What is "Potty Trained"

I was having a debate with another mom about potty trained. She said her child was potty trained but:

  1. Needed to be reminded hourly to sit on the potty
  2. Needed help with the paperwork and pants buttons, etc.
  3. Still had “occational” accidents (by which she meant about 3x a week)
  4. Would not use a real toilet, only a potty chair

I wouldn’t consider that trained, I’d consider that “still in the potty learning stage.” My own definition:

  1. You can handle anything except perhaps diarrea (there are times I want MY mom when I’m ill), and very complex clothing (and I still have to have someone zip up some of my dresses).
  2. No one needs to remind you
  3. Accidents are rare (even grown ups are known to have rare accidents)
  4. You can use a full sized toilet

However, doesn’t include staying night dry.

Another friend has all the above, but doesn’t consider a child trained until they are night dry. (I can’t go there, since I was a twelve year old bedwetter).

Given that the point at which a child “shows interest,” “occationally uses the potty,” and can be depended on to go to the mall in underwear for six hours without a change of clothes can be a year or more…it seems like a not subtle distinction.

So, at what point do you think a child becomes “potty trained” as opposed to “still learning.”

Geez, I consider myself an adult but am still learning. :wink:

From my own experience, when the day-time diaper changing ends, and pull-ups at night are still required, my kids were considered potty trained.

I agree with you, with the possible exception of using the real toilet. Generally, I’d agree with that, but WhyBaby is so tiny, I don’t think she’ll be able to train on the big toilet like my son did. (She’s only 17 pounds at 17 months - even with one of those inset rings, she’d fall right through!) I’ll consider her “potty trained” when she consistently uses whatever potty she fits on with no reminders (except for “we’re going to the store, use the potty before we get in the car.”), no clothing or wiping help and less than one accident a week.

I also agree with night-time dryness not counting. My son’s still a bedwetter at 13. (Yes, he’s been to doctors. They still say he’ll grow out of it. I’m filled with grrr.)

I’d say “potty trained” is when they go potty, both pee and poop, regularly and without frequent accidents during the day. Dry nights and never having accidents takes a lot longer than the point at which most people would think the kid is “potty trained.”

On a related note, have you ever seen those folks who claim to potty train a child in one day? I once saw a Dr. Phil on this – before I started potty training my first child – and he boasted that he could train any child in one day with an elaborate system of celebrating and fake phone congratulatory phone calls from the kid’s cartoon hero.
Seemed impressive until I started potty training my kid. Then I realized that Dr. Phil’s definition of “potty trained” is “he went pee pee or poopy in the potty one time.” BFD. That’s what he’s boasting about? That he can get a kid to go in the potty once? Hell, I can do that with any kid, too.
Getting the kid to go regulary, to tell you when he needs to go, and not have accidents every day – that’s the big challenge and it takes a while.

I agree with 1-3, but I don’t see why using the small potty would matter.
My oldest was terrified of the toilet…okay I will say no more because she would KILL ME if I shared the details. Let’s just say she used the little potty until she was at least four years old.

At seventeen she still won’t flush while she sits. shhhhh!

Anyway, night accidents should never count. That’s not about training really, just bodies that just aren’t there yet.

The small potty (to me) matters because if your kid can’t use a big potty yet, you can’t leave the house with them in underwear for any long period of time. They are potty trained in the house, but take them out of the house and you have them in pullups or something (or you need to have a potty chair where ever you go).

But I may be biased - both my kids looked at a potty chair and said “what the hell is THAT for?” So I never had to transition.

Leafian, I had another conversation with someone who was bragging about her son being potty trained at some fairly young age (16 months or something) “never had to change a diaper.” She did go through a complete change of clothes three or four times a day because he messed them as often as he used the potty - and did for another year.

(On the other hand, my son started changing his own pull up at 2 1/2 - so I stopped changing most diapers around then for him. Not that he’d use the potty, but I didn’t have to change diapers).

Recently a relative told the story of how she never had to potty-train her son, because the babysitter did it for her in less than a week.

The babysitter’s method? She told her FIVE sons that whenever they went to the bathroom, they had to take Junior in there with them. The idea was that little boys want to do like the big boys do. He got a LOT of demos.

I’m not a parent, and Junior is now in his 40s, so I can’t speak for the veracity of the story, but that’s how it was told.

I consider a child potty-trained when they consistently tell you they have to go/go on their own, can handle most of the wiping (I have a sixteen-year-old relative who still can’t quite get the hang of this) and stay dry through the night (not counting bedwetting, which is different than pooping in their sleep). And as for a child being too tiny…my daughter was about the same size as yours, WhyNot, 18 pounds at 18 months, ans by the time she was ready to start potty training, she was just fine. She was daytime-trained by 2-1/2 when her brother was born, and I don’t recall using pull-ups for very long on her after that at night. Her brother took a bit longer to train, but then that is normal for boys.

My question, after all these years (my kids are 22 and 24 now) is what causes some children to be poop-withholders? My sister and I trained our kids the same way, but both her kids hated to poop in the potty. The one child would hold it so long that they had to take him/her to the doctor for stool softeners! Both kids seemed to resist cleaning up after themselves, too. Whereas my kids never seemed to have any problems, and never had that awful tendency to play with their poop that the little boy across the street had…you sure didn’t leave him in a poopy diaper unless you wanted the walls finger-painted! My kids had their share of behavior problems later, but I’m so thankful that bathroom problems were not among them!

Neither will I! Hello, your butt gets splashed with your own pee/poop water. And haven’t you ever heard of the “aerosol effect?”