Request for Comments: Potty Training


Almost Potty Trained!, originally uploaded by tadnkat.

Original Post – 26 Feb 2011: As I embark on one more weekend of naked butts running around the house, for purposes of potty training, I figured I’d reach out to the other parents who are readers of this site to find out your potty training stories.

What have you found works well? Or failing that, what “worked” in the end with your kids?

We’ve got going Number Two pretty much down pat, but Number One continues to be a challenge. But running around with a naked butt and then rushing to the potty at signs of distress seems to be working for now.

Update – 5/27/11:

Figured I’d update this post now that it’s 3 months later, and our 21-month-old is basically potty trained now – with only the occasional accident once every week or two.  But still, sometimes she’s just got “pee pee potty” on the brain, which is what prompted this little video I had to share:

12 thoughts on “Request for Comments: Potty Training

  1. One of mine pretty much potty trained herself. Easy! The other two took a little longer, but weren’t too bad. The kids were in daycare, so it’s a bit different situation than yours possibly. It was really helpful actually–the daycare had an approach, and one I thought pretty workable, and they asked that we (the family and the daycare) stayed consistent and in communication on it, which was great. They basically just made it “the thing to do”. They would, about every two hours or so, have ALL the kids line up and go potty. Before we go outside, we all need to try to go potty. Before we change games, let’s all go potty. Before we have snack, let’s all go potty. You get the idea. Because it was regular, and everyone was doing it, it became just the thing to do, and everyone starts doing it and you don’t have to many accidents. You could even try it within your family (with mom and dad and kiddo all going), though it may or may not have the same workability as having other kids their age doing it. The daycare also of course had us keep extra clothes and panties on hand in case of accidents, but asked that the extra panties were plain or ugly, and that the panties you put them in at the start of the day were pretty, fancy, or whatever they liked. Then they were encouraged to not mess up their “pretty” panties and have to change to the plain ones. We also had a reward system, where at first, they got a little treat or something they liked every time they successfully went in the potty. Then, as they got that well, we gave them a new game of getting through a whole day without accidents and they got a treat. And of course lots of praise and attention when they did it well, and not getting angry when they mess up or have an accident, just “oh well”.

    As an aside, here’s a tip some might find helpful for AFTER the kids are potty trained and sleeping through the night without accidents. We found if we had a period of lots of accidents or bedwetting start up again, that sometimes it was a little something going on with the body, and that a visit or two to the chiropractor (who will also do kiddos) would help significantly or handle it completely.

    1. Steph – thanks for that!! I especially like the “pretty” panties and “ugly” panties differentiation – I think that’ll work with our little princess, since she’s sort of on a roll these days about being “pretty”. 🙂

  2. I think the logistics are slightly different with girls but when we were potty training Hayden he had a small toilette that played music every time he peed in it. It had a sensor at the bottom. That seemed to provide some additional motivation to pee there.

    It sounds like she’s already started the first gradient of recognizing the sensation of peeing so I would say you’re on the right track.

    1. Yes – the poop sensation, we’ve pretty much got down pat now, though we had a humorous and totally unpublishable accident regarding such this weekend (Mackenzie, handing me something she ‘found’ in the closet: “Here you go daddy!!”)

      Pee seems to be more difficult. But we’ll keep at it.

  3. When potty training my son I found a book “Toilet Training in Less Than a Day”. Even though I didn’t do it in a day I did do it in a week. I had some very useful tips. Like: To start with teaching them to get their underpants over their bum when pulling it down. Pull it out then down as a lot of kids get stuck on that point. Also to drill them to find the bathroom from any room. There were some fun drills on that one.

    I know those really helped because then he never got stuck on those points.

  4. We had a lot of practice then started the countdown to his 4th birthday. Every day I would tell him that he has 10, 9, 8, etc. days left before the diapers are gone and miraculously on the day he turned 4 he managed the day without any accidents. And he is doing great ever since (only a few oopsies) Communication and agreements do it for me all the time.

  5. Goofy error checking in this form. I had a nice long post and errored on missing email address (no required fields notice), hit the back button and lost the post.

    1. Dang! That is goofy. Can you summarize your missive then? I realize you’re a man with experience in the serious matters taken up in this post.

  6. Thanks for all your comments, guys. Since writing this we’ve basically gotten to the point of being 90% trained on #2’s, and 75% trained on #1’s. And now she’s got “pretty panties” that we got at Macy’s which she’s not allowed to go pee pee potty in, and that was a major step forward too. At home with us, she’s basically done – almost no accidents. At daycare…well…not so much.

  7. Both my daughters potty trained very differently. My first had an early interest I immediately respond even though inhad many telling me she was too young…she liked the little potty when I would go I always took her she sat on her potty, sometimes she went sometimes she didn’t.. There was always praise for trying..trying extended into going in the bathroom and saying no, as well since we all have to learn to respond to our own bodies.

    My second daughter was almost potty trained when she was dx with Leukemia, since she was working very hard throughout treatment on a standard 2.5 year cog protocol I didn’t worry about it. Mostly when she felt well she used the potty when she didn’t she would rest in pull ups. It was irrelevant because few 20 year olds are in diapers and I knew she would be healthy and potty trained at some point. Again I think the key was letting her control her body, and her environment . 🙂

    1. Wow, Kerry. Were I in the same circumstances, I would not be focusing on potty training either. For us, with no illnesses or other issues, we could focus on potty training, which helped us complete it pretty quickly.

  8. When old enough to walk, I’d given my two, along with the other kids in my house as nanny unit, the job of taking their diaper to the trash. They were ready for a new game once potty training came along, so it was an easy transition. Well, there was one that didn’t jump on board, but her transition was she could change her own pull-up instead of me. She got bored with that, then was ready for the potty game. We only have one bathroom, so we also played “who gets to use it first,” with my own two. Looks like you’re into games with her as well. Keep being creative, she’ll come around.

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