Potty Training

Since there are so many ways to do this, maybe this belongs on the GD board :slight_smile:

My daughter, who is 2 & a half, seems to have very little interest in actually using the potty. She has, on a couple of occasions, but it’s just not high on her priority list. She knows the terms, she knows what the potty is & what it’s for, and I take her in with me as often as possible. Doing it herself, though, just doesn’t seem to interest her, which I find a little odd, since she insists on doing everything else all by herself. I’m not trying to force the issue (don’t want to damage that little psyche, don’t ya know), but does anyone have any methods that have worked for them that might help me out here? I’ve got another baby due in a month, and while I realize that some kids don’t learn to use the potty at exactly two years of age, and I’ll probably be changing two sets of diapers for a little while, I’d like to see my daughter out of diapers by the time she’s three (in February).

Cristi, sounds like you’re doing everything right.

Hmmmmmm. Is she getting some “extra” attention because of the potty training attempts? If so, maybe she’s thinking that once she’s on her own, mommy won’t be helping her anymore. And she’d miss that.

So what you do is smother her with attention so she has to go to the bathroom to get away from you, and once she’s there, well …

Here’s a method that worked with my son. Set a small lockable box by the toilet and fill it with small trinkets, little penny candies, or somesuch. Whenever she potties, you hand her the key, she unlocks the box and gets the prize.

Cristi, I have the exactly the same situation at my house - daughter, same age, knows all about going potty, and couldn’t care less. I also have a 17 mo. old, and I have been changing two sets of diapers for exactly that long. I have resigned myself to the fact that the will probably potty train together. My advice is, don’t sweat it.

Cristi said:

Just for the record, I wouldn’t say that even the average child is potty trained by 2. Now I don’t know much about girls (I’m one of three boys, and I have two sons), but our doctor was telling us not to worry even after the first hit 3. Yes, changing two sets of diapers is a pain in the ass, and you’re really gonna be filling up those little diaper pails, but that’s life. :slight_smile: Just think how nice it will be when you’re back to one again.

Our first started potty training shortly before the second arrived. Our doc told us not to even bother for at least a month or two at that point, 'cus he was going thru enough changes already. When we came back to it, there were some frustrating times, when he knew what to do but just wouldn’t do it. Eventually, though, he managed to get through it and is now completely trained (except for sleeping times, which is a matter of physiology, not really training). And let me tell you – this kid can hold his pee longer than I can! He’ll go hours on end without going to the bathroom, and we’re just sure he’s gonna wet his pants, but he doesn’t. Amazing. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the advice, and keep it coming! I was pretty sure that even if she had been completely trained by the time this one came along, she probably would have some trouble once the new baby came. Nearly everyone I’ve spoken to who faced the situation I’m facing said their kids backslid, and it was normal, and they got over it.

The one thing I really haven’t tried is the prize thing. I was thinking maybe I should avoid it, because I’m not much it seems like bribery, and my daughter does respond pretty well to praise & positive reinforcement. But now I’m wondering…a little bribery really couldn’t hurt in a situation like this, could it? And it really is kind of cool to see her little face when she gets a new toy that she really likes…

It’s not so much the prize itself, it’s the getting of the key and opening of the box. You could put in pretty pictures, slips of paper that say she did a good job, or even large gold stars that she could put on a poster in the bathroom.

My first born (a girl) potty trained at 2 years. My next (a boy) wasn’t potty trained til he was 3 and a half.

I know it seems impossible to believe when you’re in the thick of it, but they really do figure it out eventually.

Hang in there!

Don’t sweat over it too much. One day she will decide the time is right and do it. Trust me, she won’t go to kindergarten in diapers.

My oldest son was stubborn when it came to using the potty. I don’t know if this will work for girls (my daughter was easy to train) but the thing that finally worked for my son was to toss a few Cheerios into the toilet and tell him to sink the boats. He thought it was so fun that he would try to pee even when he didn’t need to go.

But again, don’t get too worked up over it. She will do it when she is ready.


Coarse and violent nudity. Occasional language.

My daughter was “PeePee trained” shortly after she turned three. I was very puzzled about #2, though. She knew when she had to go but she just wouldn’t go on the potty. Finally, one day we went to the grocery store and I bought her a small bag of plastic dinosaurs. I told her she could have them when she pooped on the potty. As soon as we got home, that’s exactly what she did and has been trained ever since. I guess she needed the right motivation.

“Any major dude with half a heart surely will tell you, my friend–
Any minor world that breaks apart falls together again…”
-Steely Dan

Cristi – one other thing we did, along the line of a prize but a bit different, was a “potty paper” that was taped to his closet door. Whenever he went, he got to pick a sticker out of a box and put it on the paper. I think it helped because 1) he loves stickers and 2) he could see the paper fill up as he went more and more.

After reading this I don’t think I want to have kids. What a pain in the ass.

Omniscient, this is one of the easier parts of having a kid. If potty training scares you off, you’re smart to wait.

As long as they are potty trained by kindergarten is all you can expect these days. Too much diaper technology.
Of course they are stubborn, too.My daughter held her pee up to 12 hours if she was really stubborn.
In warm weather, and especially in Europe, they let kids run around with only shirts on outside. Put the potty nearby. Eventually they notice it’s there and use it.

Look up John Rosamond on the web. He has a technique for potty training that really works. I like his ideas about discipline and the role of parents–parents are the core of the family and the children revolve around them–not the parents revolve around the children (although of course they do in terms of physical needs at times)!
Good luck.
My daughter was potty trained at 2 1/2. One week. One pair of wet panties.

I’ve heard this too. I’m tempted to just switch her to regular panties, and see if that helps. I know, huge mess. But one thing she’s never done is complain about her diaper being dirty. Not even when she was an infant.

I like the sticker idea, too. She LOVES stickers. LOVES them. Maybe a combo panties/stickers/treasure chest thing. Hmmmmm…now that I’m home on maternity leave, I can really go full-tilt boogie on this.

My pediatrician would definitely disagree with the idea that there is too much diaper technology. When I discussed with her how to get my son to stay dry all night, she essentially said the new, bigger, pull-up type diapers for nighttime were the best invention since sliced bread. Nighttime dryness is a physiological thing – they really can’t be trained to do it if their bodies aren’t ready. So, she said, don’t push it. Some boys continue 'til they’re 8 (not many, but some) and it doesn’t indicate a psychological problem or anything – their bodies just aren’t ready. So why cause problems by trying to push 'em?

One thing I like about my pediatrician is that she has two sons of her own, and she’s experienced what I’m going through now. She didn’t just get it all out of books or what they told her at med school.

A web search on John Rosamond didn’t turn up anything, and he’s not listed as an author at Amazon. Could you give me more information?

Um, that’s probably because his name is spelled Rosemond.

I’ve read his column a few times, and I can’t for the life of me decide whether he’s a paragon of common sense or a fascist nut. Anybody else have an opinion?

David, I agree with the nighttime pull-up training pants. It does take awhile for kids bodies to get used to the signals of having to go to the bathroom. The daytime ones, though, are so absorbent that kids don’t even realize they’re wet.

My pediatrician was great, too. She unfortunately died of cancer a few months ago. But one of the things I liked best about her was not only had she been practicing for over 20 years, she had 5 kids. She never blew off anything a parent had to say, and no question was too stupid. I haven’t yet met the pediatrician that took over her practice, but I work with several people who see her, and she gets very high marks from them.