Potty Training - Wait It Out or Go to Underwear?

Updated on August 04, 2009
K.M. asks from Chaska, MN
14 answers

Sorry another potty training question. Here is the scoop. I have a 2 1/2 year old (will be 3 in Oct) who has been potty training for a couple of months now (since May). He was doing GREAT, then we had 2 very bad days in a row, I moved him back to diapers for a day and he hated that so the next day he got to go back to pull-ups. Now we are back in the same rut. He goes on the toilet, as long as we take him. He doesn't tell us when he has to go and doesn't tell us if he peed in his pull-up only if he has pooped. Should I continue with the pull-up and us taking him every couple of hours or do I move into the harsher cotton underwear? I have an at home daycare and have trained at least 4 other children (in conjunction with their parents) and have NEVER had trouble before. The longest it took me to "mostly" train another child was 2 months. What am I doing wrong with mine?

Thanks for all the advice so far - still looking for more. My 2 1/2 year old is ready, he is not reverting back to baby things because of his new brother - just the opposite in fact. There is nothing medically wrong, he knows when he has to go, if I catch the "potty dance" and ask him he says yes and we run to the potty. He goes every time I take him to the toilet (about evey 2 1/2 - 3 hours on a regular schedule - after snack, after lunch, after nap, etc)He just doesn't tell us unless we ask! I think we will try underwear this weekend and I will let you all know how it goes.

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A.M.

answers from La Crosse on

Throw out the pull-ups unless you're going for a long drive in the car or something like that. At home, I found my son did best with nothing at all on his bottom. After a few days of that we went with shorts but no underwear -- he was able to get the shorts up and down by himself. Now he does underwear too and we haven't had an accident in weeks (knock wood!). He potty trained in about a month.

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A.O.

answers from Dubuque on

K.,
I think some of it may have to do with attention. I have a 2 and a half year old (she will be 3 in Oct also), and a 15 month old. She likes to act like a baby, and started wanting a pacifier again, after we got rid of it, when her brother gets one. If you can stand it, I would go to underwear, pull ups I found gave her an out to potty in. I would start with a couple days you have at home with most of your attention on the little guy. Then take him every two or three hours. Of course, then you have to deal with accidents, and cleaning them up, but I made my daughter help with clean up when she started have accidents. Are you certain he doesnt have anything that makes it uncomfortable to pee? My daughter had a UTI and no symptoms except the accidents. Just a thought. Good luck!

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S.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

K.,

The best way to prolong the completion of potty training is the use of pull ups. Why go in the toilet when it's perfectly comfortable to go in your pants? And you get to make the pictures on the front of your pull up disappear. Where's the incentive to use the toilet? Once I potty train, I never go back to diapers or pull ups no matter what happens. If there is an accident, the child gets to practice going to the bathroom, cleans up the mess, puts away dirty laundry, gets clean clothes and puts them on.

Good luck,
S.

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B.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Cotton Underpants! Make him responsible for cleaning up and taking care of accidents

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M.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

I would skip the pull ups and/or diapers and either do naked time or underwear. We potty trained my oldest very recently with a week of naked time before letting him choose his own underwear. He had a few accidents in his underwear of the course of a few days but soon learned not to pee in them. If it's taking months to train him, he may not be ready yet.

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V.E.

answers from Minneapolis on

I had had enough with my son going in his pull-up so I moved him to underwear and just use a pull-up for sleeping or going out for a long time. We had a week with quite a few acidents but he is now fully trained. Our thing was if he pooped in the underwear he would have to wear plain white ones instead of his cool ones, only pooped in them twice. We still remind him to go every few hours but that is better than the cost of diapers or pull-ups.

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C.A.

answers from Minneapolis on

Underpants. My son is the same way but he takes it a step farther. He has to go without underwear. Ifhe's got anything on he'll pee in them. So he goes commando. I figure I'll work on the underwear later :)

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M.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

If he's not telling you he's going pee, then he may not be ready. I wouldn't waste the money on pull-ups anymore and either do one of two things: go back to diapers and wait a while, or put him in the thick cotton trainers or plastic pants. With #2, if you can stay at home for the majority of a few days, let him to without pants. I have a son who will be 3 as well in Oct and we have our potty chair in the main living area since the bathroom is down 2 hallways and he can't get to it right away all the time. Take the convenience of the diaper away and he'll get the gist. Good luck!

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C.K.

answers from Madison on

I believe you are right that your son is ready. My son was completely trained a little after 2 1/2 and had a brother born during that time. Forget the pull-ups. I don't think cotton underwear are harsh as you put it. I never purchased a pull-up, so I think that might be the trick.

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi K.,
I would put him in underwear and put him on the potty on a schedule. It is more work for you, but he needs to learn that the expectation is to go on the potty.

Pull up are as almost as absorbant as daipers, so other than the cost being more, what is the use of pull ups?

Good luck,
K.

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E.I.

answers from Duluth on

wait it out and just follow his lead

its not that you are doing something wrong, its that your kid is NOT another kid. he is his own person, with his own schedule and his own feelings.
just have patience and let him figure it out in his own time.

pullups are just glorified diapers, and if cost is an issue, i would say screw it and just use either diapers or underwear.
cloth diapers are also a good option.

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A.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

PLEASE let me know how people respond. Your letter could've been written by me! My son will also be 3 in Oct. and behaves the same way with his pull-up. Thanks!
A.
[email protected]____.com

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A.K.

answers from Milwaukee on

I agree with the going naked or just shorts. My 2.5 yr old son has been training for a couple weeks. At home he wears only shorts usually with the small potty in the living room. When we go out I use diapers if it is a long time. He has told me a few times and used the potty while we are out but he still goes #2 in his diaper usually. It has been going pretty well, except he hates underwear... lol

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T.C.

answers from Lincoln on

In my opinion, you need to stick with the underwear. The pull-ups and diapers are probably confusing him. I know that the underwear are messier, but then he can feel it when he goes. You probably will have to remind him for a while, until he gets used to going.

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