October 5, 2012

Potty Training Advice?

So some of you might want to look away from this post because yes, I'm totally going there. It appears the time has come to walk this frightening road of potty training. Call me crazy, but I've never been one to look forward to this. Yes, it's a pain having to change 2 kid's diapers all day long, but at the same time? Having them in diapers allows me to be in control. (yes, I have issues.) 

We've never really pushed potty training because I've always heard to just watch for the signs and you'll know when your child is ready. So we have a little Cars potty seat he'll sit on from time to time, but nothing regularly really. However, this week that all changed. Manny has really been asking to go to the potty more and more, and every time I'd let him, he'd actually go #1. (To keep this as vague as possible, I'll be saying #1 and #2. I'm confident you can figure out what those are referring to.) I still wasn't sure how serious he was about it though. But that all changed on Tuesday. He was playing in the living room, but then stopped and ran off. I thought he went back to his room to play, so I was doing some stuff in the kitchen. A few minutes later, I hear him clapping and yelling, "Mama I did it! Yay!" I go back there to find him on the toilet. He had removed his diaper and pants on his own, put the potty seat on the toilet, and gone all by himself. Pretty sure this was my sign that I couldn't stop ignoring.

Since he's had a cold all this week, I haven't sent him to MDO and it's actually been a great week to work on it. We've gone full time undies (I keep saying panties and Patrick keeps correcting me) and he's done really well with it. He's had 2 accidents, and both were when he was outside playing. I think maybe because he just didn't want to stop playing? When I taught 2nd grade, I even had a few boys that would occasionally wet their pants at recess because they didn't want to stop playing to go to the bathroom, so that's just a guess. He rarely tells me he needs to go potty. I just make sure to take him often (whether he wants to or not) and he goes almost every time. How long will it take to get to the point that he tells me he needs to go? Am I developing a habit this way?

We had our first big success today in that he wore undies when we went out for lunch! I've been worried about this but decided I need to take the plunge as most people seem to tell me go all or nothing. We met Megan and Eli at Chick-fil-a for lunch and to play. I took him to the bathroom when we got there and right before we left, and he went both times. By the time we got home, it'd been about 30 minutes and I knew I should take him again. However, MB was screaming her head off because she was hungry, and Manny had climbed up to the table to work puzzles as soon as we walked in the door. So I decided I'd feed Maeva, then take him to the bathroom. Rookie mistake. Within a few minutes, he yelled, "Oh no, momma! I peepeed! It's a mess!" And sure enough, he had gone. So I kind of take responsibility for that one. I still call it a successful outing in undies despite that mishap at the end. At least we were at home to change and clean-up! I know that won't always be the case.

Also, he hasn't gone #2 since we've started all this. Yes, he still wears a diaper at night and for naps, so I was hoping that might be when he'd do it during this transition. I've heard going #2 on the toilet typically comes long after the initial part of potty training for #1.

So to make a long story short (yeah right): I feel like I have no clue what I'm doing. I'm just kind of flying by the seat of my pants here and letting him lead the way, but I know there are probably certain things I could be doing to help him. I understand every child is different so what works for some won't work for others, but I'd love to hear any advice you have on how you potty trained your kids. Sorry for the rambling post, but I wanted to write some of this down for my memory, as goodness knows....it is NON-existent these days.

Have a great weekend friends! :)


  1. that's great that he's interested! jacob was 3yrs 2mos when he finally 'got it' :) bless me, right? :P

    we used the 3day potty training method with him and it actually worked! we didn't leave the house for 3 days and we cut diapers cold turkey and never looked back. no pull ups either, even at naps and bedtime. it was all or nothing. it said those are a crutch and send mix signals.

    one piece it teaches that we think worked really well was to say to the child (1000 times a day mind you) "let me know when you need to go potty" instead of ASKING "do you need to go potty?"

    there are other dos and don'ts that we stuck to 100% and seriously after 3 days, he got it. and he has NEVER had an accident, no bed wedding or anything.

    now watch him wet the bed tonight :) HA!

    and yes, #2 was a different story. it scared him to go. he would get so constipated and would hold it. that was not fun, but one day it clicked and he decided to go. but he would run around the house crying because it hurt. poor thing. hopefully that doesn't happen to manny.

    the 3 day potty training manual is an e-book that you download online, i think it's like $20. best $20 i've ever spent :) and i plan to use this same method with levi. one of these days... let me know if you have any questions. good luck!

  2. Thats great that he's interested.

    With kaylee I got a baby food jar, decorated it girly with her and then put mini m&ms in it. Every time she said she had to go potty and actually went she got 2 m&ms. She liked the idea of getting candy since she never got candy. We kept the candy in the bathroom and it seemed to help her. It took her about a week to get the hang of it and go with no accidents.

    #2 was harder with her. She got really constipated cause she was scared to go. But after a couple weeks it finally just clicked with her. We started with just day time potty training and worked into the nap time and night time training. I figured she was ready for nap & bed training when she was continuously waking up dry. She also didn't get anything to drink an hour before nap or bed either.

    Keira has started showing a few signs of being ready but I'm not pushing her at all. She's used the potty the few times she's said shes had to go.

    Good luck! I might need some advice when I really give it a go with Keira.

  3. I am no expert by any means. I've potty trained two boys.

    I will say I think it's a boy thing they don't want to stop playing and go pee and so will have an accident. Though my oldest who has been P.T for almost 3 years doesn't anymore.

    I think you are going at it the right way. I just always asked the first 2 weeks and took chances going out in public after so many days of accident free.

    It took child 2 almost a month to start going #2 in the potty.

    Sounds like Manny is ready and he'll have it in the bag (so to speak) in no time.

  4. I've potty trained two girls, but I totally agree. CUT out the diapers/pull-ups cold turkey! I did this with both girls, and they were PT in like 3 days. When you send him to MDO, don't send any diapers or pull-ups. Just let them know he is PT'ing, and is in undies. They will keep on him about going potty. Good luck!

  5. I'm right there with you.
    1. I call them undies.
    2. I'm not sure what I'm doing, but for the most part, Hays is PT at home.

    Please tell me your secret on going in public. Do you have something to cover the toilet? I'm not a germaphobe but it seems so weird to let his little hands touch all over the potty.

  6. Girl, it sounds like you are doing a great job!! Seriously, every time I was thinking "Oh, I could tell her this or that" you had done it!

    We did a varied version of the 3 Day thing and it went well, with the exception that he did MUCH better wearing undies than being naked. It was like he realized what as accident was if he felt it. And it only took him a day or so to start pooping in the potty. Thank God because picking up human poop off the floor made me want to start drinking at noon.

    In the beginning, you have to be the one to keep track of how long it's been because they just aren't used to it, but they catch on pretty quick. Just like the feeding of an infant, every couple hours, I would remind Alex and he would go. Alex doesn't nap any more (seriously, makes for a long day sometimes) but I do put him in a Pull-Up at night. His doctor mentioned that holding it over night is a different skill set all together and I'm going with that.

    As for when we leave the house, we go before we leave and once we get there if we are doing something fun that he might forget to go while playing or whatever. If we are doing something boring, like grocery shopping, he usually has to go then. And like clockwork, he ALWAYS poops during dinner. Not kidding, it doesn't matter what time we eat, but the very second my bottom hits the chair his internal signal reminds him that he needs to take a massive, grown-man-sized dump that will make me lose my appetite.

    I tried to do a "potty chart" and that was a waste. I also did a little treat for every time he went and that quickly turned in to him wanting to just sit and not go, then get a prize....which then turned in to me having to constantly watch him go every time and that felt more like babysitting a drunk college freshman than potty training.

    He will have some accidents, but it's all part of it. And I would send a few extra outfits to MDO with him for the first couple weeks. Alex's first day back and he had a couple accidents in a matter of hours.

    It sounds like you both are on the right track, though!! Good luck!!!


  7. I was the same as you... terrified of potty training, and much more comfortable in control with diapers :)

    Brayden was 2 months shy 3 years old when he potty trained. I did NOTHING. He just did it on his own. No reminding, no pestering on my part. Nothing. I think this is slightly a fluke, but I also think that if you truly wait till they're ready, you won't have to do much. he was potty trained in 2 weeks. Sounds like you guys are on the right track. Just keep it up and it will eventually all click and you'll forget what it's like to change his diapers :)

  8. i have no advice. i am just dying laughing that you keep calling them panties and patrick corrects you. :)
    way to go, manny!!!

  9. We did the 3 day potty training and it worked awesome! We didn't do anything with treats or what not, but did lots of cheering. :) Good luck!

  10. I have no idea about this because my son is nowhere near ready. He would sit in a poopy or wet diaper for hours if I let him. But, I have heard that some people have success with focusing on their "undies" staying dry instead of if they need to "go." supposedly it helps them understand the main goal of it all better. It sounds like its going well though. Hopefully by the time my kid is 7 we'll have this potty training thing down.

  11. I have no idea about this because my son is nowhere near ready. He would sit in a poopy or wet diaper for hours if I let him. But, I have heard that some people have success with focusing on their "undies" staying dry instead of if they need to "go." supposedly it helps them understand the main goal of it all better. It sounds like its going well though. Hopefully by the time my kid is 7 we'll have this potty training thing down.

  12. I have no idea about this because my son is nowhere near ready. He would sit in a poopy or wet diaper for hours if I let him. But, I have heard that some people have success with focusing on their "undies" staying dry instead of if they need to "go." supposedly it helps them understand the main goal of it all better. It sounds like its going well though. Hopefully by the time my kid is 7 we'll have this potty training thing down.

  13. sounds like he's getting there! i've had success focusing more on staying dry--gotta keep those undies dry--than the act itself. kids feel like they are losing a part of themselves when they #2. i also don't believe in ppull ups, which it sounds like you aren't either. try not wearing undies at naps.

  14. Yeah Manny! That is great news Sarah, so awesome! It's funny that you wrote this post this week because on Monday I went into full blown potty training with Jillian but it was a total failure :(. She was at a point where she would go # 1 any time I would ask her to go so I felt she was ready. She would be so proud of herself and was going on the potty 1-2 times a day just from me adking her. It would usuly be at bedtime and when she eould get up from naps and morning. We were doing the "potty dance" a lot on our house. On Monday and Tuesday she wore "big girl panties" and I even created a potty chart and charted our success with Tinker Bell stickers. She just woukdn't tell me though when she had to go, it was always me asking her so if I didn't ask her in time....accident. After several accidents of #1 and #2 I finally gave up and decided she wasn't totally ready. She started getting annoyed that I was asking her so much that she lost all interest and started to become turned off. I tried shifting gears and stopped asking to see if she would start telling me and it was a lot of "Mommy, I made a mess." or I would just find her walking around the house with wet pants. Yuck! So before I completely turned her off on going on the potty, we are back to diapers. We are taking a little break and will try again in a few weeks. While I was potty training her, I read a blog post that I found on Pinterest (crazy, huh?) about potty training your child in three days and it talks about keeping them naked for three days and just rushing them to the potty every time they go or say they need to go. I just don't think I can give that kind of attention while caring for Nicholas too. I think what your doing is great and seems to be working for you!

  15. Yikes, just re-read through my comment. So many typos! I blame it on auto correct during a 2am feeding, not a good combo! Have a great weekend!

  16. Now I know I don't have kids of my own, but as a Program Specialist I help my 2 year old classroom Teacher potty train 3-4 kids every other month or so. What we found that works for our kiddos (and BTW Manny has awesome interest and you def got lucky with that!!) is setting a timer and pottying every 30 minutes, regardless of playing, where we are or what we are doing. We do EVERY 30 minutes the first two weeks, 45-60 the next week or so and then just gentle reminders at times when you know he should need to go (like before you leave the house, after lunch, before going outside etc)

    Now for #2 - it is perfectly common for little ones to hold it and get constipated while potty training. And it is still normal to have #2 accidents even if he completely potty trained on #1. If you think he would be motivated my a sticker chart, playing on your iphone while trying, getting a special snack after he #2's you can always try those things. Once he starts #2 in the potty he'll get it fast! My friend made prune cake for her potty training son (Pioneer Woman recipe) to help her son want/need to go while they working on it because he could hold for days and then have tummy issues!

    I hope this ramble makes sense!

    On a complete other note! I love being a part of the Big 12 hehe!!

  17. You're on the right track girl! Just cut out diapers cold turkey and constantly ask if he needs to go. Eventually he will start telling you he needs to go! Just always ask. As for the little insident that Maeva was screaming and he had an accident, just remember you can only do so much. If something happens like that again. Just ask him or even tell him "Manny go potty please!" Goo luck! Keep us posted!

  18. I don't have any children... but I did help raise my brother and sister, and if they went potty in the toilet they got a m&m... or for my little brother we would put cheerio's in the toilet and he would "aim" for them... I potty trained my dog the same way, she went potty outside, she got a puppy treat. Some reason food just makes people do things. :) good luck!

  19. We are working on the potty training as well. Yes I agree with the no diapers as hard as it is because I know with Morgan it totally confuses her to wear them. I still havent been brave enough to cut them out at night yet but hopefully soon. Morgan has #1 down but #2 Im wondering if it will ever work out she refuses to go. If you find any tricks for #2 I would love to hear :)

  20. Oh man, we're right there with you. We've been potty training for a week now with little success. I'm hoping we make it out alive, haha!

  21. I learned all I know about potty training from my daughter's daycare teachers. Can I just say I am soooo greatful for them. I am also grateful that a friend of ours, who is a mother of 4, told me it takes about 1 year to really get it and go without accidents. That helped me to take pressure off of myself because I understood it would take a long time and it didn't mean I was failing my daughter if she had an accident 6 months down the road.
    We went cold turkey to panties one weekend after she had really been asking to go for a few weeks. We only used pull ups for naps and at nighttime.

    This is what I have learned as my go to rules from potty training.

    1. I keep her daycare bag with me at all times. It contains 2 ziplock bags; each with a complete change of clothes, panties and socks.
    2. Remind them to go every 30 to 1 hour depending on when they drank something.
    3. Keep asking them to let you know if they feel like they need to go.

    Accidents happened when I didn't pay attention to the time. After about 1-2 months of reminding, she really started getting the hang of it and would almost always tell me she needed to go.

    We are 9 months in and it is going well. We no longer use pull ups for naptime. We dropped that about 2 months ago. I think we are ready to drop pull ups during the night. I'm watching her to see how the nights go. I'm not anxious about the nighttime thing. I don't mind the pull up cost for a dry bed just to make sure her bladder is good to go for nighttime.

    I have made a point to not get upset over accidents. Having the daycare bag has helped me feel prepared in case of an oops moment. I now get 'yea mommy' when I go potty and that is just hilarious. Nothing like a congrats for going potty at 37 to make your day. She is ordering us out of the bathroom so she can do her thing, and then we can assist when she is finished. :-)

    If anything, letting go of the diapers is making me a little sad. She's growing up to be a big girl and leaving the baby stuff behind.


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