Questions About Potty Training

Updated on July 14, 2009
L.K. asks from Buffalo, NY
12 answers

I've begun potty training my 23 month old daughter. I wasn't planning on starting this early- especially because we're moving this summer and expecting a new baby in November and everything I read says to wait on training if a big change is about to happen! However, she's been showing a lot of interest and had been using the potty off and on for a month or two whenever the mood struck her. We started 4 days ago using pull-ups. She'll go on the potty- but she also still goes in the pull-ups without letting me know she needs to go. I remind her to go often and most of the time she's willing. Sometimes she says no and then ends up with a wet pull-up. I don't want it to be a battle, especially since I'm not in a rush to train her. I am worried that she's going to get diaper rash if I don't change the pull-up every time she goes in there since it doesn't take away the mositure like a diaper would. Do I need to go cold turkey and train her with underwear or nothing on? If she's not always letting me know when she needs to go, is she not ready yet? I don't want to throw too many changes at her at one time, but I also didn't want to miss the opportunity if she's interested. I'd be game to train her in a very low key way over a longer period of time. I like the ease of pull-ups as opposed to diapers since they go up and down but I also worry about the wetness if we're not going full speed into training right now. Any advice would be fantastic!

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answers from New York on

My daughter was so easy to started with summer play, she had a small blowup pool. I'd sing don't go pee pee in the pool and I had a little potty outside out of the way. Almost everytime she put her foot in the pool she'd say pee pee and we'd run to the potty chair, I swear this kid trained in a weekend with the pool....and by the way...we had no pullups then! Now my son was a whole other story, I think he was three and a half! So each child is different. Try the pool it worked for me.

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answers from New York on

I am a grandmother of a two n half years old girl she started the same way now she is fully potty train she only sleep in pull-ups at night or a long road trip she feel so proud of herself,get one of those little toilet seat to put on to the toilet and a little stool and she would prefer that to the potty
good luck



answers from New York on

Hey L.,
I took a week off from work....I let my daughter, who was 20 months at the time, run around in her underwear pretty much all day...I asked her a million and one times if she had to go potty...most of the time she said yes and she did....At night or for naps I used a pullup...I didnt use a pullup during the day because I was worried she would get confused and think they were a diaper....I do love the pull-ups but again I didnt want her to get confused...I noticed that sometimes when she did have the pullup on, instead of coming to me and saying she had to pee she would just pee in the pull-up, but when she had underwear on she didnt do can even make it fun for her and take her to the store and let her pick out her underwear...My daughter loved doing that, especially as a reward....I wouldnt rush into will know when she is ready...Good luck!!
Meg :)



answers from New York on

That is wonderful she is inteerested. I started early potty training with my daughter too. She was interested and we ran with it. Potty-training takes time and patience that is why it is difficult to train during a big change. All kids are different though. My daughter decided to be trained during our Disney vacation! I thought it was going to be a challenge. It was much easier for me to put her on a toilet than change a diaper. She never told me. I took her. Them telling you is the last stage of potty-training, so don't expect her to let you know. Just take her otherwise she will learn to use the pull-up like a diaper and then you've lost the convenience of using the pull-ups. I began potty-training using pull-ups. No mess to clean. She did fantastic in them. I took her every 20 min. at first, and 10 min. after she had something to drink. You start to get the flow of things and than it gets easier. She will have accidents, but that is a part of her learning, so don't give up. She will start to let you know when she grasps the concept. Frequency and consistency are the key. Even after she had an accident I would put her on the potty just so she would understand that that is where she is supposed to go. We made up a song to make it fun. She got tons of praise and cheers of joy when she went. I never, ever gave her stickers, candy, etc. as a reward for going. I think it sets up a bad habit of expectations. But everybody has their own methods. I did not put her back in diapers once she started training because that might cause regression. She knew she was out of diapers, she was a big girl and big girls went pee-pee potty. I bought her new special underwear to wear. She loved it and felt horrible about having accidents in them. I did not punish, yell, get upset when she had an accident as she felt bad enough. I did not want her to experience potty-training as negative or it might cause her to have more accidents, than give up. Try to make it fun and exciting for her and make her feel like she is such a big girl. She will be eager to go. My daughter would run to the potty when I would tell her it is time to go. Happy potty-training.



answers from New York on

Hi L.,

I am afraid now that you have started, you need to jump into if full force or she's going to get confused. I didn't use pull-ups except for nap time and at night. During the day it was panties. We started out asking her every 40 minutes or so and then as she seemed to catch on, we increased the time by 5 min (for a few days etc.). She's 33 months (been in panties since January), we still ask her but not as frequent and she does tell us (but sometimes is "too busy" to stop what she's doing to go). It's a long road but it's so much better than diapers/pull-ups. Good luck. M.



answers from New York on

Hi L.,
I think going cold turkey is the only way to do it. Using pull ups are too confusing for them. I just planned on staying home for at least 3 days and using underwear and taking diapers away. My son got it by the end of day 2. Get a little potty for car it helped a lot. If she is ready it will work and this way you have plenty of time before November. Good luck!!!
L. R
Due in November with my second also!!



answers from New York on

Hi L.,
I will start off by saying that I don't believe in pullups.
At her age, she probably enjoys playing potty. Using the potty off and on is not the same as knowing that you need to go and are ready to do it all the time.
My kids are now 10 and 14. When they trained, I had no interest in the occasional potty use, it was easier to have kids in diapers than occasional, inconsistent pottying.
If you're doing occasional pottying, I can't see using the pullups and you're really not doing anything to move the process along. If you are ready to actually train her, then you must take her to the potty (or toilet, my kids never made a deposit on a potty) consistently throughout the day, every hour and a half or so. If she is going in the pullups, she sees them as another diaper and is not going to decide one day that they are "underwear" and realize she should not pee in them anymore. Using cloth diapers or multilayer cloth training pants with waterproof outer layer is helpful for training - they learn what happens when they pee (they get very wet) and they start to realize what it feels like just before this happens.
Telling you that she has to go is a LATE part of the training process. I made this mistake with my first child, waiting for that magical day that she'd tell me she had to use the bathroom. YOu can't wait for her to tell you, you have to take her regularly. With my son, I did the cloth training pants and for 2-3 weeks, it was a very messy situation but then he figured out how to wait til I took him to the toilet. It was still some time, 4-6 weeks later, before he would tell me that he needed to use the bathroom. If you are serious about training, don't wait for her, you need to take control of when she uses the bathroom. She may or may not be ready for full-fledged training, but if she's not, occasional pottying and the expense of pullups is likely not going to buy you anything.
Good luck.



answers from New York on

If she is interested run with it and see how it goes.
My suggestion would be to get rid of the pull ups. To
me they are really pull up diapers. If it works it works
if it does not, wait until a later date. Summertime is
the perfect time to potty train.



answers from New York on

Dear Mom,

Books are just someone elses opinion. NOT factual.

If she is ready then go for it.

I have trained 3 boys, and I went cold turkey.
either bottomless, or LOOSE fitting underpants.

They have to feel the wetness.

with trainers it absorbs the pee. and lets them feel it.

She will automatically take them off as soon as they are wet.

What I have done is to put them on the potty first thing in the morning. to let them pee.

ITs easiest if you wake a few minutes before she normally does, and then while she is sleeping take her diaper off.
this will wake her a bit.

thats ok because we wanna catch the first morning pee.

cuddle her and say do you need to go pee pee?

and then put her on the potty while you sit on the bowl.

she will be tired and relaxed,and hopefully willing to pee.

If she pees gently say GOOD girl, I am soo proud of you, your a big girl now. And give her some pancakes and syrup for breakfast.( fill her belly up and give her sweets as a reward.)

If not thats ok, give her something to drink, put the potty movie on and make breakfast.

After the potty movie, put her back on the potty.
have her try to go.

If sh goes do the potty dance. and go crazy call grandma, and daddy and auntie.

If not thats ok.

give her breakfast and then sit her back on the potty.

and sit her on the potty every 20 minutes until she goes.

make sure to keep the juice coming. if your filled up you have to let it out.

When you go to the store, bring the potty with you, and make sure she is wearing very loose fitting clothes and underwear. Before going in let her sit on the potty in the back of the van. ( mom of course lined the potty with a plastic grocery bag and paper towels.)
THis way if she goes you merely wipe her bottom, and toss it all in the bag. ( remove the seat and toss the remains )LOL

If you dont have a potty it makes it harder because they can't relax well on the big potty because they have to hold on to balance, and their feet can't touch the ground.

IF you don't drive a minivan or SUV then you just have to
keep reminding her to hold it in. every 10 minutes.
and know where the bathroom is just in case of an emergency.
Also bring a change of clothes.

She will have accidents, it takes time.

and basically the key to training is to time when she will pee and poop. and train your kid to tell you before she pees her pants.

Good luck MA!




answers from Buffalo on

I say go for the undies! If she's not ready, you will know. Then you can switch back to diapers/pull ups. Mt daughters did get rashes from pull ups if I didn't realize they were wet. Thankfully they were quick to train. I didn't stress about it at all with my second, and she went cold turkey to undies on her own, and never looked back! We just let her do it since they won't do it anyway until they want to! Good luck!



answers from Rochester on

You're right, no pressure...
I tried one day to have my daughter wear a long dress with no diaper. If I noticed her peeing, then I'd put her on a potty chair...but that didn't work because when she felt she had to pee, she held it in, rather than pee on herself. You could try that to see if that would work for you...
I kept her outside all day...

The BEST thing I found was to make a big deal of this potty books, watched the Elmo Potty DVD (which I thought was awesome!), went to the store together to buy big girl underwear (like Prairie Dawn from the DVD) and put it on, show it off in the mirror, etc. BUT I made her wear a pull up OVER the underwear. That way, if she goes, she feels wet and the pull up catches the mess. :)

When she got the underwear wet, I'd exclaim "Oh no, Tinkerbell got all wet! Now we have to take it off and wash it" She'd get sad because she didn't want to hurt Tinkerbell...

You know your kid best, figure out their personality and what works...

My daughter got the hang of it pretty quick then we'd only wear a pull up over her underwear at bedtime and then we stopped. Hardly ever any accidents...

Kids DO want to please you so again, no pressure - they'll get it when they're ready...

Be sure to have your daughter watch you when you go to the bathroom too...

I suggest those kids' flushable wipes to help keep the bottom area clean as well...

Have fun! It'll pass...don't worry...



answers from Elmira on

Hi L. - when potty training my son, and still, we have a routine. We must go potty anytime we're switching gears. So he goes when he first gets up & before breakfast, before we leave the house for anything, before lunch, before nap time, and before dinner. If we go shopping, we hit the potty first or before checking out. By having this routine, it helped minimize accidents and it trained him to tell me when he has to go because he knows the right sensations.

good luck-

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