Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Potty Training: The Beginning

I had in my head I would start thinking about potty training when Cate turned 2. Well, it's been on my mind a couple months sooner than I expected, thanks to Cate saying "diaper change," "I pooped, Mommy" and "potty." Funny thing is, she's cried when I put her on the toilet the last couple of days, even after it was her idea to try it.

Of all the advice (solicited and unsolicited) I've heard about potty training, the recurring concept is you can't force them. They have to be physically and mentally ready. Well, I do think Cate is as "ready" as a kid can be, but I don't want to force her. So we've just been talking about it lately. She's come in the bathroom with me. I let her put her potty seat on the toilet (she likes that part!).

A DVD and book that I'm hoping will serve as encouragement are on the way, courtesy Oh, and the bowl of M&Ms are waiting on the bathroom shelf.

I'm not in a hurry by any means, I realize she's only 22 months. But I also know if she's ready and already talking about it to some degree, I should go with it. I was glad to read about Katy's experience potty training her daughter and now I'm wondering what the rest of your mothers have to say ...

Seriously, share your stories. You can comment below or e-mail me. What worked? What didn't work? What should I do next?


  1. OK ONLY because you asked.... I have trained 5 kids and assisted 2 other's friends kids and here is the common themes I have found -

    IT SUCKS! (I know - quite the revelation!)

    It's a mess!Have approx 7 pairs of undies (OR MORE!) on hand and be prepared to use them all in one day. Don't bother with pants inside - more laundry and hides the accidents.

    You will spend the next 2 weeks approx in the bathroom, get comfy.

    YOU are the one being trained!

    I typically don't start with food as a reward. Some kids don't need it BUT there has been those extreme cases that REQUIRE it!LOL!

    I DO use a special toy, book, something to DO to encourage them to sit there longer - this toy can ONLY be used/touched IF they are on the potty. I like those vinyl cling sticker book things.

    IF the child is not truly ready it will take a LONG time!! Ready in my world is defined as: telling you she went potty, interested in the toilet, holding it for longer periods of time, waking up dry after naps (occasionally)

    IF the child really is ready then plan for about 2 weeks IF you stick to your guns.

    Sticking to your guns is defined as - not giving up and working on it around the clock (or should I say timer).

    My preferred method:
    1. set a timer for every 30 mins and try to "catch" them needing to go (if they have an accident then re-set timer for 30 mins)
    2. wear pullups (only b/c of the ease of on and off) until they are actually going in the toilet
    3. once they KNOW what to do in the toilet then go to underwear and DO NOT look back - no switching to diapers (except at bed)and then undies and then a pull up and then back to undies etc etc- if you put undies on then no confusing the kiddo
    4. you will gradually increase the time from 30 to 40 to eventually an hour etc. etc

    Encouragement from family is HUGE - make a phone call to those who are special to the child when the child actually goes in the potty - have huge celebrations and cheers - make your husband cheer on the kiddos EVEN if they are at work in front of big rough and tough men - tell him to say in his loudest voice - "good job you went pee pee in the potty!!" don't worry he'll love you for it. :)

    There will still be accidents even after they know what to do.

    Some kids will naturally stay dry at bedtime and others will continue to wet at night for years.... the only control you have in this area is not giving large amounts of liquids before bed (duh!) and making sure they go before they lay down. So no beating yourself up over all that.

    Just because they know what to do and will "go" when you take them doesn't mean that they will instantly tell you they need to go - most will take awhile to say something.

    Even though potty training is really quite annoying - have peace that EVENTUALLY you will be done - LOL!

  2. I agree with the post/advice from "Teaque"
    I have found that my Kaitlyn was easier than the boys, but I'll know in about a year if that is true with Natylee -- Mindy

  3. Edward was big into reading books about it (but still not remotely ready to start training until 3 yrs). Anytime we want to have him process through a new concept, we read books and he GETS IT that way. Genevieve is a different story. Not sure what's going to work with her (turned 2 in November). She's on again off again interested. I think maybe equally as important as your KID'S readiness is YOUR readiness! At some point in time, both your motivation and hers have to align perfectly! lol We haven't gotten there yet, so we'll mosey along until it happens! lol

  4. Teaque told me how to potty train my kids..Cade is the one who finally got Ev to figure it i second everything she said!

    The boys were both three. Nate a bit before, but i think boys just take longer.

    We found (with Nate at least) that letting him go w/o pants really helped him understand what it was that he needed to get into the potty. And after a week or so of accidents, he caught on and that was it. It took a lot of patience though, so get ready!

    You can do it! Good luck!