Potty Training Fiasco

Updated on May 30, 2011
J.W. asks from Los Angeles, CA
11 answers

I am on day 2 of potty training my 27 month old. I am thinking she is ready- she tells me did a "poopy" and wants to be changed. she is dry for hours. well i put her in training pants and we sit on the potty, and she waits until shes off the toilet to pee in her training pants. and she doesn't even care if she's wet! I have explained wet and dry, and she gets it as far as I can tell, but this is going no where! and everyone tells me once you start training, dont go back! help!

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So What Happened?

So I put her back into diapers. It got to the point she didn't even want to sit on the potty anymore, and I had her running around outside with no bottoms on and she STILL didn't seem phased that she was peeing. She wasn't ready-- you were all right! At least I will have plenty of supplies when she is ready. Thanks for your help! :)

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answers from Las Vegas on

That you can't go back thing is ridiculous. We tried probably 4 or 5 times, and when he was ready, it finally happened (my son was 2.5 years old when it finally happened, and he was definitely ready). Each time he would start doing it well, and then not want to be near the potty for a while, so we backed off. When he was interested again, we tried it again, and it finally stuck. It's still early, let it go and try again later.

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answers from Portland on

I'm in my 60's, have lived through a number of different potty-training trends, and have watched many, many toddler's training process with fascination. "Don't go back" is common advice, and generally, exactly wrong. It keeps so many kids stuck in failure and frustration, and often goes on to foster outright resistance that slows the process down interminably. But once you've bought into the idea, it's hard for parents to "go back," too.

Pottying is something the child must be ready for physically, mentally (including being able to think about their sensations and communicate with their 'support team'), and emotionally. Just a few weeks short of enough maturity in any of these areas can result in discouraging early attempts.

The quickest successes I have seen (and this was true with my own daughter, two days, and my grandson, several days) come when the child leads the process. Kids want to succeed with learning to potty, just as they wanted to succeed with walking and talking. Your description is of a child who is just beginning to figure it out, but may be a few weeks or even months from having all her ducks is a row.

You can either "power through" and be "training" her with many disappointments throughout those weeks, or you can, indeed, "go back" to letting her be a little girl who isn't quite there yet. You can give her all sorts of upbeat, positive messages about what pottying is like, how much time it saves, how great it will be when she gets to wear big-girl panties; you can read her potty books and let her watch videos and have potty parties with all her dolls and stuffed toys. You can have lots of fun building up her confidence that she can and will do it when she's ready.

And she'll let you know when she's ready to make her own attempts. She may get baffled or lose confidence after a few days of success or of failure – that's extremely common. But she'll regroup, reconsider, get back in touch with her own desire to succeed and her own sensations, and she'll get there. At her own speed will generally be the fastest she'll actually succeed, no matter how much struggle you put into it before then.

"Potty training success" is defined many different ways depending on parental and societal expectations. Here's a wonderful, informative website you might find helpful. It gives a few variations on"readiness" checklists, plus tips on various training strategies, the best ages to start them, and the advantages and disadvantages of each approach: http://www.parentingscience.com/toilet-training-readiness...

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answers from Sarasota on

Potty training is something I should know about considering I am on my third child right now! I do not believe in the idea of not going back. If your daughter is not ready, she is not ready. My kids have all done their potty training at their own pace. My 26 month old is still in diapers, but asks to go potty every once in a while and I encourage it, but I do not force it. I know she will get there on her own at her pace.

I tried the "potty train now or else" with my second daughter (in other words keeping at it even when she kept having accidents and was not ready), and all it did was traumatize her. I stopped doing that, and put her back in diapers and eventually she worked it out and was much happier for it! She is still not night trained, but I am not going to worry about that. The few times she gets to the potty before she wets herself in the morning are times for praise and the mornings she does not get to the potty in time, no big deal. We take her pull-ups off, clean her up, and put panties on for the daytime.

Your daughter will potty train. I guarantee she will be out of diapers before she gets to kindergarten. You do not need to rush it.

Best wishes!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

OK, I'm beginning to train my almost 26 month old so I've been researching like crazy and racking my brain to remember what worked with the first two. I've heard/read that if they can stay dry a couple of hours, understand the words you're using for poop and pee, alert you in some way when they need to do either, and then follow through on the potty, then they're ready. Otherwise it's us moms who are being trained :-/

The very best bit of advice I've seen is: Pick a weekend when you'll be home (I imagine 2 days during the week would work as well.) Put your child in underwear and if they have a couple of accidents in those 2 days and feel bad about it they're ready to train. If they have several and could care less (don't mind being wet or pooped) they're not ready to train and pack up the underwear a couple of months and then try again.

I know that moms get pressured by getting a child ready to attend day care or preschool, other moms and their early-training stories, the tiredness of changing diapers, etc., but the object is to get the child trained, and if they don't care they won't have the motivation to learn. I'm all for early training, but not the frustration of trying to teach a child who's not ready. My guy is taking his diaper off when it's wet and giving it to me, and poop bothers him when it's on him, but he hasn't done either on the potty yet. He'd rather jump up and dance around it! So I'm keeping the potty in site, and waiting for him to either take off his diaper and sit on it, or let me know he needs to go and then placing him on it. Meanwhile he's in his diapers as I don't plan on using Pull-ups (to me they're expensive diapers and kids feel like they're diapers and go in them just the same,) going naked is unrealistic as they can't do that in public, and I don't advocate going back, just easing up on the expectations. BTW, in watching a potty training video they pointed out that the average length of time to fully train is 3-6 months, so the moms whose kids do it in 4 days (like my grandson did) are blessed!

I almost forgot ~ let her see YOU going to the bathroom, too. Children learn the bathroom routine by modeling the same-sex parent's example. (Just read this a few days ago and must say, it's true.)

Like another mom said, your daughter didn't learn to walk and talk in 2 days, so hang in there, J., she'll get it : )

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answers from Los Angeles on

We went through a similar thing with our daughter's potty training only she wouldn't have accidents, she would just hold it for hours and hours. She ended up with a urinary infection and the pediatrician said it was clear that although her body was ready, she was not psychologically. She said it is certainly ideal not to go back to diapers, but there are exceptions and this was one of them. Six months later on a morning our daughter asked for big girl underwear and from that day forward she was potty trained. Pediatrician was right. Good luck

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answers from Pittsburgh on

She's not ready. Just because she can tell you when she has a dirty diaper does not mean she's "ready" to use the potty. I'd wait.

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answers from Seattle on

check out the post Potty traning....HELP!... it was just posted by another mom with the exact same issues.....then you will get lots of advice...Here is a copy of my answer from the other page....I see nothing wrong with stopping because potty training shouldn't be a battle....so here is what I wrote....

I would say stop trying. Don't let potty training get you frustrated. The more frustrated you get, the harder potty training becomes. You daughter is definitely exhibiting the signs of being ready, but she is the one in CONTROL of this.
If she says she wants to go, still follow thru with taking her in and try but if she doesn't and then goes in a diaper, just be very non reactive about it, just like a normal day. If she goes in the potty, be super reactive and excited but no rewards.
My daughter was exactly like this at first too and around the exact same age. I am guessing your daughter is a pretty smart girl too - very verbal, etc.
Here is what we did...We talked about what going potty meant, how to do it, followed examples, sat on the toilet, went, didn't go, played games - etc, almost to the point I thought if I do this anymore I would go insane.I stopped immediately and instead, I let her make the choice. every day I asked her, "today do you want to wear panties or diapers?" I explained that diapers are for going potty like a baby and that was fine and panties are for kids who go potty on the toilet and if you choose panties, then you have to go on the potty, no diaper. That was it. Every day(for about 2 months)I asked her this same question with the same explaination and she told me diapers until one day she said panties. I reminded her what wearing panties meant and from the day on, she was potty trained(pee and poop). She made the choice, she was ready. Of course we had a few accidents, but they were accidents, not un-willingness to go and then having an accident. We probably had maybe about 5 accidents within about 6 months, so be prepared.
My daughter was not nighttime trained until about a year later(by 3). I didn't go pull-up free, until she was waking up in the night to go potty or completely dry for almost 2 months.
This may not work for you guys at all, but my daughter was all about being in control. if it was my choice, things didn't work...if it was her choice, then it worked. She is like that about many things, so I have just learned to give her options and choices that I am ok with, but let her feel she has control over.
Hang in there....it will happen, but it isn't worth pulling hairs over.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I also heard everyone saying that you can't go back once you start potty training. Luckily, we didn't have a problem on our second try... We started just morning and night (right before bedtime) potty training soon after our son turned 2. Then, when he showed signs of being ready (as even agreed by his preschool teachers) at around 28 months we tried the weekend potty training thing. Ugh. What a nightmare. So, after many hours of frustration. We just gave up. But, we kept the potty use in the morning and night. About 1 month after the initial weekend attempt (and going back to pull-ups), we decided that he seemed ready and decided that we would give it another try and not change our minds. This time, it worked with flying colors (and just a few accidents over a period of a few weeks). It was amazing how much a 1 month break was for him. So, my suggestion is to back off the potty training stress entirely for a little while, then try again. There is no hard and fast rule, so try not to stress out too much about it. Best wishes.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I would stick with it - it took her longer than 2 days to learn to walk and talk. I would switch to regular underwear. Some people swear by naked all the time (didn't work for us). Take her first thing when she wakes up (morning and after naps) and after every time she eats and whenever she gets that funny look on her face. You will eventually catch her doing it right and then she will get it. Try not to make a big deal about it - just 'pee and poop go in the potty - not punitive. We trained DS at 25 months - no rewards, punishment, excessive praise - just matter of fact - it's time to learn to do this. The other thing we did was take him into the bathroom with us. It really helped. (it took several years before he gave up following us in though) The average American baby was trained by 18 months back before disposable diapers. The average baby in the world is trained at 12 months.

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answers from Topeka on

I would say that maybe she isn't quite ready...and I wouldnt push it...let her come into the bathroom with you when you are going to the bathroom...and then ASK her if she needs to go to the bathroom too. If she does...fine...if not...that is fine too. Don't make it a "right or wrong" thing...if you turn it into a battle I can GUARANTEE you that she is going to win that battle!!!
One thing that my daughter did with her son at at about that age...she would sit and talk to him while he was on the potty chair...they would take turns telling a story...or they would talk over what they had done that day or what they were going to fix for Papa for dinner...anything to keep him occupied and entertained. Sometimes he used the potty...sometimes he just sat there..but it was always a pleasant experience...never forced...no tears...no cajoling.
Take her out and let her pick out some "big girl panties" and tell her that when she is ready she can wear them...but don't pressure. Make it fun...a goal...she will get there...don't worry...I can guarantee you that she will NOT head off to kindergarten in a diaper...lol

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answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter has had this issue with my grandson...yes boys are different! She tried the 3 day potty boot-camp and it worked! He had a couple of accidents the first day but after that then he has been doing great...except "poopie" has been the difficult part that seems to be quite traumatic right now...Good luck you and your daughter can do this!

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