At What Point Did You Brave Taking Your Child in Public in Real Underpants?

Updated on August 23, 2010
K.A. asks from Jacksonville, AR
11 answers

My daughter does great during the day, but still has accidents while sleeping. She is not bowel trained, but all of her bowel movements are usually in the morning. At nap time she will awake if she needs to use the bathroom but usually has an accident right in front of the potty chair. At night, I suspect she sleeps too hard. Bowel training is an issue because of past severe constipation with lots of pain. The problem is resolved, but she still has fear of pain and refuses to use the potty. Also, I have noticed that from the time she tells me she has to "poopoo" and me getting to her to help, it is to late. I am not sure that she recognizes the need until it is too late. I am considering taking her to church for night services in real panties but am not sure if I am brave enough. She is usually dry when we get to church and appears to be wearing the same pullup after church (she goes to the church nursery). Lots of times she falls asleep on the way home but is dry when we get home, though not always. Because of the BM problem, I am not ready for Sunday morning in panties yet.

I have potty trained 2 boys, but did not start potty training till they were 3 and they caught on quicker. I had them in undies by 4 in public. We did not have constipation issues with them so bowel training was not an issue.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Honolulu on

1) Night Time & Nap time dryness... is a BIOLOGICAL attainment. The body, has to develop. Night time dryness is not something that is attained until even 7 years old.... and this is normal and per Pediatricians.

2) Pooping... is OFTEN the last 'stage' of learning toileting. It can cause anxiety and/or stress in the child. Its okay. Don't force it or punish for it. It is a BIOLOGICAL ability and a learning curve. Which is not like peeing.

3) Use a waterproof bed pad directly under her. If she has accidents at night, then it is easier to clean up and the sheets won't get soiled. I have 4 of them, that I rotate, and I got it from Amazon.
My daughter is 7 years old, and she still once in a while, has pee accidents at night. NO biggie. I just change the waterproof bed pad, she changed PJ's, and goes back to bed. I do not scold her.

4) IF a child is "withholding" their poop... and gets Constipation... this is not good. It causes pain.... internally and when it comes out... then the child will NOT want to poop, or at all. That happened to my daughter. We then had to take her to a Pediatric Gastroenterologist... to remedy her Constipation.. the Doctor, said this happens... when a child is learning toileting... and NOT for force it. They will poop in a toilet, when THEY are ready.
I suggest, you take her to the Doctor IF constipation continues in her... because it can cause health problems/bowel blockage/Encopresis and pain.

5) To me, she is not ready to go just in panties, outside the house... for long periods. She does NOT have COMPLETE biological ability, for it yet. This is normal. And, her dryness and ability for pottying/peeing/pooping is not fully 100% in control yet... just sometimes.
OR, you do take her out in panties... and bring lots of spare clothing. Which is also normal.
In our car, we ALWAYS have back-up clothing/pants/underwear for both our kids. We leave it in the car all the time. Handy for even if they get dirty/muddy playing at the park.

6) You can also use, padded underwear for her, which is what I did with my kids. The brands are: Gerber training pants, and Potty Scotty underwear. Both are padded in the middle to absorb leakage or accidents. It is a GOOD transition, from diapers to regular underwear.
Or, her pull-ups are fine for now.

7) You need to go by your child's cues and ability in controlling her body/bladder/brain connections for toileting.
Do NOT 'rush' it... or pressure or push it. A child will be ready when they are ready.
When I used to try and 'encourage' my son about it... he would LOUDLY tell me "IT'S MY BODY!" and I respected that. He... on HIS own, did pottying when he was ready. And then, it was not a battle nor a bad experience for him or me. I go by his cues... and as a result, he KNOWS his body...

I also suggest this, which is REAL great for any kid no matter how old. All my friends have it too:
A car potty or travel potty, for IN the car.
Here is a link for it:

It is REAL convenient when in the car, if anywhere there is no toilet, if stuck in traffic etc. It has been a LIFE saver, for our kids.

all the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Even though kiddo trained fast for pee/daytime training... we continued to use a pullup for poo until he felt "safe" using the toilet (similar problem with pain, and the toilet INCREASES that pain, because sitting in a chair to poo is really ineffective when the natural muscle position is to squat).

So that said:

I just ALWAYS had a backpack in my trunk with 2-3 COMPLETE spare changes of clothes (hoody, shirt, pants, underwear, and SOCKS AND SHOES ... accidents frequently will soak both... and a few big ziplock bags), and diaper supplies. So no big deal. If an accident happened we just popped out to the car, grabbed the bag, popped into the bathroom. Cleaned up, and were ready to go. All in all we had maybe 2 or 3 accidents that first year, and they were fully taken care of in 5 minutes or less.

<grinning> So I never had to be brave, just prepared!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I see from your profile that your daughter's 2.5. She's on the early edge of successful training for most kids.

If I were in your situation, I would wait with the real undies until my daughter had overcome her resistance to pooping in the potty, clearly recognized those urges in time, and had had no accidents for a couple of weeks.

For most little girls, that happens somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5, but even later is still within the range of "normal." Because of your daughter's painful constipation, the poop issues may linger for awhile. The less pressure you put on her, probably the better.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

It sounds like she's too young for cotton panties since you're relying on circumstantial factors (e.g., she typically goes #2 in the morning) instead of her being able to communicate in advance that she needs to go to the bathroom, her ability to hold it until actually on the potty, and her complete willingness to participate in the process. For my daughter, the turning point was that she refused to wear pull-ups. As a previous poster mentioned, she considered them diapers and one day, she was not going to wear diapers anymore. She was somewhere around age 3 but she never had a poop fear. She did have a fear of big loud public toilets (I carried her plastic little potty in my trunk, lined with a small plastic trash bag for when she need to go while we were "out"... Yeah, you gotta have some tissues, sanitary hand wipes ready and park at the back of the parking lot for those run to the car situations!)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

How old is your daughter? Both of my kids trained at age 3, and until I dumped the pullups, which they called diapers, it didn't happen. One of my most cringe worthy memories is taking my son to chick filet and having him pee in the middle of the play area. Not fun. I learned the hard way to use thick underwear (potty scotty) and plastic covers. If we were going out for a long time or someplace where accidents couldn't happen, we would use a pullup for the first week or two. We tried to stay in the house for the first few days, but it took a good 3 weeks of underwear and many, many accidents to master it. And that was just for pee. For poop, they both learned almost immediately that they could hold it until a pullup went on for naptime or bedtime and then they went. I didn't push that for a while. then we made up silly stories about poop and they got rewards for using the potty. When you do go out, pick places that have bathrooms. There is nothing worse than having a potty training toddler and being someplace with no bathroom when they are begging you to go. Both of my kids didn't accomplish nightime dryness until well after their 4th birthday.



answers from Monroe on

My daughter was 2 when I took her in public with panties. I just made sure I took her to the restroom often. She has only had 4 accidents during the night while training. I would make sure that she went potty before I put her in bed for the night as well as getting up at least once during the night to put her on the potty.



answers from Cheyenne on

We just did it because we didn't want to confuse our son by sending the message it was okay to go in your pants sometimes but not other times. One week after we started potty-training we took my son on a cross-state car trip and he did wonderfully the entire trip! I say just go for it - if she has an accident she will learn it isn't fun in public!



answers from Columbus on

It took us a week to get potty training down pat. When we had to go somewhere we went potty before we left the house. Then as soon as we got to our dstination the restroom was our first stop. After we were done with our shopping or whatever we were doing we would go to the bathroom again (even if it was only 10 mins that we were there). Our rule of thumb was just that we use the bathroom when we get somewhere and we use the restroom before we leave to go somewhere. My daughter was 18 months old and my son 2.5 years old and both potty trained within a week.

Good luck!



answers from Tulsa on

I would say she's not ready yet. For something as quiet as church I would just use pull ups. She can have you running in and out every few minutes. Ours just figured out he can get out of the car and go in convenience stores every few minutes by yelling "I gotta go Pooh!!!!!!".



answers from Wausau on

right from the beginning. Biggest thing is to make sure you have protection for the car seat. It's a lot of work to take it off to clean. Yes we have had a few accidents in public. But hey they have all learned real quick that it is no fun being wet around others. I have not met a single person who has been rude if one of our kids has an accident.



answers from Fayetteville on

It sounds like she is ready, but you are not. With both my girls, (potty trained before age 3), putting them exclusively (except for bedtime) in panties was the turning point. Yes, you may have accidents in public-just be prepared. Nursery staff at church has probably dealt with that before (I assume its volunteer) or they wouldn't be there, just let them know she is in panties. We had accidents at church, at walmart, resturants-its part of training. And it is completely gross to clean poop out of panties, I've done it lots!-but you're a mom-you gotta do, what you gotta do! Take a bunch of plastic shopping bags (or you can get bags specifically made for diapers, those are good too) to put any dirty pants in, take several pair of panties and change of pants-or dresses, they are easier when potty training-and plenty of wipes and you're set. And you will be that much more pleased when you are done with a diaper bag! God bless you!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions