Signs Daughter Is Ready for Potty Training

Updated on November 02, 2012
M.S. asks from Littleton, CO
11 answers

my daughter just barely turned 2 y.o., we bought her a potty chair around 2 mos ago and she has just been enjoying sitting on it, opening and closing the lid. we kind of have an open door policy in the bathroom, so she likes to sit on her potty while i sit on mine. we haven't been pushing potty training or really even trying (we have a couple books she likes to read, etc). at daycare, they potty train when the kids show interest. she has not demonstrated any so far. anyway, this past weekend, she took her pants and diaper off and pooped in the potty (after dragging it out in the middle of the living room). anyway, she was quite pleased with herself... but then later that day pooped in her diaper again without using her potty (she usually tells us she has pooped after the fact). anyway, this morning after we got her up she again said she needed to go potty and after she was diaperless she peed in the potty. I don't think she has the bladder control to go straight to little girl panties... but am wondering.. should we try pull-ups? consider this just her experimenting and let her lead the way? I don't want to push her too early (and we have another baby due in May so I hear lots of kids kind of back-slide when the new baby comes). also her daycare doesn't require her to be potty trained by a certain age (after 2 1/2 they split them in to the potty trained and the un-potty trained and work on that... at their own pace. anyway, just want to do what is best for my daughter... I don't want to push her, but also don't want to hold her back. any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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So What Happened?

so after nearly a month of potty obsession with my daughter (her being obsessed) now she could care less! so we keep asking her if she wants to use the potty... and she'll use it on occassion, but usually will just wait. or her new thing is to follow one of us in the bathroom and poop in her diaper while she has company.

so yeah. LOL... gotta love kids! I'm not going to stress it... I think i'll just let her lead.. and wait for signs of a few more developmental milestones. :)

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answers from Salt Lake City on

Hey M.,

With my first daughter I used the book "How to Potty Train in Less Than a Day" and it was AWESOME! Especially since I was also prego with my second one...the more time I had her trained before the 2nd baby, the less likely she'd regress and it worked!

Good Luck!

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answers from Boise on

Personally, I like the combo of Easy Ups (pull ups by Pampers) Feel and Learn (so they can tell when they pee) and cloth training pants (which you can buy at Target, WalMart, etc). My potty training experiences have been vastly different from one another. My oldest was dry at night consistently from about 12 months. At about 15 months, he started showing a strong in interest in the potty and I encouraged him to go on a schedule. However, he has "boy bladder." In other words, he can hold it forever! So I backed off and we progressed fine. By the time his sister was born, he was all but potty trained. He was in training pants at home the whole time AFTER he consistently pooped in the potty and pull ups at daycare. Then, along came his sister. A totally different discussion! At about 2 she began showing an interest in the potty, but was wet at night until about 3 or a little later. Did the same routine with her (but I was at home) and she was fully trained at about 3 1/2. My youngest is now 2 and we are in the middle of potty training. His biggest thrill is pooping in the potty...he loves to talk about it! Whatever works! We all cheer! He is still in pull ups and diapers (combo) because he insists on diapers sometimes. I do put him in cloth trainer pants after his daily BM, I've already had the thrill of cleaning poop out of those (not fun!). I also have some cloth underpants with plastic on the outside for less leakage. This one consistently tells me AFTER he pees. I think I've got another 6months or so.
My best advice, know that potty training is a lengthy ordeal and pay attention to your child. She will "tell" you with cues what she's ready for. Good luck.



answers from Billings on

I personally despise pull-ups. I don't think the kids can tell a difference between that and a diaper and doesn't reinforce the 'no pottying but on the potty' idea. I think it should be taken in stages following the cues of the kid. It sounds like she is maybe ready for the beginning steps and for lots of encouragement. Here's how we did it and it worked well, I think.

We got the potty chair out really early....actually around 14 mo...just so she was used to seeing it. SHe would play with it, sit on it, take it apart, explore. I wanted her to be comfortable with it. When she started doing as your daughter is doing, I started taking her. I didn't put her in panties but took her to the potty. I would take her first thing when we got up and before bath. I then progressed to just taking her more often. If she fought it, I let it go for a week or so, but she was pretty excited about it. I also am a fan of rewarding. She got 2 jelly beans when she pottied, and a laffy taffy when she pooped (now we substitute whatever is available and she's ok with that...gummy bears, M&Ms, Skittles for potties, mini candy canes, halloween-sized kitkats or nerd, that type of thing for poopers). We also got REALLY excited when she went...and we invented the potty dance and song, which we still do sometimes, even in restaurants :)

We had a huge setback when my FIL died and the house was upside down for awhile, and another HUGE one when she started daycare. part of that was training the daycare!She gets stickers at school for going on a paper, and if she is dry all day and in hte same clothes when I pick her up (unless she spilled lunch or paint or something) I take her a pooper-size treat. Its a game of finding her treat in my pocket :) They made her wear pullups for awhile at school until I refused to bring them. They are SOOO big for her (she is very tiny) they rubbed her little legs raw, and she would potty in them but wouldn't if she had big girl panties on. Sure there were accidents, and we had plenty of accidents at home, but its to be expected and gets better.

Try to have fun with it and follow her cues...but you still have to lead her into it. Just go slowly and she'll catch on!



answers from Provo on

My personal experience with pullups are they are just a decorated and fun (expensive) diaper. In potty training you are trying to get the child away from using a diaper, but using pull-ups they get excited about the cool diaper rather than getting excited about going in the potty. What I have done with my kids, is when my first was showing SOME interest I took him on a special trip to the store so he could pick out some undies. Then I just put the undies in his drawer and left them there for him to want them. If he wanted to wear undies fine, if he wanted to wear diapers that was fine. I just let him pick. He went back and forth a bit until he saw his cousin going potty in the toilet and from that day on he was wearing undies and never went back to diapers. He had plenty of accidents, but that's ok it's a learning process. I am now potty training my third and the undies have just been sitting in his drawer for the past several months and he just randomly decided that he wants to wear them. So far he has been quite successful at going potty but has not successfully pooped in the toilet yet. It's extremely important that you don't get angry with accidents during the potty training process. They need to know it's ok to make a mistake, and we can try again and do better next time. :)



answers from Denver on

That is great she is showing so much interest!!! YEAH.
You are very smart not to push it and wait until all the signs are there, the urge, how to hold it, waking up dry.
I am a HUGE advocate for pullups. Mainly because putting them in underwear prematurely is a huge mess constantly and adds to the stress of the process. Underwear in my opinion should be on them when they have successfully proven for a few weeks they are capable of holding it, staying dry, understanding the urge.
I successfully trained both of mine, at their own pace in pullups and it worked for us. There are others that do not like them and encourage underwear. All I can say is how much mess are you willing to deal with, it takes a lot of patience, laundry and cleaning carpets to really be prepared to do the underwear.
Keep her interest at her pace, do a reward chart for every time she uses the potty too so she has a visual of her progress.
Pick out some pretty pullups and tell her that is the next step to being a big girl, get rid of the diapers.
That step gives them so much pride.
You can get bulk pullups not too expensive at Sams Club.
Do encourage her to keep her potty in the bathroom. That adds a whole different level of cleanliness and teaching discretion I believe. Tell her pottys need to stay in the bathroom, mainly for sanitary purposes. I can recommend too, to encourage using the big potty, go straight to a cute seat cover. They have them all sorts at Target for like $12. That way you don't have to shift gears again getting her used to a big potty, it is less mess and encourages her to remain in the bathroom.
You are doing great, she is definitely headed in the right direction.
I speak from experience that my daughter trained too early, I kind of pushed it as I was pregnant, then she totally regressed and it was harder on round two. So let her do her thing and really praise her when she goes.
Good luck! :) Congrats on baby #2.



answers from Great Falls on

My neice potty trained herself at 18 months. My sister let her go at her own pace. I think you are doing the right thing. I would use pull-ups. They work the best. Merry Christmas!!!



answers from Colorado Springs on

I personally wouldn't go with pull-ups. They're too much like a diaper and don't really seem to help things progress. With my older dd, I let her run around bare bottemed at home, and she got the hang of going in the potty pretty quickly. Once she had the hang of that, then we moved on to regular panties. It took a few days of peeing all over herself for her to realize that if she peed in her panties, she was going to get really wet and uncomfortable. It happened pretty quickly and made the potty situation very clear for her. Whenever she peed she would get wet. She didn't have a pull-up or diaper that saved her from that. We made a really big deal out of it each time she went on the potty, but never got after her for having an accident. The only thing we did was talk about how yucky it felt to be all wet and that was why she needed to use the potty.



answers from Houston on

She should've worn cloth diapers. I only wore disposable diapers, when I was under 4 month old. Then, I wore plastic diapers, till I was 14 month old, which I like my plastic diapers, which I nearly put on my plastic diapers. After plastic diapers, I wore cloth diapers, until I was 2, which I loved my cloth diapers, that I almost put on my cloth diapers. After cloth diapers, then I wore tight training underpants, which I loved my tight training underpants, which I nearly put on my training underpants. I am of autism and profound mental retardation. The same must go for her. She must wear tight training underpants, which she'll love her new training underpants, that she'll almost put on her new tight training underpants.



answers from Denver on

I think you are doing everything right! Thank God you aren't pushing her to be a big girl before she is ready!
The pull up idea is also ideal. Still gives her the protection from accidents and also allows her to "pull" the up and down when the need comes.

My sister did this with both my nephews and it worked well. She did have her boys close in age and I will say the older one did revert back. So she was glad she just never made it an issue at all. Then after her oldest got used to the new arrival, she could see he was ready again.
And as an added bonus the younger one was trained earlier so he could be like his big brother...
My little one is far from potty training but I had always planned on following my sisters approach.

Good luck!



answers from Denver on

Sounds like your daughter is ready - I would try the pullups and see how that goes. You're smart to not push it... but if she's ready, you may luck out and have this process go fairly easily. IF she has ups and downs, at some point the reward system can be helpful. My sister gave her daughter 2 m&m's each time she went in the potty - that worked well for her! I used stickers with my girls. Our children were all pretty eager to do it on their own though, so the reward wasn't needed for a very long time.
Good luck to you and best wishes for your new addition too.



answers from Denver on

I like "Toilet Training in a Day" by Azrin. I have had great success with it as have several of my friends, and none of us have observed a backsliding with a new baby. GL!

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