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Potty Training

Aberwacky's picture

He's only 18 months old, but Grant is showing signs of being interested in potty training (lets us know when he's pooping, loves to be in the bathroom when someone's using the toilet--darn those pocket doors--likes to put toilet paper in and flush, etc., talks about the potty, goes and stands in front of the toilet when we say something about the potty and more details I won't mention here, LOL).

We're not planning on starting training him for awhile, especially with Aidan and the associated disruptions due any time now, but I'm interested in tips and things we can do with him to encourage his, let's say, interest, in the meantime.




Cooking is messy.  Deal with it or stay out of the kitchen.

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Biscuit's picture

(post #46661, reply #1 of 8)

Well - as a woman still slightly scarred from the PT wars, I have a couple of pieces of advice for you.

First, and most important - all children are different, they all do things on their own schedule, and YOU CAN NOT FORCE THEM TO DO THIS.  They will do it when they do it.  And just because something worked with ONE persons child, does not mean they will work with yours.  Like everything else to do with parenting, you just have to try things to find what works.

Second - okay, Max showed interest at that age, too.  And I've known kids (especially girls) to actually start at that age.  But - by and large, while little boys will show interest, they will probably cease interest within a few months.  Most don't really potty train until at least 2 1/2 to 3 1/2.  I say most - you never know.  Your son might do it early.

Third - give him the opportunity if he wants to - get a potty, show him what to do.  Let him try if he wants.  Don't get mad if he fails - he really is pretty young right now. 

Fourth - get those Clorox wipes - you will need them (G).

Fifth - everything I've been told by professionals is NOT to use pull-ups until they are completely potty trained and you only use them when you are out of the house for extra insurance.  Apparently pullups are bad for potty training.  I don't know for sure, I never used them.


That's pretty much all I know.  Max didn't potty train until he was about 3 1/2, even though I tried to force it on him at 3.  Didn't work.  Nor did bribery.  But when he was ready, he just did it - 2 weeks, no diapers at night, out, or anything else.  He was done very quickly when I just let him do it on his own.

As a wise woman once said to me - no one ever goes to Kindergarten in diapers.  It doesn't help much when you think your child is the only one not potty trained, but it's true.

Mama, I'm just a factory of love!  Know why?  Because no matter how much love I make and give you, I'm always making more!  That's what a factory does, so I'm a Factory of Love! - Max

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

KitchenWitch's picture

(post #46661, reply #2 of 8)

I echo what Biscuit said - except the scars, which I do not have. 
Nattie was a piece of cake - was completely trained by age three. 
Buddy - forget it. at 18 months, he pee'd in the potty a few times, and then completely lost interest.
Even though I'm really, really tired of diapers, I'm not going to push him.


You don't scare me. I have a three year old.


Aberwacky's picture

(post #46661, reply #3 of 8)

Good advice, thanks. 

The twins were 4 before they were potty trained (and apparently had NO interest before then), so I wasn't really expecting Grant to, especially since he's a boy, LOL.

We definitely don't want to force him into it--no rush, and we'll take it in very slow stages.  I think I'll start looking for a little potty to keep in the bathroom, let him get used to it, and show him what to do, etc., but apply no pressure. 

I mostly just don't want to discourage his interest, especially with the stress and change of the new baby.  If he does some training, he does it, but we're going to be changing a lot of diapers anyway for awhile, after all, so what's a few more! 



Cooking is messy.  Deal with it or stay out of the kitchen.

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
monstersmom10's picture

(post #46661, reply #4 of 8)

I have to say, I'm totally spoiled in this area.  Zevi decided to start using the potty (having watched his sisters enough times) at around 16 months.  One weekend, at my parents' house, he would tell us every 5 minutes, literally, ' I need pee', and was dry the entire day. Since we had the potty around anyway, he'd use it before the bath every night, but I wasn't ready to deal with toilet training yet.  A week after his 2nd birthday, he'd dribble 2 drops into the diaper, run screaming for the potty, and after wasting nearly 1/2 package of Pampers in one day, I was not gonna deal with this expense.  I asked him if he wanted underwear, he said yes, and never looked back.  He stayed dry at night from day 1, to my total shock.  I decided to take advantage of his decision, and we're now diaper-free, for the next 4-5 months, anyway.  If Grant is showing this sort of interest, he may not be ready to completely give up diapers, but let him use the potty as often as he wants.  He just may surprise you one day, and diapers are expensive!  Also, I echo what was said before, NO PULL-UPS.  Those things are worthless with regards to actually teaching a kid.  The only thing they're good for is if you have a wiggler who won't stay still for diapering.

Jean's picture

(post #46661, reply #6 of 8)

Hee, I was fully prepared to send my youngest (boy) to kindergarten for his teacher to deal with. You think I'm kidding?

They told me I was gullible and I believed them.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
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msm-s's picture

(post #46661, reply #7 of 8)

i was lucky too, and second the decisions you just announced, aberwacky.
the best advice i got on the subject (and i was one who read everything and asked everyone) was that with pt, you follow the child's lead, not the other way around.
my son was almost 18 months when he showed great interest, and he's already been watching his dad pee for months. so i bought a little trainer for the floor and after showing him what it was for, let him explore it and own it. you can also take a favorite toy to sit on it ocassionally to pee; before you know it your child will do that too. and sometimes he would just sit there and chat. we answered the same questions over and over. just be patient and keep following their lead. after 2 or 3 months, he did lose interest but the chair stayed right there. we didn't prompt. then suddenly right before his second birthday he just up and left the room, took his diaper off and used it to pee. it was messy, but he had the idea and like others have said, with a few weeks of practice, he was trained. ripped off his diapers at night and stayed dry. i think he only ever had 3 night accidents after that and they were all when he was sick.
once he sartted going, i put a poster board on the fridge with a hand made calendar grid and gave him stickers to put on it each time. people used to reward with candies, but we were trying to hold off sweets. i tell you, stickers are a great motivator at that age.
i agree don't use pull-ups. our dr said it can confuse a child or make him a little lax in getting to the bathroom. for cildren who make a quick, easy transition, there's no need.

all the books and drs and various authorities had me so scared about doing the teensiest thing wrong during pt and warping my son's psche deeply and forever. but just follow their lead and be patient and it will work itself out.

wonka's picture

(post #46661, reply #5 of 8)

My triplets all trained themselves just shy of 3. I kept them naked all summer and had potties everywhere (in the bathroom, car, backyard). I didn't do any training, it just happened when they were ready. What I did do is ask them if they wanted to use the potty all the time and wear big kid underwear ( and only once they decided themselves to use the potty)? The girls trained at night right away but my son took another 3 months to be able to go without a diaper at night. (my brother took until he was 11).

evelyn's picture

(post #46661, reply #8 of 8)

If he actually tells he he wants to use the potty, why not let him? This may be his time.


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