. My daughter is 3 yrs and 2 months old. I had started (trying) potty training her right after her 3rd birthday which I know a lot of people consider "late". I had waited so long because I always heard that 'your child will let you know when they are ready' and she never showed any interest. She had seen me use the potty and she also had potty books that we had read a lot so I decided to take action into my own hands and got a potty. We woke up one morning and I put her on her potty first thing. She of course did not go...so I put her on it about every 30 min and she would never go--no matter how long I left her on the potty. I did that for a couple days and decided to try something else because that was not working. Next I tried the naked method. She ran around bare butt and I soon realized I could not deal with that considering she peed on the floor right away...and haveing a small baby crawling around on the floor--I can not deal with that. So- I got plastic and put it all on the floor and bought her "big kid" underwear to wear to try the next day and she peed all over--I could not handle the stress. I hate germs!!!!! So i quit. I had heard some people doing this and then their child starts to want to use the potty all by them selves---not mine. That was about a month ago or so and she has showed no interest. I want her out of diapers! I feel like an awful parent for so many people say "why isn't she potty trained yet?" and I have no answer for them. I do not know what else to do. It stresses me out to the point where I just break down and cry. She does not seem to want to use the potty. I have tried everything I can think of---potty charts, rewards (candy, stickers, etc), putting her on the big potty, making her stay on her potty all day-which just frustrates her even more. Can anyone help me?? Does anyone have any ideas?? She is not in day care so she is not around other kids very often. We do play dates once a week-or every other week with my sister in law and her son who is not even 3 yrs old and IS potty trained. She has seen him use the potty and she remembers because she is always saying "Jr. uses the potty" but I can still NOT get her to do it. I have even put her favorite doll on the potty and the doll goes "potty" and she understnads that she just will not cooperate with me. I feel like I am at my witts end and have noone to turn to and nowhere to go. I feel so awful and I am out of options. Thank you for any advice.
P.S. I did praise her a whole bunch when she had used the potty. we danced and sang and got treats--which was only a handful of times, and I never get mad at her when she goes in her pull-up, I just tell her remember to use your potty next time--and she always says NO. I do not scold my child, and she does not see me upset about this issue.
pps-When it comes to germs--I just don't like when I have to clean up pee on my carpet---I have a 10 month old crawling around everywhere. If it was on a hard floor where I had to clean up pee I would not care.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I do not want anymore responds to my request, thank you for the people that made an affort to help rather than attack me. In my post I said I would get upset and break down and cry, and that I hated germs, and that I did not know what else to do but NONE of this was/is ever done or said in front of my daughter! I always praise her even when she just tries, I never freak out in front of her when she had an accident, and I did not give up after a couple days. We went on with this for over a month. Thanks for those of you whom cared enough to actually give me advice.

Featured Answers

If you do tv - you could try potty training DVDs for kids. My daughter loved hers, it gives them an intro (gives you some ideas), and lets her see other kids using the potty. Potty Power is what we watched, I don't know of local libraries have it, but I have rented it from an other library out of state.

Hi there, Leave her alone....she will do it. I have two kids...8 & 4......one day she'll just do it. They all do it at different times. Some kids do it at 18 months....some at 4 years. Take the attention off of her not doing it so she doesn't see it as a big deal. If you are going to try a method like nakedness or reward system you need a week or two of consistancy....not just a day or two. My mom always said.....Remember...she won't go to kindergarden in diapers......she'll do it. B. p.s. Also....you'll look back at this in a few years....when you have much more stressful situations and think "that was a piece of cake compared to this!"

Hi,
RELAX...Both my girls were almost 4 before they were trained and they are both well adjusted girls. Never heard of the naked thing..just seems wierd to me! Maybe a potty book woulld help?? Good Luck!

More Answers

Hi C.! Some of these women need to get ahold of their manners! Coming down on you for hating germs is ridiculous. Relax and give yourself a break. Who in their right mind wants to clean up pee constantly! You are doing fine and there is nothing wrong with you like some of these people are implying.
Wait a couple of months and try again on a smaller scale. Put her in underwear and have her sit on the potty every half hour. It may work, it may not.
Don't worry about people comparing. I had a friend who always tried to beat me to the punch at potty training. She would bring her kids to my house in undies and they would poop all over my nice furniture and the toys and BOOKS and my friend would just sit and talk about how young they potty trained. Some mom's don't have a clue so ignore them!
Hugs!!!

2 moms found this helpful

You can give yourself a break...

We had the same thing when our daughtet turned 3. Everyone was asking isn't she pottytrained yet??? GRRRRRR. We had her 95% potty trained when she turned 2 and then she completely quit on us. Peed in her pants for a week straight. So, we gave up. Went BACK TO DIAPERS>>>>>LOL. I know everyone says you shouldn't do that. So when she was about 3 1/2 she really wanted princess and my little pony underwear. So we went to the store and let her pick them out and she pretty much was potty trained. Of course, she had a few accidents that first week but since then I can count on 1 hand how many more she's had.

Be patient. I wouldn't worry or get too bent up about this until she turns 4. About once a week just ask her if she's ready. And I personally would NOT do pull-ups. I think that is where we went wrong the first time we trained her. They are too much like diapers. You can get thicker "training pants" that acually have the plastic built in over the top. "Less mess."

The naked thing is a really good idea too. We did that the first time we trained our daughter.

If you think she's not feeling the urge consider taking her to the chiropractor for an adjustment. IF she's out of allignment, it may be causing her to not realize what she's doing.... (Happened to a daycare kid of mine.)

Good luck. But don't stress. She's perfectly in the normal range for potty training.

1 mom found this helpful

It does not sound like she is ready even though you are. You need to get your own desires set off to the side in this case. Potty training is a misnomer. It is really potty learning and it is much more complicated for some children so stop comparing her to other kids. My son showed a ton of interest early but when he couldn't figure out how to make the muscles relax at the right time then he got frustrated and quit. He tried on and off over the next 2 years but didn't get it figured out until 46 months of age. Turns out he also has sensory processing disorder which made feeling the necessary sensations very difficult. In the beginning I was endlessly frustrated, I questioned my parenting skills, I let my emotions get involved, and felt frustrated that so many people claim it is easy. I finally wisened up and started studying my child and what he needed rather than following a set method from a book that just seemed to backfire.

Stop and think about all the things a child needs to have control of to be successful with the potty. They need to want to have dry pants. They have to be able to feel the various sensations and be conscious of then. They need to ba able to judge those sensations to figure out if it is time to try sitting down. Once on the potty they have to ba able to control the muscles that release the pee and some kids are too interested in playing to sit and relax for very long (reading special books while they sit can be useful). And so many emotions can easily get wrapped up in the process, disappointing our parents, disappointing ourselves, boredom, srustration, shame, embarassment, excitement, joy, etc. and little kids don't always know how to process all the physical and emotional elements of this and parents often fail to recognize the role that plays. I know it took me awhile to recognize and understand my son and his learning process. And every kid is different which is why there are so many methods and so many books on the subject. And unfortunately even with all that info, know one can tell anyone what method will work with which child. Frustrating but reality.

My suggestion, the bare butt method really works best when you are outside in summer. So wait for a couple months and then plan to try again. During the next couple months skip all potty schedules, do not pressure her or ask her to sit on the potty. You can read books with her about potty (Dr. Sears has a good kids book about growing up and potty learning) or play pretend with dolls or toys like the Potty Elmo. Then when summer arrives, spend as much time as possible outside with a bare butt and a potty nearby. If she squats to go outside then talk with her about what she feels and how did she make the pee or poop come out. Get her thinking about and recognizing the signals.When inside, switch to a cloth diaper or thick cloth training undies and keep the potty chair next to where she is playing.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,

I've only had one child in 30 years that I didn't have potty trained by age 3. I think it helps that I have several little munchkins going to the bathroom, and they all think they need to be there, so it helps them want to go, too. I, now, have a little guy who's about 21 mos. who wants to sit on the potty, and I have to bribe him to get him off of it after he's sat there forever, and hasn't went yet. My children all learn on the big potty, maybe you could try this since you are the one she sees the most going. Ask her if she wants to be like Mommy. I know a lot of people take them potty every 30 minutes, but I only take them about every 90 minutes....going too often makes them get tired of it really fast....it takes all the fun out of it. I wouldn't put big girl pants on her right at first either...the first few days just take her to the potty every so often, and work your way up....don't try to push too hard...just be consistent. I know a lot of parents think it has to be their idea, but I feel like you have to give them a little push in the right direction. Just don't be too hard on her, or she will revolt. Be firm, but don't get angry....let her know you are serious without too much pressure. Maybe give her a reward before naptime to look forward to if she does a good job...maybe a treat she really likes or an activity she likes doing, and then again at the end of the day. Also, once she does get it, don't be surprised if a few weeks later she goes thru a little recession, some do and some don't. Don't make a big deal out of that either...usually they are just looking for attention, and if you give it to them, it will just make it worse. Just let her know that it's not acceptable, and let her know that she won't get to do special things if she keeps it up. Since she's already three you might not have to worry about this.

I hope this helps...Good Luck!!!

C.

C.- I can only respond to part of your post. My son turned 3 yrs old last month, and he is about halfway pee-trained, and all the way poop-trained. I think the reason he is poop-trained and not pee-trained is because I put absolutely no pressure on him to get poop-trained, absolutely no rewards/praise or punishments/scoldings. I just made it be a total non-issue. With the pee-training, I started out being relaxed and easy on it, and then when he started to "get it", I started in on praise and rewards, and it back-fired. I think one of the problems is the idea that we're supposed to "train them." Even if only positive incentives are used, it still just turns it into a power struggle. Which is what I suspect is going on with you and your daughter by now. If you make it a non-issue, she will see that whether she uses the potty or not has no impact on you, and she might quit using the not-using-the-potty as a way to rile you up. Of course, I'm just guessing here; that is my best guess.

Oh and P.S. I HATE the bathroom stuff too. It's not all germs, but anything bathroom related. I can't stand to clean a bathroom, or use a gas station bathroom. I don't even like to use the shower in the posh-est hotel ever. So it was really hard for me not to get totally and completely grossed out by having pee all over the floor and then he misses the toilet even when he is using it sometimes, and there's the not-getting-it-tucked-down issue which leaves clothes soaked with urine even when there's a diaper on. YUCK!!! I knew I was going to struggle worse with the poop, and I was right, I gag when I have to clean out the little potty bowl, but I had already decided that I wasn't going to let my son see how aggravated I get about bodily fluids etc. I don't want him to be uncomfortable with his body's natural processes. So I try not to say anything and I try not to gag, and I try not to make faces. I try not even to say "uh-oh" when he has an accident.

Oh and I just couldn't take the constant accidents with underpants, so my son is back in pull-ups and I've just told myself to not get hung up on when he ever might be done wearing them. (sigh)

Hang in there.

If you do tv - you could try potty training DVDs for kids. My daughter loved hers, it gives them an intro (gives you some ideas), and lets her see other kids using the potty. Potty Power is what we watched, I don't know of local libraries have it, but I have rented it from an other library out of state.

C.,
As others have said, don't stress out about this. I've heard it said that no kid ever goes to Kindergarten in diapers, so you definitely have time for her to decide she wants to do this.

That said, I'll just share what we did. I have two girls now almost 4.5 and just over 3. My 4.5 yo has Down syndrome and I had heard not to even try with her until she was around 4. Plus, then I thought I could do both girls together, which is what I did.

We used the 3-day method. Did it just after Thanksgiving last year. Basically, plan to spend a full three days at home focusing on nothing except potty training. There is a lot of information out there about how to go about it, but the way it's laid out and the way I did it was to actually throw away all the diapers on the morning of the first day, so the child knows, and you know, there is no going back. Of course you can build this up as much as you want to beforehand, and I might recommend you get some videos - we had one with the Bear in the Big Blue House, but I know there are others people say the kids really like.

Anyway, that morning we threw away the diapers. I had two little portable potty seats we put in the living room, because that was where we were planning to spend all our time. But wherever is good for you that the child can get to easily. The big phrase we used was - You have to keep your panties dry! Keep saying it over and over. When there is an accident, you have her touch her panties and ask if she kept her panties dry? Reminder her it's her job to keep her panties dry.

Then, you push the liquids! Whatever she likes, juice, soda, special treat liquids - stuff you don't usually buy. Just keep giving it to her! Once she starts refusing to drink, you can give jello which is also a liquid. Then do the timed routine of putting her on the potty every 20 minutes. If/when she has an accident you act very disappointed. I have read where it is advised to have the child clean up, but I didn't do that. I recorded how they did, and gave stickers and made a big deal out of it when they did go. My almost (at the time) 3 yo was having some good success by mid-way through the second day. Eventually you want to move the potty near the bathroom so they have to think ahead and "run" to go when they have to. We always just reenforced having them "listen to their body". After the third day, the almost 3 yo was pretty much trained. Her sister that has Down syndrome wasn't very impressed about any of it (video, stickers, special fluids) and so we struggled with her for about a week, and then all of a sudden, she just decided she wanted to use the potty. For her (strangely enough) high fives were what she most responded to. We also read a lot of books while they were sitting on the potty (and still do if we are expecting a #2, or going out somewhere and we need them to go before we leave the house). That first few days I had them sit on the potty and watch their favorite movies too (while pushing the liquids). Then I made a big deal when they went, although they really had no choice since they were sitting right there on the pot (ha!).

As far as at night. The book I read recommended not going back to diapers or pullups at night either (we threw away all the diapers, remember?) so what they said was. Put them on the potty before bed. Wake them up 30 minutes after they have fallen asleep and have them sit on the potty. Then wake them again and have them sit right before you go to bed. I did this, and sometimes it worked, but mostly they were just very sleepy and so I'd have to "steady" them while they sat there, and they really didn't go much, if at all. I stopped that after a few days. Also, you'll want to limit liquids after supper. One other thing you can try is waking them up a bit early (maybe 30 minutes earlier than usual) and having them go then. I think I read most accidents happen right before they really wake up. As far as the sheets/bedding. I bought some very cheap moisture-proof mattress covers (less than $10 at Target). Bought 4, because we have two beds, so two for each bed. Then we also had two sets of sheets for each bed. Put one mattress cover on, then a set of sheets and then another mattress cover and the second set of sheets. That way, if there is an accident during the night, you just have to peel off the top layer of both sheets and cover, then she can go right back to sleep.

Good luck! And don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

C.,

"I have" potty trained 4 boys in my experience as a mother. The best advice I can give you is to let your child lead! I refused to have two in diapers - so my oldest I forced to train just before he turned 3. As a result it was a power struggle and he was accident prone until the age of 7. My second, we checked out the book "potty training in a day" - published in 1972. We tried this one morning. He was not ready. Two months later, he asked for underwear and was COMPLETELY independent from that day on. (He was 28 months old.) My third, never really had any interest. We did get him out of diapers, but had problems with him until he was almost 8! I did try the potty training in a day method with him, but he really never felt using a toilet was a priority - once again, I think it was because I wanted to be done with diapers - it wasn't his decision. So with our last one, who just trained this month - I just waited. When he was announcing that he was "using" his diaper and asking to be changed right afterward - HE WAS READY! We made a deal to wear "big boy pants" until lunch. He had one accident immediately - hated the way it felt. He was fine until we put the diaper on. The next day we went a bit longer. The next day we said he could do it all day - and he did. The point is, you can't make them train. This is one power struggle you will lose and it could be YEARS of frustration for you. Just let it go! You tell the people who ask - that SHE hasn't decided to train - which is the truth. She will eventually. The bigger a deal it is to you, the more she will resist. Stay positive and encouraging and just tell her that she will use the potty one day soon. Mental suggestion does work!

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