How to Potty Train - Baltimore,MD

Updated on November 18, 2006
E.B. asks from Baltimore, MD
9 answers

HI, I have a 15 month old daughter. How do I start potty training my girl?

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answers from Washington DC on

I am a 26 year old mother with two daughters. I always started by choosing times for them to sit on the potty each day. I tryed to keep it as a routine. Even if she isn't actually using it at first just allow her to sit there for a little while. Not too long! I would place toys or a book near the potty that will keep her occupied to stay still. Try to do it after meals and after she drinks liquids.

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answers from Washington DC on


I have just started over the last 24 hours to train my 22 month old. I say go for it. I disagree with a number of the responders about allowing your child to tell you when they are ready. Think about it this way, if your in your late 20's or 30's chances are you were trained by the time you were 2. Sure, your parents probably had to help you get your pants on and off, and you may have needed a diaper still at night, just in case, but you knew when you needed to urinate and someone made sure you got there. And your parents were likely trained by 15 months and there's even sooner. Most literature on the subject will tell you that kids were trained during infancy until 1961 when Pampers paid T. Berry Brazelton to do a study, think there may have been a little conflict of interest here? I wish I had started reading about potty training before the kids came as I would do EVERYTHING differently. This is going to be a matter of training you as well as your daughter. Also keep in mind that the chemical released from wet diapers that our children sit in (because even the most active parents isn't changing their baby/toddler every time a little urine hits the diaper)is what causes toxic shock syndrome, and this seeps into their pores, etc. Talk about unhealthy!

I've done tons of reading on the subject matter over the last week, and here is what we are trying. We took the diaper off and put Bailey in a gerber training pant. Basically cotton underwear with a little extra padding. I am setting a timer and every 20 minutes we try using the potty. Half the time we make it there and celebrate, the other half we have an accident so I change her clothes and in a neutral voice I tell her that it is okay and just to let me know when she needs to Pee. Be very specific with the language you use and use it consistantly. Give lots of hugs and encouragement when she does go and don't get angry if there is a problem. Just change her, and wash the clothes. This isn't going to happen over night and there will be problems. We are still wearing diapers at night and nap time, although Bailey is dry most of the time upon waking.

We also went and bought some special panties that she can wear when things work, one accident and I put the gerber pants back on. DO NOT USE PULL UPS, they are just like diapers and if there is an accident quite difficult to clean up. My daughters problem is that until now she never knew what it was like to feel wet. I've always had her in Pampers Cruisers and I've never had a leak, they work almost too well! Accidents will let your daughter learn about wet and dry. My son is 11 months old and if I had to do things over again I would have used cloth with both kids.

Oh, one other thing. The reason your better starting right before 2 is that while most have learned the word NO, they aren't quite as good with it as 6 months from now. I just purchased some dresses with matching pants/loose tights from Hannah Anderson as they should be easy for little ones to learn to take on and off on their own, and also keep warm during these winter months. Good luck to you and let's keep in touch and compare notes.


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answers from Pittsburgh on

I agree with the others....wait for her to show you and tell you she's ready. She will need to undress and dress herself (at least pants). She needs to have the language to tell you she needs to go too. Some people are very anxious to get their kids trained asap. Honestly, I think there are a lot of situations where it's just easier to have them in diapers still. If they train early, you are more likely to deal with more accidents or have to stay on top of them constantly asking if they need to go.

You can let her see you go and perhaps that will catch her attention and help her to begin taking interest over time. My daughter showed and interest last year when she was about 26 months - right before the holidays. I put a potty seat out and let her go when she asked and she'd sit before bath time. Since it was the middle of the holidays, we just didn't have a clear schedule to stay home and focus on the potty so I didn't push it, but praised her efforts. She had days with more or less interest and after about a month she wasn't interested anymore at all. For a period she refused to sit before baths which she had always liked doing. I just dropped it. The potties were still out in case she decided she wanted to try. In July (2 months shy of 3 years) she woke up from her nap asking to wear underpants instead of her diaper. I put them on her and she has been dry since. I really never even had to go through a period of having to ask her every hour or so about going potty. From the beginning, she just told me she needed to go which was a blessing because with a 16 month old as well, I just wasn't that focused. She was rewarded with a single M&M each time she went on the potty which was a huge deal for her - she never gets candy! We still used pull ups for nap and bedtime, but she's getting really good with that now too. I'm pregnant again though and just don't have the energy to deal with regular bed changing so we play it safe. When I noticed she was staying dry more than randomly, we started putting stickers on the calendar for being dry at nap or bedtime as a reward and to help me keep track. She's dry almost every nap and probably 50%+ in the mornings. Training has been completely stress-free for her and I since I waited and let her take the lead. Good Luck

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answers from Scranton on

Most kids will start to show an interest between 18 months nad 3 years. She may not be ready yet, but it can't hurt to get her a potty and talk to her about what it's for. Ask her if she wants to try sitting on it. Get her used to it and comfortable with the idea. Try putting her on it when she gets up in the morning or gets up from naps.

Even if she just stays in diapers for a long time still and goes in it now and then, it's good for her to start making the connection. And even if she does really good and in a few months tells you she has to go every single time and you still have to help her with her clothes, what's wrong with that? It's good for her development, and it's less work for you to take her to the potty than to change a diaper. I can't imagine waiting until 3 to start!

We did elimination communication with my daughter, so she's been going on the potty sometimes since she was 5 months, usually about half the time, but once she hit 17 or 18 months it really clicked and she makes it almost every single time now. I think there's some sort of big developmental leap then.



answers from Erie on

Your daughter will let you know when its time. If she is interested in what you do in the bathroom and follows you in and flushing for you, she's showing interest. At that time you can discuss what a potty is and read some books about the potty. Take her with you to pick one out and just leave it in the bathroom for awhile so she gets used to it being there. Also get a potty that converts from a potty that sits on the floor and can be taken apart to use on the big toilet too. It costs just as much as any other potty and gives her the option of how she wants to learn and will make it easier for her to sit on the big potty when she upgrades. My son started watching Bear in the Big Blue House Potty Time when he was a year and a half. It took him another year and a half before he was truely ready and interested in actually trying.

I wound up in a rather frustrating process of potty training. With my son, as well as some other kids, they dont want to be bothered with the demands early on. When he was ready, that was it, he was 100% all for it and was trained in a couple months. Once he was day trained I switched him to underwear during the day and he was night trained in 2 weeks- no accidents have happened I avoided that usual parental nightmaer really just because it was something he wanted and he was truely ready. I used Pull Ups Wetness Liner with him for about a year before he was 100% trained. They really helped him get the idea of what it felt like to be wet. The learning design ones I thought useless because the child would have to have no clothes on in order to know the designs disappeared and I dont know too many parents who take their child out and about in less than proper clothing for a toddler. The wetness liner worked like a dream. I'd often find him changing the pull up himself! The easy open sides are just, that EASY! If he had to pee or a BM, no problem, no mess. The Pull Ups Nighttime were a blessing at night. Switching between diapers and pull ups was only backfiring in the end. They look, feel and work like underwear and my son knew them as his big boy pants.

Forcing your daughter to go before she is mentally and physically ready could set you up for a nightmare of a potty training experience. I know becasue I experienced it for almost 2 years. (my son is 4 next month). At 15 months it is likely your daughter will be more interested in being a young toddler and want to play without the demands of being a big kid so soon. Just let her be until she's 2, she'll be more likely to be interested then.

When is time to go, just make sure you praise her every effort to try and potty, and be very neutral about accidents. Do not use any kind of negativity, it will only backfire, shoot down her self esteem and she may start using it just to get attention. My son loves going to the potty by himself and once he got interested I have not had to ask him to go, he prides himself on his ability to go by himself and take care of it himself. Oftentimes I have no clue he went until I find the bathroom light on! Good luck!



answers from Harrisburg on

Is she interested in it now? Are you wanting to potty train now?I have a 14month old who doesnt even really know what a potty is. I kinda think it is too soon, but that is my opinion.



answers from Philadelphia on

I wouldn't even try until she's about three. She will let you know when she is ready. She has to be able to have full comprehension, be able to take her pants up and down by herself, and have control over her bladder and bowels. I've heard "miracle" stories, yatty yatty, but that's usually just what they are. A lot of parent's have the "youngest" potty-trainer in the world, but you find that the child still had "accident's" for a while after. The biggest thing is comfort, patience, and understanding. Trust me, she won't be in diapers at ten years old! LOL.



answers from Washington DC on

Hello! Everyone has different ways but, for me I had 3 children in 3 years so what worked for me because of time and all when I would use the restroom I would put them on there potty's. So they got the hang of it after a few months. They say you can start at any age for when they sit it becomes a habit. It worked for me. J.



answers from Erie on

If your daughter is showing signs of being ready to use the potty then start training her. If not then wait. Signs that she's ready are: recognizing that she has a dirty diaper, streching her diaper changes and if you get the potty seat out she acknowledges it. When your daughter is ready here's what you could try: leave the potty seat in a place where she plays or is a lot. Let her explore it and she might even sit on it on her own. You can take her to the potty seat/bathroom every 15 mins. and have her sit there for a couple of minutes. If she goes give her a reward. You could let her run around with pants on and no diaper and see if she uses the potty. Another thing you could do is get a doll that wets and have your daughter put her on the potty and tell her that she could be a big girl like her dolly.

With my second son I didn't use pullups around the house...just if we went out and at night. I would let my son run around with just his pants on (no underware or diaper) and if he had an accident I would take him to the potty and have him sit for a few minutes and change him. I was changing him quit a bit a first, but he got trained pretty quick. I used pullups on my older son and he just used them like diapers. My friend used pullups on her daughter for 8 months and then she finally just put her in underware she started using the potty that day.
Good Luck. It might take time, but she will eventually get trained.

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