17 answers

Potty Training Advice

I have a 2 year old girl that is very interested in potty training and loves to wear big girl panties (real training pants not pull ups); but she won't tell me when she has to go, (pooping we've figured out and she does pretty well with that). She's getting to the point where she doesn't want to wear diapers (or pull ups) anymore. I've tried putting her in training pants with a diaper over it thinking she would feel the wetness on her skin but that isn't working as well as I thought it would . . . any suggestions?

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So What Happened?™

Just wanted to thank everyone and their great advice they gave me. Things were going great with her potty training and then I went away for the weekend and left her home with Dad . . .

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Hi A.,

I started potty practicing with my little one when she was just about 14 months (now 21 months and diaper free), sitting her on the toilet and taking her with me when I went. She was also definitely interested, and we bought a couple of potty books.

What I found also helped us a lot was having pants off a lot of the time, which saves time getting to the potty and washing when it doesn't work! Plus she didn't have the feeling that she was wearing diapers.

I also have a couple of potties that are strategically placed where she spends the most time, plus a toiled seat for going on the big toilet. We used stickers and because she loves books also read a lot, so she would stay sitting for a while.

I agree that patience is key, and when I had to clean up after her, I had to remind myself that it was probably because I hadn't reminded her soon enough.

Good luck!

Deborah

1 mom found this helpful

From what I have heard from everyone, pull ups pretty much feel like diapers and so don't work very well with training. I just had my boy run naked for the first month and he could tell when he needed to pee, so we didn't have many accidents. Then we went to underwear and pants that had elastic waistlines so he could pull down and up himself. He had more accidents that way, but he eventually learned. I would just put her in underwear. She may have accidents, but it is part of the learning process. Good luck!

More Answers

Hi A.,

I started potty practicing with my little one when she was just about 14 months (now 21 months and diaper free), sitting her on the toilet and taking her with me when I went. She was also definitely interested, and we bought a couple of potty books.

What I found also helped us a lot was having pants off a lot of the time, which saves time getting to the potty and washing when it doesn't work! Plus she didn't have the feeling that she was wearing diapers.

I also have a couple of potties that are strategically placed where she spends the most time, plus a toiled seat for going on the big toilet. We used stickers and because she loves books also read a lot, so she would stay sitting for a while.

I agree that patience is key, and when I had to clean up after her, I had to remind myself that it was probably because I hadn't reminded her soon enough.

Good luck!

Deborah

1 mom found this helpful

We did the "big girl panties" over the cloth training pants with rubber pants (like you use with cloth diapers) to protect the carpet and furniture. Another suggestion is to buy some of those $1.95 little one piece molded plastic potties from Ikea. We had one in the kitchen, one in the living room and the regular more comfortable potty in the bathroom. That was she had the visual reminder as well.

The Ikea potty comes in handy for car trips as well when they gotta go NOW!! Around age 5 or 6, we passed the pottys along to a younger friend.

Hi A.,
I can only tell you how we went about potty training our very independently minded daughter, who was able to go on the potty long before she would do it. We didn't pressure her.

We made potty training like a new big boy/girl adventure and something really special. I don't know your feelings on TV... we don't watch much, but the Elmo Potty Time video helps a bunch if you haven't tried that. We watched that with her and talked about what was going on while it was on. We also got a few books made to help girls potty train. (A Potty for Me is one I remember that she liked)

We also made a ridiculous deal about our kids going on the potty. I mean yelling, hugging, tossing in the air... a big big deal EVERY time. We would ask often if she had to go potty and if she said no we didn't force it. If she had an accident we didn't make a big deal of it. The positive reinforcement worked for us. Even if they she sat on the potty and tried we would hug her and tell them how proud we were that she tried to go and make it no big deal that they didn't go.... "Good job sitting on the potty sweetie!! Maybe next time you'll have to go pee-pee."

As far as the pooping part... we took her out of pull-ups or diapers except for nap and bedtime. She didn't like pooping in her underwear at all. Somehow it feels much different in underwear than in pull-ups or diapers. Two accidents and that was it.

I disagree about putting kids in pull-ups when they start to potty train (except for nap or bedtime...) pull-ups feel like diapers and gives them no incentive to go on the toilet. If you're worried about accidents and messes, I would recommend old fashioned plastic pants over the panties

Good luck!! Sounds like she's almost got it!

From what I have heard from everyone, pull ups pretty much feel like diapers and so don't work very well with training. I just had my boy run naked for the first month and he could tell when he needed to pee, so we didn't have many accidents. Then we went to underwear and pants that had elastic waistlines so he could pull down and up himself. He had more accidents that way, but he eventually learned. I would just put her in underwear. She may have accidents, but it is part of the learning process. Good luck!

I have just started the potty training myself, so I don't have first hand experience yet. However I did read in parent magazine kids tend to get confused when they have to leave the house because they will wear underwear at home and then the diaper goes back on when you have to do errands or go somewhere. So parents magazine suggested putting the underwear on and then a diaper over the top when you are not home. That way if they do have an accident they feel the wetness in the underwear but you dont have a complete mess. It reminds the child they cant be in their pants. Unlike the diaper that absorbs the fluid and they are not as aware they had an accident.

I just discovered these vinyl undies that you put on over the training pants (I think you're talking about the undies with a thicker cotton crotch, right?). These have changed my world. My son went to the potty outside our home for the first time today (he's been wearing the training pants/vinyl pants combo for two days). He actually told me he had to go pee-pee at playgroup today. Before that, if he wasn't naked from the waist down he would wouln't tell me, therefore he never went to the potty outside our home. We tried pull-ups but for him it was like license to go in his pants. This new system is good at containing a mess. You may have a tiny bit of leakage, but for us they have been great. I got them at Walmart and hear they have them at Kmart. My son has the opposite of your daughter -- he's good at peeing, but hasn't pooped in the potty yet. My mom tells me most kids master one before the other and it varies from kid to kid. Anyway maybe this will have the same effect as the pull-up over the undies and won't help you, but it's been a miracle for us!
N.

Hi A.,

I used the 3 day potty training by Lora Jensen at www.3daypottytraining.com that someone from mamasource had mentioned before in another potty training request. It WORKS! My daughter will be 2 next month and she is FULLY and completely potty trained, it only took a day and a half for her to get the concept. We started the week before she turned 22 months. I was very skeptical about its effectiveness but thought there was no harm in giving it a try, I'm so glad we did. She even wakes up at night to go to the bathroom, so there are no more night time accidents. At first there were some accidents here and there, some at day time and some at night but we kept to the steps in the program and now the accidents are very few and far between. It's so nice not to have to change anymore diapers, or have to pack them and carry them around anymore. Instead now we just pack a couple of pairs of undies and clothes incase there happens to be an accident. We also have a portable potty that you can pop open incase you are out and about and she has to go ( we like the Potette potty but we use small trash bags instead of the expensive bags that you can to buy with it, you can also throw in a disposable nursing pad to absorb some of the fluids at the bottom of the bag) , as well as a foldable potty seat (mommy's helper Cushie Tushie padded folded potty seat) that you can put on top of the toilet for her to use on a public restroom. And of course we have waterproof mattress pads on our bed and her bed incase of night accidents (she has just started to learn to sleep in her own bed). Well I hope this helps you with your potty training dilemma.

Good Luck! :)
J.

I am also potty training a 2 yr old boy. He weres regular cotton underwear when he is awake but we still put a diaperon him when he sleeps. I frequently ask him if he needs to go potty and sometimes he says no so we don;t do anything, but I ask him again in like 5 minutes and he's usually ready to try then. we also reward him for telling us he needs to go and then going. He has accidents, but he is learning that he gets wet and uncomfortable when he pees in his pants. So I just don't put a diaper on him at all during the day with the exception of nap time and ask him every 10 to 20 minutes if he needs to go. Letting him run naked outside, when appropriate, has also helped him realize he needs to go and then he finds a rock and waters it.

Hi,

I just potty trained my son in June. I purchased the training underwear, but it didn't work b/c it was too much like a pull-up or diaper. It absorbed too much and he didn't get it. However, the Gerber plastic liners worked great. (Babies R US, 3pk for $2.99) I used real underwear then put the liner over it. He had a few accidents the first couple days, but it didn't leak through his clothes or down his legs. We also put away all area rugs, became familiar w/his routine and took him FREQUENTLY! We were ecstatic it took all of 3 days to get him potty trained! Oh, we also made up a silly song and danced a little jig every time he did something in the toilet.

Best of Luck!

Hi A.!

It sounds like she is cognitively ready but not physically ready to potty train. That can be so frustrating!

If she's home with you, you might try setting a timer and taking her every 15 minutes. You'll cut down on accidents and it will help her get a sense of when to go. Try not to get angry or frustrated when she misses. I know that's easier said than done, but it will take longer and have an impact on her self esteem if she feels that you're upset AT her.

The nerves that control peeing and pooping are among the last to develop in the body. So even if she understands where it goes, it may take some time to have the ability to put it there. In the mean time, you might want to use the gerber trainig pants. They aren't pretty, but they have extra lining in the right places that helps make it a little less messy.

Good luck!

I'm potty training my 2 year old and I'm having the same issues. I just decided that I would have to set a timer and just take her when the timer goes off. I started off with a 30 min timer and after about a month she is able to go about 1-2 hours before she needs to be reminded. she is also now starting to let me know a little bit, but mostly I have to take her.

Hi A.!

What a big girl you have!

Be patient....if you've mastered "the poop", then you'll be mastering "the pee" soon enough :o)

Just continue to have patience, give reminders, & be consistent.....she'll figure it out :o)

Good Luck :o)

Potty training takes LOTS of practice! Like a year! Expect mistakes. More suggestions: get some REALLY CUTE real lil girl panties- let her pick themout.
Put the potty chair in the room she is in.
She will know as soon as she is doing better regularly, she gets BIG GIRL PANTIES!
And you are doin an awesome job, sounds like you have made it fun for your girl, that is why you are having such success.

I would recommend taking a week or two to focus on training her NOW while she is still interested. If you pass up this chance it will take more effort later on. I would avoid ALL diapers and ALL pull-ups. I would keep a watch handy.
Every 20-30 minutes during the training period have her go ahead and sit on the potty or toilet. Listen too and say "I hear your tinkle....."
You can add glitter into the magic toilet(not too much.)
Keep extra clothes handy and put a mini-potty in the car to use as needed. She will do best by wetting herself and changing clothes during the training time.
Give her books about potty training to look at while she "sits". Ask her to "listen" for the tinkle. Best wishes and happy training during this early time....instead of LATER. Potty Training is really about training us as parents I realized. Once we focus 100% on reminding them to sit everytime they drink, before nap, every 3o minutes.... then it happens. I took my youngest out of daycare for two weeks just to do this. At a Montessori school I worked at, I had to remove diapers in order to train the toddlers....Sometimes the parents were not willing to follow through 100% at home.
Plan a "potty party" as a goal.....I made a chosen lion cake(cake book from library) for Lilian and brought pizza to her daycare when the training was over...She was proud with her accomplishment.

Hi A.,
Have you tried setting a timer for 30-60 mins and having her sit on the potty every time it goes off? My daughter was interested at 2 for a while then lost interest. She just turned 3 on Sunday and now wears panties all day and pull ups to sleep. She still has a hard time remembering to tell me if she needs to go potty so I take her in every hour or so. She has had a few "accidents" but has been pretty good for the last few weeks. The biggest problem we have is she is a strong willed little girl and can get pretty adamant that she doesn't have to go if I insist. Of course she ALWAYS goes and I reinforce it with ALOT of positive praise, reminding her that if she gets that "funny feeling" she needs to sit on the potty and not hold it. I also saw a potty watch in the One Step Ahead catalog that has a timer on it. I decided I wasn't going to force the issue when she was 2, as alot of the moms here have said "They won't graduate from high school in diapers!" and let her tell me when she was ready.
Good luck and invest in a little Green Machine steam cleaner for the accidents. :-)
Sincerely,
L.

at that age you have to tell them when to go. definitely set a timer and start out taking her to go every 30 minutes and then gradually make those times longer in between.

also you could try to make it fun. get a piece of poster board or construction paper and a whole bunch of stickers and every time she goes let her pick a sticker to put on her board. clap and tell her what a great job she did. then maybe she'll want to go more often. :)

good luck!

Just put the training pants on her. If you put the diaper on over it, it pulls the wetness away. If you want a way to keep the floor/carpet try, put rubber pants over the training pants. That way she gets the full experience of wetting her pants but your furniture/floors do not!

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