Monday, October 17, 2011

Another Potty Training Post

Look, I totally understand that not everyone (mom or not) wants to read a whole post about potty training. I get it. I do. But, the thing is that we're sort of in the thick of it over here, and I could use some advice. So, if it's not your thing, you just might want to stop reading right now and come back tomorrow instead :)

So, a couple of months ago, Lizzy started to get really interested in the bathroom. She asked to sit on the toilet often, and sometimes actually went to the bathroom, which resulted in lots of applause, cheering, and both small and large treats (okay, honestly we just really wanted ice cream that one night and the bathroom accomplishment gave us an excuse). One day, she just stopped wanting to go or sit on the toilet altogether, so we didn't push it. She was like 19 months at the time, which is honestly just really early to begin with.

A few weeks ago, a friend gave us a bag of hand-me-downs, which included some training underwear (the thick ones) and other potty training stuff. Since seeing those, Lizzy has asked repeatedly to wear underwear. We had the whole talk about how when we wear underwear, we have to go potty on the toilet and such. We checked out the library books, and all that good stuff, and then as I mentioned last week, we decided to give it a shot.

We put her in the thick underwear to start. Although she had just sat on the toilet for like 15 minutes, literally minutes after we put on the underwear, she pooped. We talked about telling me before she goes to the bathroom, put the poop in the toilet, etc. Sat her on the toilet for a few minutes, got her down, put on a new pair of thick undies, and within three minutes, she had peed. Again, I told her it was okay, and I asked what she should do next time she felt like she might have to go potty, and she responded, "Tell mommy FORE"  and then, "I want potty treat!"

Okay. This time, we put her in thin underwear, and I set the timer for 5 minutes, telling her that when it went off, it was time to sit on the potty. Timer went off. Sat her on the potty, she went pee. Big celebration, she got her small treat, and we were off to play again. I set the timer for half an hour this time. When the timer went off, Lizzy refused to sit on the potty. I figured she just didn't have to go, so I didn't push it, and set it for 10 more minutes. A few minutes later, she was dancing around, so I said, "Let's go sit on the potty!" she flipped out, and would NOT sit on the potty, and promptly peed in her underwear, and then laughed and said, "Lizzy no-no!"

At that point, we were out of underwear, so I told Lizzy that she'd have to wear a diaper until I washed her underwear, and she flipped out. And that's basically where we're at now--Lizzy wants to wear underwear, flips out if she has to wear a diaper, but also absolutely refuses to sit on the toilet, and seems to think nothing of going to the bathroom in her underwear. The same thing happened this morning--Lizzy asked to wear underwear, so we did that, but again, she refused to sit on the toilet, and went to the bathroom in her underwear like it was no big deal, and was LIVID when I finally told her that she had to wear a diaper because she wasn't telling me when she had to go potty.

If she's not ready, I'm fine with that. I don't need to potty train her now...I just thought that she seemed to be showing most of the signs that indicate they're "ready", and most of my friends have told me that if she's that excited about wearing underwear, she's ready. But seriously, if she's "ready", how in the world do I go about it from here?

Any advice? What do you think? Should we cool it for awhile? Should we capitalize on the interest in underwear? Do you have any tips?


  1. Could you try the slip on diapers that "look" like underwear? That way she still gets the feeling of pulling them on but if she goes potty in them, no big deal.

  2. We didn't read any books. We just got a tip from a stranger to put him in underwear and forget the diapers except for nap and nighttime. So that's what we did.

    He did pretty well but there were some days when he seemed to forget he had to sit on the potty! Believe me, there were a lot of accidents while he learned the difference between undies and diapers. But he LOVED wearing his undies.

    I'd say it was about 2 months before we were good to go. Only a couple accidents here and there after that. I wouldn't call that a slow progression. It took some time to catch on and I would always curse myself when I was cleaning pee off the floor or poop off of his undies. But it all worked out.

    If you can stand to clean up messes for a little while longer, then I would keep going.

    Landon was potty-trained at 2.5 except for pull-ups at nights.

  3. We haven't even started potty training at all because Annie isn't showing any signs that she's ready. She knows when she HAS gone to the bathroom, but doesn't know BEFORE she has to go. From everyone I've heard, if you really wait until they are ready (including understanding the feeling of needing to go) it will happen within days.

    Since she's refusing to sit on the toilet and still going in her underwear without telling you first, I'd cool it for at least a couple weeks. Maybe she'd be ok with pull-ups since she wants to wear undies so bad, but those are so expensive... so to avoid that, I personally would just deal with the meltdowns for a few days and hide the undies until it really seems like she can "handle" them :)

    Good luck! I am absolutely not looking forward to this at all :)

  4. I say stop. I know I'm probably the only one, but I just recently got my third kid out of diapers, so I'm pretty confident. My daughter was first, and we did what you're doing, where we kept having to run to the bathroom and had accidents and all that. If YOU are doing all the training, SHE is not being potty trained. YOU are. Which is fine for some mamas I guess, but I am just not in that camp. When my daughter was two and a half (older than what is popular right now) she said she didn't want to pee in her pants, she wanted to use the toilet. So she did, and we never looked back. I can't remember her EVER peeing her pants after that, except at night, so we kept night diapers for a LONG time.
    My first son was almost as easy at that, but this last kid was AWFUL. I decided (me, not him) that it was time, so I started all that business of timers and all. Well, after four days of pooping his pants, I quit, because I'm terrified of those kids who ONLY poop in a diaper, like after they get off the bus for kindergarten they come home and put a diaper on to poop, you know what I mean? Do they have those kids in Oregon? Anyway, that was last April, he was two at the end of February. Then, mid to late Sept (right at two and a half) he said he wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese. I told him if he pooped in the toilet with no accidents until Friday (five days) we could go then. He did, we went, and we haven't looked back.
    So again, I say wait. To me (and it's just my opinion, and I KNOW it's not mainstream) it's not worth it for ME to do ANY of the work, when, in time, SHE will be more than willing to do it all for you. It's her body, and there's two things in the ENTIRE world that she can control with it. What goes in, and how it comes out.
    Is it weird that I want to write "And that's how Sue sees it" at the end of this novel? Is it weird that I'm stalking you from Guam? At least you know I'm not a danger to you from way out here ;)

  5. Cameron showed signs of readiness at about 22 months. Same signs as Lizzy- took interest in the potty and wanted to wear underwear. We started potty training, and he could keep his underwear dry, but only if I was asking him and making him go every 20 minutes. We were in week 3 of potty training and he just couldn't tell me he had to go and he would not go on his own. I put him back in diapers for about 6 more months.
    So, about 2 months ago, I asked one day if he wanted to start wearing underwear again. He said yes. I watched him like a hawk and when he started saying "uh-oh!!", I'd tell him "run to the bathroom, Cameron! RUN!!" It was sort of a game at first, and he picked up very fast. We did treats for a few days but he eventually quit asking. The only time I ever make him try to go to the bathroom is if we are leaving the house to go run errand or whatever.
    Even though he "seemed" ready the first time, he wasn't. Bottom line is that he couldn't make that connection of identifying the need to go and knowing what to do. The second time we potty trained he had it down in a day and a half. Looking back, the difference in readiness was night and day.
    If Lizzy can't tell you that she needs to go, she isn't ready and that's OK! I'd be firm about telling her she needs to be in diapers (maybe try to divert her attention to something else when she asks) and give it another go in a few months or whenever she seems ready again.
    Also, when the time comes, I'd have about 15 pairs of underwear ready. Good luck, Meredith- the thought of potty training can be very stressful but when the time is right, it shouldn't be at all. =)

  6. I have no advice... just wanted to say thank you because I learned a lot reading the comments.

    Eva knows when she has to poop - but has NO interests in sitting on the potty. I can tell when she is too, but if I put her on the toilet she freaks. She screams like someone is killing her.

    She loves to sit on the potty when she doesn't have to go - play wipe and flush. A few times she has peed - but it has been rare and she was surprised and wasn't sure what it was.

  7. Such a tough situation! I think we all go through this with at least one child. I did with my boys. Honestly, I don't think she's 100% ready. She has a LOT of the signs of being ready which is awesome. (I have a 3.5 yo in my class that is terrified to even sit on the potty.) The fact that she is still fighting you to sit on the potty is a big deal breaker. It's going to put a lot more stress on the both of you and could wipe out any progress you have already made however large or small it is.
    As for pull-ups, the only benefit of them is that the child is able to pull them up and down on their own. Pull-ups are still diapers and they are just more expensive. I only started using them when the child was able to pull their pants down on their own.
    I have had some parents who allow their child to wear the big kid underpants over the diaper/pull-up. I can see both sides of the argument, but I personally don't think it helps in the process.
    Good luck and sending good vibes!

  8. i have no advice but we are having simillar issues but he'll eventually let me put him in the diaper and he'll sit on the potty but just won't go :)

  9. C had the same issue with going in the underwear. What worked for us to have her wear nothing. No diaper either. She didn't want to have an accident on the floor and would use the bathroom. When she got the hang of it we put the underwear back on.


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