Birthday Party and Potty Training Help

Updated on July 29, 2008
K.S. asks from Henderson, NV
19 answers

My Son will be 3 in a couple fo days and he is potty trained. he is trained in the sense that he doesn't mess in his pants. if I tell him to go potty he will go in the bathroom without a problem so I know he isn't scared of it. My problem is that if he goes on his own, he goes in the closets. he will pull down his pants and pee or poo in the closet. I am sick of cleaning it up. I have tried putting him back in diapers, but he will take those off as well. I am at a loss.

My other Question is about his birthday party. My friends daughter has the same birthday and we are planning a pool party together. We are going to do Dora and Diego. Are there any ideas how to make this party run smoothly? I have a bigger family so I will most likely have a lot more guests than she will so I will contribute more to the planning and costs. (she didn't ask me to)

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answers from Chico on

Just an idea, I have been at parties that hire a local life guard or responsible high school kids to help watch the kids around the pool. That allows the adults that are invited to enjoy the party too. I hope that you have fun!!!!



answers from San Luis Obispo on

Dear K.,

He may not like the way that the potty seat on the toilet feels, and it may make him feel like he is going to fall. Get a step stool, maybe, or a potty chair that sits right beside the toilet. He can then poop in the potty chair all by himself . I don't know why kids do that hid and poop thing, but I caught my two gr grand children wanting to do that too. Who knows.

I don't know nothin' about doin' Birthday parties.
Sincerely, C. N.

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answers from Los Angeles on

As for the potty problem: would you be opposed to putting a potty chair in the closet for now? You could start with it in the closet, then after a few days put it in front of the closet door. A few days later move it to the door to the bedroom, then out side the bedroom door. So on and so forth until you have moved it into the bathroom for him. Also, is there a stool for him to reach the toilet easily in the bathroom? He may be afraid of climbing up there by himself, so going to the closet where he can feel safe and find privacy.

For the party: Dora and Diego are PERFECTLY merged already. I would buy one of the BIG Dora balloons & one of BIG Diego balloons. Have two gift tables, one with the Dora balloon for her, the other Diego for him. As guests arrive have a “Gift Attendant” (maybe your 11 year old daughter and a friend?!) help guest put their gifts on the proper table. Have PLENTY of drinking water, juice, and healthy snacks available for the picking. If you’re serving lunch/dinner be sure it’s simple: Costco Pizza ($10 each), hot dogs, PRE-made sandwiches, or whatever else you come up with. Kids usually have a simple taste pallet, so gourmet Portabella Burgers, or Blue Cheese and Herb Crostinis are lost on them. Parents will expect basic “children’s” foods. I would personally suggest picking up a personal sized round cake for each of them, and a large sheet cake for everyone else. 3 is finally old enough to be excited about their candles. You don’t want one of them crying because the other blew their candles out too. If you’re having the whole party in the pool, you really don’t even have to worry about games. I would also DEFINITELY have plenty of Water Proof sun-block on hand. (I used to work at a day care. You’d be baffled by how many parents would forget about Sun Screen on days we were playing in water.) If you have time (and $$$) I’d bet you could find someplace online that would personalize small bottles to be given as the party favor for coming. Cute and practical. :O) Just be sure you allow for yourself to have fun too! Enjoy, and I hope ALL works out for you, -J

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Stockton on

Hi Kristen,
I wanted to address the potty problem in the closet.
When my son was 3 he almost did the same thing, potty trained but went through a stage right before he turned 4.
He would ask for privacy...I thought I was loosing my mind when the privacy was going to the bathroom in other places then the potty! I couldn't believe I was ashamed to tell or ask for help and didn't really know what to do but stay calm and remind him where to potty... and he would tell me in the toilet so I would tell him I love him but I needed to take something away like his cars because he needed to remember that it is not o.k. to pee any where but the bathroom...and he could earn them back the next day if he could potty in the right place. This was the only thing I could come up with, since we are not disaplinarians in my house this was about as firm I could get.
Sure enough, after loosing something each day for about 4 days he started to earn one thing back each day. In our house because he is so young, every day is a new day.
Each day he had a chance to get something back or loose something else. It has all ended along with that form of punishment.
He hasn't had any problems with where to potty it was over before it really started. He really enjoyed earning his things back. He would get excited by the time his Daddy came home from work and share that he earned "it" back.
I think he was just trying his limits.
Good luck and thank you for sharing.

Jan has a great idea about placing the potty chair in and near the closet, and a stool near the potty so that he can reach all by him self....I wish I had thought of it when I was at my wits end!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I do sympathy with you. But all kids do different things when and after being potty trained. My son was fully potty trained and he would just pee on himself time and time again during the day. Sometimes right next to me, but he would never pee in bed. He just was to lazy to get up and go to the bathroom. To me it looks like your son likes his privacy or he just feels more comfortable in the closet. Is it the same closet everytime? Have you tried putting a kids potty in the closet where he goes? Because that might help with the mess. But at the same time you still have to break him of it. And I learned that you can't get mad at them. You have to talk to him in a matter that he understands and just be very patient. Because he will soon learn. And maybe for now you have to do the 30 minute thing. Meaning ask him every 30 minutes do you need to go to the bathroom. And once he goes show him that is where you go to the bathroom and then go to the closet and say this is not where you go. It will just take some time. Please let me know how it goes!! Good Luck!!
And about the party just make sure all doors are closed that you are not utilizing and I would just suggest that you have bags and towels out for those who forget. And have one designated place for everyone to put there stuff. So things aren't all over your house. Hope everything goes well. and happy birthday to your son!!



answers from Las Vegas on

Hi K.,
My response to both your questions is a schedule. It sounds like you need to get your son back on a schedule as if he were in early potty training stages. If he goes in the closet when going alone, then don't send him alone. It is a stage - hopefully shortlived.

As for the party, make an agenda list and try to stick to it. Big parties can get out of hand if you don't have much help. Is there one or two people you can summons for help like putting out food or rounding up kids for games? Everything will go just fine, I look at it like this, did they have fun? That is all that matters!



answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.. I can't really help you with your situation because I am just entering the potty training stage. As far as your party, If you can find an affordable restaurant to cater your party that will relieve a lot of food stress. The last thing you want is to spend most of your time working in the kitchen. For my son's 1st bday we had Mexican food catered for about $150 for 60 people. Another idea might be to make a lot of finger foods instead of a complete meal, since the little ones like to eat on the run and you won't have to worry about food getting cold and continuous reheating. Having a party at the park is good, so that the little ones have tons of space to run and you don't have to worry about them taking over your home. I hope this helps. I also saw that you are a Passion Party Consultant. I am a BeautiControl Consultant. I do complimentary in home spas either at my home or other peoples homes. You just invite your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers etc. There is no pressure to buy, but you are required to have fun and relax. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in you can visit my website at or you can contact me at ###-###-#### or [email protected] and I can give you more info. I hope you are able to find some help to solve your situation. Good Luck =)



answers from Los Angeles on

As for the pee problem. This is just an idea but you can award him with a sticker on the top of the toilet seat lid everytime he uses the bathroom properly. Sit him down and explain the proper use of the restroom and then ask him question to make sure he understands. If there is one thing I know about kids, they love stickers.I have potty trained many kids and have never run into this problem, but if you get creative you can find a solution. Another thing, follow him to the restroom and before he gets to the door ask where does the pee go. Or something to that effect. If given the right answer, ask him to show you and then give him the sticker to place on the seat lid. After so many, have a small prize that he really wants to earn and tell him after if he gets XX amount of stickers then he can have that gift for such a great job. I hope this works for ya. Good luck. Anything is worth trying.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hey there,

I am going to suggest party ideas, because I do not have the same potty issues.

Ok so both Diego and Dora are about starting in one location and winding up in another. So why not have a scavenger hunt! Obviously a very easy one. Use a "MAP" (Dora) to get to it. Make them find an "animal" (Diego), preferaby a stuffed jaguar, OR a pinata to find. Set up some obsticles to do on the way. Get paper bags and paint some orange (rescue pack) and some purple (Back Pack) and put faces on them like in the shows. Then give the pruple to the girls and orange to the boys. Put some old painted toilet tissue rolls in it for a telescope, maybe old painted juice boxes with a hole cut into it for "Click" the cameras. Maybe some other items that "back pack" has in it. Maybe bubbles etc. And the bags can hold any of the candy that comes out of the pinata if that is what you decide to get.

Anyway I hope that helps.....good luck!




answers from San Francisco on

Looks like you've gotten lots of good advice about the potty issue. So sticking with the party.... The fact that you are having a pool party takes lots of pressure off really -- as long as the kids are supervised in the water. Because the kids are so young, I would make sure to ask the parents of your young guests to please supervise their child in the water. And then make sure at least one responsible adult is IN the water ready to assist a child in trouble. And no deep end unless that child's parent is in there with them. Unless you or a guest is CPR certified, don't take chances. I am certifed and have the training to know that 911 isn't going to get anyone there fast enough if something serious happens.

So be firm on the safety rules and make sure everyone knows them up front, when they first arrive.

With that said... other easy things you can do is put out bubbles. I like to make up my own bubble recipe in a clean dish tub and then put out all kinds of bubble wands for the kids to use. Those little green baskets that berries sometimes come in (harder to find now) are ideal as bubble toys. Just dip them in and wave them around. Which reminds me, children too young to blow a great bubble can usually make them just by waving the wand.

Get my bubble recipes here:

Sometimes it's nice to put out some coloring pages related to the party theme, for kids who are getting a little tired and just want something quiet to do. If you don't have clipboards to hold their papers when the breeze comes up, just keep some tape on hand and tape the paper to the table (unless you have a paper table cloth). If you DO have a paper disposable paper cloth, put out markers and let them custom decorate your table cloth. Kids love it.

For Diego coloring pages try this url:

You can find lots of Dora ones on the Nick Jr. website

Don't forget some inflatable beach balls for playing in the pool with! And a pinata is always popular with kids.

If you have a boom box, put on some party music. Then use it for musical chairs. To make the game more fun for little kids, give a little "prize" to each child as he or she is "out". That way it's less disappointing when they're not that one child who wins.

Another fun game is to have a "treasure hunt" which you can adapt for the Dora and Diego theme. With the standard game you start out with a clue on a slip of paper. An adult reads the clue aloud and the kids try to figure it out together. Then they go to the place indicated by the clue. When they get there they find another clue that leads them to another place. When they have followed a few of these, they get to the last clue which leads them to finally find the "treasure". Which could be a shoe box filled with treats or little prizes.

If you have older kids in the bunch, you can put them on a seperate team and give them harder clues... leading them to their own big kid treasure treats.

To make it more like Dora, you could use little diagram "maps" to illustrate the clues for the little kids. Then they are using a map to find something.

To bring in the Diego element, have the treasure be a little stuffed animal baby. When the team finds and "rescues" their baby animal, they bring it back to you and get their treats.

Just a thought.



answers from Los Angeles on

Try putting a second potty in the closet, less clean up for you, just reafirm him that he needs to go in the bathroom next time, if he uses the potty in the closet, slowly start moving it out from the closet, into your hallway twards the bathroom until he starts going in the bathroom without you. It takes time and patience, it worked for my mom, she babysat my cousin, he insisted on going potty in our front yard, she eventualy got him to use the bathroom, it took about two weeks.As for your pool party, make sure you assign two poeple to be lifegaurds, and that you give them breaks, so much can happen in so little time. Safty measures such as floaties are not enough, if you can provide life vest and other water toys, not to mention lots of towels, because poeple will forget to bring some, it will make for a smoother pool party, whether its your pool or your friends, it will make things easier for you both.



answers from Sacramento on

what about putting a potty in the closet? if he goes in that slowly move it to the bathroom.



answers from Las Vegas on

My son did the same thing with peeing in the closet and as I can recall so did my brothers when we were younger. I think it is a boy thing. I am almost waiting for my 3 yr. old to start. The thing I did to control the situation was make sure to remind him to go to the bathroom every half hour. Also tell him good boy when he does. When my son went in the closet or his room I would take some toys away that he earned back everyday he didn't go in the closet. I made sure to take some of his favorite toys away. He eventually learned that peeing anywhere but the toilet is not good. It took about two weeks but, Being consistant it worked. Thats the only Idea I have I hope it gets better for you and your family. Wish you well,



answers from San Diego on

As far as the birthday party goes, I would suggest to her either dividing the cost of everything you buy and need by people and pay for your guests like that. Or you just split it about half way - maybe you buying a little more of the things you'll need or the food.

Hope that helps.

Sorry, have not gone through potty training yet, so don't know what to tell you about that.



answers from Reno on

My only suggestion would be to make sure that those parents who are brining children understand that they are in charge of their own children, you are not a babysitter. just talk to them politely and let them know you aare having a two person party and will need some help with keeping things under control. Most parents appreciate the honesty and forwardness instead of seeing or hearing afterwards that you were angry. This party is just as much about your children as it is about you not getting stressed out about it. I learned this the hard way at my son's first birthday, and in two months I will most definitly be more honest with those I invite. I would also suggest making sure there are plenty of pool toys and drinks for the kiddlings (and sunscreen-i'm a dermatology nurse) just let them have fun and buffet style not catering to everyone is your best bet. Good luck, it will be fantastic!!!!



answers from Los Angeles on

As far as the potty training, my suggestion would be to put a little potty in there (so you won't have such a mess) and maybe put one in the bathroom. That way he will get familiar with the one in the closet and might start using the one in the bathroom. Just a thought. For the birthday party, my suggestion would be to get a bounce house. They are definetly the way to do a party. It will keep the kids busy for hours. It is less work and mess for you and they are not all that much money. May I suggest TNT. That is who we have used for years. They are great. Hope this helps.



answers from Los Angeles on

You are a busy mom! Well, I remember when my firs son was 3, he would always use my computer chair as the potty. What I did is that I put up a poster board in the bathroom and everytime he would use the potty, he would put a sticker on the poster board. He loved coming into the bathroom and seeing how many different colored stars he had there. He looked forward to coming into the bathroom, knowing that the board was there. Now regarding the party, sounds like a big one. Well, I'm no expert on parties, but keeping the kids "contained", will help. If you have a friend or family member that could kind of keep an eye on the older children, and one that can keep an eye on the younger, would help. Assign people that can help certain tasks, Well, I hope I helped some. Good Luck and have fun.



answers from San Francisco on

So you have Tons of responses already, I didn't read them all so I might be saying something already said... Anyways.. We just had our daughters 3rd birthday. We had 60 guests. About 20 kids and 40 adults. Because you are having a pool party you have a lot of time consumed already, but here was the general outline we followed...

Arrival kids colord pictures for upcoming game, adults mingled. Once all guests were here we set up the first game.. musical pictures (we taped the pictures the colored to the floor, when the music stopped the person who was stanging on the BDAY girls picture got a prize (a giant bubble wand from walmart one buck each!!!) the music kept going until everyone won a prize. I have a couple nieces that are early teens so I recruited them to help so that the parents could migle and enhoy.. Plus it gace the girls something to do! They loved it.

After the game the kids all went oustide to play with their new bubbles.. we bbqd so lunch was them ready, so everyone could grab a plate and eat outside to watch the kids, or take it back inside to eat.

After everyone ate and we cleaned up a little, we set up a second game.. kiss the frog price (like pin the tale on the donkey) and the kids won kites... Again they went outside to play for a while.. ha ha 20 kids with kites, it was rather entertaining! Anyways, while they were out we set up for cake. So they came back in we did cake and once everyone was served we started to do presents. Since the BDAY girl was served first, by time everyone else was served she was done. We had a little melt down half way through the gifts, there were just too many. So I would either wait til you got home (after a nap) to open the gifts, or pic a few to open at the party and save the rest for later.

My daughter handed out her thankyou bags and then we did a pinata.... their thank you bags doubled for candy bags.. there were no candy in the thank you bags... We used one the the pullstring pinata... MUCH easier!

I guess i would just say try to get a schedule. Do you plan to let the kids play in teh pool the whole time.. might be hard to get them out to do anything else? If you want to do games, do that first and have the prizes be pool toys... you'll need them anyways, but do you really want to keep them all? I would suggest having the party, do a couple games eat ect. and then say at a certian time its swim time.. that way you dont have wet hands in the chip bowl, and some people swimming and some not. You can leave the swimming for last so that if there are people who have to leave early they don't miss any of the party stuff. Or if you want to put a limit on swimming time, you can do all the party stuff... let them swim, and then do cake as kind of the end of teh day type thing... Like get out of the pool get dried off and well so cake, then parents can take their kids home. I think you said its for your 3 year old... So party of about 4 hours might be enough for him... You don't want melt down! Good luck!

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