How Did Potty Training Work In the Days Of Outhouses?

Potty-training a kid in any environment is difficult, I’m sure. But I don’t see how modern potty-training methods would work in an environment where taking a shit involves going to the outhouse; it was a much larger commitment, and possibly even presented risk (animal bites, exposure to the elements, etc.). I know they had chamber pots, but I just can’t wrap my brain around the idea of a toddler using one. Modern potty training chairs are designed (at least partially) for the tyke’s comfort, whereas chamber pots… are not.

So back in the day, were kids potty-trained at a later age? Or did they just try valiantly to teach them to use chamber pots and then gradually work up to the outhouse?

I think you have the wrong idea about chamber pots. I would imagine Chamber Pot chairs have been around since about 5 minutes after the first chamber pot.

In other words, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t baby-potty-chairs that went over a chamber pot way back when as well.

I’ve seen old potty chairs that were fitted with chamber pots, but I suspect that ancient toddlers were potty trained on literal chamber pots. There are occasional references to their use by children (Lucretius mentions it at one point in De Rerum Natra). And, of course, adults used chsamber pots at night until only a couple of centuries ago. The outhouse was mainly for daytime use. Even with a cover in place, I imagine bedrooms could smell pretty rank back then.

Could one do #2 in a chamber pot at night, or was one expected to go to the outhouse for #2?

I was just thinking the same thing, and also that why in the world would you keep the chamber pot in your bedroom unless you were sick? Cripes, keep that thing in the hallway at night or something.

Bingo, they still make potty/chamber pots, my son has one cuz he was afraid of sitting on the toilet.

I forget which W C Fields movie, I think the one where he goes golfing, he accidentally kicks a stray pot that was under the bed. Probably a fairly risque joke for its time.

I worked with people, not that old, who remember electrification and the first indoor toilets on their farms in rural Canada. When it’s -20 you probably will tolerate a decent amount of odor instead…

Did chamber pots typically come with lids to contain the smell?

OTOH, I don’t remember too many occasions over the last few decades, other than sick, where #2 in the middle of the night was an urgency.

You did both in the pot.The nickname “thunder mug” makes no sensde unless you realize that people farted into them. Plenty of references to them. In Amadeus , peter Shaffer has the scatalogical Mozart speak of “a chamberpot brimming under the bed” as an example of real-life circumstances , as opposed to gioslike ideals.

you place the kid, waiting digestion time after a full meal and drink, on the outhouse seat and give a squeeze. they gradually make the association.

chamber pots could have stink covers.

People no longer use chamber pots for poop, they use plastic grocery bags that are sealed after pooping with a knot so there is no stink. Google flying toilets.
About halfway down the page. Granted 1931 isn’t terribly old, but I suspect it was similar to what was going on in 1731 or earlier.

You did both in the pot. Plenty of references to them. In Amadeus , peter Shaffer has the scatalogical Mozart speak of “a chamberpot brimming under the bed” as an example of real-life circumstances , as opposed to godslike ideals.

See here, for instance, about chamberpot use:

I recall on a visit to China a few years ago, I saw what I had heard about - the toddlers wear pants split at the crotch; when they have to go, I saw one mother pulling the pants open while holding her child over the decorative flowerbed by the terracotta warrior museum.

Another baby was squirming around on mama’s lap on the plane with no bottoms on and sprayed the passenger beside them. Oh, joy.

I suppose chamber pots are an issue where outdoors is too cold much of the time. Maybe the alternative was the cleanup was no different if it was on the floor or in the clothing… I know we did a lot of cleaning floors when we got our first puppy.

Certainly, training probably went faster when you could use pain as a negative reinforcement learning tool without guilt… the good old days.

It is no big deal. We call them Honey Pots up here. Put them were you like or cover them to your comfort level. It can even be outside just closer to the house than the outhouse. As for the potty training those little plastic colorful potty training toilets are just fancy honey pots.

Chamber pots are not hard to use us you learn to squat with your heels flat, as opposed to the thigh-straining tip toe hover we tend to do.

I’ve used chamber pots abroad when the outdoor pit latrine was just too dark and bug-filled to use, Especially where batteries and candles are dear It would be rude, for example, to expect a guest to navigate your unfamiliar latrine.

I guess they would usually be in a different room than where you are sleeping, but they didn’t really stink. You’d certainly cover it. I’d never dream of doing number two in one, though. That would change cleanup from “dump swish dump” to a much more involved process.

Most people put their asses onto the actual toilet seat. Hovering is a terrible idea unless you put the seat up. Nobody wants to look at or sit in another woman’s pee splatters.

You’re assuming they had a hallway. Lots of people lived in very tight quarters with a small number of rooms until quite recently. And hallways themselves are fairly modern inventions. If you look at houses - even many from the 1800’s - you often see rooms attached to each other without anything we’d call a hallway.

As in “Honey, this thing is overflowing, can you empty it?”

Or just put it right outside the front door then. Or in a far corner of the room. I keep getting the impression from reading books set in the past that these were often kept under the bed or near at hand should one need to go in the middle of the night. And if you’re pooping in it, that seems kinda gross.

The problem I see with putting it outside is when it’s cold enough to freeze. Imagine having to bring the chamber pot inside so it can thaw before you empty it. :eek:

What are you talking about? I’m taking about a full squat, like you would do on a chamber pot, squat toilet, latrine or hole in the ground. People often think it is difficult, because we tend to balance on our toes and strain our thighs. But a good squat puts your heels on the ground and your knees level to chest.