Tales from the Potty--

My son has reached two years old and my wife and I have entered into the daunting challenge of… POTTY TRAINING! :eek:

We had made a conscious decision to wait until two unless he started showing any signs of wanting to start earlier. While he didn’t really- within the last week (His birthday was October 20th) he did start to make some sort of effort, it seemed, with regards to the bathroom.

So the wife and I head to Target. We buy him a little potty. I put it together, place it in the bathroom show it to my son. Make sure he understands its his potty so on and so forth.

His doctor told me at his two year well child checkup that the hardest thing is usually for them to associate the feeling of having to go with the bathroom. The best way to start is just model for him, so when we go, bring him in with us. So that is what I did. My next foray into the bathroom I bring the boy in with me. I take off his pants and diaper and sit him down.

“Do you have to pee? Go pee!” I prod. He laughs.

Finished with what I’m doing, I toss his used diaper and tell him to go into his room so I can put on a new diaper. I walk into his room, my boy turns to look at me, and pees all over the carpet!

“NOOOOOOO! You need to use the potty!!!” I say and try to get him back into the bathroom to no avail. The deed is done. I tell him he needs to use the potty to pee, so on and so forth.

Potty Training Day 1: FAIL.

Well, i suppose Rome wasn’t built in a day. Anybody have any advice? Anything that worked for you? We don’t really have a good place in our house for a “Bare bottom weekend.”, so that is probably out. But I could use any sort of tips you are willing to share. My wife and I are pretty much winging it, we have no books or anything.

I’ve heard of the “bare-bottom weekend + 75 bucks for carpet cleaning” method.

Consider switching your son from diapers to Pullups (or similar) which supposedly let the child feel the wetness, therefore they start to connect the “just peed” with “wet and uncomfy” and ultimately “gotta pee” with “just peed” and therefore “gotta pee” with “wet and uncomfy” and they learn that there’s an alternative.

Similarly switching to cloth diapers (or training pants).

There’s a book called something like “toilet training in a day” which was written in the 70s, and I know some people swear by.

None of these worked for us, however (Dweezil having autism, he had ZERO interest in getting rid of diapers / pullups; he was quite literlly 5.5 years old before we got him out of daytime dipes). We bought a scooter for him. Put it out front. Showed him the scooter. Told him he had to get dressed before he could ride it. OOPS, we’re out of diapers. But you can put on these underpants! (then a couple months later he developed encopresis which was quite a treat. :().

Some things we did try with varying degrees of success:

  • Putting potty chair in front of place with TV and encouraging child to sit there for a while.
  • Rewards
  • Regular (every hour or three) potty sitting for 5 minutes at a time

2 years old might be a bit young, some kids aren’t ready until they’re a bit older. But if you’re not too stressed about it, it certainly does no harm to start planting the idea in his head!

Moon Unit was 3.5 before she was fully out of diapers. She got poop-trained last of all, oddly; she would wait to poop until we had her in her night-time pullup then 10 minutes later “I pooped!”. We then caught her going to her room (in the evening), and putting herself in a pullup when she started feeling the urge. We pointed out that if she knew she needed to go, she could sit on the potty instead. Nearly-instant success with that last.

All I can say is if you find something that works quickly, let me know.

Our son is 2 and 1/2 and we’ve been potty training for about 6-7 months. His dad was really pushing on him for a while, so we had to back off and stop bringing it up or he’d get really upset.

For a while we had him using the potty at least once a day at home and he would use it at daycare, too. What we did was allow him to pick his own seat (we found he was too big for a training potty, which we bought in February, pretty quickly), let him carry it around for a while and sit on it when he felt like it, then at the same time every day - usually right before bath time - sit him on the seat on the toilet and give him something to read. The book helps him stay on the pot long enough for something to happen. It also gives him something pleasant to associate the potty with, so he doesn’t mind doing it.

Things were going very well. But we pushed him a bit too fast and he pushed right back. We were really excited that he was peeing every single night in the potty, so we started trying really hard to get him to go poo there, too. Instead, he started doing it in the bathtub, which was absolutely the most disgusting thing I’ve ever had to clean up. Even worse than barf. If you’re really intent on potty training right now and he really doesn’t want to, you can probably expect for him to act out in other ways (somewhat like ours did), so I’d let him set the pace.

For what it’s worth, we let it go for about a month or two, then recently started asking again. He got back on the pot for the first time in weeks yesterday and stayed on long enough to read a book. He still peed in the tub afterward, but we made sure to make a big deal of him sitting there period. That in and of itself was an accomplishment.

When The Littlest Briston goes on the potty, she gets a little lollipop. She also gets a sticker on her chart, and when she fills a row on her chart, she gets a new book. When the chart is completely filled, she’ll go from her toddler bed to a big girl bed, just like the one she uses at grandma and grandpa’s…except daddy is going to paint this one white with butterfly designs! Yay!

She’s well aware of all of this. If you mention going potty to her, the response is the same – “I go on the potty and then I get chocolate lollipops and new books and then I’ll get my big-girl bed with BUTTERFLIES!!”

Yes, that’s right sweetie…now would you go on the @#!@&ing potty already!?! She’s pushing three years old, and she has zero interest in actually going on the potty. There was a period of a few days where she would put a small squirt in her training potty, but that was several months ago. Since then, nada. She’s the only one wearing diapers at her day care – hell, even the girl who just turned two is pretty well potty-trained.

It’s not the biggest deal in the world to me, so I’m not making a big fuss about it – I don’t mind changing diapers. When she’s ready, she’ll make the switch. I just wish she’d stop talking about it if she’s not going to actually do it.

Harborkid was a pain to potty train. It wasn’t that she didn’t understand, it was just that she liked the convenience of diapers and pull-ups. She didn’t want to be bothered with leaving her toys or cartoons to go potty, so she’d just insist she didn’t have to go, and then go in her pull-ups. Pooping in the potty wasn’t really an issue. She’d do that with no problem, but peeing was something that she would just rather do in the diaper. She was nearly four when we finally got her 100% potty trained. Our secret was to just stop buying pull-ups. She complained at first, but seemed interested in wearing panties like a big girl. It only took one accident to get her to use the potty every time.

She’s 11 now, and really hates when we tell that story.

Our kids were both late trainers - 3 1/2 for both of them. Oh, they both showed signs at two - but those were just teasers. In the eighteen months between “I’m so excited its going to happen” and “oh, good, I was about to pack you off to kindergarten in pull ups” I tried everything. Naked butts (the carpet is easier to clean than the couch), bribes, peeing for prizes, stickers, timing it, pull ups, training pants, underwear, baby diapers, peer pressure…

I will tell you three things:

  1. Barring physical or mental disabilities, your child will potty train - few kids go to college in diapers - although between now and no diapers, you will wonder if yours will be one of the few.
  2. They will choose when to do it - the last thing you try will magically work (even if you tried a million times before).
  3. You’ll look back on this and wonder why you stressed about it.

Our son wasn’t at all interested in the potty at home. No discomfort with poopy pants, no cares about a full bladder, no bribing with treats, just didn’t think it was a big deal.

I went back to work when he was almost 2 and 1/2. Continued failures at home - much success at pre-school. They had him totally potty trained in about 3 months.

I suggest putting him in school. I think it’s the peer pressure (ha!) and/or total focus on bathroom time by the teachers. Occasionally now he has accidents at home, but never, never at school.

When he was two, we turned Fang over to Miss Ginger at Day Care. Five days later, he was going in the potty.

We love Miss Ginger. We can’t wait for Spike to get into Miss Ginger’s class.

Is his diaper dry in the morning? That’s one of the readiness signs. If so, the first thing to do after he wakes up is to take him to the potty.

For my daughter she went commando for a few days, but yes we had hardwood floors. She got the hang of it quickly.

I didn’t start my son until he was nearly three. Some things that I did:

  1. Bought a couple of potties and placed them around the house so there would be one nearby at all times.

  2. After we started potty training, there would be no more diapers or pull-ups during the day.

  3. We started when schedules were low-key and we stayed home mostly.

  4. Perhaps for a child older than recently two, when accidents happen the child can undress himself and aid in clean-up.

  5. Keep things positive and non-punitive.

The sprog had no interest in a little-kids’ potty. The one we got played music as an incentive to use it, but no dice.

He simply waited until he was tall enough to stand up to a regular toilet like a man. Once he got that down, he was good to go. Unfortunately, since his butt wasn’t big enough to fit the seat, and since he’s not the most communicative about these things, it would be too late to throw the kids’ seat onto the toilet.


Little Finally took forever, too. Especially with the pooing. One tip that might help-his butt, too, was too small for the big toilet. I had him sit facing the back, bracing his hands on the back of the seat. He was much more secure that way.

Good luck. We gave potty training a lot of tries. First at age one. What were we thinking?? After we saw what a mistake that was we also waited until he was two. No luck. The next try was at two and a half. Nadda. Then, finally at 3 he just did it one day almost on his own. He never wore a diaper again after that.
BTW he had been dry for quite a while at nights so we knew he was ready.

I think the clincher for us was that we had just bought a CASE of diapers and a huge CASE of pull-ups the day before he decided to switch to undies. DOH!$$! :smack: I had cracked open both cases but we never used one! A lucky friend of mine got them all for her son, a couple years later.

My boys bottom hardly ever touched his potty chair either. She got that too.

What my son did, and still does like are those potty rings you put on the toilet. He wanted to use the big potty from day one. So that worked for us.

My preschooler is potty-trained and my 2-year-old is not. Potty training largely depends on the child’s readiness. Some children are ready to train at 18 months, some are not ready until age 4. I would advise you to wait a bit - your son does not seem quite ready yet. My 2-year-old is not ready yet, and she is miles ahead of her older brother at that age. Boys generally potty-train later than girls anyway.

If you are looking for incentives (and most parents I know end up using them), you can use a reward chart or a small treat (like a single m&m). Boys also like to pee on cheerios in the toilet.

I know it’s easy to feel some pressure to potty-train, but if he is not ready, wait a bit - you will all be happier in the long run.

Good luck!

My daughter started school at 3 due to a speech delay. She is 3 years and 2 months and we’ve been putting her on the potty every 30 min for weeks and nary a drop. All her toys are potty trained, we take her potty with us, the teacher is working to train her. To quote her teacher “She just doesn’t pee much.” We are all at our wits end. We do let her run around without a diaper. She doesn’t give a crap about big girl panties. She can not be bribed. Did I mention her speech delay was attributed to sheer stubbornnes?


I would recommend against Pull-Ups, if at all possible. At least during the day. My kids felt no different about those as they did diapers, and they are a bitch to change, especially if there’s poop in them. (Side note, I want to take a “poop” vs “poo” poll one of these days…)

Our biggest obstacle with our son was that his daycare provider didn’t have the flexibility to ask him every 10 minutes if he needed to go, and he was one of those kids who would say no and then go in his diaper a minute later, so it really did take that kind of consistent effort. We waited until she was on vacation and put a full-out effort into it then. It sounds like others have had the opposite experience and their provider was the catalyst.

We didn’t have the right situation for bare-bottom weekends, either, so we just put him in underwear and changed him a lot. He was pretty darn resistant at first, but he was also almost 4 and we were ready. We knew, based on some early successes, that he was physically able to grasp the concept, so we pushed a little at that point.

Dear God, yes. Especially if there are bathtub toys in there, too. My son did this once (I do think it was an accident) and my husband dutifully cleaned it up and disinfected the toys and all that. The next bath night, I was in charge and my husband was going to the store as I filled the tub. “Do you know what do to if he poops?” asks my husband. “Yes,” says I. “Wait for you to come home.”

I see we have all the late potty trainers coming out in this thread - this is good, IRL we mostly hide and you only hear from the “oh yes we took 'em out of nappies at 20 months and three days later the kid was trained” crowd :wink:

My older girl did her first wee on the potty at 18 months. That was the easy part. The hard part was getting her to refrain from doing so when not on the potty. She reached that milestone at 3 years and 10 months. At that stage we’d finished with nappies and had been simply marching her to the potty every hour for four months. Then she went from “has no idea when she needs to go” to “taking herself off to the potty whenever necessary” within a week and we basically never had to worry about it again. We did nothing - it was all her.

Younger Daughter turned three last month. We haven’t yet done any serious toilet training, and I don’t plan to till December or maybe January (summer holidays - 6 weeks with nowhere to be on a weekday) That is, unless she decides to do it all by herself, which has been known to happen too.

I don’t know if my baby sister has been trained yet. I’ll see her tomorrow. But I do know 12 months ago (3rd b/day) she was still in pull-ups.

I’m a firm believe in potty karma. Potty karma is a tenet of faith established watching my older cousin.

My cousin’s first child was a boy - trained at two - she used the “naked for a day” method as I recall - but it only took a few hours!

The second child was a girl - trained at eighteen months simply by modeling and watching!

She was a champion at teaching kids to use the potty. She had advice for everyone. She took all the credit and didn’t understand why any three year old would ever be in diapers.

The fourth child trained at four after spending a year smearing shit on the walls.

Potty karma…its a bitch.

If I’m reading this right, it means I’m entitled to expect the Small Boy to potty train at about 18 months (straight after his bigger sister) - right?